When we set a goal, we think about it as a future event, situation or experience. We set a date. It is something in the distance…a destination at the end of a journey. One way to move forward to meet a big goal is to plan backwards.
When your goal is complex or requires the passage of time for completion, you need to break it down into more “doable” goals. A doable goal requires less time to see the results. It’s important to recognize the successful completion of every step along the way to your success. Remember, there is no express elevator to achieving success. You have to take one step at a time. Recognizing your progress helps to motivate you to continue. You have the end in sight. Setting up step by step goals can also help you to be more aware and conscious of any changes or deviations that need to be made.
Let’s say you want to lose 20 pounds for an event that is three months away. Obviously, this is not a goal you can achieve in a weekend. In order to lose the 20 pounds, you need to start planning backwards to break the goal down into little, easily achievable goals. Imagine that you want to lose 2 pounds every week. This is a doable goal. To lose 2 pounds, you need to cut your caloric intake or increase your caloric burn. It requires 3500 extra calories to gain a pound, which means that it would take 7000 less calories to lose those 2 pounds. If you break that down, you see that you need to eliminate 1000 calories each day to achieve your goal. This is a doable goal. Many people eat 3 meals and at least 2 snacks every day. If you decrease your intake each time you eat by just 200 calories, you’ve done it! You have successfully taken a big, overwhelming goal and you divided it into very small, achievable goals. You are able to achieve a small goal multiple times during the day. When you check your weight after seven days, you are able to celebrate your success. If you did not lose the anticipated 2 pounds, you are able to make an adjustment to insure your success next week. You keep your end goal in mind.
When you commit to your success, you will be able to achieve your goal in just 10 weeks!!! You might want to consider beginning this goal right now. There will be no need for New Year’s resolutions. You will be happily dancing your way into the New Year weighing 20 pounds less than you do right now!
Planning backwards helps you to move forward for all kinds of big goals. Consider a big goal you may have. Perhaps you want to take that dream vacation or buy a new car. Begin saving today. If it’s a goal, you will find a way to take action. If you can’t find a way, than it is not a goal… it’s just a wish. And after time, it may become a regret.
Make a commitment to your goal. Take the first step to succeed in your plan. Keep your goal in mind and follow the steps backwards until you have reached the beginning, which is where you are right now. Get excited about what you plan to accomplish because without excitement and enthusiasm, you’ll lose sight of your plan and you won’t move forward. You can do it!