It’s easy to get excited about a really lofty goal and imagine how great it will be to achieve it. Those warm feelings and the excitement can fade fast when you come up against a bump in the road on your journey towards your goal.
And you will.
The thing is, if you are like me, you interpret some of the bumps as failures, and take them to heart, allowing them to undermine your self-confidence. For me, the biggest challenges are around the goals that are outside my comfort zone. Whether that involves sticking to a diet or making a specified number of sales calls each day for my business, failing at these makes me question my discipline and my character. In other words, they undermine my very being.
Focus Only on the Big Goal and You’ll Miss the Small Wins
When you focus on the big picture, you can’t see the forest for the trees, and it’s easy to set yourself up for disappointment and a sense of failure, as you sometimes mistakenly believe you aren’t making progress or succeeding, as you aren’t even noticing or appreciating your achievements along the way. It’s better to set smaller, achievable goals that move you towards the big one.
There is a place for thinking big and setting big goals, however, when it comes time to roll up your sleeves and get to work, it’s better to shift your focus to the upcoming goal post or two.
Micro-Commitments Help You Succeed More Often
After struggling with this scenario in a few areas of my life, I decided there had to be a better way than eroding my sense of self. I knew that if I made a micro-commitment to myself and to a small yet attainable goal, I could succeed more often.
Rather than judging and berating myself on failing to reach my big goal, I began to commit to these smaller goals and strive for success, knowing I was as invested in my commitment to myself as to a positive outcome.
As an example, I broke my wheat fast into a goal of abstaining for one day, 30 times, rather than trying to go wheat free for a month- a real challenge for a confirmed bread lover. It was easier to commit to go just one day without wheat and succeed while honoring my micro-commitment. This small win boosted my mood and buoyed my confidence, each and every time.
76 % of people report being in a good mood on a day when they make progress towards a project or goal – according to an article in the Harvard Business Review [HBR]
Micro Commitments are More Than Goals
By pushing past my comfort zone and not allowing myself out of my micro- commitments, unless there was a situation beyond my control, I am putting in the hard work now, so it will be easier later.
A micro-commitment is more than a small goal; it is a contract with oneself. By keeping your micro-commitments, you are honoring yourself each and every time. This builds up confidence and self-love big time.
The power of these wins is cumulative – each and every one elevates your mood and builds your confidence while moving you closer to achieving your big goal.
Success is contagious. It can boost your mood in the short term and also help carry you through the rough patches and bumps all along the way to succeeding in your big hairy audacious goal.
You got this!