No matter what you’re trying to accomplish, setting goals is one way to help you get there. Setting goals can often encourage motivation, focus, and direction and can also provide a benchmark to determine whether or not you are succeeding. But how do you set goals if you’ve never done so before? Or what if you have set goals in the past, but you didn’t achieve them? Do you just give up and tell yourself that goal setting doesn’t work? That’s one option, but let’s put things in perspective.
1. Set goals that motivate you. The goals you set for yourself should be important to you, making you feel there is value in achieving them. Make sure you’re able to identify why each goal matters to you, otherwise it will be hard to take action.
2. Break the larger goals down into smaller, more specific goals. For instance, if your goal is to lose 30 pounds over the next year, break that down into smaller more achievable goals. For example, set a goal of losing 2-3 pounds per month for the next 12 months. This makes the larger goal more feasible and accessible.
3. Write down your goals. The physical act of writing down a goal makes it tangible and real and adds a sense of accountability to the goals. Pay attention to the wording you use. In place of “I would like to” use “I will” to give your goals more power.
4. Make an action plan to achieve your goals. In other words, don’t just focus on the end result. Spend time working on the steps it will take to get you to your ultimate goal.
5. Adjust your goals periodically. Goals may change as you age or as you start to change. Your goals should be adjusted accordingly, allowing for flexibility and growth.
6. Tell someone close to you what your goal is. Like writing your goals down, saying them out loud to someone makes them feel more real and helps to hold you accountable for achieving them.
7. Don’t give up. Many times, when we are faced with failure, we tend to give up on our goals. Some of the most successful people in history failed numerous times before they got it right. Reset, adjust and reevaluate; ultimately success will be achieved by staying the course!