Life is damn hard and we’re all killing it. In our daily lives we’re constantly being thrown curve balls. Whether that curve ball be as trivial as a flat tire or as devastating as a job loss, life sure can throw us for a loop. When this happens, what do we all do? Well, we get through it. We all do. Humans are total champions at marching along through the hardships and throwing those lemon right back at life. And this is exactly the same resilience that we can use to reach our life goals. Check out how below!
1. Channel Your Inner Champion
I want you to think about your life today and everything you’ve been through to get to where you are. You don’t need to be the CEO of Microsoft to know what hard work is. If you’re on this Earth, you’ve been through your fair share of challenges and you’ve made it through.
You’ve got up and out the door for a job you’ve hated. You’ve faced someone you were afraid of. You’ve attended the funeral of someone you loved. You’ve been hurt. You’ve fallen down numerous times – and you’ve gotten back up every time.
Here’s my favourite quote to think about when I’m working on my life goals:
“You were strong enough to get this far. You are strong enough to keep going”.
After a web search, I wasn’t able to find the original speaker, but it’s a great quote! Know that whatever goals you’re working on, you have already proven that you have the strength to continue. You. Can. Do. This!
2. Break Each Goal Up Into Smaller Goals
Challenges in life are not overcome in one giant leap – but instead require a series of small steps in the right direction. If you look too long at an obstacle ahead of you, it can seem overwhelming and insurmountable. But when you break it up into smaller goals, you’ll realize that you’re getting closer to overcoming your obstacle without even realizing it. So break up those goals!
For each goal, create a list of smaller objectives that lead up to the ultimate goal.
Write them down in a planner, type them into your phone, or stick them on your mirror with Post-its. It doesn’t matter how you do it, but recording these objectives somewhere will help you jumpstart your progress and stop you from forgetting about your goals.
Here’s an example: I love to run, but when I first started running, I could barely run for 15 minutes without stopping. I had never been good at running (or any sports) in high school so I thought I just wasn’t athletic. Running was hard for me.
So I started setting very small distance goals and each run I pushed myself to run farther. If I was strong enough to run 1k, I could run 2k the next time. If I could run 2k, I bet I could run 3k. I remember writing down a bigger goal in my notebook, which was to run 6k by the end of the summer. These little steps added up until this fall, I ran my 5th half marathon (21k).
The same principle can work for you. But you have to start first!
3. Start…And Don’t Stop!
Once you’ve broken down your goal into smaller objectives, you’re ready to tackle that list. Don’t feel bad if you’re stuck on this step – starting is truly the hardest part! But once you take that first step, there’s nothing stopping you but time. If you put one foot ahead of the other and keep going, you’ll overcome any challenge. That’s the BIG SECRET: just keep going! I’m totally convinced that anything is possible if you stick at it.
Life is like marathon training, you don’t wake up and suddenly find success.
You get there slowly. Just like you don’t decide to run 21 or 42 kilometres overnight (it won’t work, I promise!). Running a race like that requires repeated training sessions, while you build up your mind and muscles to be stronger than they’ve had to be so far.
In university, I took a psychology course where we learned about “deep practice” and the theory that you can become an expert at just about anything if you put in the hours. This kind of thinking pushes me towards my goals, when life seems to make it tougher. (If you’re interested, the book The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle explores these ideas and summarizes the current research really well).
So you see, you got it in you! You’ve just got to get up every day and keep working.
If there’s anything you’ve ever wanted to do, whether it be start your own blog, film a movie, write a novel or climb Mount Everest – set your sights on that dream and don’t give up.
If you don’t think you can do it – I’m telling you, you can. And one thing is for sure, if you don’t try you won’t get there.
Because like I said, you can’t train for a marathon overnight. But, put in the work and put your whole heart into it, and you’ll get there. I hope my enthusiasm is contagious. Start small, but take that first step towards beating your goals – right NOW!
What will your first step be?