I know I just said to visualize yourself when you’ve reached your ultimate goal, but we have to pay attention to the day-to-day practices as well.
When it comes to actually executing your goals, break them down into smaller chunks. Instead of focusing on losing 40lbs all at once, which can seem unrealistic in your present state, focus on the goal of losing one pound per week. Centralize your actions around the small steps, and celebrate (proportionally to the achievement) when you reach those micro-goals.
Micro-goals work better because of how our brains produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is central to our reward system. We like feeling rewarded, and instant gratification triggers dopamine release like nobody’s business.
In this day and age, instant gratification is everywhere. Social media, alcohol, and even texting your ex can result in a dopamine release, and that’s a lot easier than going to the gym five times a week. Setting micro-goals fits in better with that instant gratification loop you’re probably used to, but it also helps your brain get used to delayed gratification at the same time, which is far more sustainable to your success.
Want to veer further away from instant gratification? Try leaning into your boredom from time to time. It’ll help teach your brain to not go chasing dopamine around every corner and make your long term goals easier to stick with.