Discussing my thoughts on goal setting with my dad, I took down these notes on using smaller goals as “stepping stones” to achieving bigger goals.
His basic idea to add was that in achieving a larger long-term outcome goal, one should actually set smaller, more digestable chunks of outcome goals, matched with short-term process and action goals to help you achieve those smaller outcome goals. He described the process as working your way up a staircase, step by step; if you don’t take the steps, you end up trying to jump the house, and that can be intimidating.
He pointed out that there are many ways to achieve a given goal, and the pathways to any particular long-term goal can be numerous. He explained that in his view, some of these pathways often diverge in unexpected, seemingly unexpected directions - sideways, even backwards at times - but still ultimately get you where you want to go.
He stressed the importance of writing goals down: when you don’t write your intermediate goals down, a problem can seem much larger and abstract than it actually is.
He commented: To reach a 4-minute mile, you have to get through a 9-, 8-, 7-, 6-, and 5- minute mile, too.