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Education & Insights

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February 23, 2015

When in Rome: 3 Steps to Conquering a Colossal Feat

Manage Savings To Conquer A Colossal Feat

Some 2000 years after it was erected, the Roman Colosseum is getting a makeover.  That is, a restoration project has begun.

It’s expected to take many years and dozens of laborers. The delicate, crumbling structure larger than some football fields will be cleaned inch by inch, entirely by hand—sometimes using toothbrushes. You think most people would just give up, let it crumble. But it’s important to someone. He knew it would take time, support, and the wherewithal to see it through. So if this great task can be finished, surely you can meet your goal!

It’s happened time and again - you decide that starting January first, you are going to do a complete overhaul. Lose weight, pay off all your bills, spend more time with the family. Whatever it may be, it is attainable, yet it seems that most everyone gets hung up on the end result and not what it takes to get there. They want instant results that will last. But attaining goals requires some work.

Here are 3 steps  that can help you overcome whatever it is that is stopping you from making the change.

1) Baby Steps: Start with small tasks to complete the goal. Set reminders, write yourself notes. Tell yourself “this will take time.” Don’t get discouraged if it takes longer than you originally thought.

We imagine that when it was decided to take on the restoration of the Colosseum, the restoration group gave themselves a window of several months or years if the project takes longer than expected.

The key is to keep at it, slow and steady. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. If you want to spend more time with your family, start with a joint activity once a week. If that’s too much, make it once a month. You’ll realize the less pressure you put on yourself, the more excited you will be to make it happen.

2) It takes a village: Habits are hard to break. Especially the ones that let you sit on the couch binge-watching Breaking Bad. That doesn’t mean you can’t better yourself or modify your behaviors. If you are finding it difficult to reach your goal or stay on track, ask someone to encourage you. Even if you have one lone cheerleader in your corner, it helps.

If you want to pay off bills, give someone you trust your credit card so you don’t use it. If you want to get in shape, ask a friend to go to the gym with you. It must feel amazing for the Colosseum workers to be able to say that they helped restore a historical landmark! Similarly, we bet you can’t wait to brag when you finally pay off that credit card and see your savings start to grow or thank your friends and family for helping you stay on track to meet your goals.

3) Believe you can: You need to stay focused. It’s okay to slip up once in a while, but if you aren’t determined, you won’t finish. It’s okay that you don’t get there all at once. Just don’t give up. The crew scrubbing the Colosseum must get discouraged at times, thinking they will forever be cleaning a massive stadium by hand. But they step back, remind themselves why they are doing it, and trudge on. Realize that it won’t magically happen.

If one particular route does not work, another will. Remember the tale about the tortoise and the hare?  Well, when you're tackling some goals, you may very well feel like the tortoise, plodding laboriously along while the hares in your life whiz past.  And that's perfectly okay.  Go at your own pace, follow your own path, chip away at your goals on your own terms. The pace at which you're moving doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is that you're not standing still. And one more thing: surround yourself with a great support team that believes in you!

So remember: take it slow, find an accountability partner or supporter, and trust in yourself. Any time someone tells you that you can’t do something, say “Watch me.” Get into the mindset that you can— and you will. Follow these steps and you’re on your way. Rome wasn’t built in a day. And neither were you.

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