Big Goals versus Little Goals

Some people like big goals – I’m a big goals gal – the bigger and wilder the better. Yet others advocate for small achievable goals.

In fact, I recently read an article that suggested that people do better with small goals rather than large ones. They get to reward themselves more frequently, and actually get an enorphin release that promotes recurrence. Small goals are meant to be achievable: “Complete three workouts this week” for example.

But what they might lack is purpose. Why bother? So what if you don’t? These Little Goals might fail to provide sufficient drive to complete those three workouts, or at least complete them with enough energy to be a challenge. And they most likely will lack in direction.

Perhaps the difference between Big Goals and Little Goals is more an issue of semantics. Perhaps the Big Goal would be better called a Vision, or Purpose. And the Little Goals are the stepping stones to achieving that Vision or Purpose.

A Vision should be a powerful motivator. I see it as a picture of your best-self. It should provide excitement, direction and focus for all the steps you must take to get there. And if those little steps are set as Goals – they are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and have a deadline – well then there should be very little standing between you and your Vision.

What does that picture of your best self look like?


2 responses to “Big Goals versus Little Goals

  1. That’s a nice question!

    My vision of my Best Self is very balanced. I eat well and enjoy my food, but I also sometimes indulge. I exercise and keep fit, but it doesn’t eat up all my free time. I spend time with friends, but I also take joy in spending time alone.

    So … I tend a be a little-goal person. The big goal is kinda fuzzy, but as long as keep learning new stuff and getting into better shape and feeling stronger and healthier every year, I know I’m on the right track to whatever goal I finally settle on.

  2. Yes, my Best-Self picture is also a little fuzzy and taking shape, but without it, I wouldn’t exercise. I wouldn’t even try!

    There have been times in my life when that Vision has been crystal clear; so specific and focused, I could imagine my daily ritual down to the breakfast I would eat and the route I would take to work. Now, it’s in flux again, due to the end of the Blackwood and the formation of a new Big Goal. But to define my Best-Self, well, being an endurance athlete clearly factors in there for me 🙂

    Balanced, calm, strong, and successful are also critical parts of my Best-Self. ‘Successful’ is a key component right now, and thus those big crazy goals… those targets to tell me if I am, in fact, being successful!

    There is change in the air, and it’s not just the time of year, but it seems that the Universe has been sending me a message and it’s time to plan for a change, to start MAKING the change, rather than waiting for it, so I think I am going to have to get MUCH more specific about my Best-Self Vision… right down to where and how I live.

    So much to ponder!

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