Setting ourselves goals, whether professional or personal, gives us long-term vision, but so often, only short-term motivation. If we set too big a goal in too short a time, then the chances are we may never achieve that goal! This can lead to feelings of disappointment, failure and a lack of impulsion to succeed. All of which can be detrimental to our mental and physical wellbeing.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t set ourselves big goals or have a vision for the ultimate place we would like to be, in say 5 years’ time. What it means is that we need to break down our journey into smaller goals in order to get to our desired goal. If we just focus on the end result, we may feel like we’re getting nowhere, with little progress which may cause defeat and we give up. Tackling small goals that are within our reach keeps us motivated and interested.
“Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction
ends up being the biggest step of your life.
Tiptoe if you must, but take a step.”
The benefits of taking small steps to achieve your goals
- Taking small steps every day enables you to make gradual and continuous improvements. It gives you daily purpose, personal satisfaction and a better understanding of your own expectations
- Provides motivation that helps us to initiate, proceed and maintain our goal-orientated behaviours.
- It helps you to see progress and celebrate your own successes. This boosts mental health as it gives a sense of accomplishment, increased self-esteem and confidence. You can build your confidence by simply acknowledging yourself more often
- Helps you to clarify what is important in your life, giving you more control over your future. And your future self will thank you for the work you put in along the way
- Helps you to retain your sense of ownership and control, allowing you to choose the steps that you take, rather than being driven in a direction you are not happy with
- Having short-term goals minimises procrastination – you will get there much quicker! They are about the present. They force you to do your tasks now and not in the distant future.
- Small steps create a clear and defined path to your destination, allowing you to focus on one thing at a time.
How do I implement small steps?
1. Once you know your goal(s), write them down! Writing down your goals means you can visually see them, gives you clarity and focus to achieve them! You can also then review your goals at any time and see you progress.
2. Set some timescales, with maybe a deadline to work to! This will not only help with motivation to take those steps but also will help you to follow through to completion!
3. Keep your mind focused on small steps. There is nothing wrong with progressing steadily if it gets you to where you want to go!
4. Work out how you are going to do it! Look at your skillsets, your life balance and implement a strategy or plan that will work for you! You can’t manage things that you don’t map out and measure, and you can’t improve on the things that you don’t properly manage!
5. When you reach your first, middle or last milestone, make sure you reward yourself! When you give yourself praise or a reward, your brain produce dopamine. This is a hormone that makes us feel good, which can also help to reduce stress and bring mental clarity!
6. Upgrade or change your daily habits! Daily progress and taking small steps towards your goals will undoubtedly trigger new behaviours, leading to long term positive change!
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