Whether you are thinking about goals to get things done or making a difference in the world, the little things really do make a difference and they do count. It's easy to get caught up with thinking everything has to be 'big' or it isn't worth anything. Sometimes a 'big' result does develop from something little and other times lots of little things add up to make something big. Other times a little thing is just a little thing and that's okay too.
The pressure to do big things There's plenty of pressure to be 'big' and the best, to achieve great things. Sayings such as, 'Go big or go home,' suggest one should go all out with everything one does or don't bother at all..
According to American businessman, Tony Bates, 'When you set a goal, it's a personal thing, and that goal should be very big, hairy and audacious.' He makes it sound like there's no value in small goals.
There's nothing 'wrong' with having big goals and setting your aim high but small goals are worthy too. John H Johnson , founder of Johnson Publishing Company, says, 'Dream small dreams. If you make them too big, you get overwhelmed and you don't do anything. If you make small goals and accomplish them, it gives you the confidence to go on to higher goals.'
I feel Johnson makes a valid point when he suggests the possibility of being overwhelmed by a goal that is too big. You may give up, decide you are a failure and sit around moping instead of doing something.
Even if you achieve your small goal and don't set yourself a higher or bigger goal, that is fine. Achieving a small goal means you are moving forward. This is much better than striving all the time and burning yourself out.
Just ten minutes a day I was reading an article by a successful writer who said her goal is to write for ten minutes every day. She can do this even when she is unwell or caught up in intense family situations. Waiting at the doctor's or wherever she can write in a notebook for ten minutes. It doesn't matter that she doesn't have access to her computer at the time. Most days she writes for far longer than ten minutes. The small achievable goal makes her feel confident she is on top of things.
Image:Stocksnap from Pixabay
Sometimes you just need to make a start on a task or project. When I am tired and don't feel like washing all the dishes I tell myself I will just wash some of them. Having made a start and having the sink full of hot soapy water, it's not so hard really and I seem to end up doing them all.
It made a difference to that one I recall the story of an old man seeing a young boy picking up stranded starfish and throwing them back into the water at the beach. He tells the boy he can't make a difference because he won't be able to save them all. The boy, picks up another starfish and throws it back into the sea saying, 'It made a difference to that one.'
There are a number of variations on this story, sometimes the person picking up the starfish is a young girl, sometimes a boy, sometimes a man but that doesn't alter the point of the story. In some versions other people join in with the rescue mission and all the starfish are saved.
It can seem like the individual can't do much about problems in society or the environment. However, doing small things can make a difference and sometimes the example set by an individual will inspire others to follow suit.
So, whether it's a personal improvement goal such as doing some study or an environmental concern like using less plastic, small goals and small steps are important, they do count.