June 14, 2020

Micro & Macro Goals | How To Remain On Track

I work full-time, I also work part-time, and I even work on various contracted projects. Yes, I'm a busy person, but so are you. We all have things going on, from professional to personal commitments. We try our best to meet these requirements. We don't just love to do one thing, and we don't get to love only one person. We try our hardest to give and be present in all our personal relationships. The same is said for professional obligations. Whether it's training or education, we do what we can to grow and develop as professionals. I've found two thought processes that have helped me to remain on track on both realms, personal and professional.

Micro goals are daily (24-hour time frame) goals you work towards accomplishing before your head hits the pillow at night. We aren't talking about finishing graduate school here. We are talking about small tasks that get you steps closer to your macro goal (the big deal). For example, if your goal is to finish nursing school, your micro-goals could be studying for an upcoming exam and preparing for your practicum shift the next day. Micro-goals are steps that bring you closer to the end game. It is best to have daily micro-goals, so you never lose track of your macro-goals. Now, we discussed the professional stuff. Let's move on to the personal component. You need the personal element to balance things and to preserve your emotional wellbeing. Personal micro-goals can include playing a board game with your kids or watching your favorite show with a loved one. The point is to remain steady in your commitment to both levels of your life. To keep track of my micro-goals, I have a dry erase board in my office. It reminds me of the things I need to do in that 24-hour period. What is important to have this list in a location you see often. If a physical location won't work for you, try a reminder list on your cellphone. But I recommend having something, some visual prompt to remind you of things.

Macro goals have the 6- to 24-month timeframe commitments. The timeframe depends on what you want to accomplish and how far along you are on your goal journey. This goal should also be on your dry erase board (or in your phone), but at the top of the list - like a title. Seeing the goal in text, the written form is a daily reminder of what you are working towards. But, please don't overthink it, and don't let it overwhelm you. Don't think about how long you have left to accomplish your end goal. Focus on the micro-goals, the baby steps. Each and every day you are one step closer to your macro-goals. When I was in my graduate program for nurse practitioner school, I took it one day at a time. I wasn't worried about getting a job or stressed about the next course. I focused on the micro-goals for that day and nothing more. I didn't allow myself to spiral into a what-if frenzy. I took my macro-goals progress one day at a time. 

Your plan should be to focus on small, attainable, purposeful actions. Picture yourself taking small bites of a big burger. It's good, but you don't want to overeat and lapse into a food coma. So you take your time and enjoy it. That's it! You can and will do this, you just have to provide yourself with support and encouragement. Micro-goals will keep you in the proper headspace and motivate you to keep going and keep thriving for what you want.

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