Why You Might Need to Dial Back the Ambition

It’s the American Dream: Personal Development Edition, and it’s all about using your ambition to shoot for the moon and haul yourself up by those bootstraps, right?

Fears? Doubts? Excuses? Just sucker punch that shit and blast your way through like a hero in an action film.

Here’s a big ol’ bubble buster though: This is probably the least effective way to get things done.

Don’t quote me on this, but I would go so far as to say that the grander the plan, the more whizz-bang the transformation you’re aiming for and the bigger the distance between that and where you are right now, the more likely your plan is going to fall flat before it even gets off the ground.

I get it… nobody feels much inspired by a goal that sounds like,

“I’m going to kick ass by gently reducing my caloric intake each day by about 300 calories! Yeah!”

It’s easy to think that you might as well not even bother with a small, trifling goal. After all, with enough Instagram ab pics and ra-ra-ra from your new CrossFit group, you’d be crazy to settle for anything less than a complete body overhaul.

But lets put it this way – would you rather have a big, fat, amazing goal that you never reach, or a small, reasonable goal that you actually do?

Making master plans feels intuitively like a smart thing to do, but it can actually end up de-motivating you (look how far you have to go!) and keep you focused on the end point rather than on what counts: the tiny, daily choices.

The boring stuff. The little goals that are so unremarkable they can’t go up on social media, and won’t ever be accompanied by a badass motivational quote in the Monster energy drink font.

The solution: teeny, tiny goals. Lots of ‘em. One after the other. Eventually, what you have on your hands is a habit, the only real way to make lasting changes and maintain them.

Something to think about: Are your goals too big and fabulous? How could you dial back on the ambition and ramp up the dedication and commitment instead?