Small steps, big results

Written by: Lee on 31st Jan 2014
Micro goal setting

Right then, so we all know that setting a long term goal is very important in staying motivated and is essential for ensuring success. What if I told you that this approach alone can do more harm than good. Don't worry though, I'm also going to tell you about another option that's easier to implement, will have you feeling better and still get you to your long term goals.

The problem with long term goal setting is that we all have a tendency to aim too high and set unrealistic goals or our goals are so far in the future that there is a disconnect from them. I'm not saying not too aim high but a big drawback can be if we fail to meet those high goals. I'm also not saying that failing is bad, it isn't, in fact it's essential in the learning process. It can still feel terrible when it happens though, especially when you've waited so long and put a large amount of time and effort into something. What I am eventually trying to say is that there is a way of managing lofty goals and risks that should make them more achievable and, at worst, lessen the blow if we don't make them.

So, what is this magic solution?

I like to think of it as micro goal setting. Simply breaking up each day into a number of tasks to be completed, each of which will move you to your end goals. This may not sound revolutionary but it is something that most people overlook. They know their start point and where they want the journey to end, but have put no thought into how they are going to get there. By taking each day and breaking it into small goals, you will stay focused on your journey and be less likely to stray from your path plus you'll enjoy the reward feeling we get from achieving set targets on a daily basis. An example of a days goal setting are as follows:

  1. Work out
  2. Stick to dietary plan (counting macros, calories, eat 3 times etc)
  3. Prepare tomorrows food.

You don't need to make the goals complicated and they can be anything you want, as long as they have a positive impact on your life. As you start ticking these goals off on a daily basis, you'll soon see your end goal approaching faster than you thought possible. If worst comes to worst and you miss out on your final target, you will now be able to look back and know that you still achieved a lot and gave yourself your best chance

An added benefit to this method is that, after a number of weeks, the goals that were an effort to achieve every day will become habitual, they will become things that you do automatically and will no longer feel like a chore. This will again make achieving your long term goals much easier and give you the opportunity to introduce new goals into your daily life.

So remember, achieving small goals each day will amount to big changes further down the road.