The Thursday Thesis - 5/10/2017
I love a good Goal, and - as far as I am concerned – the bigger the better.
If it’s a goal you can hang a number on, make it a big number; if it’s a Goal with a date or deadline, make it a real deadline with real consequences. I like the idea of pledging a slug of cash to an organisation you dislike – the only way they don’t get your money is if you beat the deadline you set for yourself.
But there are two big problems with having a big Goal.
Firstly the big Goal itself. It’s an outcome, a snapshot of the future, distant, remote, and not actionable today. You can’t build a business or write a book, craft a fit body or build a relationship with your life partner in a day.
All too often, nothing happens today...
The second problem with that Big Goal is its pervasiveness and its hugeness. Certainly, clever people keep their Big Goals in their minds by regularly reminding themselves of what the Goal is and how it looks, feels and sound. But it’s a Big Goal, and it can too easily terrify and overwhelm you, instead of inspire you: I see this all the time with students and coaching clients.
So here’s the solution to being overwhelmed by your own Big Goals: just do something, every day, which moves you in the direction of your goals.
Simple, isn’t it?
That means paying attention to the activities – the PROCESS that produces PROGRESS – every single day.
Instead of rocking back on your heels and staring awestruck at your Big Goal, take one tiny step forward towards it.
In my book Elephant Sandwiches I shared the simplest, daily tick-box system that I invented to get my own chronic procrastinator arse into gear. The basic idea is that your Big Goals are your Elephants, and that Elephants are indigestible if eaten whole. But slice them up very thin and eat a slice every day, and they are delicious.
So the Elephant Sandwich is the breakfast of champions.
Get into the Process that produces Progress, every day.
Do something. Write 500 words, walk for 10 minutes, make the time.
Do Something, today, that brings your future toward you. If it’s a thin enough slice, you can eat it, and tomorrow you’ll be hungry for another.
Get started and do something.
© Neil Cowmeadow 2017
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