Seriously, I’ve been hearing people use the “baby steps” analogy to achieving goals for years (and years, and um…years. I’m almost 50 you know 🙂 ) but until this year I’m not quite sure I got it. I mean, yes, it’s obvious they’re saying to take little, short in length, tip-toe type steps to reach a goal, but I didn’t realize how tiny we were talking. And I kept applying it to the size of the goal, itself. I mean, part of the goal setting rah-rah is that if a goal seems overwhelming then break it down into smaller, bite-sized goals. So each time I didn’t achieve the goal, I’d break it down into smaller goals, then smaller goals, ad nauseam. But things still weren’t gelling. At least, they weren’t until this year. This year, I learned what ‘baby steps’ really look like in the reality that is MY life.
Case in point. I got back into weight lifting this year. An activity I enjoy but had let fall to the way side for whatever reasons. My goal was to work out…A LOT. lol. Seriously, I know better. I made a SMART goal then put all I’d ‘learned’ from the self-help gurus to work – there was a pretty vision board, meditation mantras, bite-sized goals, and the releasing of intentions. Then I promptly went back to sitting on my couch.
I’m sure you can guess the outcome of that little exercise, eh? Yeah…
Well, you were with me earlier this year as I began working my way through all that. I finally got that it’s about DOING something. I’d been wasting time breaking my “big” goal into smaller goals. Screw the goals – “we don’t need no stinkin’ goals”…wait, yes, we do…we do need the goals. We just don’t need to focus on them, big or small. Goals are great, but without ACTION they’re useless, eh? The goal in this instance was dropping the unnecessary inches around my body. I know ageing is taking its toll, but what I’m carrying on my frame is what comes from sitting around on my duff hiding from humans for a year. So, no more goals. Instead, steps. Baby steps as in making sure I had clean work out clothes to wear. Then making sure those work out clothes where with me so I could get to them when needed. And surprisingly enough, making sure I’m in the right lane (as in the lane on the right) when I leave work. If I don’t then I will blissfully drive right by the gym and not feel an ounce of guilt when I get home. Weird, but driving by the gym is me living unconsciously (a.k.a. the Rut), where-as making the lane change is a conscious trigger that takes me out of the Rut and reminds me of my goal.
All that aside, sometimes, my Divinity gets with the Universe and they put things in my life designed to prompt me to make adjustments in my processes.
Kind of like that but a lot less ominous and creepy :-).
Life kicked me in the ass a couple of times at the beginning of March. So this past week, I was ‘coerced’ into doing some reflection which in turn adjusted my trajectory. Since I’m using my gym goal in this post, I’ll stick with that. So, up to this point, I’d been going to the gym all of seven weeks, a minimum of twice a week. I’d pretty much established the habit of going to the gym. I could consider that baby step achieved, now it was time to take the next one. I’d been a Personal Trainer for a hot minute back in the day so I knew for me to see some results from this time in the gym, I’d have to step it up. So step it up I have. Introducing, The Work Out Routine! I skipped the first week of the program because that’s pretty much all I’ve been doing since I started going back to the gym, and instead jumped into week two. It’s just day three and I’m joyfully sore as hell! You see, for weight lifters, the pain indicates muscle growth. LOVE IT!!
So yeah, I get it now. Baby steps are really how you build the foundation (habits, self-discipline, whatever you want to call them) that support the steps (behaviors you need to exhibit) that will in turn get you to the accomplished goal. Whew – that was a horribly written analogy. Should have instead used ‘momentum needed to reach the finish line’. We are, after all, talking about DOING things to REACH a goal…that’s more like a race than a construction deal. Oh geez, I’m screwing this up even further. I should probably stop while I’m ahead. Wait. Is that more race metaphor?
Good grief, now I’m mixing analogies and metaphors. Where is my grammar dictionary when I need it? Oh yeah…online…a few simple clicks…
Okay, no really, I’m stopping now. You get the point right? If you’re struggling to reach a goal, perhaps you need to look more closely at the steps you’re TAKING (or in most people’s cases, the steps you’re NOT taking). You may need to baby-step it for a while. I’m just saying.
DO SOMETHING toward your goal today, then let me know how it turns out?