Want to Reach Your Goals? Set Smaller Ones

I am a go-getter and a goal-setter.

I just work best and am happiest when I am working towards something. This could be professional, personal, you name it. Usually I am working on achieving multiple goals at once.

I recently had a friend ask me how I did it. How I juggled so many things at once and how I managed to reach many of my goals successfully.

I thought about it for a moment and then I had to admit: there’s really no secret. It’s not that I am a superhuman genius who works on these giant, life-changing goals 24/7.

Actually, it’s the opposite. I’m just a person who knows what she wants and is willing to do some work to get there. But I’m also an opportunist. I regularly evaluate ROI when it comes to setting goals and making decisions about how to reach them.

But the best reason I could give for successfully achieving my goals is that my goals are achievable. It’s that simple.

I may have a life goal that I dream of achieving one day, but that is not the goal I focus on. The ones I think about and work on incrementally each day are the smaller steps that will (hopefully, eventually) get me to the big goal.

The thing about goals is that reaching them is contagious. If you achieve one, often you can achieve another similar one fairly soon thereafter. And then another. And so on.

Perhaps this is due to the Law of Attraction or a positive attitude. Perhaps it is just hard work, I don’t know. But what I do know is that when I take my large goal and break it down into realistic steps, somehow one goal achieved leads to another and another. And soon enough, I am closer to that large goal faster than I ever thought I would be.

So for me, setting smaller goals is the way to go. Clearly, when goals seem more achievable, I am more likely to work at them. They don’t seem so far away. I am more focused and dedicated.

That motivation only increases when I complete a goal, so the next one seems doable as well. This success breeds excitement and enthusiasm for me, so I look forward to continuing along my path.

So the next time you get your sights set on a faraway dream, examine how you might break down the path to getting there into smaller steps. Whether it’s a promotion at work, learning a new language, or taking that trip around the world, start small. Reach that first goal or two and then keep that momentum going.

You’ll get there before you know it.

Photo by Daniel Cheung on Unsplash

Librarian, writer at Ms. Mag, queer settler historian researching WW’s roles in the oppression of Indigenous peoples. Also: all the books. She/her. Views=Mine

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