Do you have a minute? How about 15 minutes? If you do, then you have all the time you need to accomplish something really huge.
Take, for example, a friend of mine who recently gave birth to her fifth child and who also has a full time job. To say she’s busy is the understatement of the century. But even for someone as busy as she is, achieving a lifelong goal isn’t impossible. A long while back she had a great idea for a young adult novel, but she’d pushed her goal of writing it to the back burner because of all the other responsibilities she had in her life. She certainly didn’t have time to write a book. But then I asked her this: Do you have time to write a page? Most young adult novels are less than 365 pages. If my friend were to write one page a day, she’d be done in less than a year.
Breaking down a big goal into smaller, easier-to-accomplish ones makes the seemingly impossible, possible. The Chinese philosopher Lau-tzu said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” This is very true—but in order to travel those thousand miles, you have to keep on walking every day. The more consistent your efforts, the sooner you’ll reach your destination. Here are three tips to help get you started on a journey of your own.
1. Be opportunistic. I bring my laptop along to doctor’s appointments and to my kids’ sports practices, turning what used to be time lost waiting into time spent working toward accomplishing goals.
2. Celebrate the milestones. Don’t wait until you’ve reached your goal to break out the champagne. Celebrate smaller achievements along the way. If you’re training for a marathon, think about rewarding yourself for every five miles you are able to add to your runs. It will give you the confidence you’ll need to stay the course.
3. Patience is a virtue. Rome wasn’t built in a day, people don’t learn to tango or play piano in one lesson, and nobody writes a book in one sitting. The good news is there’s no time limit on dreams. So as long as you’re doing something consistently—even if it’s something small—you will ultimately accomplish your goal.