Why baby steps? It is that time of year where people plan large changes in their lives. I am here to tell you today that baby steps are the way to go if you want to achieve maximum success. Please remember that you will always produce results. The problem is that some of the results you produce will be bad. You may have a goal to lose 70 lbs in the next 6 months, but will you be able to do it? I have approached this topic before, but here are some up to the minute thoughts on the matter.
We all see the articles around this time of year about setting SMART goals — Specific Measurable Achieveable Realistic Time-sensitive. We then sit down and start writing some SMART goals for the coming year. These goals tend to be some really important things we want to accomplish. This is all very good, but it is missing one component–how do you stay motivated long enough to achieve your goal of losing 70 lbs in the next 6 months?
Eat the Frog
If you were presented with a giant frog and were told you had to eat it or die, how would you approach it? Would you try to fit the entire frog in your mouth? I don't think so! I think you would take bites out of the frog until your goal of eating the entire thing had been accomplished. How does this apply to accomplishing your goal to lose 70 lbs in the next 6 months?
Baby Steps are the Way
Have a look at your goals. They may be set to be accomplished in 30 days, 60 days or 90 days or any longer term. Try staying motivated for that length of time. It gets very hard. You labor away at keeping your nutrition in place. One day you are invited to a birthday party and you eat a piece of birthday cake. It wasn't on your plan. To you it is a stumble. The problem is that stumbles tend to lead to a complete fall. You then fail to hit your goals.
To me the more effective approach is to use baby steps. Set goals as normal. Once those goals are set you break them down into daily goals, hourly if necessary. I have had people who struggle to drink enough water even though they have a daily goal of 128 ounces. I tell them to break that down into 4 segments. They are awake for 16 hours, so every 4 hours they need to have 32 ounces of water. That can be further broken down into every hour they have 8 ounces of water. With this approach you can not only do a better job of monitoring your goals, but you can make slight adjustments when you stumble.
Don't Beat Yourself Up
With the baby steps approach you have to be careful not to beat yourself up when you stumble. Just accept it and move on with your plan. In the grand scheme stumbles are not going to derail you. Stick to the plan and you will achieve your goals.