Teeny Tiny Short-Term Goals for the Long-Term Win!

If you keep writing the same goals down every year, feeling more discouraged each year when you realize nothing seems to have changed, keep reading!

white and gray kitten walking towards camera in the grass

There's a saying: "We tend to overestimate what we can accomplish in a year and underestimate what we can do in five."

I know I’ve done this.

What about you?

At my core, I’m a big dreamer: optimistic, hopeful and I believe that anything can happen!

And with that comes some pretty big goals.

I’ve heard throughout the years that

"Instead of setting large goals, it’s better and more productive to set small ones."

When I first read that, every cell in me rejected it.

😂 Ha ha!

six teeny kittens on a white background

I like to "Go Big Or Go Home."

And this goes for many aspects of my life, in addition to goal-setting:

  • order both the flourless chocolate cake AND strawberry pie (for all to share of course 😁)
  • have one large centerpiece of flowers at the party AND little vases everywhere else AND a small dried flower on top of the party favor guests get to leave with
  • use wrapping paper with glitter accents AND glittery ribbon AND a little glittery bauble tied to the already-glittery ribbon!

You get the picture.

I love creating visually and emotionally beautiful experiences for people.

I really do.

But when it comes to goals...

...as I learn to let go, and ease up a bit...

...I’m discovering:

There's a deep wisdom in setting goals that are not just small, but extra small: teeny tiny.

orange tabby kittens

These little crumbs of treats lead straight to the big win that your heart has been dreaming of.

Let’s take weight loss as an example, since this is a popular goal for many at the start of the year.

Say your long-term goal is to lose 20 pounds and in order to do this, you set up the daily short-term goal to walk for 60 minutes. Just writing that, I’m like, “ugh, I don't have one hour!...and every single day???”

Although you may be able to stick with this for a few days or even a few weeks, for many, this is not a sustainable daily goal and eventually, you’ll miss a day and then just stop altogether.

Another thing that happens when short-term goals are too big: resistance. Thinking of the day and knowing you have to be 'exercising' for an hour, resistance can come up: “Oh, I don’t have time” or “Hmmm…when can I fit this in?

And then it just doesn’t happen.

But watch what happens when we turn one hour into a teeny tiny goal of ten minutes, or even five! (Go Small Or Go Home!) One of the first things that comes up for me is, “I can do this!” because 5 or 10 minutes is easier to 'find' or 'do' than 60.

When we have that attitude towards our daily short-term goals, resistance goes away, because you know you can do it!

But look what else happens:

white and gray kitten in grass

A motivation loop in your brain

When you achieve your goal, you show yourself that you do what you say you’re going to do. And this increases your self-efficacy: your belief in your ability to succeed! With this momentum, you could easily find yourself doing an extra 5 or 10 minutes just because now you want to, not because you have to.

And now here comes a bonus.

Remember that I initially rejected the idea of setting teeny tiny goals because they didn’t feel exciting enough. 

But when I forced myself to Go Small...

I experienced more confidence, more calm (less anxiety about trying to achieve the whopper goals), and ultimately, more happiness!

It’s not actually achieving our goals that make us happy, but progress towards them.

orange tabby kitten in red bandana

Accomplishing our daily teeny tiny short-term goals helps us to feel progress every single day.

And that's what ultimately creates the sustainability and confidence to stick with it for the long-term win!

The little things are the big things.

How can you break down your current goals into teeny tiny daily ones or if you already have teeny tiny goals, what are they? Tell us in the comments!

With Love and Above,

💌Love Note: One of my current teeny tiny short-term goals is to just get the toothbrush in Bear’s mouth for a few seconds every day for a long-term win of daily brushing.

💌Another Love Note: My partner, Toast and I, recorded a podcast episode about Teeny Tiny Goals. 🎧 You can listen using the audio player below, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published