“Take the small win because the small win is going to make you more confident to move on to the next thing.”
- Sarah Enouen
What do you want to change about yourself or your life? Primal 7 Trainer and Nutritionist, Sarah Enouen, told us that people tend to answer this question with something monumentally big. While it is great to think far ahead and want to be the best you can possibly be, looking at a major goal can be paralyzing. Because really, how do you know where to start?
If you’re not a runner, it’s much easier to strategize and work towards running a half-mile than a full marathon. If you’re looking to lose forty pounds, it’s easier to start by considering how to lose one pound. Even with goals that are closer to where you’re at, you need to look for specific actions you can take to meet them. What is one thing you can do to work up to running that quarter mile or losing that one pound? That’s where the idea of a First Goal comes in. The First Goal is not a downgrade from or a replacement for the Big Goal – it’s a stepping stone to help you achieve it.
So, what is the right First Goal to get you moving along your journey to better movement and wellness?
To figure it out, Sarah suggests you ask yourself these 4 questions:
What do you want to achieve? What’s your Big Goal?
We like to think that health and wellness is a journey that never ends but there are definitely big goals that mark the way forward. Sometimes they’re quantifiable – like running a half-mile or losing a pound – but sometimes it’s just about feeling better, like “pain-free movement” or “eating healthier”. Choose whatever came to mind first. There’s no wrong answer.
How different is that from your current habits or current situation? Where are you starting from?
You need to consider where you’re coming from to figure out how to get where you want to go. Think about it like getting driving directions; you can’t plan your route to the Grand Canyon without knowing where on the map you are now.
What is one action that would bring you closer to achieving your big goal?
Even if you’re super eager, choose just one thing to commit to. This won’t limit you from doing more but you won’t feel like you’ve failed if you don’t do more.
On a scale from zero to ten, how confident are you that you can follow through and do that action?
Zero means not at all confident, ten means completely 100% confident.
*If your confidence level is less than nine, go back to the second step and choose a new action.
Make sure your First Goal is something you are 90%-100% confident about achieving.
Here’s an example of what that may look like in practice:
Remember, the things you’re looking to change have probably been developing for years. If you’ve become addicted to fast food over the course of fifteen years, for example, it’s unlikely you can change that in one week. To make lasting changes, you don’t want to overhaul your life. Instead, you want to consider where you’re coming from and choose manageable micro-goals you can commit to.
By choosing goals that you know you’re capable of achieving, you’ll set yourself up for success. The small wins will give you the confidence to keep going and take on the next goal. When you’re ready for that, you can repeat Sarah’s four questions for setting goals. It’s a great tool not only for setting your First Goal but also for setting your Next Goals.