What if nailing that big goal of yours really comes down to not trying too hard? While this may seem counterintuitive at first, it could unlock the most reliable way to find success. Here’s a different way to approach goals and ultimately achieve them, that won’t leave you exhausted after a few weeks!

Turns out, we don’t have to try so hard to make big things happen. In fact, the bare minimum may be the ticket!

Image: Person raising their arms with joy to the morning sun at their window

Source: Pixabay

We’ve all felt the pull of a giant goal, just waiting for us to accomplish it. We want to drink more water, keep our house tidy, become a raving success, and create an exercise routine that we will actually keep up with. Regardless of how revved up we are when we start these journeys to self-fulfillment and success, it’s all too easy to peter out a few weeks in. We end up disappointed in ourselves; in our inability to just do the thing.

You’ll be happy to know that it’s not your fault.

It’s hard to keep up that sort of consistent, hyper-focused motivation, no matter how committed you are. Even Christine Carter, who has been coaching individuals and corporations on how to accomplish their goals for decades, struggled to keep up the goals she set for herself when quarantine started in March of 2020.

In her failure, she wound up realizing that if we come to expect disappointment, we can use it to our advantage. What if we simply require ourselves only to do something so minuscule, that it would feel silly if we didn’t?

Want to start getting outside more? Try just opening your door. Working to eat healthier? Put one piece of lettuce on your sandwich.

The hardest part of accomplishing any goal isn’t getting started, but sticking with it. Here’s Christine with her take on the most effective way to do so in her awesome TED Talk!

Via: TED 1

You can find more TED Talks over on their YouTube channel! Or check out the ones that have inspired us the most here at EWC in our TED category.

To connect with Christine and find more of her work, make sure you head to her website or give her a follow on Instagram!

If you’re looking to find simple steps to develop better habits online, make sure you check out EWC founder Dr. Lynda’s book, Happiness is an Option, where she highlights four easy shifts to start seeing more of what you want to see in your online life.
“Our ability to follow through on our best intentions to get into a new habit … or to change our behavior in any way really, doesn’t actually depend on the reasons we might do it or on the depth of our convictions that we should do so. It doesn’t depend on our understanding of the benefits of a particular behavior or even on the strength of our willpower. It depends on our willingness to be bad at our desired behavior.” — Christine Carter

Go on, be your bad self!

Developing a real habit or breaking old ones is already hard enough without expecting ourselves to be perfect right away. When we allow room for ourselves to feel unmotivated and to be pretty not-great at the task at hand, we leave space for—dare I say it?—fun! And possibly some pride, as well.

The goal isn’t high achievement, it’s repetition.

When we don’t force ourselves to meet the big goal every single time, and instead focus on doing as much as we enjoy, even if just for a minute, we’re more likely to keep coming back and eventually create a goal that sticks.

For more help in your journey to making your goals a reality and in seeing good in the bad, make sure you spend a few minutes with these articles from our library next:

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Can a drawing of a cross-eyed dog better the lives of those less fortunate? We’re embracing our flaws and finding humor within the wonderful work of pet-portrait artist, Hercule Van Wolfwinkle!

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The Key to Finding Happiness That Lasts

Sure, you've heard about the "key to happiness" before, but you don't need to pay extra money or crush any big goals to achieve lasting happiness. Here's how you get off the pursuit of happiness treadmill and find happiness that truly lasts!

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As always, stay open to new possibilities! And remember, picking that single sock up off of your bedroom floor may lead to great things.

  • Sam

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  1. TED. “The 1-Minute Secret to Forming a New Habit | Christine Carter.” YouTube, 26 Jan. 2021, www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvGkSEuWtaI&feature=emb_title. Accessed 16 Feb. 2021.

Sam has written and edited hundreds of articles since joining the EWC team in 2016. She writes about topics from the wonders of nature to the organizations changing the world and the simple joys in life! Outside of the EWC office, she’s a part-time printmaker, collector of knick-knacks, and taster of cheeses.