Little steps make big strides

by Suffolk Mind Team | 10 May 2024
Little steps make big strides

We can sometimes fall into the trap of setting unrealistic goals for ourselves and, when we can’t achieve that goal, it discourages us from trying again. Setting ourselves goals is an important part of our emotional wellbeing, but how can we ensure we achieve those goals?

The need to feel like we are achieving or stretched is an important emotional need we need to meet in order to stay well.

Being able to learn new things means that we can grow as a person and feel the satisfaction of achieving something we might not have otherwise done.

The risk of rust out

When we don’t feel like we are achieving or stretched, we run the risk of rust out.

This could be at work if we are doing repetitive tasks without learning anything new, or not getting enough stimulation through a hobby.

Rust out could come in the form of low morale, anxiety, depression or low self-esteem and feeling this way means that you need to find ways to stretch yourself.

How to feel like we are achieving and stretched

Setting small, realistic goals gets you well on your way to moving away from rust out and into stretch.

Use your imagination and try writing a to-do list for the day. You can include small steps such as getting out of bed in the morning and making yourself a cup of tea or coffee.

Being able to tick these off gives you the satisfaction of achieving and sets you up to add bigger items to the list.

You could also write a list of your skills, such as being able to cook a meal for yourself or writing a letter to someone.

Being able to see the skills you have already learnt and even putting some time in to practice them can help you to feel stretched.


Our need for achievement is one of 12 emotional and physical needs we need to meet in balance to be well. You can find out more about our needs by signing up to be a Friend of Suffolk Mind and getting a free space on The Mental Health Toolkit: The Essentials workshop. The workshop will take you through these needs and much more.

by Suffolk Mind Team
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