Breaking down big goals into smaller pieces

Breaking down goals

Quite often, when we look at big goals they seem so far away that it is inconceivable that we could ever achieve them. When confronted with this, the old metaphor rings true, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time”.

Saving a deposit for a house, paying off your debt or building enough wealth for retirement are all very daunting when you start working towards them. But, just like the elephant, one bite at a time.

For regular readers of my column, you will know I like to draw on my own life to illustrate my point (I also like to brag about my achievements). Last weekend, I ran my first Ultra Marathon, 45km through the Blue Mountains.  At the start line, 45km seems so far and so daunting, just like building a deposit for a house. The key is not to think about the end picture, but just concentrate on the next step.

Looking at the goal in its entirety can be overwhelming, so we don’t even attempt it. But, if we break it into a series of steps that we know we can accomplish then just focus on each step, we can get it done.

When I stood at the start line, I didn’t think about running 45km, all I was thinking about was getting to the first checkpoint. When you are working toward those daunting goals, pick a checkpoint, and work towards that, one bite at a time.  It might be as simple as setting a budget and sticking to it for one month.

Once you hit that first “checkpoint”, work on the next step in the process, just worry about getting to checkpoint 2.  Allocating a specified amount to your goal for a set period is a good start.

Keep setting mini goals and focus on achieving those, step-by-step, bite-by-bite you will move towards to achieving that huge goal.

Momentum will build and what once seemed far away becomes more and more possible.

If you have a financial goal that seems so far away that you have given up trying to achieve it, my advice is, break it down into smaller pieces and just start working towards that first checkpoint. Before you know it, what started out as impossible can all of a sudden feel very achievable.

Author; Alex McKenzie Categories: Future Financial Services Blog

About the Author

Alex McKenzie

Alex McKenzie

Owner at Future Financial Services


  • Paraplanner at Zammit Partners Investments
  • Unit Trust Administrator at Colonial First State


  • University of Western Sydney
  • Penrith High


As a Financial Planner I help people to achieve what they would like in life. This involves helping you to identify the things in life they would like , developing plans to help achieve them and strategies to protect what you already have. We do this by providing Financial Advice to guide you through your life stages.

The financial planning process involves determining a clients current situation and financial objectives and tailoring strategies to assist in best achieving those objectives.

I am an expert in superannuation, investments and insurance, these are tools we use to help you achieve your goals.

I aim to use my knowledge of superannuation, taxation and Centrelink to efficiently use your assets and income to achieve your financial goals.

Retirement and pre-retirement planning, wealth creation, asset protection, insurance planning and estate planning are all areas of advice that I provide.

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