Jan 11, 2010

Little goals inside of big goals

One of the strategies for success I have in my goal of pulling a 365-day running streak in 2010 is to define small goals to accomplish on the way to the large goal.

The Long Winding Road to Failure

A year is a really long time to do something consistently, and I believe that is the reason so many people's new years resolutions fail. I am no less susceptible to failure than the next guy, and if the many failures I've had in my life have taught me anything, it's that I'm on a collision course with yet another disappointment in 2010 unless I implement a strategy to overcome decreasing motivation as time goes on. When eleven days into a long-term goal, it's easy to stay excited - but after one hundred and eleven days, the attention will be on the overwhelming reality of "two hundred fifty-four days to go." I imagine the sheer magnitude will be downright discouraging - and discouragement, if allowed to fester, will inevitably lead to failure - at least for me.

Pulling That Lofty Goal Down From the Stratosphere

It seems to me that if I broke the project up into smaller chunks, that fickle and elusive successful result will come closer into reach. What if the goal wasn't two-hundred fifty four days away? what if it was just thirty days away? Could I set monthly goals that wouldn't be so overwhelming? And could I make them challenging enough to actually be interesting? Perhaps if I sat down at the beginning of every month and created a goal for that month, I could by the end of the year - almost by accident - accomplish the bigger goal.

The Plan

This idea didn't occur to me on the first of January, but rather this past weekend, over a week into the new year. It seemed prudent, then, to let the goal for January (and probably December) simply to be "to run every day." In January, the excitement of the large goal is such that I don't have to have set a sub-goal in order to get to the end of the month. However, come February and every month thereafter, expect me to publicly declare the goal I'll set for that month. If the ideas that I have already are any indication, I guarantee that it will be interesting to follow - and tough for me to accomplish.


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