Most of us have an idea of where we would like to be ten years from now, and there’s nothing wrong with having long-term goals. On the contrary, they help us compare where we want to be to where we are now, track our progress, and make better decisions in the future. However, since long-term goals are, after all, based on something years and years ahead of us, it can sometimes be hard to stay motivated and productive. This is one of the reasons why the key to being successful is making smaller goals that are more easily reached. So, here are a few things you should know about small goals.
What can happen when you aim too high
Most people like to aim high and make big, serious goals that are supposed to provide them with not just success but also recognition due to the difficulty of achieving those goals. Such goals can often be described as dreams and desires, something that is the final step toward happiness.
Unfortunately, such goals are usually so overwhelming, people don’t really know where to start. They turn into an idea, something more abstract than realistic, something that floats above you but you have no precise plan on how to reach it. And you’ve already decided that you can only be truly happy when you reach your big goal, which is why not having a plan and not seeing a clear way of reaching the goal can make you unmotivated, anxious, and even depressed. This is why you should focus on smaller goals instead.
What are smaller goals?
Smaller goals could also be described as SMART goals ‒ they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. For example, if you want to lose 30 pounds in 6 months, you should break that big goal into smaller “smarter” goals; focus on losing 4 pounds in 2 weeks. Or, if you are trying to make money online, start small by doing your research and making your profile on some of the freelance websites. Think about what kind of freelance work you could do, how much you want to work per day, and how much you want to earn. Once you establish the details of your goal ‒ to make more money by working online ‒ you will know in which direction to go and what to focus on.
Moreover, it’s also important to review your smaller goals and adjust them if needed. For example, if you wanted to earn $500 in a month, but ended up earning 300$, your goal for the next month should be earning $350-400. This is related to the “attainable” aspect, so if you see that something just doesn’t seem to be possible at that specific moment, adjust your own expectations.
How small goals can help you
Big goals take time, while smaller goals can be achieved much faster. When you start small, you are basically planning early successes that will inspire you and motivate you to keep working towards the bigger goals. Moreover, it’s much easier to track your progress when you can actually see yourself making it ‒ every small success you make is one step closer to the big success.
Also, failures do happen ‒ they are an inevitable part of learning. However, if you only have one big goal, and you happen to fail a few times, you’re more likely to give up on your goal, become demotivated, and get lost in your attempts to become successful. On the other hand, if you have more smaller goals, and you happen to fail at reaching one, there will always be another. It’s much easier to recover from one failure if there is also a success right around the corner.
Finally, one of the hardest things to do when it comes to reaching your goals is start. We often don’t know where to begin, which can make us procrastinate and eventually give up altogether. However, when we come up with smaller goals, it’s much easier to determine the starting point ‒ and it’s much easier to begin when you know that the reward for your hard work will come in days or weeks instead of years. In short, as already mentioned, small and smart goals will keep you motivated because every little success is a small boost of energy and motivation that will keep you going for long enough to reach your big goals.
To sum up, in order to succeed, you need to stay motivated, which is why you should focus on making smaller goals. They are much easier to attain, and once you start focusing on them, your dreams of being successful will become a reality in no time.