top of page

You Need To Break Down Your Goals Into Manageable Pieces

Updated: Dec 21, 2022

Breaking down a goal into steps first

One important key to your success will be your ability to break down your goals into shorter-term and smaller pieces.

Keep your program manageable

I wanted to learn how to do a pull up so last Christmas I broke it down into smaller goals to strengthen all the necessary muscles.

I stuck to my plan training 3 days a week for 10 weeks. When I started I could do no pull ups, by the end of my 10th training week, in January I did 10!

Before lock down I couldn’t do full push ups on my toes.

By breaking down into smaller strength goals and performing body weight exercises 5-6 days a week for 8 weeks in lock down, while my gym was closed, I managed 6 consecutive full push ups!

Full Push Ups on the toes
Full Push Ups on the toes Goal

I wasn’t great at skipping and was frustrated when my hubby took me to CrossFit class with him and I couldn’t do double unders.

I set my goal and broke it down so I improved my double jump, then single jump skips.

By practicing alternate days after 10 weeks I managed 20 consecutive double unders with no tripping, but some very heavy breathing!

Jumping a skipping rope
Skipping Goal

I was really uncomfortable doing headstands when I started my yoga practice back in uni days. My head and neck hurt and I’d even notice burst blood vessels in the skin around my eyes.

I broke down my free headstand goal and initially it was simply up against a wall, knees bent, staying upside down for 10 seconds. I’m so confident on my head now I can balance on concrete and get in and out of lotus position without loosing my balance.

When I decided to start running in my late 20’s I’d struggle to keep a slow jog for 20 mins round my local park.

I broke my seemingly, out of reach, for ‘those people,’ marathon goal into tiny goals and I went from 3km to 5km to 10km, to 14km, to half marathons and finally a full marathon, all within less than 2 years!

Click the link below for an example of how I broke down my pistol squat goal.

There are great mini goals and progressions in here so you can pick your starting point if pistol squats are your goal:

When breaking down your goal into mini goals you need to think what’s hard and exactly what is holding you back?

Is it strength or is it flexibility, or both?

Is there pain stopping you?

Are you scared?

Or maybe you don’t believe you can reach your goal so you loose motivation and don’t even try?

Break down your goals

Make sure your goal is broken into enough mini goals that you feel inspired as you reach each goal and stay motivated, not discouraged!

You need to address all components holding you back with your mini goals.

If you just went from no leg strength to trying the full pistol squat day 1, and kept trying every day, without breaking your goal down, you would probably give up before you saw any progress!

With your smaller goals along the way you will see change, and keep going, as you know it’s working and it’s worth it, so you keep pushing!

We need goals, and to break them into mini, suitable, achievable goals to stay motivated!

Just squatting repeatedly will get boring sooner or later if you’re not changing and achieving mini goals, as a reward for your efforts!

Even adding small weights to the ends of your barbell means you are moving towards your bigger goal.

Emma Najman, Physiotherapist, Pilates & Fitness Instructor and Yoga Therapist
Emma Najman, Physiotherapist, Pilates & Fitness Instructor and Yoga Therapist

I’m a fairly fit, motivated, about to turn 50 year old, next month. I’ve always been active, sporty and motivated but was feeling I’d lost a lot of strength between 40 and 45.

At 40 and even 45 I couldn’t do a full push up, pull up or pistol squat and felt embarrassed to go to the gym as I was the weakest woman there. Even though I was one of the oldest women at the gym, I couldn’t even do full push ups or pull ups when I was young, like the other young women at the gym!

I was feeling old and withered and kept getting injured whenever I tried!

Now I am my strongest, fittest ever and planning to break down my next goal into achievable, encouraging steps.

I want to be able to stand on my hands for 10 seconds statically then walk on my hands.

I believe I can do it!

I want to be a 60 year old walking round the park on my hands!

You may think what a crazy goal! And why?

Balancing in asplit handstand
Handstand Balance Goal

Our bodies are amazing and have an incredible capacity for change!

Wherever you are now, you can change and will change beyond your expectations and dreams with striving consistently for little goals and keeping moving towards your big goal!

Standing on my hands provides me with amazing bone density benefits in my skinny, low bone density arms!

Strengthening my arm muscles provides a pull on my arm bones, stimulating and laying down more bone cells, building greater bone density.

My handstand practice also provides me with amazing brain challenging, dementia fighting balance challenge!

I’m building new neural pathways, learning these skills in my 50’s, when we are often too fearful of taking on new challenges as we age, and resigned to be left in the ‘seen better days’ pile!

We need to learn new skills, challenge our bodies and minds and build self confidence and self esteem now, more than ever to stay young, experience play, fun and happy hormones, like we did as children, to fight depression!

Break down goals

Who’s with me and ready to move forwards with excitement and optimism for our future?

Our kids and Grandkids deserve us fit, vibrant and healthy and so do we!

Reach out if you need help to break down your goal!

Enlist a Physio or Exercise Physiologist to design a program for you and work through it with you until you feel confident you can safely perform it yourself.

The photo below is of me during a photo shoot after 18 months consistent weight training progressively at the gym. I set my goal of doing my first ever photo shoot 49 years of age. I’m a camera shy introvert, and my muscles were previously quite wasted from all my years of marathon training.

I continued to weight train to failure 6 days a week, followed a carefully planned plant based diet 100% and did cardio daily for 8 weeks before my photo shoot.

I had a lot of doubts and nearly cancelled the photo shoot numerous times as I was concerned over my lack of muscle!

Although my muscles aren’t big, I definitely gained tone, definition and strength, not bad for a 49 year old, former skinny, marathon runner!

Demonstrating a barbell back squat
Demonstrating a barbell back squat

I think I achieved my goal! I definitely achieved my goal of putting myself out there with self confidence belying my natural personality!

I wonder how much muscle I can build by 60, when so many of us give up on ourselves and allow our bodies to deteriorate!

What’s your goal?

Have a think and let me know?

Whether your goal is learning to walk again after an accident or surgery, run a 5km fun run after recovering from cancer surgery and treatment or swim 4 lengths of a pool after lung surgery, we can break down goals into manageable sizes, so you have manageable pieces rather than an overwhelmingly distant large goal!

Breaking goals down into manageable steps will provide stepping stones to reach your big goal, keeping you focused, excited at your progress and not too overwhelmed to keep going.

I’d love to support you, cheer you on and share those amazing feelings of achievement you will feel!

Achieving our goals are so much more than physical gains!

The self confidence and realisation your really can achieve anything you set your mind to is incredibly empowering and often is lost as we age or suffer with chronic illness, injury or pain.

How to break down big goals

There is light at the end of the tunnel however far away you feel right now!

Set that goal in the distance at the end of your tunnel, but let’s mark the walls along the way, breaking down your goals.

Do you need help on how to break down goals into manageable sizes?

Are you unsure how to break down goals into steps?

Physiotherapists specialise in how to break down goals into tasks, building your confidence among the way.

Do you need help to make your PLAN, breaking down long term goals into smaller goals and motivating you to GET STARTED to achieve your GOALS?

Apply for your FREE physical assessment to establish your current limiting physical factors, so you can get started at breaking goals into small steps to achieve your GOAL!

Click the link above to GET STARTED breaking down YOUR GOALS into smaller steps

Emma Najman, Physiotherapist, Pilates & Fitness Instructor and Yoga Therapist
Emma Najman, Physiotherapist, Pilates & Fitness Instructor and Yoga Therapist

Emma 😊

Related Terms:

How to break down your goals

How to break down goals into subgoals

How to break down a goal into steps

How to break down big goals

How to break down goals

How to break down a goal

Break down goals into tasks

Goal setting breakdown

Smart goal break down

Goal break down


bottom of page