I was recently contemplating a wellness related goal I had set for myself. My first thought was I had not reached my goals, which felt disappointing. After further consideration, I recognized that while I had not fully achieved the goal as defined, I had taken several steps towards it.
I thought of other times, that I had experienced this type of “bridging” towards a goal. In some instances, I took small steps or achieved intermediate milestones along the path. Other times, the steps caused me to created re-think or re-define the goal and created a zigzag pattern as I moved forward.
Bridging is something to consider in order to make your goals more realistic and achievable.
For example, think of someone who eats a particular food; one they like a lot. What would happen if instead of jumping from having it every day to no days, they cut back to 5 days a week? Or tried something different in its place that was not quite so tasteful? Could those steps support them in letting go of their attachment to that particular food rather than going cold turkey?
The same applies for career changes. Maybe you think you want to be a high school teacher and you leave a corporate job in order to become one. During a series of career moves, you find that you would prefer to work with older students, college age. You have bridged from corporate to high school to college while redefining your goal as you learned more about your interests and capabilities.
Another way to take steps towards your goals is to chunk them down. Let’s say you want to start going to the gym 5 days a week but so far, you unable to make even one day stick. What if you chunked down the goal and started by figuring out what type of exercises you want to do, then finding options for where you can do them, checking those options out, and buying the equipment you need to participate in the exercise of your choice at the location you prefer. This may sound like steps in a project plan and that’s true. Isn’t that how we get to the end of a project – chunk it down into manageable steps?
When setting your goals and resolutions for next year, consider what approach will best help you continue to move forward. If the goal is too big, you may become frustrated or disappointed with yourself for not achieving your desired outcome.
Maybe another approach such as bridging or chunking down or creating a project plan, would allow you to maintain momentum towards your biggest goals of the year.
If you are in transition or finding it challenging to make forward progress, consider giving yourself the gift of coaching support. You can request a 30-minute clarity call with me at www.systemsofchange.com
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