As you prepare for the end of one year and the beginning of another, you’re likely beginning to think about goals for the upcoming year. We often have good intentions when it comes to creating goals, but the execution doesn’t always come to fruition. As you begin the planning process, here’s a suggestion for getting a jump-start on your goals.

Having written out the goal, quantified it, and set a deadline, often we find ourselves still unable to get started toward achieving it.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. No goal achievement is a leap across some huge canyon. Many of us are intimidated and driven away from going after what we really want in our lives for fear we will have to take a giant leap across that canyon and, hey, what if I don’t leap far enough? Disaster.

But, if we can now break that goal down into its little component pieces so that achievement becomes realistic and manageable, if we can cross the canyon in steps instead of one leap, then taking that first step is easy.

Let’s say you have a goal to get an additional $50,000 in savings two years from today.

Create a picture in your mind of your new account two years from now showing the additional $50,000.

The goal is in writing. It is quantified, and a deadline has been set. Now you can break that goal into its little steps for achievement.

To get $50,000 over the next two years requires getting an additional $25,000 per year. A year is made up of twelve months, so that means you need to get approximately $2,000 per month. A month is made up of four weeks, so that’s $500 per week. And a week is made of, let’s say, five business days. That’s $100 per day. (I have not added in interest to these calculations just for simplicity.)

I don’t know about you, but the notion of going out in the world tomorrow and getting an extra $100 is a whole lot more realistic and certainly a whole more doable than getting $50,000.

Getting the entire $50,000 is the leap across the canyon. It scares me. $100 is the single step. That’s something I can handle. Now the goal seems realistic and is realizable.

But until you write out your goal, quantify it, and set a deadline so that you can break it down to its small steps, it will forever appear to be too big a stretch and therefore unattainable. But every time you follow these three steps and break the goal down, you will always find that you have within your control what it takes to accomplish that next step. And once you begin, you are on your way!