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  Febuary 26, 2016
Breaking It Down...

 

When I went to school, they asked me to write down what I wanted to be when I grew up... I wrote down "happy"... they said I didn’t understand the assignment... I told them that they didn’t understand life...

                                          ~John Lennon
 

As many of the long-time readers of the OptiFuse blog are aware, I happen to be an avid cyclist.

What people may not know, however, is that I only ride about six months of the year - those months consisting Bike Rideof Daylight Savings - with a goal of riding about  5,000 miles from March through October.

As we all know, March is soon approaching and those 5,000 miles are now looming on my horizon.

When I look down at that number of miles on my list of 2016 goals, frankly, that number scares me. It represents a lot of time and energy... resources that I could be putting into other things...

I do really enjoy riding... and there are a lot of benefits in doing so...

Riding keeps me healthy... (as long as I don’t crash again)... my resting heart rate is reduced and my weight stays in check...

It often lets me be alone in my thoughts when riding solo or spending quality time with great friends when I ride with small groups...

I’ve also had the opportunity to visit some great places and see some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth all while traveling at an average speed of 16 MPH.

The cycling season culminates in October with an annual ride down the spectacular coast of California while I raise money and awareness for the Arthritis Foundation.

...but still... that goal of 5,000 miles seems awfully daunting at this point in time...

A long time ago, I learned the great secret of accomplishing giant goals (sometimes called BHAGs - Big Hairy Audacious Goals)...

Now some coaches will tell us that we need to write down our goals and review them every day... staying focused on the numbers.

While writing goals down is a good practice... I believe that reviewing them on a daily basis can actually be disastrous.

Seeing a large looming number in front of us can cause us to give up before we even start... there is a great deal of reluctance to even begin knowing that the mountain in front of us is humongous.

So what I do is on March 1st, I reset the odometer on my Garmin bike GPS to read zero... then I simply start riding... starting very small and increasing the mileage little by little...

My first ride of the season is only about 10 miles, generally on a flat course... just enough to break a sweat (maybe 45 minutes at the most).

Now almost anyone can ride their bike 45 minutes along a flat course... but the most important thing is that the first ride is in the books... it’s done!

The next day I may increase the mileage ever so slightly... and then it’s back and forth commuting to the office (when I’m not traveling).

I will ride like this for several months... and then finally... sometime in June... I’ll take a look at the overall odometer to see how many miles that I’ve actually ridden... whatever the number... it’ll be substantially greater than zero (the number I first started out with)...

At that point, I’ll feel a true sense of accomplishment... this will then motivate me to put in more time and effort as my goal is closer than ever.

Big goals are just a series of incremental gains...

If the goal is to lose 50 pounds (A big goal that can’t be accomplished in a week) - Weigh yourself once and record the result... then stop weighing yourself each day...

Forget about the number and just focus on making your very next meal a healthy choice... once you’ve done that, then it’s time to think about the next meal after that... and the meal after that... never fully depriving yourself... but just eating a bit better each time. 

Then perhaps think about walking around the block in the morning after arriving at the office before sitting down at your desk, then again at lunchtime, and at the end of the day before leaving work. 

Breaking down the goal into easy daily routines... but never getting too far ahead of ourselves.

It’s just one small step after another... putting in a small amount of work toward your goal each day.

After some time (maybe a month or so)... get back on the scale... I suspect that you will have lost more than a couple of pounds (if you did the work)...

That success will motivate you to keep going one meal at a time...

It doesn’t matter what the big goal is.

If your goal is to be debt-free... then start by skipping that morning cup of designer coffee and depositing the savings back into your checking account ...

If your goal is to have a better relationship with your significant other... start with a short text message to them telling them how you appreciate them...

If your goal is to double your sales this year... then start by making one extra client appointment each day...

All of the little contributions add up and compound into something really big over time... what truly matters is doing something regularly and consistently.

Back to biking for a second...

By the end of the summer... I’m regularly pushing myself to complete 100-mile weekend rides...

Again... I don’t focus on the entire 100 miles... I only think about the very next mile... nothing more... nothing less...

Now, I’m not a racer so I’m never trying to complete a course against competitors or a clock...

Therefore, if I need to stop and take a rest every so often, I simply will... taking a break every so often is good... but I also know that I will need to get back on my bike and continue the ride... finishing what I started out to do...

The same thing will inevitably happen to all of us when we are trying to complete a big-time goal... we will have a set-back... or two... or three...

We may feel the need to take a break... which is fine...

The essential thing is that we need to get back on our metaphoric bikes... after our little break... and continue moving down the road...

In the end, this is the only way that we will eventually get to the place that we really want to go.

Thank you very much for joining our ride and your continuous support of OptiFuse as we inch forward each day.

Jim Kalb

 


Jim Kalb President

Email - jimk@optifuse.com
Website - www.optifuse.com
Blog - www.optifuse.blogspot.com 
Twitter - @OptiFuse


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