There’s nothing wrong with a big goal – but on a day to day basis, that big goal needs to translate into little steps. Instead of setting yourself an ideal target for each day, try setting a minimum target.
This should be something you can easily complete – no excuses!
- Over-Ambitious Targets Don’t Work
Although big, challenging targets might seem like the best way to make fast progress, they often won’t work. For instance, if you tell yourself you need to work out for an hour every day, as soon as a few busy days come up, you’ll end up skipping the gym completely.
If your targets are too ambitious, you might go for days or weeks without making any progress at all towards your goal.
Try it: Look at some of the goals in your life right now. Are there any which you’ve let slide, because your targets were too ambitious? What new target could you set yourself?
- Minimum Targets Help Build a Daily Habit
You don’t necessarily have to work towards your goal every single day – but when you’re getting started and building new habits, daily action is often a great way to create momentum.
With a minimum target, it’s easy to build up a string of daily successes – meaning you’ll be more likely to hit that target again the following day. After all, if you’ve successfully done 15 minutes exercise for 10 days, you don’t want to break the streak just because you’re feeling a bit lazy on Day 11.
Try it: Put a check mark on your calendar for every day that you achieve your minimum target. See how long you can make the string of successes.
- Small Amounts of Time Add Up
You might think that 15 minutes a day isn’t enough to make meaningful progress towards a goal. If you’re aiming to write a book, for instance, you might only complete one or two paragraphs in 15 minutes.
Those 15 minutes quickly add up, though. If you write for 15 minutes every day for a month, you’ll have worked on your book for 7.5 hours – about the same as a full workday.
Try it: Work out what you’d accomplish this month if you hit your minimum target every day. There’s a good chance this might be more action towards your goal than you managed in the previous month.
- You Can Do More Than the Minimum!
One of the key reasons to adopt a minimum target, of course, is that it’s a minimum. There’s nothing stopping you going further – and, in fact, there’s a good chance that you will have the time and energy to do more than your daily 10 or 15 minutes.
Often, the hardest part of working towards a goal is simply sitting down and getting started. When you know you only need to do 15 minutes, not a whole hour, it’s much easier to get going. (And the funny thing is that you may well end up doing that whole hour after all…)
Try it: On days when you’re struggling, it’s absolutely fine to just do the minimum. On a good day, though, try doing a little extra – perhaps 5 or 10 minutes more.