Have you ever set a big goal for yourself only to find you lose motivation? Setting micro-goals is a method of goal management that involves breaking down big, long-term goals into mini-goals.
Micro-goals are designed to be even more achievable than short-term goals, giving you a little boost of motivation each time you reach one. For example, if you have a ten-page paper due by the end of the month, a short-term goal would be to have five pages done by next week. But a micro-goal would be to write just one page today.
The best part? Setting micro-goals leads to greater overall success than trudging blindly toward a single large goal.
Do you only give yourself credit when you finish a big project or reach a long-term goal? You may wind up feeling disappointed when the final result still feels far away.
Large-scale achievements are wonderful, but they’re also somewhat rare. However, small wins can still boost our morale tremendously — and that’s the beauty of micro-goals.
Long-term goals force you to always be looking ahead. Micro-goals help you stay grounded in the present. Achieving them allows you to keep your momentum going.
There are tons of benefits to micro-goal setting. These are just a few:
Even small rewards increase motivation and inspire people to keep working towards a larger goal. Why are these little rewards so effective? The answer lies in dopamine.
Dopamine is often called the “feel-good” neurotransmitter. Our brains release it when we achieve goals, among other things. It boosts mood, motivation and attention, helping you to stay on track.
If you’re studying to pursue a career in healthcare, you may have already given a great deal of thought to what your ideal work-life balance might look like. But have you thought about your inner work life?
Inner work life is the constant flow of emotions that people experience each day as they work. The best way to keep those feelings positive is to make progress — any progress at all.
Setting micro-goals can actually make you more productive — and not just when it comes to your long-term goals. The simple act of micro-goal setting changes your whole mindset. After a while, all of your tasks — whether daily or novel — start to feel more manageable.
Whether you’re studying for a final, writing a paper or preparing for a presentation, micro-goals can help you forge a clear path to your macro-goal. Here’s how to set them:
Have you ever tried to set a goal that ended up being too vague to reach? Try SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Based. Setting goals this way will make them more concrete and manageable.
Set a long-term goal and the date you’d like to achieve it by. Then break it into tiny steps that lead to the final result. Make a to-do list each day that includes your super-specific micro-goals.
Every time you achieve a micro-goal, reward yourself. Whether you give yourself a pat on the back or a piece of chocolate, celebrate — you’ve earned it!