Micro Goals: Setting Achievable Fitness Goals

How many times have you told yourself that this is the time that you’re going to stick to that workout plan or loose that extra weight only to fall short of your goal? Sometimes we give up because there is too much time that passes without progress between a starting point and where we ultimately want to be. Newton’s 1st law of motion states that objects in rest tend to stay at rest, while objects in motion tend to stay in motion. Given this principle, if we don’t consistently stay in motion working toward our goals, then we will inevitably stop. But there are useful tactics to help keep you on track.

What are Micro Goals?

How do we keep in motion to create a momentum that will help us reach our goals? Micro Goals. These are the mini milestones that help bridge your short term goals that will ultimately help you reach your long term goals. Micro Goals are extremely specific and, more importantly, task specific. These goals help prevent stalling or giving up by creating an achievement that gets us closer to our ultimate goal. In order for Micro Goals to work, a tangible link needs to be made between these goals.

The Purpose of Micro Goals

Micro Goals help you stay motivated even when you are not feeling like doing anything. They are small enough that completing one goal doesn’t take too much effort, yet powerful enough that completion of a goal adds to the momentum to keep you pushing to reach your next goal. This is because a wonderful pleasure inducing neurotransmitter called dopamine is released when a task is accomplished that makes your brain want to continue to complete tasks. You don’t really feel like doing anything, but a Micro Goal isn’t going to take too much effort so you complete the goal. You’re body is happy you completed the goal and rewards you with dopamine. You suddenly feel better because of the dopamine and this motivates you to complete another Micro Goal. This process has a snowball effect that builds momentum, keeping you in motion to achieve your ultimate goal.

How Micro Goals Work

The reason why using Micro Goals is such an effective method is because this method pushes you to start now and not in the distant future. Micro Goals allow you to focus on something that is attainable at all times and doesn’t allow you to procrastinate or let excuses get in the way. If you were to look at a ruler and create a goal chart, the foot would represent the ultimate goal, each inch would be a short term goal, and each centimeter would be a Micro Goal, as shown below:


MG: Micro Goal

STG: Short Term Goal

LTG: Long Term Goal

A map of achieving a long term goal using Micro Goals could look like this:

Now…..MG…..MG….MG….STG…. MG…. MG…. MG…. STG…. MG….MG…. MG….LTG

Goal Examples:

  • LTG – I want to loose 20 pounds in 60 days
  • STG – Run 4x a week, 4 miles each time
  • MG – Get to the gym and run one mile. Then when you’re finished run another mile.
  • Then another, then another. Keep doing this everyday.
  • Planning Micro Goals

    One of the problems in a fast paced society is that we want to do everything all at once. This involves many goals and a lot of chaos. Multiple long term goals create time constraints and cause struggles due to a commitment conflict when trying to decide what needs to be worked on. The thing with Micro Goals is that it allows you to have multiple long term goals simultaneously being worked toward at the same time without the chaos or fatigue of being overworked. Micro Goals are small enough that many could be accomplished in a small time period. They cause you to think about order and priority and help you to plan out how you want to spend your time during the day and what you must do to further your progress.

    Using Micro Goals Daily

    There are many ways Micro Goals can be incorporated into all areas of your life to achieve health and well being. When focusing on health, Micro Goals could be used to achieve a desired weight, to run a marathon, to increase flexibility, or to be able to perform a human flag. Once you know what your goal is, decide what Micro Goals need to be met to achieve your goal and start building momentum. For more information about achieving your fitness goals, visit STR8 Training, a 24 hour gym located in San Marcos, TX.