Goal Setting: How to Bite Off Only as Much as You Can Chew

dallas_traversWritten by Dallas Travers, CEC

So, you’ve figured out your goals. You’ve got your to-do list down. Your ducks are in a row. But you feel overwhelmed. Or you don’t know where to start. And you freeze.

Sound familiar?

Well, let me suggest a genius tool I’ve discovered courtesy of Sark, author and creator of the well-known How to be an Artist poster.

Sark talks candidly in her book, The Bodacious Book of Succulence, about how she got all 11 of her books written and her company started using a get-it-done formula she calls “micromovements”.

It’s a brilliant way to break your big goals down into tiny little steps that are much easier to accomplish. Let me walk you through it…

1. Break it down – way down

Sark suggests breaking the bigger actions down into small, bite size actions that last only 5 seconds to 5 minutes to do. It can’t take longer than that to qualify as a micromovement. If it’s too long, break it down further so the steps don’t exceed the 5 minute limit.

For example, if your goal is to write a web series, the initial micromovement might be to watch some other web series. But first you need to decide which one you will watch and exactly when.

So the initial micromovement would be to google ‘web series’.

Done. That’s it. Step away from the computer.

The next action might be to make a list of 5 series you admire. So you need to watch one series at a time for NO MORE than 5 minutes.

Get the picture?


2. Do something you already know how to do

A micromovement needs to be something you’ve done before and are familiar with. Otherwise, you might fall victim to resistance ranging from self-doubt, procrastination, or overwhelm.

Pick something you have knowledge or experience of. If you’ve never googled (yikes!) then that cannot be on your micromovement list of actions to make a web series.

Then, you may need to have a friend send you a link to their favorite series. So, your first micromovement would be to email your friend and ask them to send you the link.

Check! Moving on.


3. Hyper-schedule each micromovement

The secret to ensuring you actually take each micromovement is scheduling. Mark each micromovement on your calendar on a specific date and time.

Now, don’t beat yourself up if you miss an appointment or fall off track. Instead, “gently reschedule it”, as Sark says. Micromovements are meant to be helpful and guide you through the process of accomplishing big things. So don’t sweat it if you miss the appointment. Just write down a new date and time and try to stick to it.


4. Practice Imperfection

This system takes practice and you must be willing to fail at it. However, according to Sark, making micromovements will help you learn the power of completion.

Each step takes only 5 seconds to 5 minutes to complete. That means you’ll spend most of your time actually getting stuff done. What a great way to grow your confidence and accomplish even more in the long run.

As Sark says herself, “All of my 11 published books, posters, cards, and company exist due to many thousands and thousands of micromovements all strung together. I think of the micromovements as tiny colored beads that have helped me be someone who lives in her dreams instead of only talking about them.”

Now, it’s time for you to accomplish all of your career goals. The first step is just one micromovement. From there, you’ll continue to rock your to-do list like never before.

Don’t forget to check out all things Sark at www.planetsark.com.


The leading expert on business strategy for actors, Dallas Travers teaches the career and life skills often left out of traditional training programs. Her groundbreaking book, The Tao of Show Business, garnered five awards including first prizes at The Hollywood Book Festival and the London Festival and a finalist for the National Indie Excellence Award. Through her workshops, Dallas helps thousands of actors increase their auditions, produce their own projects, secure representation and book roles in film, television, and on Broadway. She is a certified life coach and entrepreneur with over a decade of experience implementing marketing and mindset strategies that work. 

For more information about working with Dallas, visit www.thrivingartistcircle.com.

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