Microchanges & Microgoals
I got pretty into new year's resolutions this year—I had just moved to a new city, felt like I was making a fresh start, and decided to sit down to draw up a list of things I wanted to accomplish. Instead of focusing on large, vague, or overwhelming goals, I set a series of tiny, incremental, weekly/daily goals that related to overarching themes that I wanted to remember to focus on this year. And it's been working!
I broke down things like "Lose weight and stay healthy" into drink 3 pitchers of water daily, follow macronutrient goals daily, meal plan on Sundays. I calculated the right amount of water for my body, set up macronutrient goals to reflect the weight I want to be at, and realized that eating out or eating poorly were both directly reflective of me not having a meal plan to follow. These three small, regular actions could be incorporated into daily life almost without me noticing (I love cooking, plans/lists, and always have water at my desk anyway—just never enough). But if followed daily or almost daily, these small habits achieve the larger goal I am aiming for over the course of a year.
Scope creep is micro
As project managers, we are no strangers to the idea of microchanges—we know the danger of scope creep, even if it quietly accumulates over time. Those sorts of microchanges can be used to our advantage (rather than our project's detriment!) when we make small, intentional changes over time. Scope creep is essentially unplanned microchange with a negative impact—but microchanges can be planned changes with a big impact when handled purposefully.
Small and consistent actions are reliable. They are easy for us to manage, usually don't require extra resources from ourselves, and can take little time to execute. Not only can these make massive impacts in our day-to-day personal lives, but they can also make a difference in the operations and profitability of our projects. Enacting tiny, consistent changes across whatever platform we're able to makes it a guarantee that we'll start seeing long-term change where we want to see it most.
Microgoals can help us reach our larger, more ambitious ideals by making steps to that success more attainable. Understanding how to view these goals helps break them down into long-term, short-term, and microgoals that are actionable, repeatable steps to achieve the results desired. It's easy to want to achieve a seemingly large goal by the end of the year, but it can be so overwhelming to be faced with the reality of attempting to achieve that—and this is exactly where microgoals come in.