Research shows that less than 10% of folks who set a task/goal actually stick with them for more than a few months.
Why? Is it because you’re lazy and have no willpower? NO WAY!
It’s because change is hard.
Fortunately, there are many effective strategies that you can implement to make change easier.
One of the most powerful is what authors Dan and Chip Heath call “shrinking the change.” According to the Heath brothers, the only way to get to your larger goals is to accomplish smaller goals first, building momentum.
When we are overwhelmed with a task/goal, it is often because we have had no (or little) success. However, when we have a taste of success, it’s much easier for us to build on that and keep going.
Basically, the idea is to lower the bar, breaking larger goals into smaller, more manageable chunks, raising the bar after hitting each successful milestone. When you set the bar too high from the beginning, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. When you set mini-milestones, you set more realistic goals, and you build tremendous confidence in the process. You feel the change, and while the change continues to shrink, you continue to grow.
Simply put, the best way to tackle the challenge of any big change is to shrink the change into smaller pieces. That way, when it comes time to take action, willpower is not even an issue.
How small are we talking about? Ridiculously small. We want you to set goals (that align with your big goal) that are doable.
Say you want to get started with an exercise program. Start by committing 5 minutes a day to doing some structured exercise (such as walking). Say your overall goal is to meditate for an hour a day. Start by downloading a guided meditation app (like Headspace) and doing just 1 minute a day.
Maybe you’re shooting to get more sleep. Start by setting the goal of going to bed 10 minutes earlier. Regardless of what you choose, make it specific and measurable.