Tuesday, November 3, 2009

One Step Closer

“It is not enough to take steps which may some day lead to a goal; each step must be itself a goal and a step likewise.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Tidbit published a very inspiring post yesterday, about weight loss. She described how after trying the quick-fix methods with no lasting results she realized she had to change her eating habits completely, and side them with a regular exercise routine. Over the course of time she lost over 240 pounds, an astonishing amount, but the cool thing that struck me most about her post is the fact that by implementing such radical changes of lifestyle, she has accomplished something even greater – she learned that true success is determined by constant goal-setting, and by the self-discipline one develops along the way.

Whenever we face a daunting task – or pretty much any hard decision – the choice we must make is whether we are willing to stick with the longer route of long-term achievements, or if our goal is one of instant gratification.

I do not personally know Tidbit, but I could almost bet that her initial decision probably went through several layers of doubt during the first few weeks, when the budding results were still hard to see. I’m only assuming, so I hope that if I’m wrong Tidbit will correct me. In her place, most would have found it hard to remain focused on the distant goal while the work at hand was so hard and the results so minimal at first. As self-discipline has largely become a thing of the past, and societal pressure toward instant gratification continues to increase, many struggle to keep going unless they can see measurable results almost immediately.

Since long-term achievements can indeed appear scary, we can try to make the road to success a little easier to travel. Naturally, we can stay motivated for brief amounts of time, especially if we can rely on a source of support, so it wouldn’t be too hard – until the results begin to show and become the reward – to set smaller goals under the umbrella of the major goal itself. In the case of weight loss, for example, 240 pounds might seem like an unreachable destination, but it’s easy to wrap one’s mind around losing one or two pounds at a time. Once the smaller goal is achieved, a new one is set, followed by yet another one.

It is wonderful to have a big plan and find the resolve to begin the journey, but we should never forget that every step is getting us a bit closer, even if the destination is still nowhere in sight.

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