One thing that can make a huge difference in the likelihood of reaching a goal is how you plan to get there. Big goals can be overwhelming. When you write down big goals they can seem distant and unobtainable when there’s nothing in between here and there. To make goals more manageable you have to break them down into smaller steps.
Plan Goals One Small Step at a Time
Quick fixes are always nice, but it’s unrealistic to think that you’re going to suddenly reach a goal overnight. Big goals are actually a collection of many smaller goals. Along the way these small milestones are what get you where you want to go. The first step is deciding on a goal and a timeline for when you want to reach it. Next you need to create a plan.
Nearly half of Americans make resolutions and plans, but the majority of people actually don’t put their plans into action. This happens for a number of reasons, but the tips below address the most common concerns and provide ways to keep making progress until you reach your goals.
Work Your Way Backwards – Start with your big goal by asking yourself what needs to occur to make it happen. Jot down the points then ask what needs to occur to make each one of them happen. Keep breaking things down as far as you can go until you have the first step that will set everything in motion. This highly effective method is called chunking. Don’t worry if it’s broken down to something so small it only takes a few minutes. Remember, small steps lead to big results.
Do Things Daily – Many big goals require constant commitment if you want to get them done, because they simply require a lot of focus. Doing small daily tasks not only gets you to the goal quicker, it also builds good habits that make getting to your goal easier. For example, one student at Pro-Vision Academy charter school said that their goal this year was to become a better basketball player and sign with a District One college. While that is a big goal, practicing just 30 minutes a day could be all it takes to focus on various skills one at a time until they are all mastered.
Start Slow So You Don’t Burn Out – It’s easy to go full steam ahead at the beginning of the goal setting process. For a week or two you go all out, but then keeping up that pace gets exhausting. Instead of jumping in head first, taking small steps keeps things manageable and makes it easy to stay on track.
Plan Out Specific Goals for Each Day – The best plans are specific and spell out exactly what needs to be done. Start each day by outlining the steps you are going to take to reach your goal.
Focus on the Next Step – Each time you complete a step, don’t look too far ahead. Instead turn your attention to the next step in the process of reaching your big goal. This will help you stay positive and confident that achieving your goal is possible.
Remember the End Goal – When you’re taking small steps it can seem daunting because you still have so far to go. Just remember, each time you complete one small goal you get one step closer to big achievements.
Make a difference this year by volunteering at Pro-Vision Academy. We take small steps everyday to make our school the very best it can be!