Mar 29, 2010
Taste Test Your Goals
Think of a big goal you’ve set for yourself that terrifies you because it feels unattainable. Now ask yourself why you feel that way. Is the goal too big? To unreasonable? Too scary? Too personally demanding? If you’re really asking those questions, you may feel a pang of fear in the pit of your stomach as you wonder if you’re ever going to achieve this goal you’ve set for yourself.
But don’t get depressed at the thought of your big, scary goal – instead, look at that fear as a sign that you need to adjust your strategy. You can actually defuse that fear and replace it with an energizing sense of certainty that your goal is well within your power to achieve, and it’s a lot easier than you think it will be. It all starts with a little exercise I call “taste testing your goals.”
A Little Taste Changes Everything
Have you ever been asked to try a new food and it terrified you because of your preconceptions about how it would taste? If you’ve never tried sushi, the idea of sticking raw fish in your mouth may seem stomach-clenching – I know it was for me, for the longest time.
But then one day a friend was having crackers with tiny slivers of raw salmon on them and invited me to have a try. Without realizing what I was eating, I gave it a try – and liked it. After that, the idea of sushi lost its power to worry me, because I had a frame of reference for what it would taste like. I knew that I could probably handle it.
The same thing happens at the doctor’s office when the nurse says, “This needle will hurt, but not as much the one you used for giving blood last week.” Your brain accesses this frame of reference, says “Ok, I get it,” and your shields come down.
In other words, anything you can do to give yourself familiarity with an experience makes it easier to handle future experiences. A little “taste test” of something can change your whole attitude towards something, whether it’s food, pain, or even your most challenging goals.
Once your mind says “Yeah, I can handle this,” you’re much more likely to take action. But if you don’t have that experiential frame of reference, you may be staring at that metaphorical plate of sushi wondering how you’re ever going to take that first bite.
Let’s fix that.
How To Taste Test Your Goals
If you have major goals you haven’t taken real action on – whether it’s making your first million or losing those 30 pounds – it might be because you haven’t “tasted” it yet. Perhaps you have such a weak frame of reference available to you that you’re unable to really commit yourself to doing the things you need to do in order to make it happen.
This isn’t uncommon – it happens to people all the time when they set big goals. If you’ve always lived paycheck to paycheck, it’s hard to think of being wealthy. If you’ve always been overweight, it’s difficult to envision yourself as thin.
So how do you create that frame of reference with a taste test? You simply set one small and utterly achievable milestone towards that goal and make it happen. For example, if you’re broke and you just can’t seem to believe you’ll ever be making $25,000 a month, don’t shoot for $25,000 right now. Work on that first $100 a month income stream. And put that money straight in the bank so you can reinforce the fact that your financial footing is improving.
Or if you’re incredibly out of shape, don’t shoot for a total body makeover. Head over to hundredpushups.com and start working on hitting 15 push-ups a day. It takes a week or so to get to that level and it feels great once you do it.
By focusing on something small like this, you’ll begin to break the limiting beliefs that make you worry you’ll never get to your goal. Instead of thinking “I’ll never be really wealthy,” you’ll think “Wow, I really can earn a little bit extra. Let’s take it up a notch and go for $250 a month.” Instead of thinking “I’ll always be fat,” you’ll think “Hey, I’m actually getting better at this. Let’s add some sit-ups in there once I get to 30 push-ups a day.”
Get just a taste of your goal, and you’ll likely be much more motivated to come back for another helping. And another. And another. And another.
Creating A New Frame Of Reference Is Your Ticket Out
One of the major reasons you’re not making progress towards big goals is because deep down you fear they just aren’t something you can achieve. Taste testing shatters that limiting belief forever and lets you out of that prison of inaction.
Your real struggle probably isn’t with the size and scope of your goal. Your problem is more likely to be that you just don’t have a personal frame of reference that helps you believe you can make steady progress towards that goal. Create that certainty of progress with a simple taste test, and you’ll build that sense of certainty that your goal is ultimately achievable.
So let’s take the first step.
Tell Me In The Comments What Your “Taste Test” Will Be
Writing things down increases your chance of follow-through, so let’s get some stuff out of your head and into words. In the comment section below, take 60 seconds and think of one of your big, scary goals … and then think of one small step you can take towards it that will make it feel more achievable. Maybe it’s earning that first $100, or losing that first pound, or writing that first chapter.
Whatever it is, write it down, and commit to taking action on it this week. And if revealing your name feels scary, just put “Ass Kicker” in the name field below … that’ll be just fine. Just get something out there and get moving so you can feel better about yourself and your abilities.
The more of you who leave this kind of comment on this post, the more people you’ll inspire to take action.
Leave your comment. Design your own simple “taste test.” And then eat up.
Do it now. You’ll thank yourself for it.
That is all -
P.S. – Once you’re done, hit that “retweet” button below & spread the word so others will be inspired to take action as well. (And if you’ve come to this post via my Stop Settling newsletter, please forward it to at least one person today who needs to hear this!)