Setting Goals and Tips on How to Achieve Them

Setting Goals and Tips on How to Achieve Them - intro -1 (Copy)

What was the last goal that you set for yourself? Did you accomplish what you put your mind to, or did your determination waiver along the way? Most people know the risk that comes with setting a goal. If you want to reach your goal, then your eye has to stay on the prize. This is true no-matter what sort of goal you are going after — career goals, personal fitness goals, and even weight loss goals. Even your daily to-do list requires a can-do attitude and the belief that you can accomplish what you set out to do.

A goal is a feat or accomplishment that you plan to reach. To create a successful goal you’ll need several components, including a quality plan and the drive and determination to get there. Overlooking the planning that is needed to reach your goals puts you at an inherent disadvantage as you set out to capture your dreams.

Making Great Goals

Setting Goals and Tips on How to Achieve Them -Making Great Goals -2 (Copy)

A great goal is going to have several components. The best goals are sensible, realistic and worth working for. A goal should be motivating and encouraging, while also keeping you on your toes. When you set a goal your eyes should be on the prize, but that prize shouldn’t be so far off that you won’t be able to reach it. The best goals are practical, possible and promising.

Perhaps the best way to describe a great goal is by reminding you to stay SMART. This popular goal-setting acronym is a great way to remember the most essential elements of any goal — that they should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.

So what does this mean? A SMART goal won’t be overly broad, but instead will dictate something exact that you will be working towards. That exact measure should be quantifiable, so easy to track. When you set the goal, it is important to make sure it is achievable. You want your goals to be high, but not so high that they will cause you to grow discouraged. Keeping your goal relevant helps you to create a goal that is close to your heart and on your mind. It is something that you will stick to and follow up on. And lastly, every goal needs a deadline. Simply saying that you will accomplish something won’t mean much if you don’t have a follow-up date. Whether your goal is getting a new job or losing 20 pounds you’ll need a deadline to judge your progress up against, otherwise you’ll never know if you reached your goal or not.

For example, don’t just say you want to lose weight. Instead, make a goal to lose 20 pounds in 6 months. If you are hoping to get a promotion, figure out the position you’d like and give yourself a timeline. Figure out the steps that you need to take to make reaching your goal the easiest.

There is an old saying that if you reach for the stars you can land on the moon. Setting a goal that is over the top and out of reach isn’t always a good idea, because those types of goals are setting you up for failure and disappointment. However, when you set a goal that is high — something that you know you’ll have to work towards — then you can set yourself up for success even by falling short of your ultimate goal.

Reaching Your Goals

Successful business woman celebrating with arms up

This leads to the next question: What makes a goal worth working towards? When you set a goal, it should be something meaningful to you. Having an emotional attachment to your goal can inspire you to work harder and will give more meaning to the success you experience when you finally reach your ultimate goal. But what will it take to get there?

Reaching your goals requires planning, diligence and a decent amount of time-management and determination. One of the key components to a goal is to keep it time-bound. Creating a time line regarding how you will reach your goal is one of the best ways to set yourself up for success. Figure out a date at which you hope to have reached your goal and come up with check-in marks along the way where you can have a look at your progress and determine if you are on track for success or not. Keeping your goal realistic, measurable and time-bound will make it easier for you to monitor your progress and keep up to date with your plan.

Setting goals is a fantastic habit to have. When you set positive goals and put plans in place to reach those goals, you are finding ways to systemically make improvements in your own life. The act of making a goal is something to be proud of in and of itself, but don’t overlook the plan! Remember, setting the goal is just the first step. To reach your goals you are going to need to keep your eyes on the prize and remain focused every step of the way.