As Neil Armstrong disembarked from the space shuttle, he uttered these words, “One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.” If you remember that historic first walk on the moon’s surface, you will understand why one small step at a time is the basic tenet needed to learn how to break your goals down into measurable steps.

Mr. Armstrong didn’t just utter one day, “Well, I think I’ll walk on the moon next week.” It took years of education; practice; knowledge, commitment and focus before he was even able to board a spacecraft, let alone walk on the moon. The point is everyone finds it difficult to stay focused on a goal. The topsy-turvy world of self-motivation is evident everywhere. Lose weight; gain weight. Even the smallest goal can carry the heaviest weight.

Realistic expectations and a positive attitude, combined with small action steps can make your goals more achievable. How? You must first know and understand your goal. Begin with one specific goal, and write it down often. It doesn’t have to be anything major; start with something simple. Use construction paper and hang it up everywhere. This is your first step to focusing on your commitment. Then, break it down into small steps.

For example: Let’s say you want to begin a diet and exercise program. Your goal is to lose 50 pounds, and be able to run two miles a day. It’s August; you indicate a target date of February. Write it down: 50 pounds; two miles a day; February. Focus daily on these words. Next, break it down into even smaller steps. Follow a specific diet plan; and begin running 10 minutes a day. If in the first week, you begin to see results — your confidence will build; and you will become even more motivated to continue.

Keep a journal. In one half of the book record your diet progress; in the second half of the book record the amount of running time you’ve achieved. You may not believe it, but when you write about yourself, you tend not to lie about it.

Read your journal often. Use a red pen to write your diet and exercise achievements. Even if you consume something you shouldn’t, don’t worry about it. You’re not perfect; and you don’t need that kind of pressure. Just keep going. You’re allowed a mistake every once in a while. And now that you know how to break your goals down, you can do it.

Finally, never give up. You’ve come so far; your confidence is growing, and you are so close to your goal — stay focused. Reward yourself every now and then. You deserve it! Keep the end result in focus and enjoy the journey. If Neil Armstrong can walk on the moon; you can accomplish anything you set out to do.