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How to Make Steep Goals More Manageable

Do you have mounting objectives that seem impossible to scale? Do you wish there was a way to make them more manageable?

Those of you who have practiced aiming high, you may have noticed that this creates a seemingly large workload for you. It turns out that there is a basic but proven way to handle large and insurmountable tasks, a technique called “Small Wins”.

I will discuss the small wins strategy and also a key philosophy of former General Electric CEO, Jack Welch and how these two techniques work together in achieving high aiming, steep goals.

What are “Small Wins”?

When you divide a large goal or task into smaller, manageable parts, you are practicing the “Small Wins” technique. Some obvious benefits of this technique include saving yourself from discouragement by large, looming, seemingly impossible to complete tasks, as well as being able to see definite steps towards completion of these larger goals.

What are Stretch Goals?

The term “Stretch Goals” was a term coined by Jack Welch, former CEO of GE and considered by many to be one of the greatest managers ever. I had first heard about Stretch Goals about a year ago, but it wasn’t until I read a quote of his in Jack Welch on Leadership where I found a striking resemblance of his stretch goal philosophy to something else…

“We have found that by reaching for what appears to be the impossible, we often actually do the impossible; and even when we don’t quite make it, we inevitably wind up doing much better than we would have done.”

We see here that Welch’s stretch goal philosophy and my aiming high philosophy are very similar. The fact that Welch, an extremely respected manager, has managed by this philosophy adds a lot of merit to the belief that setting high-aiming goals will yield stellar results.

Knowing this, one should look to utilize stretch goals whenever possible: both in their business and in their personal life in order to obtain the best outcomes possible.

Putting Stretch Goals and Small Wins together

Reaching for the impossible, while not as impossible as it may seem, can still be very difficult and discouraging. It may help encourage someone who is aiming high and setting ambitious goals to use the small wins technique as well.

In other words, to obtain the best results without becoming overwhelmed by your stretch goals, you should set these goals and then divide them into more manageable sub-parts or “small wins”.

This way, you will be able to see defined and measured progress towards your main goal. By making these smaller and consistent strides, your key objective will appear closer and closer with every small win you accomplish. Utilizing small wins is essential to preventing doubt, while also providing you an additional metric of success before your business is profitable.

Has small wins helped keep anyone else motivated? What about stretch goals?

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