Mini goals are often misunderstood in terms of their usefulness and helpfulness. It’s easy to give all the attention to the larger targets that seem so appealing. However, those biggies can easily feel out of reach and more like a dream than a reality. Those smaller, bite-sized targets can help you to stay motivated, avoid feeling overwhelmed, and boost your chances of success. Starting small can, after all, lead to big things!
Mini Goals Place Success in Your Reach
Among the best features of mini goals is that they are approachable. Saying that you want a huge boat, six-pack abs or 50 pounds of weight loss is fantastic, but when you try to face those targets in day-to-day life, they can feel very far from where you are. This can make it easier to lose motivation in the moment.
By breaking down that big vision into mini goals that you can achieve over the short-term, you create a path of achievement for yourself. You’ll still be headed toward the same ultimate success, but you’ll do it by achieving many smaller steps along the way.
How to Get Started
If you don’t know where to begin, take a closer look at where you want to be. Once you decide on a specific long-term goal, you can break it down into smaller steps that will get you there. Those smaller steps will ultimately become your mini goals.
Remember that the speed at which you achieve your targets isn’t as important as setting them properly to know that you’ll actually reach them. While you may eventually want to exercise 5 times per week, starting with 1 day per week is far easier to achieve. Once you have that 1 day solidly in place, you can add a second day, and so on. Instead of rushing and overwhelming yourself or relying exclusively on the energy from the novelty of an action, focus on establishing solid habits you know you’ll keep up over time.
It’s Okay to Change Your Mini Goals
Think of your mini goals as the opportunity to learn. They’re not set in stone, they’re written in pencil. As you complete each one, look back over the experience and adjust your future steps if needed. That way, you will continually ensure that you are always proceeding in the best way and at the best rate for your long-term success. Always have a timeframe for reaching your target but allow yourself to adjust it if it becomes unrealistically easy or difficult.
Examples of Creating Short-Term Targets for Long-Term Success
Consider each of these long-term goals and how you can break them down into smaller pieces within your reach.
Long-Term Target: Daily Exercise
Mini Goal: Start with one day of exercise per week until it becomes second nature to do it. Add another day and do the same until you ultimately do different types of physical activity each day.
Long-Term Target: Weight Loss of 50 Pounds
Mini Goal: Begin by tracking your caloric intake for a week, to understand your typical eating habits. After that week, find your average daily calorie intake and reduce it by 100 calories per day. Do this for a week. The next week, reduce it by another 100 calories. Continue doing this until you’ve reduced your daily intake by 500 calories total from your original average. Use this time to discover foods you like that are filling and nutritious but that have a low calorie density. Make sure you have the best diet pills that work to keep you on track. That way, it will be easier to keep up a calorie-restricted diet over the long term, as you’ll have built the right habits over time.
Long Term Goal: Drink Less Alcohol
Mini Goal: Every week, substitute one drink that you’d usually have with a non-alcohol containing alternative of your choice. Keep doing this every week until you reach the target level of alcohol consumption.
Long Term Goal: Smarter Snacking
Mini Goal: Plan one smart snack per day to replace a food you’d rather not consume on a regular basis. For example, bring an apple to work to stop yourself from grabbing a bag of chips or candy bar from the vending machine. Keep up this habit until you’ve replaced all the snacks that work against your goals with ones that align with them.