While it’s great to have an ambitious goal to aim for, if you spend too much time contemplating the huge distance between where you stand now and where you want to get to, there’s a pretty good risk that you’ll never get started on it.
–Hannah Martin and Kary Fisher
The idea of chunks is important in goal-setting too. A nice “gooey” goal can be inspiring, but it can also be overwhelming if the task seems too big to accomplish. One way to be sure the goal is do-able is to chunk it into smaller pieces.
There is a great deal of online advice about chunking goals. It is an important consideration for everyone from book authors to project managers to working mothers. Here are some helpful suggestions (check out the links below for even more advice).
- Start with your end goal. Focus on the big picture and identify the key things that need to happen. Keep breaking these down into smaller sub-goals until you can create timelines and action steps. Pat Brans called these chunks “CRUMBBs” – “Clearly Recognizable Units that are Meaningful Building Blocks” toward the overall goal.
- Visualize the goals. Draw a picture or a mind map of your goal and what you want to accomplish. Allow yourself to be creative when thinking of options and looking for patterns.
- Plan your strategy. What do you need to learn in order to accomplish your goal? What data do you need? Share your goal with trusted friends or colleagues – or with others who have successfully accomplished a similar goal – and gather advice about how to chunk it down.
- Build a timeline and set milestones. What needs to happen, in what order? How much time will each step take? Are there any preliminary steps you need to take before getting started? Set achievable milestones, and don’t forget to reward yourself when you achieve them.
- Focus on the next step. Don’t become overwhelmed by huge goals that seem far away and intimidating. Think about what you have accomplished so far and what you can do next.
Creating smaller steps can help you remain confident about meeting your goal and prevent you from being overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done. Dive into that “gooey” goal and enjoy the chunks!
Dee Anne Bonebright
Pat Brans, Pearson Que – Cutting a Monster Project Down to a Manageable Size
Lewis Howes, Forbes – Why Thinking Small is the Secret to Big Success
Hannah Martin and Kary Fisher, the Talented Ladies Club – How to Chunk Big Goals Down into Achievable Steps