Absurdly Short, Short-Term Goals

The micro is more effective than the macro.

When we feel the urge to make a goal, we often envision it as a long-term goal — a goal placed way out there into the distance. There, way into the future, is the person we want to become, the place we want to go, the thing we want to do.

If we’re really committed, we then create a habit that will get us to that imagined place.

We want to become physically healthy, so we look for and try and commit to a long-term diet.

There is nothing wrong with this way of doing things. In fact, it works for many people.

But, for many people it hasn’t worked.

We focus on long-term goals because they are safe. They don’t automatically require anything from us.

What if, instead, you spent no more than 20% of this goal-setting-energy thinking about long-term goals and 80% of this energy setting and fulfilling Absurdly Short, Short-Term Goals.

Your long-term goal might be: “I want to have a lifestyle of prayer.”

And so, your Absurdly Short, Short-Term Goal could be: “My goal is to spend 10 minutes of uninterrupted time in prayer today.”

Or, even better: “My goal is spend 10 minutes of uninterrupted time in prayer right now.”

You will fulfill that goal. You might get distracted and you might quit early, but if you try this Absurdly Short, Short-Term Goal multiple times, you will succeed.

The problem with the conventional way of doing things is that everything is about the future. Instead, take advantage of the fact that the moment when you’re thinking about a goal is the best time to fulfill it.

Instead of setting long-term goals and trying to create a long-term habit, what if you just spent a bit of time considering what you want your future to hold and then you set an Absurdly Short, Short-Term Goal?

“I want to be physically fit.” Absurdly Short, Short-Term Goal: 20 immediate push-ups.

Let the present take care of the future.

So, what is your Absurdly Short, Short-Term goal?

This is my daily project where I write about diverse ideas.

This is ‘Dose’ #5.


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