Set The Tiniest Goals

How’s your new year’s resolution going? I suggest you quit.

Sophie Lucido Johnson
4 min readJan 21, 2022


Illustrations by the author.

After eating more sugar, drinking more alcohol, and consuming more general bad-for-you stuff than you probably wanted to over the holidays, there’s a good chance you rang in the new year by setting some kind of a resolution. That makes sense; you probably wanted to clean your slate and begin again. And the calendar made that amply possible for you, with its brand spanking new calendar year.

Mind you, this isn’t what I would call the beginning of the new year; for me, that’s usually in late March or early April, when things start coming up from the dirt. This is still the hibernation period. The plants are doing diligent and slow work underground, and that’s what my body wants to do, too; grow slowly, rest, wait. And yet, the world is telling us all to get our asses into gear and clean up our acts. And I get that. I like to make resolutions, too!

But I’ll maintain my belief that January (and February) is not the time to take on a huge new project or ramp up one’s workout routine. Save those big overhauls for the spring. And as a person who feels the itch to accomplish things no matter what the weather, I’ve discovered a handy workaround that might serve you, as well: resolve for this to be the season of tiny goals.

What makes a goal tiny? I’m so glad you asked. No matter how small you’re thinking, THINK SMALLER. One tiny goal, for example, might be to set a tiny goal. Look! That one accomplishes itself! Check. Or a tiny goal might be to write down a tiny goal and cross it off. You could do that right now! In fact: go ahead. No, seriously! I’ll wait.

Are you back? Do you have your list (with two goals already checked off)? Great. Now you have the only tools you will need for your tiny goals: a sheet of paper and a pen. This is important, because it feels good to cross something off a list. And making your goals super-tiny can remind you how much you actually get done in any given day. Even in the days where you barely get out of bed and you watch the same show you have already watched 35,392 times on your laptop for hours, you’ve accomplished not only (1) lying in bed, (2) using the internet, and (3) working a computer; you’ve also accomplished (4) self-soothing, (5) letting your body…