Why it is important to start your goals small


Goals Blog


“To live a fulfilled life, we need to keep creating the "what is next", of our lives. Without dreams and goals there is no living, only merely existing, and that is not why we are here.”  Mark Twain


Long-term and short-term goals

The resolutions are long-term, but still temporary goals. They do not allow for setbacks so if we fail once, we probably will not be willing to start again until next year. At the same time, we should not stick to the New Year, New Me topic as in the everyday life we also have to set up long-term or short-term goals. In that case, if we fail, we rather will not wait till next year. It all comes down to the way we see our goals so if we cannot change the situation, we still can change the approach to it. Why not set smarter targets and give us the possibility to succeed with less chances to fail?      


SMART goals

Speaking about smart, The University of New Hampshire explains that goal setters can use the SMART acronym to develop goals:

  • Specific,
  • Measurable,
  • Attainable,
  • Relevant,
  • Time-bound.

It does not matter whether our goals are long- or short-term ones, to achieve them it is important to set a clear plan and know our priorities. Such boundaries give us less chance to procrastinate or give up on our goal without a reason; they simply give us a clear path to follow.

It is also helpful to make our goals measurable. Why not to separate the big goal to smaller ones so we can enjoy little successes every time we achieve the target step by step. Or make our goals realistic. Working towards aim completion allows people to identify what areas they still have to improve. This way, we may increase the awareness of strengths and weaknesses and work on them. Thus, we can avoid trapping ourselves in a cage of feeling lost and close to failure.

It is hard to believe, but sometimes our goals depend not only on us. We can do our best (as we think) to reach the target but still fail. Why? Because, probably, we approach the whole situation while we should relate only to our behavior. We, though, try to achieve the goal by completing also the tasks which do not belong to us. Hence, we make the mission impossible from the very beginning. Although, nothing is impossible. If we set a goal as “Have a better relationship with someone” we have not so many chances to achieve it. On the other hand, if we relate our goal to our behavior and set it up as “do something nice every week for someone”, we increase the chances for success dramatically. Sounds reasonable, right?



We learn from failure, not from success

In the end I would like to mention something what had to be mentioned at the very beginning: allow yourself to fail. Some goals have no chances to last long but still teach us a lot, so it is worth trying. If we fail, let us not give up but, instead, look back at our aim, analyze it and think whether it should be improved (by creating a clear plan for achievement) or replaced with another, more realistic goal. Also, we change with time and so do our goals (especially, long-term ones). It can appear, that it is not a goal we still need, or maybe it requires different strategies and approach to reach it. But not achieving a goal should not make us experience a sense of failure. It simply gives us time to assess that aim and, if required, give its place to another one. Looking at goals from this perspective, turns a failure into an opportunity for learning. And remember, “the more goals you set - the more goals you get” (Mark Victor Hansen).


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