The Tiny Secret to Achieving Big Goals

Alright, you did your best on your goals last year. You took some time to review your goals from 2009 and hashed out what worked and what didn’t. Ideally, you used your goal review to create your goals for 2010.

Now, are you ready to know the “secret” to actually achieving your big goals?

Do a little bit, (almost) every day.

And I use (almost) because there will be a day here and there when you just can’t, and that’s OK. The point is to emphasize that you’re working on it more often than you aren’t.

Really? That’s it, you ask?

Yes, it is that simple.

“What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” — Jim Rohn, American author, movitational speaker and entrepreneur 

If you have multiple goals like me, set up a goal hierarchy. Pick one to three “ultimate goals” for 2010. Work a little bit on these ultimate goals every day.

If you have time left over at the day’s end to put toward your other goals, by all means, go for it! Chances are though, that you have a life, and your hours outside of work, family/friends and chores are a precious few. So, committing to these select ultimate goals is a commendable undertaking.

Last year, my ultimate goals were:

  1. Plan and pull off our dream wedding and honeymoon and enjoy the process of making it happen.
  2. Pay off any wedding debt incurred by the end of the year.

Almost every day, I researched wedding items or reviewed my checklist on The Knot. By doing so, I knew exactly how much we were spending and when as well as how much debt we would have after the wedding and honeymoon and how long it would take to pay off. Plus, once I signed up with the wonderful, free Mint.com, I’ve been able to keep track of where every penny is spent since.

This year my ultimate goals are:

  1. Get at least a “B” or above in all my MBA classes. Read my MBA advice and tips.
  2. Acquire at least double the readership of this year for Tenacious Me.

Already, I’ve worked just a little bit on Tenacious Me every day. Sometimes I spend more, especially when I write and publish my posts. But if I really want to see big results, I need to carve out and devote a little bit of time every day. School hasn’t started yet, but I learned as an undergraduate that it is definitely better to study a little bit every day than cram at the last minute. (Although I almost always chose the latter.)

Even though I’m using this method for my ultimate goals, I also tried to incorporate it into my other goals. For example, one of my goals is to continue the habit of cleaning for just 10 minutes every morning before work.

It’s also the inspiration behind my mini-journaling resolution. I was bummed to discover that I wrote only a handful of diary entries last year, and I knew it was because I felt as if I never had time. So this year, I said, “OK, just do one paragraph almost every day.” I haven’t missed a day yet, and it’s taken all the pressure off writing.

I know my friend Jennifer Blanchard, creator of Procrastinating Writers, is a big fan of this approach. She even has a tool to help you write every day. So is Ariane de Bonvoisin, creator of First30Days.com. She uses the metaphor of the woodpecker that pecks away at a tree little by little every day until the tree topples.

Get pecking!

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it with others. Thanks!

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This entry was posted in Financial Goals, Goals, Habits, MBA Goals, Productivity Goals, Wedding Goals, Writing Goals and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Tiny Secret to Achieving Big Goals

  1. yes! this is awesome advice! doing a little bit at a time makes any goal less overwhelming, which also makes it more likely that you’ll stick with it.

  2. Laura Lee Bloor says:

    Exactly! Thanks for the feedback, Jennifer! I know it’s worked well for you with your writing goals.

  3. Joanne says:

    Great advice to tackle a little at a time. Sometimes if we only look toward the end result, it looks too overwhelming and we stop trying. One day at a time …

  4. Laura Lee Bloor says:

    Thanks so much, Joanne! Yes, I think it’s much less stressful to have an overall big picture in mind, but to focus on one day at a time to achieve the “big goal.”

  5. Eric says:

    I like this. And it’s true, what is easy to do is also easy not to do.

    Figure out what you want to achieve and what it’s going to take to achieve it. Then work just a little bit each day on something and before you know it, you’ll have it and can go on to the next big thing.

    Great article. 🙂

  6. Laura Lee Bloor says:

    Thanks, Eric! Yes, the easy things definitely take a lot of dedication. Just keep plugging away a little at a time, and you’ll be amazed at what you accomplish over the longrun!

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