January 1, 2010, Newsletter Issue #12: 10. When You Think About Goals, Think About Progression

Tip of the Week

You may have a goal to run a marathon…but you never ran before. Surely you aren’t going to start by running 26+ miles! Then why would you think you will achieve both perfect health and wealth by changing one habit, or by doing one activity? It’s just not possible.
Each time you do better at achieving a goal, you’ll find you build “competency.” This means that you feel like you can achieve more, and therefore you will try more. Each time you try more, you increase the odds of succeeding.
Investing is the same idea. You buy one stock because someone advises you, and you get a “return on your investment,” because it increased in value. OK! That means you have more money, and perhaps a better idea, of where to put the next bit of money. You feel more competent to make the money-investing decisions.
Think about investing in health the same way. You lose that one inch around your waist—you feel more competent to try something new, to push your ability to try new health management ideas, like, perhaps, running a 5k (3 miles). You never ran before, so you might not make it the first time, but, because you know you have succeeded in losing that one inch, and that was hard, well, you figure you can try again to run the a 5k. This time you succeed.
It’s time for the ½ marathon…because you are building the belief that you can succeed. That’s competence.

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