Low Goals: 7 Unexpected Advantages

Better to set a small goal and meet it than a grand goal and feel defeated.

I set a low goal for riding my stationary bike, 85 minutes a week. I reach my target If I ride five times a week for 17 minutes. Last week I rode four times but exceeded my goal.

I set a low mark to guarantee success. It helps that I’m maintaining, not riding in a race next month.

Sometimes you should aim low.

Leadership quote: Small goals you can meet take you further than grand goals that paralyze you. Image of a person choosing a small pumpkin.

7 unexpected advantages of low goals:

#1. Boost confidence.

Novices need more encouragement than pros. Set attainable goals for novices and challenge goals for experts.

Everyone needs to feel they’re making progress. Goals that can’t be reached drain enthusiasm.

#2. Surf the wave.

Momentum is a series of successful endings. Grand objectives choke momentum because they’re achieved slowly.

A series of trivial wins takes you further than attempting one ginormous leap.

Tip: Slice long-term goals into manageable bites.

Leadership quote: Momentum is a serise of successful endings. Image of a high-five.

#3. Defeat procrastination.

You put off writing college papers because they were big and distant. Then you scrambled at the end.

Achievable action today is better than an ambitious aspiration next month.

#4. Develop habits.

Aim low at the beginning. When you return to working-out, just get in the car and drive to the gym.

Read, Mini Habits: Small Habits, Bigger Results, by Stephen Guise.

#5. Lower risk.

Attainable targets are safer than BHAGs.

Better to under-deliver than over-promise.

#6. Enable consistency.

You’re inconsistent when you regularly fall short.

#7. Facilitate learning.

Inexperience finds courage to learn when ambitions are manageable. Tight deadlines create stress, and stress makes us stupid.

When is it better to reach low? Reach high?

However, sometimes trivial targets limit potential and hinder growth. Tomorrow’s post focuses on setting high goals.