Setting Small Goals to Achieve the Bigger Ones

by Krantcents · 9 comments

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Some believe that setting a goal is a way to set yourself up for disappointment or failure. This isn’t entirely true. Unachievable goals are those that can be damaging to your self-esteem and financial stability. However, setting realistic goals in order to achieve a larger picture can make all the difference in how you approach the task. You should focus on the end result as a whole, and do what needs to be done in order to work your way up to that point.

Breaking Down the Objective - In reality, nearly every goal can be broken down into achievable segments that benefit the whole. While seeing the big picture as a single unit can make it seem overwhelming, the smaller segments could be ultimately more manageable to complete. For instance: You set a goal to have a five thousand dollars saved up for next Christmas. If you stop there, that goal could be difficult to achieve without planning. By breaking up what needs to be done by you in order to achieve that goal of five grand, you can focus on the smaller aspects that are easier to obtain. With each of these being accomplished, your ultimate goal begins to take shape.

Plan Appropriately - Each ultimate goal will be different depending on the circumstance. While certain behaviors and savings could go into the example above, losing so much weight by Thanksgiving would require a different set of tasks. Depending on what your ultimate accomplishment is, you could spend a great deal of time planning for it and setting smaller achievable units. This is good for it helps you maintain your focus on what you want to achieve. Take time to properly develop your plan of action and include tasks that are needed in order to succeed with each step.

Mind Mapping Software Works Wonders - Mind mapping applications are a great method of providing insight to what needs to be accomplished before reaching the larger objective. Applications such as Mindomo can help you work backwards so you can plan each step that needs to be accomplished before the next one can be focused on. Many of these online apps are free to use or have fair pricing schemes – all of them can be greatly useful to develop your plan of action.

Positive Reinforcement Through Pride - When you accomplish a goal, you’re filled with a feeling of pride that you were able to meet that particular need. It’s this feeling you get from success that you want to emulate throughout the entire experience. Being proud of yourself for achieving each smaller segment can help you keep focused on maintaining the momentum. The feelings you experience through success can be a great motivator.

Failures - Don’t view your failures as a negative experience. Learning from your mistakes is how you prevent them from happening again. Just attempt the goal until you succeed as you learn from each pitfall. If the goal is too difficult to achieve, break it down even further in order to develop a manageable set of situations. Failures can be discouraging, but you need to keep your focus and develop strategies for the next attempt.

Be realistic when developing your plan of action. Goals that are set too high can not only be difficult to achieve, but they can discourage you as well. You need to keep a positive frame of mind, and this is much easier if you’re able to achieve some of the progress you need for the ultimate objective. Nothing is impossible if you have a proper plan of action for achieving your dreams.

Author Bio:

This is a guest post by Liz Nelson from She is a freelance writer and blogger from Houston.

Photo by: Flickr


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Nick @ Step Away from the Mall January 21, 2014 at 5:50 am

I went really small with small goals this year. I set little daily habits I’m forming that will lead me to bigger results. Great point.

Krantcents January 21, 2014 at 6:56 am

Good for you! As you accomplish those, you can add more.

Michelle @fitisthenewpoor January 21, 2014 at 8:42 am

Do you have any specific recommendations for mind mapping apps? It sounds interesting and I would love to explore that!

Krantcents January 21, 2014 at 11:09 am

Mindomo is one example! I have used this process for more than 40 years (before apps). If you want to read a 400 page book in 4 weeks, you would need to read 100 pages per week. or approx 14-15 pages per night. It works well for savings too. If you wanted to save $400 in 4 weeks, you need to put aside $100 per week. I used this process for a long range goal of financial independence 35 years ago. My plan was to achieve independence by 40 years old. I started when I was 31 years old. I beat my goal by nearly 2 years.

Alex January 22, 2014 at 9:21 am

I’m trying to get to where I need to be through smaller steps, gather some decent savings for emergencies and a holiday for example (£2,000+). I still do get myself into a state of panic on some issues… like bills (who needs them!?).
Also the worst thing about a ‘failure’ is that feeling of a lost opportunity, being back to square one so to speak. Yet on the other side that feeling of even a minor accomplishment almost literally lifts you up. You walk taller and think bigger. Small steps until you get a longer stride.

Krantcents January 22, 2014 at 12:28 pm

I agree! Small steps provide smaller accomplishments which help us achieve bigger things. I started with very small goals trying to lose weight (35 years ago) and was motivated by success to lose more.

Untemplater January 22, 2014 at 11:57 pm

Planning is a big one. I also spend a fair amount of time prioritizing tasks which helps me complete my goals faster.

Krantcents January 23, 2014 at 7:02 am

I am big on planning, probably because I am a lifelong planner. Setting priorities is similar to setting goals. Some are more important than others!

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