A helpful strategy for achieving long-term goals can be “laddering” – a technique that encourages people to focus on the next rung (or next step) in the process rather than becoming overwhelmed by the long-term goal. For example, if you wish to earn an MBA, it helps to think of applying for admission or completing one course. If you aim to start a business, maybe you can begin a side hustle or work part-time in the field first. It’s not achieving your goal, but it helps move you toward it.

Yesterday I wrote about creating arbitrary milestones, a technique that can aid in short-term motivational power. These milestones can also be used as ladder rungs to propel you toward larger targets. No one says that the steps on your journey need to be even. You can invent your own incremental measurements and have the steps as close together – or as far apart – as inspiration and circumstances allow.

While having a long-term view is helpful to create the vision, keeping your focus on just the next rung may be just what you need to get you there.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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