Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Dreaming big. It’s all about reaching for what seems impossible, setting a goal that scares us. Those big dreams are essential. They drive us. They push us. They keep us going. But sometimes they aren’t the most realistic. Which is why it’s important to not just have the “dream big” goal, but smaller “stepping stone” goals along the way. Ones we know are within our reach and slowly move us towards our “dream big” goal. Those smaller goals are what bridge the gap between our wildest dreams and where we are today. Here’s how you can do that:
Hold it Close. Studies have shown that you are far more likely to achieve your goals if you hold them close and share them with only a select few, supportive people in your life. Often times we get caught up in talking about our goals but never take action towards them. Holding your big dreams close has shown to be far more effective in achieving those goals.
How Long? Consider a realistic time frame for your big goal. Maybe you want to qualify for the Boston Marathon, but that requires shaving over an hour off your marathon time. It’s a big feat, but not impossible. Will it take a year? Two or maybe four? Talk to others who have achieved what you would like to and find out what kind of time frame is realistic.
Take the first step. Establish small goals that follow the S.M.A.R.T goal criteria. They should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time based. Create a timeline for your goals (but don’t be afraid to be flexible with it). Set up smaller, attainable goals along the way that move you towards your ultimate goal.
Be consistent. When you’re working towards a big goal, consistency is key. There are always obstacles and setbacks along the way. Recovering from those and continuing to push forward will make the difference between falling short of your goal and achieving it. Follow through with your smaller goals on a daily basis and little by little your big dreams will become a reality.