Well-Being Canada Staff | 19/01/2024 | 2 minutes

Setting small goals makes all the difference!

Looking for more fulfillment? Set some goals! Looking for more fulfillment? Set some goals!

In our overly full daily lives, where the demands and expectations placed upon us can feel too much, the practice of setting realistic goals can be a big boost to our mental well-being. It’s not just about getting things done; it’s about creating a roadmap to a happier and more fulfilling life. 

One of the biggest benefits of setting realistic goals is the immediate impact it can have on our stress levels. Life can often feel like an overwhelming series of challenges, but breaking down all those big tasks into smaller, achievable steps can make a world of difference. It gives you a roadmap you can follow. 

Want an example?

Maybe you’re worried about debt and want to get your finances in order — that can definitely feel overwhelming. But how do you change that?

How about you set a goal of packing four out of five lunches for work or school every week. (Give yourself a Friday reward!) By the end of the week, you will have probably saved more than a hundred dollars. Do that every week and it will quickly add up to thousands.

Then, add another small goal. Maybe you can make your coffee at home every morning instead of buying it? Or you could choose to walk rather than drive when you have to go to a local store? Or… Think about all the other small goals you can add that will move you towards your greater destination.

Setting realistic goals gives you structure and helps you navigate the complexities of life with a clearer mind. That helps reduce stress and gives us more of a sense of control over our lives. 

Realistic goals can also act as powerful motivators. When we set objectives that are within our reach, each small accomplishment becomes a stepping stone to something greater. It creates a cycle of success, boosting our motivation and encouraging us to stay committed to our greater objectives.  

Maybe one of the biggest benefits we get is the bump we get to our self-esteem. Achieving realistic goals allow us to recognize our capabilities and strengths. With each goal achieved, we feel better about ourselves and what we can accomplish.  

In the end, maybe it’s not really just about achieving goals at all. It’s about changing how we think about ourselves and helping us better navigate the challenging aspects of our lives. It’s about taking intentional steps towards a future that aligns more with our capabilities and aspirations.

So now you know: Setting goals can have a huge impact on our stress levels, motivation and, ultimately, our overall mental health. 

You got this!


Well-being Canada is an initiative for educators offering support and free resources that empower teachers to create a safe and inclusive learning environment that allows youth to support their own well-being. It’s a science-based curriculum toolkit that helps teach practical skills, resulting in improved self-management, social and self-awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making. 

Follow us on Instagram or Facebook for updates on professional learning opportunities that will give you even more confidence in bringing Well-being Canada resources into the classroom.

photo: Felicia Buitenwerf, Unsplash

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