Goals are great for helping us stay on track, but for those of us who struggle maintaining goal progress, a mini-goal is the best solution. Watch the video (transcript is at the bottom of the page). When you are done, take the self-appraisal quiz.
Exercise: Setting a Mini-Goal for the Course
It is great that you have gotten this far in the course. Now that you know something about mini-goals, it is time to put that knowledge into action. What we want you to do is to write down a mini-goal for this course for today, and then try your best to achieve it.
On a piece of paper, just write down what you want to accomplish today in this course. How many more assignments and quizzes do you want to accomplish? Then each time you work on the course, before you start write down your mini-goal for the day.
That’s all there is to setting mini-goals.
If you’re the sort of person who is always doing things at the last minute, the sort of person who needs the pull of the last minute deadline to get things done, then the mini-goal is here to the rescue. You’ve probably heard how setting goals is a very effective strategy for getting things done. Setting a goal focuses your effort because you know what it is you’re trying to work toward. It keeps us going along on on a particular path. And it rewards us with progress. If we know what our goal is, let’s say our goal is to pass 10 classes, then we know as we pass class by class that we’re making progress and that progress is rewarding. But a big goal can be daunting. It can be difficult for many of us to stay focused when the goal is so far away and requires so many different things and so much effort. Mini-goals, on the other hand, are little things. A mini-goal is something that you might set in the morning, before the day, that you want to accomplish certain things. So it might be things that only take you a half an hour or an hour. It’s not a daunting, big thing that takes days and weeks and months and even years to achieve like a college degree. Small goals are easily obtained quickly. The idea is to set a goal that could be done within the day or in some cases it might be done within a morning or within an afternoon. You can break down large goals into small chunks. So if you think in terms of a college degree, a college degree consists of a series of classes that you have to pass and each class has a number of assignments and exams. But a mini-goal is just what you need to accomplish for the day. Not the entire course not even an entire exam. A mini-goal might be something as simple as reading 5 pages for the day or doing 10 problems for the day. One of the powerful things about a mini-goal is it encourages immediate action. There’s something I need to get it done and I need to get it done today. It reduces the feeling of being overwhelmed by having so much to do. And for procrastinators, if you procrastinate on your mini-goal, it just means that you’re getting it done near the end of the day, rather than at the beginning.