Sometimes a goal can seem so insurmountable we just don’t know where to start. That’s where chunking becomes a good method. We go deeply into this in my Six Week Wake Up, so today we’re focusing on one aspect. If you haven’t done any goal setting yet, I’d suggest you download my free Goal Setting Worksheet to give you a starting point.
Let’s break your goals down into manageable chunks. I’m going to use weight loss as an example here, because a lot of you have told me that’s your goal. However, this method will apply to all goals. (And just as an FYI, I’m less about weight loss for a goal, and more about health, but that’s a topic for another day.)
Chunking involves taking your massive goal and breaking it down.
Let’s say you target is to lose 20kg. That can seem impossible, especially if you think about all of the changes you’re going to have to make to achieve that goal. I’m not going to sugar coat it. If you’re 20kg overweight, you need to make big changes. When you keep doing the same thing you’ve always done, you’ll get the same results (and that means your weight will keep increasing, not just stay the same). Having a goal means you already know things need to change.
Let’s chip away at that goal.
First step? To lose 2kg. That doesn’t seem so bad. What do you need to do to lose two little kilos? Weight loss has a whole lot of strategies, tricks and hacks for another day, but at a very basic level, you need to find a nutrition and movement plan that works for you. This will vary for everyone, but I’d say most people will benefit from reducing carbs, extending their evening fasting time and adding some short bursts of physical training. That’s doable. What’s it look like on a practical level? Four minutes of exercise every single day, no snacking after 7pm, no (or very few) packaged foods and a sensible approach to carb consumption… Most days. That’s four minutes of work and maybe ten minutes of planning. Do you want your goal enough to make those changes? If not, go back to the “Why” section of the Goal Setting Worksheet.
Is it that simple?
Actually, it is. The tiny hinges swing those big doors. When I was writing my first novel, I knew that I needed to get to 70,000 words. That’s a lot, but I set myself a goal to write 1,000 words every day and just made myself do it. You can either make changes and chip away at your goal, or stay where you are. I have come to learn in life that things rarely just magically happen, so it’s best to hedge your bets and put some work in.
Chunk your goal as much as you need to.
Two kilos still seem difficult? Chunk your goals down into your action steps (the exercise and eating). You can look at it day by day, even hour by hour if you need to. Tick off what you do before work (exercise and breakfast), during the day (perhaps healthy lunch and a quick walk around the block) and then in the evening (dinner and no late night snacking). Without too much work, your big goal of 20kg becomes small, manageable goals that you can do.
The other cool thing about chunking is that achieving your mini goals builds momentum. Start your day kicking goals and you’ll be tempted to continue. Get your Monday right and you’re all set to do the same on Tuesday. Once you have one week on track, the next one becomes that little bit easier. Before you know it, your habit is set and the little changes all add up.
What do you need to do?
Chunk your big goal into tiny goals, then set the daily steps to make that happen. How much do you want it?