The beginning of every new year brings with it many new resolutions for big change. And likely, many of those resolutions are abandoned for one reason or another. I do not think it is so much the lack of desire to want to make whatever big change we’ve promised ourselves, but perhaps it’s just not the right size change that we’ve challenged ourselves with.
Although I have not read it yet, and likely won’t have the time to, I recently read a brief synopsis of a new book by Peter Sims called “Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries.” It quickly hit a chord and resonated with me as I hope it might with you, too.
Sometimes I think we expect too much of ourselves too soon. We set big goals and high standards. Not that those kinds of visions and expectations are bad at all. I believe everyone should set the bar high and work hard to reach high expectations. But I think perhaps what doesn’t work is the process we use to make it to those lofty goals. Instead of expecting or seeking a giant step that will take us quickly to our objective, we need to think in terms of baby steps or as Sims says, little bets.
There is an old saying – How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Same take on the same message. Always keep in mind that vision, the lofty goal, high expectation or ambitious project. But first figure out the baby steps that will help get you there. We can always learn and then get positive reinforcement from a small victory and often even a little failure. You know the mantra: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
Make your first step something simple. Something small. Something you can accomplish and will likely lead you to the next small step. One exciting win or achievement will lead to another and another. Then scale things up from there and that lofty goal finally becomes more achievable. And maybe that new year resolution won’t be abandoned after all.
Wishing you many small victories along your journey in 2012 to reach lofty (health) goals.