Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Have you kept any of your resolutions yet? Or have they already gone out of your life with the holiday decorations? As I discussed in my post, Set New Year’s Intentions, it’s so easy to make resolutions about things you’re going to do down the road and so hard to keep them when you get down the road.

One big reason people fail to keep their resolution or reach their goals is they look far ahead and focus on the ultimate outcome instead of the steps to getting what you want. Knowing your big goal is fine. But it’s so much easier to accomplish if you break down the path to it, step by step. Action by action. Small achievement by small achievement. On a long driving trip, there are many cities between you and your final destination. If all I’d thought about was getting to Seattle when I drove across the country on my own, I’d have been miserable and discouraged all the way.

Over 3,000 miles would have seemed like an endless journey. Instead, I had a map with all the cities I’d pass through and looked forward to reaching each one, knowing I was a little closer. I had to reach Cleveland and Billings and Chicago and many other cities before I could reach Seattle  and reaching each felt good—another step to finishing my journey. It made the trip much more pleasant and I found things to enjoy along the way.

It’s the same with goals. The most important part of getting the outcome you want is all the steps you need to take to reach it. Yet I continue to hear people with lofty goals complain that they feel frustrated because they haven’t reached them yet. Many have made progress but they’re too busy looking far ahead to recognize that. Big general goals with no actionable steps often go unfulfilled. For example:

•    “I want to lose 25 pounds.” That’s a lot to take off and it can actually take years. But losing one pound is still an accomplishment. Then you can focus on losing another. You can’t lose 25 pounds until after you lose one. Make a chart with 1-25 on it. Each time you lose a pound and keep it off for at least a week, cross out 1, then 2 and so on. Rejoice in crossing off each one! And keep in mind that the slower you take off pounds, the more likely you are to keep them off.

•    “I want to double my income!” Once again, making even a little bit more than you did before is a step to doubling your income.  Appreciating it helps you attract the energy to earn even more. The more you focus on increasing your income a little at a time, the more each step up feels good. As I said in my Law of Attraction Post, Appreciating Life Right Now, the more you feel good about what you have right now, the more good you attract.

•    “I don’t want to be a DoorMat anymore!” It took me years to leave DoorMatville and even more to get where I am today. Had I not appreciated every bit of progress along the way, I’d have given up early on. But I made each time I said “no” to something I didn’t want to do a victory. I appreciated each little bit of  love I eked out for myself. Slowly my progress got faster as I relished what I’d already accomplished. It’s hard to get on the express train out of DoorMatville. The slow, steady route allows you time to get used to changes, and how people treat you when you change, so the progress sticks and you don’t end up back where you began.

A big key to change is patience. When you can just look ahead to the first thing you must do to reach your goals, it makes reaching them easier. And it feels better to appreciate each step instead of just looking at what you want as the end result and feeling like it will be a tough road to reach. When I run in the park, I focus on the path just ahead of me instead of looking ahead to how far I must go before I can stop. It helps me enjoy the run more and I don’t let the long distance discourage me.

Like feels much better when you appreciate every step you take to reach big goals. And that mentality make it much less likely you’ll give up when things get tough. Love yourself enough to appreciate small victories so they can add up to bigger ones instead of beating yourself up for not making more progress! You get the best results that way and will enjoy the journey!

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