Have you ever looked at a big project and felt like you would never get it done? Maybe you felt overwhelmed by the amount of work or defeated by the challenges that stood in your way. Maybe you want to quit smoking but the idea of a life without cigarettes is foreign to you. Perhaps you want to move out on your own but you are struggling to find a job that pays enough. Maybe you want to lose weight, but you haven't changed your eating habits.
Big changes are the result of small successes. It's like climbing a ladder. We can't get to the top without climbing the steps. If you have a broad goal in mind, such as being healthier, having a better relationship with someone, quitting your job, or getting into college-think about all of the steps on the ladder to get there.
Now that you have thought of the steps, start at the bottom. The most important aspect of this is to celebrate each step that you take and succeed in. Punishment decreases behavior. Reinforcement increases behavior. If you want to stop working at your goals, then punishment is the way to go. If you want to reach your goal, reinforcement is your friend and punishment is your enemy. Don’t punish yourself along the way!
What ladder are you ready to climb?