We often put worthy goals off because they seem overwhelming. Experts will often tell you to write your goals down, however huge goals like “find a better job”, or “clean the house” often lead to procrastination because we don’t want to start, or don’t know where to start.
The trick is to instead break the goal down into “mini-goals”. You don’t need to initially break it down into every little step, however at least figure out the first few steps you could do, and make those your goals. For example, if your goal is to get a better job, your mini-goals might be “update my resume”, “search the classifieds”, and “find some tips on interviews”. Write these mini-goals down using whatever system you use, such as a planner, notepad, or software such as My Life Planner. Be sure each one is something you can actually do, and without a huge amount of effort or time.
When you set mini-goals, you’ll be much more inclined to move forward towards your larger goal, as they aren’t as intimidating, and can be knocked off fairly easily. In fact, you might find yourself quickly moving on to the next mini-goal as your progress drives further motivation. As you complete them, be sure to jot down new mini-goals, so you always have something further to do. Your productivity and satisfaction will rise if you can always keep some new mini-goals on your list.
You may ask about prioritizing your goals. It’s important to prioritize goals, however you should use caution that one goal doesn’t prohibit progress on other ones. Another benefit of mini-goals is you can intermix mini-goals that are tied to completely different major goals, and keep moving forward on more than one without becoming overwhelmed. If working with a large number of mini-goals, you should try and categorize them. On paper this can be done by writing a major heading with bullets under it, or utilize software such as linked above which supports custom grouping of tasks.
Thursday, September 28th, 2006