I've discovered that I have a problem when people think something is going to be much more difficult and time-consuming than I think it is.
Case in point: as a corrective action for a problem I investigated at work, a team is required to identify all instances where the problem occurred and correct them. I led a meeting this morning to make sure they had a plan in place for this corrective action. (I'm not actually required to do anything for the corrective action, I just wanted to make sure they knew exactly what needed to be done, and could start on it instead of flubbing things at the last moment.) The meeting ended with them talking about how much work it was going to be, how they might not have time; it just seemed insurmountable to them.
Seriously? It took a lot of tact and professionalism to point out that I could do it myself, start to finish, in 2-3 working days. It's not like the information will be difficult to dig up. It's not like there's any risk of scope creep. Just three batches of material, a few rounds of testing for each, do it methodically and logically and it'll be done with no problems. They've got an entire month to sort it out.
Not that I need to translate everything over into the realm of fitness, but apparently it's in my brain. Perhaps this is why people back out when they're given a task which seems to be too challenging, such as running a 5K or, heck, even starting to exercise in the first place. They see the big difference between where they are and where they think they should be and the gulf seems wide, too wide.
But every challenging task can be broken up into small, obtainable milestones. Once I am comfortable with squatting 75 pounds, I increase it to 80. Probably won't get the same number of reps, but that will come in a week or two. Even though my goal may be a squat weight of 100 pounds, I don't see the 25 pound difference between 75 and 100. I see five 5 pound differences, and know that it will take two or three months to get there.
So, I will continue to shake my head at my coworkers and hope that, once it takes hardly any time at all, they freak out less the next time this comes up.