Matthew Alan Sneed

Matthew Alan Sneed, used with permission

January’s end approaches … you still have time to make progress on important objectives. Sadly, the first wave of individuals left their resolutions behind. We’ll hear all manner of rationalization from these folk, but let’s be clear: they gave up. And each person probably gave up because he or she (1) needed to break a goal into smaller chunks and (2) apply a measure of grit. To successfully achieve your goals, add the right chunks and a bit of grit to your plan.

Let’s walk through a couple examples, beginning with one of my own.

In 2008, an accident resulted in bones being screwed together. In the initial weeks of recovery, my world shrunk to a single room. As a working professional who frequently traveled, confinement and dependence were particularly grating. Of course I wanted to walk! The year before, I’d completed the Volkslauf—the ultimate Marine Corps sponsored mud and obstacle event—for gosh sakes! A person, however, does not go from zero to Volkslauf. My first objective was to navigate unattended to the bathroom. After achieving that goal, the next involved making it to the kitchen. Then, out of the house. Over time, my mobility progressed through wheelchair, walker, crutches and cane. Finally, I walked device free.

Does your goal involve writing a book, getting fit or losing weight, adding to your education, starting a business or another “dream” objective? Whatever the destination, you must break the journey into manageable chunks. Discouragement comes easy when the gap between today and the end point seems distant. Big goals are marathons, not sprints.

Training for a marathon, you don’t start by running 26.2 miles. You start by getting fitted for a good pair of running shoes. You begin training by running a mile. Over time, you increase the distance incrementally, building to three miles, then six, then ten and so forth. While training, set your focus on a) the next increment and b) the “why” achieving your goal is important to you. No matter how realistic these small goals are, there are times you question whether you’ll get there. This is when you remind yourself of your motivation—the why—and apply a bit of grit.

Matthew Alan Sneed has grit. I first learned about Matthew through a Navy For Moms / Japan Moms email. As his mom tells the story, “Matthew, at age 27 … had 5 strokes. He had a blood clot in his left carotid artery and 5 pieces broke off with 4 going to different parts of his brain and one going to his left eye.” Although blinded in his left eye, Matthew was blessed with no permanent brain damage. Since September 2013, he’s overcome quite a few obstacles and just reached a major milestone for his own dream. A musician who blends country, soul and Southern rock, Matthew recently released his first single.

Listen to Matthew’s awesome debut cut, Soul Rockin, and visit his release website by clicking here.

[Note: I’m working to embed Matthew’s track directly, and will edit this post as soon as I get the code to work. Meanwhile, play the track in a new window & keep on reading … ]

No matter what your goal, the chunk’n’grit formula will help. I recently heard Michael Hyatt describe writing Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World [affiliate]. He began by setting up folders on his computer, with blank files for each chapter. The next day, he crafted the “front matter” of his book. The following day, he picked the chapter with the easiest topic to begin writing. By starting with small chunks—I love that Michael also uses the term chunks—he created early “wins” in his process. Daily action toward these modest milestones accumulated into a successful best seller. The grit, in Michael’s case, was applying the discipline and accountability to take those daily actions.

Your dreams and aspirations are important. Working to achieve these, you create lasting patterns and routines that enable further success. Your accomplishments become a gift to yourself and inspiration to others. It’s only the end of January. Don’t give up on your hopes for 2015. Apply a little chunks’n’grit.

Rock your dream in 2015. Apply a little chunks’n’grit.

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