The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to have a list of goals you’d like to achieve.

But often we think that these should be big goals that will see our business catapulting into six figures by December 31st, which if we’re honest, simply aren’t realistic. Not to say your business couldn’t necessarily earn you a six figure salary, but that’s a huge goal that would require a lot of multiple-stage planning to achieve.

Setting small goals on the other hand, are like stepping stones. These are the goals that will help you reach that ultimate ‘end goal’ whilst keeping you motivated, enthused and enjoying what you do.

In other words, these are highly achievable – fast – goals.

So how do you go about setting these smaller goals?

1. Start by writing down your ultimate goal.

If it’s to be earning say £50k by the end of the year, think about the ways in which you could achieve that and write those down.

For example – increase your hourly rate, create packages, increase your client base, specialise in a skill or industry, etc.

2. Then start writing down the smaller goals that will help you achieve each one of those steps.

For example, to increase your hourly rate you’ll need to explain your rate increase and give your existing clients a notice period.

But that’s one small step that’s highly achievable. Fast.

3. Continue doing this for each of the tasks within your ultimate goal, and eventually you’ll have a list of smaller goals that you can start working on and ticking off.

And with every small goal you tick off, it’s proven that psychologically you’ll believe in your own ability to accomplish those bigger goals even more.

This is the way the brain works.

Success releases a chemical called dopamine – a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centres. Each time you celebrate a win by ticking off a goal, your brain releases dopamine and you enjoy the feeling it gives. And like any chemical, it’s addictive. You want more. So you’re inspired to re-create that feeling by ticking off another goal. And another.

And with every success, comes the realisation that you are competent and fully able to achieve that ultimate end goal.

Making it within grasp.

So if you’ve been wondering why you get to the end of each year not having achieved that year’s objective, ask yourself is it because you set big goals without breaking them down to outline how you would get there?

If so, it’s time to change your mindset.

Start afresh by creating a list of all the small steps you need to take to reach your ‘end goal’, add a deadline for each and start working your way through them.

Start small to achieve more.