You wake up before your alarm goes off, feeling well-rested, energized, and maybe a little sore from yesterday’s workout. You have a dance party with your morning coffee, put on an outfit that makes you feel like a supermodel, and write out a mile long to-do list -- because you are a boss lady who can accomplish literally anything! Fast forward to eleven AM, and you’re scrolling on your phone with your email open, trying to avoid eye contact with the aforementioned to-do list.
We’ve all had those days, and they’re easy to prevent. No matter what your biggest goal is -- from competing in the Olympics to getting a book deal or scoring that senior title at work -- anything is possible with smart goal setting and a lot of hard work. If you want to make your dreams seem like a reality, try breaking them down into bite-sized goals.
Before you can look up the directions, you need to know where you’re going. Having a larger purpose in mind will help keep you going, even when you’re burned out and don’t feel like getting out of bed, let alone hitting the gym. Think about what you want to achieve five or even ten years from now, and write it down. Whether you’re feeling lazy or insanely motivated, it’s always helpful to remember what you’re working towards.
Once you have that guiding purpose, start making a timeline. Where do you need to be by the end of this year to get where you want to be in five years? What do you need to accomplish this month to hit your one-year goal? What can you tackle this week? What can you crush through today?
When even the daily goals start to feel overwhelming, remember that every task has a beginning. Once you get started, it’s way easier to keep going. When I know I’m going to hate waking up for an early pilates class the next day, I lay out my favorite workout clothes and pack my bag the night before. When my alarm goes off at an hour too early to mention, I have no excuses: I’m already awake, and everything I need is ready.
For me, putting together my gear to make sure I get my workout in is actually a step towards my five-year rock climbing goal of doing Baby Martini, a boulder problem in Hueco Tanks, Texas. If I woke up every morning thinking about my long-term goal, I would drive myself crazy -- I live in New York, so I can’t even look at my project in person more than once a year! But I know it requires core strength, which requires training, which requires convincing myself that there’s no good reason not to get out of bed.
Even your wildest, craziest dreams can be broken down in this way. Once you take the time to do it, your dreams won’t seem so wild and crazy anymore.
Written by: Carina Finn