Setting Mini Goals

If you’re anything like me, you’re looking at the huge life experience that you want to change and you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed. That’s a huge undertaking you have there! Perhaps you’ve started breaking it down a bit, biting off manageable chunks so it feels like you’re getting somewhere. Perhaps you’ve got a game plan in place to move you in the right direction.

At some point, however, it’s going to feel like you’re not getting anywhere. Your goal is so far in the future that it feels next to impossible, and while you’re still moving in the right direction, you don’t feel like you’re making much progress. At that point you’ll probably get discouraged, want to give up the whole thing and insist that life before had to be better than this purgatory that is your life.
Depressing thought, huh? Well, before you get too depressed, I’m here to tell you that there are ways to combat it. And the simplest way is to set mini goals. That means instead of just striving for your ultimate, big, huge goal set somewhere in the future, you have smaller, more tangible goals that are attainable in a much shorter time frame. The goals can be as big or as small as you need them to be — anything that will keep you motivated and pushing ahead. Want some examples?
Career:
Enroll in a class or program — then pass it and graduate
Apply to (specific number here) jobs a day, a week, a month
Money:
Pay off a single credit card or loan
Save (specific number here) in a savings account or retirement account
Relationships:
Set up (specific number here) dates or meetings with people you want to boost relationships with
Attend (specific number here) family functions
Health:
Make a doctor’s appointment — keep it — and follow the doctor’s recommendations
Commit to a vitamin regimen for (specific number here) days
Making a Difference:
Volunteer for (specific number here) days, weeks or months
Mentor a child for (specific number here) days, weeks or months
As I said, you can make your goals as big or small as you want, so you can fill in whatever number you want for the (specific number here) spaces. And these are just ideas. You can make your mini goals whatever you want — whatever will have meaning for you and keep you going.
As you reach your mini goals, reward yourself. (Just make sure your rewards don’t counteract your progress!) Not only does it feel great to get a reward, but you’ll feel as if you actually accomplished something — instead of making a lot of effort for nothing. As long as your mini goals bring you closer to your ultimate goal, you’ll consistently make progress. And as time moves on, your ultimate goal will move closer and closer. While it may still take a while to get there, it’ll feel a lot sooner than you think. And that’s a whole lot better than getting depressed!
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