Many clients come to me ( and other personal trainers) with big-picture goals. Guess what they might be? If you guessed, fat loss, get sexy, wanna see your muscles again, get attention from their partner, or get back at an ex-partner, you’re in the right ballpark.
Collect your $200 as you pass go.
These goals are called Z or the ultimate destination goals. Because before someone gets started, they know what they want to look like or where they want to be at the end. The trouble(s) with that is that they don’t know how to get there or the work required.
When looking at the big picture, some fail to look at what’s right in front of them and what’s required to reach their final destination. And this may lead to thoughts of ‘what the heck was I thinking’ or ‘ Did I really sign up for this?’
Some may see this as a personal challenge and get after it, while others get overwhelmed and quit. Either way, looking only at the big picture is difficult (but doable for some), and there is an easier way.
Big Picture Mindset Switch
Before going any further, this post is inspired by Daniel Harrod, an online fat loss coach in England. Check out his social here.
Here are a few examples to get you in the mood.
An undefeated team tries not to think of their winning streak but about the next game. Or a marathoner tries to think about the next mile, not the 13 they have left. While looking at the big picture is vital, focusing on everything ahead may distract you from the task, like winning the next game or running the next mile.
And when it comes to your health and fitness goals, it is easy to skip ahead to the final destination because it looks awesome……..But
Everything that needs to get there looks like a steep mountain to climb when your legs are already spent. There is the daunting task of scheduling workouts in your already packed schedule and planning meals.
Or you are changing diets and trying to get your loved one on board. It’s overwhelming, and you want to skip to the fun part, where you look great in that dress, pair of pants, or tank top.
But you can’t always think big picture if you’re serious about reaching your final destination. But how do you switch to looking at the small picture?
Look At The Small Picture
“The trick to forgetting the big picture is to look at everything close-up.“ — Chuck Palahniuk, book Lullaby.
I haven’t read this book, but I feel this quote sums up what to try to do perfectly. But how do you look at it close up and switch to a small-picture mindset when you wanted the body of your dreams yesterday?
It’s no longer about wanting defined shoulders and arms like Michelle Obama but ensuring you stick to your calorie target while out eating with friends. Even though that dress should be hanging in your closet, daring you to try it on, get your gym clothes ready the night before to remind you to go to the gym.
It’s not thinking about how you will look like Arnie or how your butt will look great. But prepping the menu and shopping list for the week.
Taking your eyes off the prize and focusing on the baby steps may help those overwhelming feelings. You’re no longer thinking about all your work but concentrating on preparing the menu for the week.
Switching from the big picture mindset and the feelings of dread to latching your eyes to what’s in front of you and the next steps is a simple (but not easy) mindset tool to get you to want to go. It may not be faster, but it is more rapid than quitting.
Having big-picture goals is crucial because it gives you something to strive for. But big-picture goals can be overwhelming and leave you without a roadmap to get there. And not having a plan may lead to feeling overwhelmed and confused. By all means, have the big picture in mind but look at everything closely too.
This will distract you enough to reach your goal without falling before the finish line.