Hello ninjas, when it comes to big projects, I am no stranger to procrastination. Anytime a massive project is on the schedule, I always find a way to delay working on it. Well, in the long run this is a destructive habit that will lead to smaller issues turning into bigger issues. That’s why I’ve recently taken on the mindset of “Set Small Goals in order to get Big Results.”
When we talk about big results, we are talking about projects that at first glance, seem like it would be impossible to complete. The objective is so large it seems like it would take fifty years to finish. Examples would be: Losing two hundred pounds. Having a savings over ten thousand dollars. Writing a book. Well it turns out, all of these things can be accomplished if you set small goals.
Big projects are intimidating. This is why planning a wedding can be so stressful. Once you realize that you have to buy: decorations, parking, lodging, schedule entertainment, lighting, schedule someone to do the lighting, food, catering, special events, floral arrangements, table decorations, signage, then a wedding goes from fun party to total nightmare.
When you’re discussing the thousands of different things that need to get done, it can literally feel like you lose your breath. Once you hit this point, it’s very easy to either A.) Say you’ll do it tomorrow. Or B.) Cancel the project altogether.
Neither option is ideal. Especially because tomorrow usually means never. So A.) and B.) are technically the same outcome.
Therefore, in order to ‘trick’ your mind into working on that massive project, you need to set small goals. Break it down into little chunks.
Say you’re planning a wedding and you haven’t purchased table decorations, or figured out signage, or food, or entertainment, etc. What small thing can you do that will still bring you to your end goal? Tell yourself to minimally, make a phone call to a vendor. Doesn’t matter which, simply decide to call either the caterer or the DJ to discuss prices.
You don’t even need to book them right away. The point of this process is to set a small goal, achieve it, and continue onto the next. What’s more likely to happen is that (assuming the vendor is a good fit) you will get their information and either book them on the spot or call them in a few days.
This same trick can be applied to writers. If you’re an author and you tell yourself, “I am going to write twenty chapters of my book.” Nine times out of ten you will write zero chapters of your book.
The old expression “Mind over matter” is one hundred percent true. If your brain believes the project is too overwhelming your body will too. If you set small goals, your brain will believe the project can get done.
A while ago I read an article about Terry Crews, the NFL football player turned actor, and how he maintains his incredible shape. He says in the article that he didn’t always have the motivation to work out. Like the rest of us, working out was a chore that he didn’t want to do. In order to convince himself to get up and go to the gym, he literally broke down his day into the smallest goals.
First, get up.
Third, get dressed.
Put shoes on.
Get in the car.
Drive down the block.
Drive to the gym.
Do one exercise.
He didn’t tell himself he was going to the gym to do an intense three hour work out. He didn’t set the expectation that he was going to kill it in the gym. His only goal, his small step, was to put on his shoes. And with each progressive step he made a small commitment to next.
On Twitter someone said, “I have the house to myself for an hour. Should I use that hour to drop dead and rest or get some writing done?”
I tweeted back, “Drop dead for forty minutes and write for twenty. If you tell yourself to write for an hour you won’t do it.”
Rebel Wilson also used this same methodology to lose weight. She didn’t start off by telling herself she was going to crash diet and workout every day at the gym. She started off with one small step. “After lunch, I will go for a short walk.”
Sound simple? It should. The whole point is to make the impossible seem possible.
I’ve now used this line of thinking to make progress on my book Narco Hotel. Instead of telling myself that I need to rewrite ten chapters and edit twenty, I tell myself, that for today, I will only edit one sentence. If that goes well, then maybe I will edit another sentence, or maybe a paragraph, or maybe an entire chapter.
If you really think about this advice, a lot of it makes sense. After all, a brick house is built brick by brick with no steps skipped in between.
Check out these videos and listen to advice from successful people who have achieved big results.
Set small goals in order to get big results
The most honest advice about getting rich
In book news, since most of you guys already have A Bitter Winter, I am not going to inform you of the 99cents promo happening on July 16th. What I will say is that I will have more Narco Hotel information to share with you guys soon.