One of my favourite studies demonstrates how powerful small goals are was conducted by professors at Dominican University of California.
They asked a group of high school students to write down their plans for their future study and achievement. Half were told to simply list some goals, while others were told to create SMART objectives (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound). The results were striking: 68% of those who created SMART objectives ended up achieving those goals compared with only 13% of non-SMART goal setters. More importantly, almost three times as many students who made their goals SMART went on to attend a four-year college or university.
If you want to get ahead professionally, set small goals for yourself and treat them like appointments. Allocate the time in your diary for these tasks.
It can be something as simple as sending a weekly email or attending a weekly meeting. Once you get into a routine, it becomes easier and easier. Small goals can also act as motivators since they only take minutes (or even seconds) to accomplish. Each time you check off a goal, your confidence builds—which motivates you to do more next time around!
Setting a goal releases the neurotransmitter dopamine which motivates you to take action. According to a study dopamine not only spikes when you set a goal for yourself but also when you are close to achieving the goal. The bigger the reward, the more powerful the spike.
Now apply this concept at a larger scale—and don’t stop until your dream is reached! Remember, a goal without a plan is only a dream. Set the goals, make plans and crush your dreams!