Mission Accomplished

This month marks the anniversary of the first moon landing. But the journey started many years before — when President John F. Kennedy declared the goal in 1961.

Use today to chart a course toward your own first — whether it’s a mission to lose weight, get active, or kick a bad habit. With a little commitment and planning, you can achieve giant leaps by taking small steps:

  • Define a clear goal and completion point. Use the power of the written word by committing your objective to paper. Set a challenging but reasonable timeline for reaching it. If you want to lose weight, decide how much and by when… then etch your intentions on parchment.
  • Set enabling goals. Large–scale goals can be intimidating, but don’t let their grandiosity keep you from pursuing them. Backtrack from the ultimate point of victory to an initial action — figure out what you need to do this week to start on that path. If you want to get a master’s degree, begin by printing out the application for admission. If you want to run a marathon in 1 year, know where you need to be in 3 months and how to prepare.
  • Schedule rewards. Give yourself incentives for reaching smaller goals. Every time you check off a mini-accomplishment, follow through on the reward you promised yourself — a dinner out for a month of eating home–cooked meals, a day of pampering for walking to work twice a week, or a new gadget for avoiding that cigarette or vending machine for 30 days.

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