Combine think big with starting small to reach your goals
Ever since I discovered deadlifting and fell in love with the movement, I’ve wanted to deadlift twice my bodyweight. Why? Because there is nothing more challenging the ripping heavy weight from the floor, at least in the gym setting.
You’ve probably held lofty goals. Something you’ve wanted to get good at or your dream job that you’ve wanted so bad you could taste it. For me, it was to play Australian Rules Football for my team the Kangaroos.
However, there were a couple of things holding me back, like talent and size, so it wasn’t to be. Not all lofty dreams, goals and aspirations come true because if it were that easy, everyone would do it. But when it comes to exercise it pays to think big and then start small.
What Do I Mean?
The first-time people start ‘working out’ they have a think big goal in mind. For example, get big, lose fat, become stronger, date, become a supermodel or be the next LeBron James. That’s thinking big and there is nothing wrong with that because it’s great to have large goals in mind to strive for.
However, thinking big combined with starting small is advisable because the devil is in the details.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” This is a common saying that originated from a famous Chinese proverb.
The problem with taking the first step is which direction to step towards, when there’s so many directions to take. You know your destination, but you have no idea how to get there. However, don’t worry because I’m going to break it all down for you here.
1. Find Your Why
When you start (or continue) exercise you do it for the reason to look better and feel better. It’s obvious but I thought I would get this out of the way first. If you had all the time in the world and money and motivation where no object, reaching your goals would be easy.
Unfortunately, life is not like that because life is messy, wonderful, and joyful. Sometimes all at the same time. Life doesn’t care if you want to lose 20 pounds or get a 6 pack. Your path will hardly ever be in a straight line and life is not going to roll out the red carpet.
There will be obstacles and reasons to quit and that’s why it’s important to spend time finding your why, so you don’t quit. Because when you have a deeper reason for your goals, you’re more likely to keep going.
What to do instead
Spend some time in self-reflection and ask yourself the 5 whys. The 5 whys you ask. Don’t worry here’s an example.
Why do you want to exercise? To lose weight.
Why do you want to lose weight? Because I don’t like the way I look.
Why don’t you like the way you look? Because I’m 35 pounds overweight.
Why is losing 35 pounds important to you? Because I’m pre diabetic, have low energy and I can’t keep up with my kids anymore.
Why is keeping up with your kids important? Because they’re young and I want to be a better parent to them for as long as possible.
Please spend some time finding your why before you get too much further along in your exercise journey.
2. Better Habits
A habit is a routine of behavior that’s repeated regularly and tends to occur without you even thinking about it. You just do it, like the Nike slogan. It’s a settled tendency, that’s ingrained in your brain.
I’m not sure about you but I have some less than stellar habits like biting my nails and not listening to my wife when she talks to me. Guess which one gets me in the most trouble?
Both are not good for my health, but I do it anyway because some habits are hard to break. That’s why it’s important to have good habits because once you’ve got them, they’re hard to break and they become automatic.
Here are 6 Steps Ways To Get Healthier Habits
- Start small– Most people want to create big change as quickly as possible. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight start with drinking a glass of water before each meal
- Get hooked on your habit- That’s the point. It takes a little while to make it a habit to stick. Don’t worry if you miss a day. Just don’t miss it twice.
- Have clear intentions- Having a goal always helps. For example, you want to lose weight to keep up with your kids and to have more energy.
- Celebrate your small wins- You have to enjoy the journey. Even if you walked for an extra 10 minutes or did an extra rep of an exercise, give yourself a pat on the back.
- Design your environment- Make it easier for the habit to stick, not harder. For example, if you want to go to the gym, pack your bag the night before and make it one of the first things you see when you wake up and get moving
- Surround yourself with supporters- If you’re trying to lose weight but your partner is still pigging out on ice cream, do you think it makes losing weight easier or more difficult?
It may take a while and it will be less than perfect but if you’re working in the right direction, it’s much better than moving backwards.
3. Are Your Actions And Goals Congruent?
My former Pastor once said during a sermon “You should strive to be the same person online and in person.” Ever since then, I’ve modified my behavior to try being the same person, in person and online because no one likes a fraud.
Let’s say you meet your favorite sporting hero and on the TV he or she seems funny, outgoing, and friendly. Then you ask them for an autograph, or a picture and that person tells you to nick off. They’re not who they appear to be.
How would you feel?
It’s the same thing for your action and goals. Are your current actions bringing you closer or further away from your goals? For example, if you want to lose 20 pounds but your bingeing on the weekend, it’s never going to work.
Your think big actions need to be congruent with your goals.
It’s easy to think big, have something to strive for but you need to think small also because if you have no direction, any road will do. Plus, if you’re serious about your big goals then you’ll do the small stuff to make it happen.
So, go make it happen.