Do Smaller Goals Get Better Results?

Many folks come into NM boasting about the big monthly incomes they are going to earn. If that works for you, i.e. that keeps you motivated to keep on doing the business each day, do it. But for most people, big numbers don’t keep them going. Could it be that deep down their brain just doesn’t believe the big number?

Sue and Cheryl are currently multi-million dollar earners with their companies. Both started out 18-20 years ago, with VERY small goals. One wanted just enough money so she could buy her own nylons without having to ask her penny-pinching husband (3rd story), and another wanted just an extra $150 per month. Neither in her wildest dreams expected to end up a millionaire.

Women aren’t the only ones who use relatively small goals to get their brain to believe they can do the thing…

At the U.S. Open Golf tournament this weekend, two top ranked players, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, BOTH said that their goal for the tournament was just to finish at “par” – i.e. not require more shots than what was par for the course there. They did NOT predict that to reporters that they expected win. Or explode. Or leave the others in the dust. They both finished in the top 5 (top 5 in the world).

When I set smaller, incremental goals, my brain not only believes I can, but it relaxes enough so I get the best performance out of myself. Funny how setting smaller goals brings out the confidence you need to do your best.

What’s your experience?

P.S. We’ve all heard “Whatever you believe, you can achieve.” Perhaps the strategy of setting ‘goals you you can believe in’ is a way for some people to succeed – big. Think?

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Kim,

    I have always had problems setting goals and sticking to them. The problem wasn't the goal I set, but rather that I had trouble believing deep down that I could reach it.

    Until someone taught me to set small individual goals that lead me to the big goal.

    Now I set my goals in small reachable increments. I write them down and put a date on them and spell out a plan of the actions I need to take to reach them.

    That makes it a whole lot easier. Guess before my goals were just to broad and that made it kind of hard for me to believe that I could actually achieve them.

  • Hi Kim
    Thanks for this discerning post.
    When I started out many years ago in the insurance business my goal was to make in one year $1,000,000..(a lot of money in those days)
    BUT DAILY I used my calculator to figure the monthly,weekly, and even daily goals for me and the Agency.
    I wore out a calculator!
    Worked for me!

    In 1984 the year I retired and began my travel in Europe,I made almost $500,000.
    I hardly ever thought about that million dollar goal and I almost reached it!
    By setting the daily, weekly and monthly goals, they were believable and attainable.
    Because,I didn't even KNOW anyone who was rich much less thinking I could join them!!
    Thanks as always for all you do for us.

  • What great timing. I just joined a new network marketing company. I was so proud of my daily progress based on my past performances.

    However, it was not even close to the expectations of my sponsor. So, I got discouraged.

    Now, I am trying to figure out how to set my own smaller goals and stick with them without getting out of the game.

    Thanks for the post.

  • I'm reminded of the story of how to eat an elephant. If one looks at the whole elephant (large – and many – goals) one would think it impossible. But if one broke it down to small bites (small individual goals) then the goal is accomplished….

    Thanks Kim


    ps: no animal was hurt in the composition of this note….

  • Peggy I love the elephant story. Now when I feel overwhelmed I'll see the elephant!

    I slacked on finding customers for a while and recently have a renewed desire. I have started setting many smaller goals. I'm not even thinking about a dollar amount yet. My goals are more about education and finding the people like me so the money happens naturally. Funny how making one unexpected sale from testing one small new venue gets me back in the saddle! That happened this morning, yahoo!

    Smaller sets of goals works for me!

  • Kim,

    I have always found that when people only set big goals the goal becomes oppressive and they start to hide from it.

    Hitting a daily or weekly goal are positive reinforcement. Going from 0 to 1,000,000 is way beyond the way most people think. The idea of this week making $250 or $500 this week is throughly achievable as a steppingstone to build a huge group that makes a $1,000,000/yr income.

  • As a corporate management development trainer one of the things I say to managers is when people share their lofty five year goals to be company president e.t.c to ask them a simple question- 'Where do you want to be in 30 days to make sure you're on course to reaching your goal'.

    What this does is help the individual focus on setting a realistic goal and develop a workable action plan.

    I believe the same should apply in a home based business.

    When people join my business, they all have different goals, some modest and some are outrageous but what I say to all of them is let's focus on making sure you are in profit within 30 days.

    This way I train them to set workable goals and then work with them to achieve it.

    The approach of training your people to set short term achievable goals really works.

    Thanks once again Kim,


  • Your blog inspired me to write my own blog on this topic. I have linked to your blog in my blog. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Lois Tuzeneu

  • Great Post, you must start with small goals at first so that you can see you are making progress.

    I know when I set a large goal, if it takes a while to get there, I find myself becoming frustrated a lot sooner than if I set a series of smaller goals to get to the larger one. It's all psychological for me.

  • I have found that smaller goals in the investment arena make for more successful traders. When traders stop swinging for the fences (usually risking too much capital)and settle down for smaller, yet more consistent gains day to day, they are more relaxed and can let compounding work its magic.
    Like your examples, all of a sudden they realize they are top earners in the trading business.

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