Life Skills

Setting Micro-Goals: Focusing on Smaller Pieces to Accomplish the Big Picture

Micro-goals are little goals within a bigger picture. Setting micro-goals help me achieve my big picture goals in more manageable pieces.

Goals. It’s important for everyone to have goals that they work towards in life. Whether they are career-related, fitness/health-centered, or just an accomplishment you want to add to your resume of life.

I love setting goals for myself, but I often find myself lost in the vastness of my goals. I set a goal, dive in head first on day one and by day five I feel totally overwhelmed and start to give up. I’ve started setting micro-goals for myself each week.

Micro-goals are little goals within a bigger picture. They help me chip away at my master to-do lists and move forward. That sense of accomplishment then drives me to keep working and check off more micro-goals each week.

setting micro-goals

Here are a few micro-goals that I have been setting lately:

Financial Micro-Goals

Rather than having a generic “big picture” goal, like saving more money, I’ve been setting micro-goals that involve my weekly spending habits. My financial micro-goal that I will be repeating week after week is to only buy ONE fancy Starbucks drink per week.

I have been spending about $30 a month on Starbucks, which is just insane when I think about it. I don’t need to buy an iced coffee every time I leave the house. Especially when I have coffee, ice, and chocolate almond milk at home. By limiting myself to one per week I should be able to save $15 to $20 per month. That’s money I can use for clothes, concerts and other fun things.

I know it’s unrealistic to just say “I’m going to stop going to Starbucks” but one drink per week is a small goal that I can easily accomplish.

Time Goals

I am truly awful at time management. Like so so bad at it. At the end of the day, once the kids are in bed, I can easily spend waste hours watching TV (mostly shows I’ve already seen) or scrolling through Instagram. That is time that I could use for more productive activities.

I’m not saying that binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy is bad, but it doesn’t make me feel happy at bedtime. I’ve been setting micro-goals regarding time management to help keep me from binging too much. I will only spend one hour each night watching television and that’s only after spending an hour on something else. I’m going to allow myself to turn the TV on while I do other things, like paint my nails, curl my hair, craft or blog.

The good thing about setting micro-goals each week is that I get to adjust them frequently, so if this plan doesn’t work I can try a different approach. I also have a few tasks to accomplish, like getting quotes to have the house power washed, so I’m going to make one call per day. Then I will have it done before I know it!

Fitness Goals

I recently joined a running accountability group which encouraged me to set the micro-goal of running once a week. I’ve been rocking that goal for the past 3 weeks, so I’m upping it to 3x.

This goal seems a little lofty, but I have been struggling on my runs week after week. I downloaded a couch to 5k app, which suggests 3 runs a week. If 3 times end up being too much, then I will just readjust back down. The picture here is to get in better shape and exercise regularly.

Any sort of exercise each week is helping me work toward that larger goal. I also need to drink more water and eat healthier, so my micro-goal is to prep lunches for the week on Sundays. Plus, I set a water goal for each day. Small, attainable goals that will help me improve my overall health and physical fitness.

Sleep Goals

I’ve been setting micro-goals related to my sleep hygiene too. I have the goal of getting into bed every night at 10 pm. I will usually read for 30-40 minutes after that, but being in bed by 10 is the goal. Also, my wake-up time every morning is 6:30. I can adjust these times each week depending on what activities we have going on, but having set bed and wake times helps me form good sleep habits.

Setting micro-goals has helped me feel more accomplished each week and less like I’m spinning my wheels. I get a huge rush of energy and joy from accomplishing my goals each week. They also help me feel like I’m working towards larger objectives, which gives me a sense of purpose.

setting micro-goals

What are some big-picture goals that you are working towards? What would be some daily or weekly micro-goals that you could set to help you get there?

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