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Setting multiple goals at one time can keep you from reaching any of them because it spreads your focus too thin, but that doesn’t mean that you’re destined to only pursue one goal at a time for the rest of your life. In fact, the best way to pursue multiple goals and stay on a path of continued self-improvement is by layering your goals.
What I mean by layering is simple:
Start with one clear, easily definable, actionable goal. Then, after 2-3 weeks, when you’re starting to feel like you have a handle on that goal and it’s become part of your daily routine, add another. And so on and so on. As you get to the point where a goal needs less of your focus, you add a new one, and in this way, you’re making actual forward progress without spreading your attention across too many goals at once.
The caveat to this practice is to layer goals that require different levels of commitment. For example, if one of your goals is to exercise for an hour a day and another one is to launch a new business by a certain date, layering those two goals on top of each other is probably a recipe for failure. That’s not to say that entrepreneurs who are launching businesses can’t exercise, but it’s hard to suddenly carve multiple hours out of your day for new goals, so it’s probably best to focus on one at a time.
However, you could set a goal of setting aside 1 hour a day to write and then layer an attitude (i.e. being kind to store clerks or keeping a gratitude journal) or habit (i.e. choosing fruits or veggies for snacks instead of junk or staying off Facebook during certain hours of the day) on top of that goal. Focus on that new goal for a few weeks and then add another. When you’re ready, add in another goal that takes a time commitment (like exercising).
Layering your goals helps you to approach them realistically without feeling the frantic need to do everything all at once, and it’s really made a difference for me as far as setting and keeping my goals!
What goal could you layer on top of your main goal this month?