Why I’m Thinking Small This Year With Micro-Goals

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What do you mean, micro goals?

I’ve always been a big picture person and I have major dreams I want to achieve in my life. But by looking at the end goal, I’ve never been able to get to it because I wasn’t focusing on the everyday steps that would get me there. This is why I’m thinking small for 2020 with micro goals.

I’m focusing on micro-goals, what will happen today, this week, this month only. From saving money, to working out 4-5 times a week, to taking guitar lessons, to building a consistent routine. I’m doing the micro-goals, so I don’t get so carried away and overwhelmed by my grandiose end goals, as well as allowing myself to find happiness in today, this moment.

For years, I’ve been trying to grow trees without any roots. Reaching for the stars without taking the stairs.

Why Thinking Big Can Be a Detriment

I’ve wanted to be up in the stars without the work, but that’s not how it works. Wanting to rush the process takes the living out of life. And I have learned the hard way that life is about the process, not the victory. Take it from Taylor Swift, in her Miss Americana documentary, when she won her 2nd Album of the Year Grammy at the age of 26, she realized that was everything she had been working for, and now what? She had no one to call and enjoy it with. She had climbed the mountain twice and won, and…it almost seemed like her pursuit was such a blind sprint, that she experienced it just to realize how lonely she was.

We go for these goals with such bloodthirsty urgency thinking that is when we’ll truly be happy. But what if we found happiness in the pursuit? The mundane? The everyday grind? I’m deciding to slow down and take it all in for once, the sucky moments too.

“Most of your time is spent being dead or not yet born. But while alive, you wait in vain, wasting years, for a phone call or a letter or a look from someone or something to make it all right. And it never comes or it seems to but doesn’t really. And so you spend your time in vague regret or vaguer hope for something good to come along. Something to make you feel connected, to make you feel whole, to make you feel loved.”

Charlie Kaufman, Synecdoche, New York: The Shooting Script


The big moments in life are exciting and what we seem to hold on for. I’ve been doing that for my entire life. Look back on your life though. Don’t the small, insignificant moments seem to have a heavier meaning to you?

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Related:How to Be Present in a Fast-Paced World

Tips for Creating Your Micro-Goals:

  1. Get into the present moment by listening to a song that centers you or meditate on the Insight Timer app.
  2. Write it out! Get a blank piece of paper, or write in your journal. Write the big goals you want to achieve in your life. What do you want right now? What do you want in three months?
  3. Narrow what you want down to what you can manage this week and this month.
  4. Write and organize what needs to be done weekly and monthly by urgency and importance. (I suggest getting a planner to help you stay on track.)
  5. Get a good dopamine kick by using a downloadable habit tracker to stay consistent and watch the checkmarks add up.
  6. Add in rewards to incentivize yourself to keep going, whether that’s seeing a movie, getting your nails done, buying ice cream, etc. Whatever motivates you.
  7. Set deadlines for yourself to check back in and see progress. Nothing motivates me like a deadline.
  8. Once you hit these micro goals, you can move on to the next tier of micro-goals in your process, while also continuing with your long-run goals, like saving money or eating clean.


What Thinking Small Looks Like:

Instead of focusing on what I want my body to look like, I’m going to consistently work out and eat relatively clean.

I’m not going to stress about the thousands of dollars I want in my bank account, I’m just going to make the money I need to pay off bills and start saving, plus a little extra for fun.

I’m not going to daydream about singing on stage, I’m going to practice guitar and singing and writing songs everyday.

For anything, I will put the large scale goal in the distance, and break it down to what I can do now to get there eventually.

For once in my life, I’m thinking small. Because I want to enjoy my life now. Because starting small is how I will actually get to the big goals. I feel like it’s a matter of putting your head down and being present in the every day achievements you’re making. It’s about accepting where you are and loving where you are while you work on your growth. And, with time, you will get to where you’re going.



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