How to set goals and achieve them

published on 13 September 2022

If you're reading this, you want to achieve your goals.

Some people, just want to get by in life. They have no ambition or drive. They don't want to achieve a lot and have other priorities. That's ok.

But that's not you. You want to achieve a lot in your life. Maybe it's financial. Maybe it's social or personal goals.

The first step to achieving a lot in life is by setting goals properly.

Why should I set goals?

Goals are the foundation of an accomplished life. If you ask anyone who has accomplished similar things to what you want, they will probably tell you goals helped them achieve them.

No one will ever tell you that setting goals was a bad idea. Maybe they will tell you errors they made with goal setting but they will never say they hurt, only helped.

With that being said, let's relearn goal setting to help reach success in your life.

How to set goals in life
How to set goals in life

What is a good goal?

Good goals are goals that move the needle in your life. They help you make progress and achieve important things.

It doesn't matter if it's a personal goal, career, or business goals, you want every goal you set in life to be strong.

Let's take a look at the the smartest way to set goals.

What are SMART goals?

The standard for proper goal setting is the SMART system. Most people just set random goals that don't really have any substance behind them.

For example, they just say "I want to lose 30 lbs". When though? In 3 months? 1 year? 5 years?

Something as simple as not having a due date takes all the urgency out of the goal and makes it easy to push it off.

Using the SMART goal system helps to make sure you don't do this.

Specific

What are you trying to accomplish? Be exact with what outcome you want to achieve.

Measurable

Make sure you can determine the progress being made or when the goal is complete.

For example, if you have a financial goal, the amount of money would be how you would measure the goal.

Achievable

Is the goal realistic and do you have the resources and skills to achieve it?

If you don't have what you need, you either need to determine if you can get it or change your goal.

Relevant

Does the goal fit with your bigger mission?

Your goals should always align with your bigger goals because they have a snowball effect. As you accomplish more and more, smaller goals, they'll get you closer to your big goals and mission.

Time bound

Make sure your goals have a set due date. Like our example of losing 30 pounds earlier, there was no date attached to the goal.

Every goal you set should have a time frame attached to it.

What are the 3 types of goals?

Effective goal setting is more of a process than people think, in addition, the principles for goal setting have multiple levels.

You might think, why does it have to be complicated? I just set goals.

It's not as complicated as it sounds but having a better understanding of a proper goal setting system will help you be more successful and accomplish your goals more easily.

  1. Outcome goals
  2. Process goals
  3. Performance goals

Setting goals in each of these categories will help you be more productive and have a well rounded strategy.

Basically, the outcome goals are your top goals and what you ultimately aim to achieve. You use performance and process goals in order to build up. They aid in the completion of the outcome goals.

Going into the types of goals is a lot, so if you're interested in reading more about them, you can check out the article we have on what the 3 types of goals are.

Tips on how to set goals and build a plan
Tips on how to set goals and build a plan

Dream big but start small

If your dream is to climb mount Everest, you're not just going to go there tomorrow and try to climb it. You're going to take smaller steps to build up to it.

You'll see here how the types of goals lead to this concept. When you set a big outcome goal, you have to create smaller goals to build up to it. These are going to be your process and performance goals.

One of the big benefits of looking at it this way is that it makes it easier for your mind to digest. When you think of a really big goal, it can sometimes be overwhelming and hold you back.

When you look at a small goal, not even thinking about the big goal, your mind treats it differently. It's something easy and achievable.

The great part, after completing a lot of these smaller goals, you'll actually be chipping away at the big goal, completing it before you know it.

Remember, slow and steady wins the race and your efforts will be compounded over time.

Build an action plan to follow

It always helps to have a plan to aid your goals. Setting goals is just the first step, you want to write down some sort of schedule or strategy to execute your goals.

By setting dates and times, putting together a list of things you might need, and how you will actually carry out your goals will help aid effeciency.

Goals give you big picture overview but the action plan will give you the step-by-step directions you need to get there.

Building the action plan is another step that takes a few minutes up from but will save you tenfold in the long term.

Make a commitment to your goals

One of the key components of achieving your goals is making a commitment to them.

You need to really believe in the goal and make a strong effort to follow your plan and not give up.

Most often, the reason for failure is you give up. It's not that the goal is unachievable because even if you need to, you can make changes to the goal or plan.

Some may say it's easier said than done but if you can put a reason behind the goal, something additional to motivate you, that boosts your commitment to completing the goal, you'll increase your success rate.

Reward yourself when you accomplish goals

You're working hard towards your goals, you should reward yourself when you complete your goals.

Make it something that motivates you. The reward will help with the commitment to the goal.

Once you build a strong mindset to work on your goals and not give you, each goal will become easier and easier.

Always write your goals down

If you don't write it down, it's not real, right?

When you write down your goal, it makes it definite. Sure, it could be changed but it's harder to change it on paper than in your head.

If you just think of a goal, you could just change the due date to a week later. Or you could tell yourself it's fine to just do a little less.

You're less likely to adhere to your original goal and just set something different.

Smart goal setting is a simple yet important skill to learn
Smart goal setting is a simple yet important skill to learn

Make your goals public

One of the best ways to build accountability is to let others know your goal. By making your goal public, you'll have to be held accountable by your peers.

Accountability is a great way to stay committed to your goals. Just like not writing your goals down, when you don't have people who know your goals, it's easy to change them or not do them all together.

Some people even get an accountability coach whose job is to hold you accountable. Your coach will check in with you periodically to make sure you're on track and making the progress you need to.

Prioritize your goals

You're going to have more than one goal at a time, especially when you're setting different goals based on the 3 types above, so you'll want to prioritize them.

All of your goals should be important but you want to complete them in some sort of order.

How you prioritize them will be up to you. They may need to be done in a certain order or you might want to get the more difficult ones done first.

Focus on 1 goal at a time

Despite what people think, humans are not great at multitasking. Research has constantly shown that multitasking is a myth.

We think we are, we think we can do 2 or 3 things at a time but even when you're trying that, you're only doing 1 thing at a time. You're mind and body are actually just switching back and forth between each task you're working on.

Every time you switch tasks, your mind is taking a break and making a switch. While it might not seem like much at the time, it's taking away from your focus and control.

You should focus on doing only one goal at a time. If you break your goals down into smaller goals, they should be relatively easy to finish without getting burnt out.

You'll be more efficient doing it this way.

Review and evaluate your progress

Every day or week you should take a look at your progress and see where you stand.

The more often you do it, the less likely you'll get off track and fall behind. You've built your plan and set up your strategies, a brief review will keep things together.

Quick Tip: Consider adding milestones within your goals. These milestones can help you quickly check your progress along the way without taking much time.

Just remember, you want to keep this step quick and efficient, if you plan ahead, you'll quickly be able to reference your progress at any given moment.

Achieving goals

Because you followed our tips on how to set goals and you devoted yourself to success, you'll achieve your goals.

What do you do when you've done this? Keep going.

This goal setting system isn't just about achieving 1 or 2 goals and then going on with your life, it's about building habits.

You'll now have everything you need to create goals for success. 

Goal setting tips to improve your life and help you work towards your dreams
Goal setting tips to improve your life and help you work towards your dreams

How to set goals final thoughts

Setting goals is not a difficult process but it's something that many people do wrong.

By making a few changes to your goal setting method, you can set goals that are more effective and give you a higher chance of success.

It doesn't matter if it's your personal goals, your career or business, take action today and set goals that take you towards your dreams.

Proper goal setting is all about setting realistic goals, from short term to long term goals, then creating a plan, and finally working consistently to achieve them.

You want to avoid getting burnt out or overwhelmed by your goals, remember it's a marathon and not a sprint.

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