Whether we read gurus like Stephen Covey or listen to our parents and teachers Lessons, at some point or another we undoubtedly have been told that setting goals is crucial to success.
In my humble experience, they’re right.
Goals are necessary for us to know who we want to become, where we hope to be, and realize when we get there. However, I’ve found goals are not enough. We need micro-goals! What are micro-goals? Micro-goals can be short-term stand-alone goals or smaller goals that lead up to a larger goal.
Micro-goals, Lessons, could be like:
“I will earn $80 in surveys and reviews this month”
“I will earn all A’s and B’s this semester”
Each of these two examples could be stand-alone or part of larger goals like the following:
“In 2022, I will earn $1,000 in surveys and reviews”.
“I will graduate with a 4.0 GPA”. The Importance of Micro-goals. Instead of being inspiring, large goals can be daunting, disheartening, and maybe even discouraging.
That’s where micro-goals come in.
Micro-goals seem more achievable, and therefore, they help us stay motivated, on task, and more importantly, smaller goals allow us to modify our plans quicker.
When I’ve Lessons Micro-Goals:
After finishing the coursework for my second master’s degree, I was strongly “encouraged” to finish the degree using the “thesis” option. As an English professor, you’d think that writing the thesis wouldn’t be a problem.
However, thinking about writing a 100+ page researched book within two months made my mind “freeze.”
That’s where micro-goals came in. I wrote an outline that had 9 chapters plus an introduction and epilogue. I started thinking about the thesis as 10-page research papers.
Easy! I could write 10 page papers without a problem.
Instead of thinking about writing the entire thesis in two months, I thought about writing a 10-page research paper each 5 days (about 2 pages a day).
Those Lessons my micro-goals.
My wife and I wanted to pay our new car off in 1 ½ years instead of 5 years. However, thinking about paying $20,000 in 18 months was overwhelming.
But paying $1,120 a month didn’t sound so bad. That was my monthly micro-goal.
Micro-goals are not supposed to be too easy.
If we set them too low, we won’t be challenging ourselves. However, they must be achievable Lessons.
In the two examples above, micro-goals let us feel good about our progress towards the larger goal. Achieving each micro-goal, made my wife and I even more committed to the next micro-goal — until we finished our project(s).
I highly recommend that whether you are working on a professional, personal, academic, or financial goal, you look at smaller micro-goals. Let each mini-success give you the momentum to keep moving forward!
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