Then you should know that a very simple secret can make the difference between success and failure. This proven method has worked for thousands of years. It's so simple it sounds like a cliche, but the truth is that every human achievement uses this principle:
Mile by mile, life's a trial. Yard by yard, life is hard. But inch by inch, life's a cinch!
That little poem has been attributed to everyone from Lao Tzu to Napoleon Hill. Regardless of who came up with it, this truth can help you dust off your old, unachieved goals or give you the courage to start working on new ones.
When we're young, we come out of high school or college with lots of noble, high-minded goals. But it doesn't take long to get knocked down. And after being knocked down time and time again, we develop the attitude of: "What's the use? Why even try?"
Too much, too soon
Often the problem in achieving your goals is not with the size of your goals but how you try to achieve them. Ours is an instant gratification culture. We want everything right now. We don't want to wait. And something that will take years? Forget about it!
But the most worthwhile things in life do take time. A college education takes at least four years--longer if you go part-time. Starting and running a successful business takes time also. As the author of four published novels, I can tell you that I wrote each one of them one word, one paragraph, one page at a time. At the beginning, it seemed an impossible task to produce a 300-page manuscript. But when I grasped that I didn't have to do it all at once, in one sitting, it became a matter of setting a daily, achievable quota, then sticking to it.
Still feel burned?
Setbacks can be hard to take if you don't have someone to help you up, dust you off, and encourage you to try again. Sometimes the pain of a setback is so intense that you swear you'll never go through it again. But the ability to come back from rejection goes hand-in-hand with breaking your goals down into small, doable tasks.
You may have thought that you'd broken your goal down into small enough chunks, but maybe you need to go even smaller--and master that--before you can achieve. Almost any task can be broken down into smaller steps.
Help is available
If trying to achieve your goals has turned into a frustrating, torturous experience, then you need to find someone who has already done what you're trying to do. If you can't find a book or web site on the subject, sometimes you can track down a person you can ask. You can send an email, letter, or perhaps even talk with the person on the phone. If they'll meet you in person, even better.
You'll be surprised how kind and gracious people can be when you ask for help in achieving your goals. They remember the hurts and letdowns in their own struggle. They see themselves in you and are pleased to give you a hand. Don't be afraid to ask for advice.
Tiny enough yet?
Achieving your goals should feel exhilarating. It should make you eager to get up in the morning. If it doesn't, you need to break your goals down into even tinier parts. You're still trying to do things by yards instead of inches. But every achievement, no matter how small, gives you confidence to tackle the next goal. And when you look back on how far you've come, you'll realize that achieving your goals is not only possible--it's inevitable!