We are less than three months away from the end of 2019. That is so insane to think. I know people say it all year long, but this year has truly flown by. I feel like I blinked my eyes and it was October (which I’m not sad about, btw .. HELLO FALL!). Every time I think of 2019 coming to an end, I begin to reflect on the things I have and haven’t accomplished. Of the seven goals I set, I’ve accomplished two of them (one of them I am on target to accomplish by the end of the year). Regardless, three of seven is not a good ratio, in my opinion.
I think my biggest mistake for not accomplishing my goals was not setting smaller goals to assist in the process. I feel like we as millennials, have this dream big mindset (as we should)! We want to be our own boss. We want to have multiple incomes. We want to break boundaries and strive for generational wealth. We are believing that anything is possible and I love that about us! The problem begins when the great ideas and goals we’ve challenged ourselves with become unrealistic because we haven’t created smaller goals to navigate the process.
Let’s take me, for example. One of my goals for 2019 was to run a half marathon. I knew when I set that goal at the beginning of the year, that I wasn’t a big fan of running. I hated sprints in basketball and after my last season I vowed to never run anywhere again (I’m dramatic). Now here I am setting this goal to run a half marathon with very limited knowledge of the training process. So instead of setting smaller goals to accomplish the big goal, I did a little training here and there. Now it is October, and I am just now running my first 5K (which I am very proud of, btw). Running a half marathon wasn’t unrealistic, but I needed a plan. I needed a process. I needed to complete some small wins.
Small wins can be anything to help lead to the big wins. When I first started graduate school, I started posting on social media and celebrating “small wins.” Small wins to me, at that time, was doing well on a test, passing a class, meal prepping or spending less money. It was anything to get me through that season of my life and to the ultimate goal of graduation. If your goal is to be a photographer, the small win can be saving money to buy a camera. If you want to lose weight, the small win can be making it to the gym three times a week and not exceeding a caloric goal. If your goal is to own a home, a small win could be paying off debt or saving money biweekly for a down payment.
What I wish I would have done was pushed myself to prepare for multiple 5Ks at the beginning of the year, and then end the year with a 10K. Take a year to learn proper running technique and to learn my strengths and weaknesses. Then in 2020, make a goal to run a half marathon. Now that’s me being realistic with myself. That’s me understanding my habits and mental.
The problem is a lot of us aren’t willing to go through the “small win” process. We want the accomplished goal to fall in our laps and it just doesn’t work that way. Then, when the outcome isn’t what or how we expected, we become disappointed. I was disappointed when I looked at my goals and saw that I’m nowhere near a half marathon goal. When I saw that goal, I was so discouraged and began telling myself how far away I am from reaching it. I could have prevented that moment of self-doubt if I would have been realistic with myself and created some small win goals.
What my “small win journey” has taught me is how to celebrate myself. Create your goals and accomplish them for yourself and not anyone else. No one knows what you did or what you will go through to accomplish the things you want in life. So, learn to celebrate yourself because no one will celebrate your wins like you will. It doesn’t matter than I just ran my first 5K and I have friends that have ran a half marathon before. Their journey is not mine. Your process and your journey is your own! So, celebrate yourself for whatever the win may be: big or small.
One of my old basketball coaches use to always say to us “progress not perfection.” Progress to your goals. The perfect home, career or business isn’t going to fall into your lap in a day or a few weeks. Strive to be better everyday. Strive to accomplish your goals everyday and enjoy the small win process, in the meantime. Every day I am progressing to be a better Kennyatta. Everyday, I’m learning to the embrace the process. I’m learning to celebrate my small wins because I know that each day, I’m getting further to achieving the big ones.