Breaking Big Goals Into Smaller Goals

Posted on February 13, 2015

We’ve all heard the advice – break big goals into bite size pieces that you can manage. It sounds like great advice, but I’ve never really consciously done it before.

…until I was staring down a HUGE mountain that I was expected to ski down. I had only been skiing a handful of times in my life and the last time was over 6 years ago. Coming from a flat midwestern state, most of those times were at places that I could easily walk up instead of use the chair lift. I had definitely never encountered anything like Vail, Colorado before on skis. Even the green runs were bigger than anything else I remember skiing in Minnesota.

My cousin, his friend and I stopped at a lodge on the top of one of the peaks and were talking to these ladies from Boston who came to Vail every year. They said it was the only place they’ll ski because they love it so much, and their favorite place to ski in Vail is the back basin. By this time my cousin and his friend are salivating because they want to go to the back basin so bad! I’m looking at the map and not seeing a single green run anywhere close to there. But these ladies keep insisting the blue runs in there aren’t that bad and I can do it. Thanks for the vote of confidence, strangers.

Ok, ok, I’ll suck it up since they want to go so bad.

Unfortunately, we finish our hot chocolates and go to the top of the basin. I look over the edge and am instantly struck by how big this mountain is. It looks like a giant snow cone cup, a straight down sea of white. My knees start shaking, but I of course can’t let the boys know.

This is when the age old advice hit me: don’t look all the way down the mountain! Just look at the snow directly in front of you. This is the ONLY thing that got me through the weekend without being an insane nuisance to my companions. You know, the person who pizza wedges it the entire time and takes an hour and a half to do a green run? In real life, that equates to 20 years to accomplish one goal.

Of course you have to take breaks every once in a while and look down the mountain to make sure you don’t end up on a black diamond accidentally. But once you’ve chosen your immediate path, you really shouldn’t be looking more than a few feet in front of you until you need to choose the next path.

vail colorado


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