We want to lose those extra pounds. We want a better job. We want to have better relationships. We want to learn a foreign language. All of those are achievable if the steps we take to get there are tiny and realistic. We can’t place the giant pressure on ourselves to lose 20 pounds in 1 week. That’s unhealthy and unnatural. The best way to surely reach our goals is to follow the path of the turtle (slow and steady wins the race).
Let’s use the “I want to quit smoking” example. For the purpose of this example I will share some side information about me on this. I smoked for 15 years and it took me 8 years (on and off) to finally quit. Once I finally commited myself to cut down on the bad habit I was able to reach my smoke-free goal. Proudly, I have been smoke-free for about 8 years with no relapse.
How did I quit smoking and joined the ranks of those non-smokers? In small, realistic steps. I told myself I want to cut down (not quit) smoking. I started to smoke one less cigarette a day (sometimes it took 2 or 3 days to get to one less). I didn’t add pressure on myself by stating that I would quit smoking by an imaginary such and such date. I just told myself to cut down on smoking. By giving myself free reign of my choice with no added pressure (time line) I was allowing myself to slowly, gradually change my habit. Some days were better than others. But I promised myself that I was cutting down on the habit.
Once I cut down to 1 or 2 a day I realistically asked myself, “Do I really need this anymore?” It seemed a bit silly to go so many hours without having a cigarette to only have 1 or 2. That is when I made the choice to cut the number down to zero. Once I made that decision I felt like a achieved the impossible, especially at the time I was often surrounded by smokers.
The main point here is with small, tiny, realistic steps you could achieve anything. Aiming to lose weight? Tell yourself to eat something healthy once a week. Notice the statement did not mention anything about losing X amount of pounds. Once you add that fruit or vegetable once a week then tell yourself to eat something healthy twice a week. Achieve that and you could tell yourself to eat something healthy 3 times a week, etc. I’m sure you get the idea. You could also add in some light exercise along the way too. Again, make it tiny and realistic.
Good luck and stay committed one tiny step at a time. You could do it!