I have always aimed low, if I even aimed at all. It was never a strategy; I never had one. However, now that I have had time to contemplate my life, I realize that aiming low was perfect. At least for me.
Some maybe would do better aiming high. I just don't know how to do that. High always sounds... high to me, and unrealistic. I want goals I can achieve consciously, deliberately and then maybe go on from there if I feel like it. But that's for later, i.e., I'll cross that bridge when I set my foot on it, not before.
- It's easier to be happy if you have low expectations
- It's easier and more fulfilling if you succeed in reaching your expectations, and then you are probably hungry for more
- If you aim low, you expect little, have both a higher likelihood of achieving your goals and attaining happiness
Even marathon runners just aim for the following 10 steps or 100 meters, or maybe, if they are crazy, for the whole next kilometer (0.6 miles). But some people think they should aim for a masters degree or for doubling their bench press or for making 10m USD when their net worth is barely 100k. That would be like aiming for the next olympics while you are running in the current one. Aim low, just try to make a little more tomorrow or next week than you are doing today, aim for so little that you know it is obvious you will make it.
Knowing how to set goals is a skill that has to be learned. Start low, like benchpressing +1 pund more for a set of five the next week. With time you learn what type of goals suits you the best; +10 lbs in a month maybe, by following a celebrity method like Russian Squat Routine, 5x5 or Madcow. Singular persons can perhaps plan several months ahead and for 10s of lbs, but for me that would just mean I have to constantly update those goals due to life coming in between.
If you eat yoghurt (or something similarly unhealthy) in the morning, as a snack and in the evening. Just skip the morning yoghurt or switch it for quark. Don't try to quit yoghurt altogether or change your entire eating habits for that matter. Take a small step that you might even find too easy and almost ridiculous. Then, when you feel like it, take one more very small step. In my view it should never be hard, never put demands on your willpower. In that way I save my willpower for later, e.g., for holding my breath under water or running with a pulse of 200 bpm.
If you don't do any mobility exercises but sit at an office all day, you are dying the slow offfice death. Slowly but surely your hips start to tighten, your shoulders fall forward and you start to walk like an old man and maybe even start hunching a little. If you pull something (all the more easy once your hips tigthen), you'll compensate by walking even more like an old man, allowing your hips to tighten even while you walk. Soon you won't even know how to walk upright, with chest out and shoulders back, without arching your lower back like a female gymnast, with long and manly strides.
To counter the office death you should do mobility exercises. But aim low.
I would recommend 5-10 minutes every day but that would be aiming ridiculously high. Instead,
I challenge you to do mobility exercises 5-6 minutes, once a month.
1. The couch stretch for 2x1 minute. Look at 2:50 in this video.
2. Standard squat width, with straight back, as low as you can go for 1-2 minutes. Here you should literally AIM LOW. Video of squatting. Start from the beginning.
3. Shoulders 1-2 minutes: Check out this video from 3:10. Lie on your back, push hip upward, fold underarms under your back, hold shoulders in contact with the floor and slowly lower your hip, thus pressing your underarms downward. Try to keep shoulders locked on the floor while doing this. Pump up and down slowly, while focusing on reconnecting your shoulders, back in their sockets, with the floor.
Once you get to the point where you actually do these mobility exercises for 5 minutes every month, try surprising yourself by adding an exercise sometimes (1-2 minutes a month), e.g. squat variations (narrow and wide) or working with pressure points with lacrosse balls (sit on them, lie on them...) or stretching your gluteus while watching TV. Check out Kelly Starret's MWODS, starting here, for more inspiration. They are extremely repetitive and there really are only about ten exercises in there. Try just writing down which ones they are (I already have).
Aim low in finance, at work, at the gym, in studying, reading etc. but...
keep aiming low, i.e. a little higher all the time, and once time starts accumulating in ernest you will have gotten very far.