Don’t Be Ashamed of Your Small Goals

Brad Bartlett
3 min readJan 5, 2024

Little things, done consistently, lead to significant success.

We live in a world that glorifies overnight success and massive goals accomplished in short periods of time.

It’s easy to feel like we have to set huge, lofty goals for ourselves or risk being seen as not ambitious enough.

But here’s a truth I’ve learned pretty quickly: rushing into big goals can often backfire, leaving me feeling overwhelmed and giving up the moment I inevitably struggle.

The truth is, major change and success usually happen from small, consistent action over longer stretches of time.

It’s time we stop being ashamed of keeping our goals small and embrace the power of tiny, incremental progress.

Small Goals Add Up

It can be tempting to scoff at a goal to walk 10 minutes every day or read 5 pages of a book each night.

But little goals that we can hit each day, week or month have an exponential effect over time.

Walking 10 minutes might not seem like much, but over a year that adds up to 60 hours of extra activity. Reading 5 pages a night results in about 1,800 pages. Tiny changes really do compound.

So rather than getting impatient with ourselves and leaping ahead to where we think we should be, we need to master and appreciate the small steps first.

Doing so builds confidence, consistency and forms positive new habits.

The Tortoise Mindset

We all know the story of the tortoise beating the hare in the race. The tortoise has become a symbol of the importance of slow and steady progress.

And with good reason.

As humans we’re wired to want to sprint out enthusiastically at first… and then run out of steam. We prefer quick, visible results — without the hard work it takes to get there.

But meaningful goals often take time and invisible effort behind the scenes before reaching tipping points.

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Brad Bartlett

Professional Freelance Copywriter. (www.bradleebartlett.co) Musings on #freelancing, #productivity, #self-development, and more!