The benefits of small goals- 3 mins
Small goals are cool
Settings goals is important if you want to achieve particular things in your life. I feel like we often set goals that are just too big for us and I realized the other day that small goals are important. Maybe more than we initially think.
Let me tell you a small story first to illustrate what I want to talk about.
Step by step (The little story)
I have a very sedentary lifestyle, so I wanted to walk more. Outside of going to the gym, I don’t move much. I don’t have to commute as I work from home, so on a “normal” day, I do 1000-4000 steps maximum. It’s not enough, so I initially I set a goal of 10000 steps.
As a daily goal, that number is too high. If I achieve 4000 steps without specifically trying to walk, I still have to do 6000 steps! That’s probably a 30 mins walk. On the other end, when I go outside to walk, for a hike or something, I easily do 10000 steps. As it is, the goal is useless. It’s either too far from where I am, or easily reached without thinking about it.
So, I decided to reduce the goal to 6000 steps per day. When I go for a hike, I will easily reach that and I’ll probably do more than 10000. But on the other days… The days where I work a lot and I don’t feel like going out, the goal is now much closer. Instead of a 30 min walk to achieve the goal, I maybe have to do only 15 minutes.
The important thing here, is that overall, I will walk more. Yes, I lowered my expectations and yes, 6000 steps is maybe quite low for lots of you. But thanks to that, I’m now much more motivated to move and reach the goal, because it feels attainable.
This helps building a habit, and I hope that after some time, I’ll be able to do more than that.
This is a small example but I think it helps understand why small goals are important.
- Easier to achieve: Small goals are achievable. You can easily tackle them. They require a small amount of time or energy, but they can have a positive effect on your life when done often. It’s better to achieve something small than to only dream about something big.
- Momentum: You start small, you get into the habit, and then you increase. It’s much easier to build momentum by starting small. If you keep the momentum going, you increase the load.
- Accomplishment: Feeling a sense of accomplishment on a daily/weekly basis is super important. It keeps you engaged, it fills you with pride and because it feels good you continue.
- Learning: Small goals help you learn and grow. You don’t risk a lot by trying to workout for 15 minutes every day. But you might find a new hobby, or discover something you enjoy or that makes you feel better.
Because this is supposed to be a gamedev blog, I can tell you how I would apply that to gamedev.
We often tell beginners to create small games, but even that might be too big! Start smaller, read the engine docs, watch a tutorial, look at the different things available in the engine, write down a game idea, a mechanic you’d like to try.
If you’re struggling, choose a goal that takes 10 minutes or less. It might be so small that you may feel like continuing. Understand when to stop though! I believe that stopping when you still want to continue has a lot of benefits. If you stop only when you’re completely fed up, it might be hard to go back at it next time. This is another subject though, I might talk about it later.
In the end, if you want to do something big but are struggling, start smaller!
That’s it for me, byyye ;)