When I was young my mother took me to the doctor’s for my vaccinations… and I was heartbroken to find that this particular vaccination didn’t come on a sugar lump. “There’s got to be an easier way”, I wailed.
When it comes to goals and new year resolutions, a lot of people, round about the end of January, wish there was an easier way to lose weight/get fit/make money/get out of debt/fall in love/[your own goal(s) here].
I was listening to an interview with my good friend Adrian Peck yesterday, and I felt I should share it with you. Adrian and I both trained with the same hypnotherapy tutor, and I have a suspicion we learned the same secrets in the same place… Adrian is the UK’s #1 sports hypnotherapist and trains elite athletes to perform better – I’ll give you some links below!
It’s fabulous to have huge goals. I think everyone should have at least one huge goal, a goal so big that it would take a miracle for it to happen. Because if we don’t start asking for miracles to happen, then they’re not going to happen.
But we also have to have small goals too – or the ability to break a massive goal down into smaller goals. Here’s how it works: today, I needed to fix my motorcycle headlamp. So I did. I was so pleased with myself that I went on and fixed my tumble dryer. After that I’d got so much energy that I washed my windows. And cleaned the kitchen. Then hoovered the carpets. Then wrote this blog post! Each time I completed something, it added extra energy and I wanted to do more. Human beings are completion engines. We like to see things as complete (nowadays, we joke a bit about OCD, but in truth we’re all engineered that way).
That’s one reason why lists work – when we finish something on the list, the energy level rises and we feel a sense of satisfaction – so we move on and do something else. (by the way, that’s also why lists don’t work – for two reasons. Either a) we do all the easy things on the list so we can get a sense of completion, and don’t do the important things – or b) we have such a big list we feel demotivated before we start. So get a sensible list of ‘things for today’ and not a list that stretches into the next century.)
So, we need to make it easy to win. For example, I set a goal of posting something on ‘You Are Amazing’ every day. I could have the intention of writing a huge blog post every day. If I did, and then something got in the way, I might give up and say ‘I screwed up this week. I’ll start again next week’. Instead, I know that I can put a good quote out there, or a quick paragraph, and still meet my goal of inspiring you every day.
Adrian quotes the example of going jogging. If you have a goal of going jogging every day for an hour, then chances are you will fail. But if you have a goal of jogging for 15 minutes a week, then you’ll probably look at that and say ‘that looks easy… I’ll do that tonight’. And you might run for half an hour. Then, secure in the knowledge that you’re a success already (and it’s only Monday)… you might do the same again on Tuesday. You might miss Wednesday because you had to work late. But that’s OK because you’re already a success.
If you have a goal to run an hour every day, and miss one day, you’ll feel like a failure. If you have a goal to run once a week and end up running five days, you’ll feel like a hero.
The secret to getting what you want is to start to take some steps in the right direction. Writing this blog, for me, is the act of taking some steps in the right direction. After this… well, there’s some other scarier stuff to do. Bigger stuff. Exciting stuff. But for now… this is a good start. For you, too, there are some small steps. Perhaps it’s time to take them.
As Martin Luther King Jr put it:
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
And perhaps that’s enough for today. Typical. I start out to share Adrian’s interview with you, and look what happens. But hop on over to the interview at http://www.headtrash.co.uk/blog/2014/01/10/motivation-to-exercise-adrian-peck and check out his web site at www.adrianpeck.co.uk
And we’ll talk some more tomorrow. But in the meantime, go easy on yourself, and . . . be amazing!