Incremental Goals

Have you ever thought to yourself that it'd be nice to learn a new skill, work on a small project, or travel to a new place, but only to be held back because life gets busy? We are sure most of us ran in this conundrum, possibly multiple times on the same goal, but still nothing happens after a few years. Motivation or ideas come to us, and we are fired up about them, but as soon as motivation wears off, we're back to our normal routines. 

Ah, let's set up a system!

"We don't need motivation; we need is a system." This might sound familiar, and for the most part it makes a lot of sense to us. If the goal is to be healthier, we can create a system around us to do that - sleep 7+ hours, exercise 3+ time a week, intermittent fasting 4 times a month, join a group for accountability, etc.. But finally after we set up the process and the system, we're overwhelmed by the amount of work, and we just give up again and go back to our normal routines.

The cycle continues...

So what's the secret of those who are able to pull this off and be successful in reaching their goals? Incremental goals is the secret! Once we set a North Star, a goal, we figure out some actions we need to take to get there, now we need to set small goals each day to move things forward. If the goal is to learn how to start an eCommerce business, some major milestones could be:

  • Define the target market
  • Find the right product
  • Find good partners/suppliers
  • Work on finances
  • Set up website
  • Set up logistics
  • Start selling
  • Establish customer service flow and process
  • etc..

It sounds overwhelming when we look at the whole list, but we can slice up each milestone into smaller pieces, and we progress a little bit each day. Let's say we want to define the target market, we can think about some incremental goals to achieve these milestones. Some actions include:

  • Spend 30 minutes on Google and Youtube learning the possible markets for 3 days
  • Focus on 1 market and do detailed research on what the pain points are, how other competitors are addressing them. Do this for 3 days.
  • Find 10 people to chat about this market in 5 days and take notes
  • Analyze notes and decide on a target market in 2 days
  • Do more Google research and watch Youtube to learn from others for another 3 days to confirm decision

If we look at the incremental goals, each of them is not as daunting, and we just focus on these one day at a time. We get the sense of satisfaction when these small goals are completed, giving us the energy to work on the next small goal, and the good cycle continues.

This is how Olympians achieve their success, or how scientists figured out the structure of DNA, and how you and me and achieve our own goals. Whether you are trying to learn a new skill, work on a project, or travel to a new place, let's set milestones and incremental goals to reach a higher place together.