Last week, I was at the pool exercising with a few of my family members. After I had been swimming laps for about 15 minutes I stopped for a short break. Sitting on the edge of the pool, I tried to find a way to make my workout harder. Finally, I turned to my mom and said, “You know, if I did 10 push-ups on each side of the pool and then swam to the other side I would do 100 push-ups if I did only 5 laps.”
Five laps didn’t seem hard at all considering how many I had already done and doing 10 push-ups at a time wouldn’t be very difficult. I immediately began executing my plan. I started off on my knees automatically, putting myself down by thinking I wouldn’t be able to do 100 full push-ups. After I got to 80, my knees were in more pain than they should’ve been thanks to the no-slip, rough ground. For the last 20, I went full (off my knees) since they hurt too much. After I finished, I checked in with my dad to find out when we were going to leave. After I explained what I had been doing, he mentioned that I should probably just start doing them full, off my knees.
At first, it seemed a little too hard but I love challenging myself. So, the next time we went to the pool, I started doing 100 push-ups again. Except this time they were all full. It didn’t even take me that much longer, and the time it took was well worth the satisfaction I felt when I had completed them all. In fact, I still had enough energy to do several more sets of exercises.
The point I am trying to make with this story is that even a hard goal or project can easily be accomplished if you break it down into small but important parts. The mountain that appears insurmountable can easily be “summited” by one step at a time.
So, if you are faced with a long term goal or even a short one that can be completed in just one afternoon, break it down. You will be able to succeed much easier if you simply focus on one little task at a time. Rome wasn’t built in a day. In fact it has taken approximately 1,009,491 days to complete so far. Can you imagine how different this great city would be if everyone gave up after 1,000 days? It would definitely not be as magnificent as it is today.
Think about the times when you have commented on how amazing a person was at a certain task or challenge. They probably shrugged off your praise by saying, “It’s actually not very hard.” Do you think the first time they tried to do it, they were complete experts? Probably not. (Unless they’re Mozart 🙂 ) The reason it is easy for them now is because they gained little bits of experience each time. Every goal works the same.
How do you motivate yourself to accomplish your goals? Whether or not you love written charts or mental checklists, make sure you are always breaking down your goals. The mountain will always be surmountable as long as you believe it. 🙂