Last Sunday, I accomplished a personal goal by completing a “century” bicycle ride. 100 miles in six and a half hours flat on a bicycle took commitment to a training schedule, some acquired knowledge on endurance nutrition, and not a small amount of determination to finish the full 100 miles.
Besides the “ordinary” preparation of putting lots of miles on my bike, I also had to learn the art of setting intermediate goals. Just gotta make it up Heartbreak Hill, I thought at the beginning, then Makapuu, then Kailua, then the Mike’s Kiawe Chicken stand, then Kualoa Ranch, then the turn around at Swanzy Beach Park…. then the whole thing in reverse. I never focused on the odometer, only on the next goal because I knew that if I stuck to my plan I’d make it back to Kapiolani Park in Waikiki and complete the “century.”
It’s rare, I think, to accomplish any big goal without checking off intermediate goals first. Breaking difficult and complex tasks down into a series of steps is a good way to cope with big projects. Sometimes biting off the entire thing can be overwhelming, intermediate steps make the big project manageable.