The Rise of the Mini-Goal ✨
By establishing a mini-goal, you are politely saying "it's not that serious" to your goals. Mini-goals are something I learned about a few years ago when I was feeling defeated trying to stick to my goals. Do your goals ever seem too lofty? You can see the end goal but have no idea how you will achieve it. That is where I was right when I got out of college. It felt like even though I bought all of the books, wrote in productivity journals, and listened to motivational podcasts, I couldn't stick to anything! I couldn't see the smaller goal.
One day, when I was listening to one of those pesky podcasts, a very doable idea came across my ears. The speaker said, "If you want to get back into a fitness routine just put your tennis shoes on in the morning."
As I listened, I laughed to myself thinking "Put my tennis shoes on?...and what..stand there?"
The idea was, the speaker said, that if you put on your tennis shoes, your next reaction will likely be to workout. If it wasn't, you took your shoes off in a half an hour and tried again tomorrow.
I thought it was absurd, but I decided I would give it a try. I put on my Nike's the next morning at 6 am and lo and behold, I did feel like working out. It started innocently enough; one jumping jack turned into 50. One morning turned into another morning. About two months later I was doing full-fledged soul-crushing 6 am workouts. Very odd for a person who is a self-proclaimed lounge lizard.
So, I put the theory to the test in other ways. Would it work with my money? I decided to start even smaller on this one because I didn't want to feel financially trapped if there was an emergency. My new, pettily salary out of college would not have allowed any room for financial mistakes.
My mini-goal for my money was money into a savings account when I had the urge to buy an unnecessary item. So, instead of purchasing that $70 item I didn't need I would leave it on the hanger and move that money into my savings account.
The theory worked again. By holding myself accountable to just one mini-goal, instead of a full slew of behaviors, I realized I liked the feeling of keeping that money in my bank account. I started looking at my other spending items the same way. Did I need them? Would I be happier if I had the money in the bank instead? Three months later I had accumulated over $2,000 saving on stuff I would have bought anyway. I was astounded.
Today, when a new goal comes my way I sometimes feel like going back to my old way of doing things. I will say things to myself like "Go at it full force! Cut it out of your life! Commit to it! Willpower will do it!" But I know these are just lies and I remember how my mini-goal was the only thing that got me to the result I desired most.
My challenge for you is to address a mini-goal that is realistic for your life. Your problem may not be unnecessary shopping items; maybe it is eating out, or too many happy hours. Decide what your financial mini-goal should be and start enacting it today. Mini-goals should be digestible and easy to follow. No matter what your resolution might be, don't overwhelm yourself. You're doing just fine.
Try putting on your tennis shoes. You never know where you may end up.