Setting Small Daily Goals

By Maisha Ahmed

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NY Project Hope is a crisis counseling program that provides support and resources to help people cope with the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic

Usually when it comes to setting goals for oneself, most people tend to think in long term aspects. Some might want to lose 100 pounds by the end of the year. Others dream of working in the luxurious district of Wall Street and living a glamorous life. Having long-term goals is important in the sense that it gives us a meaning or purpose in life. However, it’s easy to lose sight of what we want to or fail to achieve our goals if we only think in future terms.

1. Consistency – When thinking about long term goals, sometimes we tend to forget that just thinking about the future is not enough; we need to take actions in the present day and slowly work towards our goal. By being consistent and writing down small goals every day, we are keeping track of our progress. It’s a reminder to focus on what’s important and keep help you from getting distracted. As they say, consistency is the key to success.

2. Constant Motivation – Setting daily goals is a good way to keep yourself motivated. When reviewing goals on a daily basis, you are proving that you are committed. Sometimes our goals might be too large and, since we naturally desire instant gratification, if we don’t seem to get what we want at the moment, it’s easy to give up. However, when you have small goals, easier to get it done and have a feeling of satisfaction that will keep you wanting more. For example, when it comes to weight loss, a person might want to lose 100 pounds by the end of the year. But often, when they don’t see the progress at the rate that they want, they are more likely to give up. That’s why smaller steps are so important. If daily they decide to eat at least 2 healthy meals a day or exercise for 30 minutes and set a goal of losing 2 pounds a week, they are more likely to see results and thus keep going on their weight loss journey.

3. Developing a Structure to Avoid Procrastination – Let’s face it: most of us, even those who generally consider themselves having good focus while working on tasks, are prone to procrastinate once in a while. What’s great about setting small daily goals is that it creates structure and implements a plan that can help avoid procrastination and further delay your goals.

How to Set Up Small Daily Goals (And Stick to It)

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1. Write it down somewhere – Whether it’s a journal, small notepads, or even apps, it’s important to write it down in one place that you know you will check consistently. For example, I always wrote down my goals on the note app on my phone because I constantly use my phone all the time. There’s nothing better than the feeling of crossing off something that you are supposed to do during the day. You might even want to consider what part of the day you’d like to write down your goals. Some people prefer morning but I enjoy writing it the night before.

2. Decide how many goals you want to achieve per day – Make sure you don’t overwhelm yourself trying to accomplish twenty goals per day. When we do not meet the expectations that we set up for ourselves, it’s natural to be disappointed and wanting to give up. Set up the number of goals you think is possible for you.

3. Set up reminders or deadlines – It might be helpful to dedicate certain hours of the day to achieving your goals. For example, you can set up an alarm for 10am to make your bed. Or perhaps you’re trying to fix your schedule and you set up an alarm for 9pm, where you turn of all electronics and find ways to relax until you fall asleep.

Remember, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or if you need help with coping with your stress, the Crisis Counselors for NY Project Hope at Independent Living are always available to help. Sometimes it can be helpful to talk to someone you don’t know! Want to know more about how we can help? Give us a call at 845-762-2275. Talking to us is always free, anonymous, and confidential.

Maisha Ahmed is a crisis counselor from Independent Living, Inc. working on with the NY Project Hope program. 

References and Further Reading