Have you ever heard the phrase “there is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time”? This famous quote by Desmond Tutu is used frequently when discussing goal-setting tactics. One of the main reasons people fail to accomplish their goals is that they often set goals too big and too far into the future. It’s common for most people to write one big “goal” on a list, and do everything they can to achieve it. Others write down smaller, less time-consuming goals on a to-do list that they plan to achieve on a daily basis. Obviously, there’s no “right” goal-setting tactic – it does depend on your personality, routines, habits, and preferences. But if you want to achieve success in a shorter amount of time, you need to set goals and start small. Here’s why:
Small Wins Create Momentum and Build Confidence
Doesn’t it feel amazing to cross off the items on your daily to-do list once you’ve completed them? If you’re anything like me, you receive an immense amount of joy from taking your favorite pen and marking a task off the list. When we think about achieving a huge goal, we rarely think about the satisfaction we will receive from progress. Daily progress can boost your motivation, confidence, and excitement. Sitting down daily and creating a list of specific, simple, attainable goals is beneficial. Hold yourself accountable for meeting those. It’s important to be clear and concise about what you want to accomplish because it’s much easier to work toward a specific daily goal than it is to work towards a vague one. Enjoy those small wins and those small accomplishments, because they are pushing you forward.
Small Wins Form Habits
Have you ever told yourself “I’m going to get in shape this month!” But then you never follow through with it? That’s because you’ve created a BIG goal for yourself, without creating smaller, more attainable ones that you can complete daily, and thus turn it into a habit. Every big success is achieved through baby steps. You cannot lose ten pounds in one day. You have to work through the process daily. Be realistic with yourself. Be committed to hitting your daily goals with your goals – and bigger success will soon follow.
In an article by Psychology Today, the author discusses this famous quote and the relation is has to turning dreams into reality. People tend to fall short of achieving their goals because they try to eat the whole elephant in a single bite. Accomplishing a major task is not going to happen in a single day, a single month, or sometimes even a single year. So create those small goals, achieve those small wins, and you’ll achieve bigger success.
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