Why Small Steps are the Key to Reaching Our Goals

accountability goal setting personal development professional development Oct 19, 2020


Our goals can feel unattainable at times. There is so much to do, we don’t know where to start - all of these things can paralyze us and prevent us from taking any action at all. Many times we feel like we need to jump in 110% and change everything about our lives to reach our goals. That can scare many of us off from ever trying to reach them. 

The key to realizing your goals is in the small stuff - it’s what you are doing in those 10-20 extra minutes that others are not. Sweeping lifestyle change isn’t always required to reach our goals. Being consistent about the small stuff is where the real progress is made. 

Instead of starting the next episode on that Netflix show or playing video games for another hour, grab your laptop, jump on LinkedIn and spend 30 minutes researching relevant people in your industry who you admire and would like to connect with. The next day, take 30 minutes to reach out to them and ask to connect on a call. Then take 30 minutes to jump on the phone with them. Then take 5 minutes to follow up with them and thank them. That’s progress.

The small stuff seems so trivial that we think it can wait until later. People often say, “oh that will take 5 minutes, I’ll do that tomorrow.” And we all know how that goes - we could be saying that for weeks. If we block out a 30 minute window of time where we can knock out the small stuff, we can make a lot more progress than trying to find a full day where we can do it all. 

We’ve talked about routines before - routines are built off consistency. The things we do over and over again are the things we improve on, the things we master. So why don’t we make time to consistently work towards our goals? Start to break down your goals into bite sized chunks. For example, if you want to get a job in sports tech, you’ll need to research the big players in the industry, network with some folks who already work in the space and start to brush up on your skills. 

If you are trying to do this all at once, you’d need multiple days of open and available time to devote to this task. Instead, break those three main tasks into smaller pieces. Each day, spend 30 minutes researching the big players and reading sports tech news. Each day, spend 15 minutes making intentional connections with people working in sports tech. And each week, join an online class or webinar for 1 hour to brush up on your skills. That is progress. 

We have to remember that reaching our goals requires discipline, consistency and focus. But that does not mean we have to be actively working towards our goals 24/7. We have to be realistic about the time we have to put towards our goals, or we’ll never actually start working towards them! 

So the next time a goal seems overwhelming or impossible to reach, take a moment to pause. Look at the available time you have in your schedule to achieve your goals. Break down the necessary steps into chunks that you can accomplish on a daily or weekly basis. Small steps develop into the habits of success that we need to stay on track.