How Tiny Steps Turn Into Big Wins

How Tiny Steps Turn Into Big Wins

What sounds like a more manageable goal?

“I’m not going to lose 50 pounds this year” or “I’m going to eat at least two servings of vegetables each day this week?”

I don’t know about you, but to me the thought of eating a couple of servings of veggies each day for the next seven days sounds way, way more doable than the possibly overwhelming goal of losing 50 pounds.

Set smaller goals

In other words, instead of setting huge goals with no plan in place, set smaller, easier goals that will get you to the same destination, but with a lot more mini-wins in the meantime. Here’s how to get started.

Think about the big goal you want to achieve (eat healthier, get your blood sugar down, exercise regularly) and write it down.

How to turn small goals into big wins

Got it? Okay, good, now break it down into teeny, tiny steps, things that you can focus on for a day or a week or a month.

For instance, if your overall goal is to exercise five times a week, but right now your sneakers are sitting under an inch of dust and your workout DVDs and free weights are in storage somewhere, your list of manageable steps might be:

  • Buy new sneakers
  • Buy two sets of workout clothes
  • Buy a pedometer
  • Buy one new exercise DVD
  • Vacuum dust off of free weights

Those goals are totally doable, right? Now that you have them written down, pick a day or week to take care of them. “I’ll buy new sneakers tomorrow,” you might say. And then you’d write it on your calendar, if need be, then check it off your list when you’ve completed it.

As you work through your list of mini-steps, keep adding new, more challenging items to the list. In the example we’re working with, you’ve gotten all of your pre-workout ducks in a row, so now it’s time to actually exercise.

Again, break down the steps into manageable ones with which you really will be able to follow through. “Walk for 15 minutes on my lunch break twice this week” might be a good place to start, and maybe the next week it’s “Walk for 15 minutes on my lunch break three times this week, plus do one set of push-ups one day after work.”

Don’t get bogged down with the idea that these small steps aren’t enough: They’re leading you to something bigger and better, and each time you achieve a goal, even if it doesn’t seem like much to you, you’re actually proving to yourself that you can make changes.


Just keep following the steps:

  1. Write down (or reassess) your overall goal
  2. Come up with a list of small steps you can take to work toward that goal
  3. Make a plan for when you’ll achieve each of these steps
  4. Cross it off your list and congratulate yourself each time you complete a step
  5. Repeat over and over until you’ve reached your goal!

Remember that it’s better to take one small action toward your dream each day or week than to get so overwhelmed by how big your goal is that you give up completely. Good luck!

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy. We never sell or share your email address.

More on this topic

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.