How To Set Goals To Make A Personal Goal Achievable

Discover the ultimate guide on how to set goals and achieve them effortlessly. Transform your dreams into reality with these steps!

How to set goals

Let's talk about how to set goals. That magical process where you decide to change your life, jot down a few things on a piece of paper, and voilà, you’re a brand-new person by the end of the year.

If only it were that easy! Whether it's personal goals like finally running that marathon, career goals like landing a leadership role, or even financial goals like saving enough money to buy that dream house, setting goals is crucial.

But, let’s be honest, how often do we set ambitious goals only to watch them fizzle out like a cheap firework? A lot of times, right?

Goal setting isn’t just about dreaming big - although that’s a fun part. It’s about breaking those big goals into smaller, manageable steps and figuring out the best way to tackle them.

Be Prepared

Think of it as creating an action plan for your future self. Sure, it might not be as thrilling as a Netflix marathon, but it’s a powerful way to bring about significant change in your personal and professional life.

Setting specific goals can provide direction and focus, ensuring you’re always moving in the right direction. It’s like having a GPS for your life goals, guiding you toward the finish line.

Without clear goals, you’re basically driving around without a destination, hoping you’ll somehow end up where you want to be. Spoiler alert: you won’t - unless you're ridiculously lucky.

But wait, there’s more! Not only does goal setting help with direction, but it also enhances motivation and persistence.

When you have a clear target, you’re more likely to put in the hard work needed to reach it. Plus, achieving those smaller goals along the way gives you a little dopamine hit, making the whole process a tad more enjoyable.

So, whether you’re looking to set some short-term objectives or you’ve got your eyes on a major goal like starting your own business, understanding the goal-setting process is key.

From setting SMART goals to visualizing your future success, there are different ways to ensure you have the best chance of hitting those targets. Ready to dive in? Let’s get started on turning those dreams into reality.

Goals are like the GPS that shows you where to go.

What Does It Mean to Set Goals?

Setting goals isn't just about deciding to accomplish big things and then sitting back to wait for success to roll in.

It's a bit more structured than that. Let's break it down with a sprinkle of motivation and a dash of personal experience from your friendly neighborhood life coach.

First, what is a goal? It’s that magical word you throw around every New Year’s Eve, promising yourself and your family members that this year will be different.

A goal is a specific objective you set for yourself, whether it’s a personal goal, professional goal, or one of those nebulous "be a better person" goals.

Think of goals as your North Star, guiding you towards your ultimate aim in life, whether it's financial freedom, achieving your academic goals, or finally learning to play the guitar without sounding like a dying cat.

Types of Goals: Short-Term vs. Long-Term

There are different types of goals, each with its own time frame. Short-term goals are those bite-sized objectives you can achieve soon like finishing a book or learning how to bake a cake without burning the house down.

Long-term goals, on the other hand, are those ambitious plans that span a longer period, like getting that gold medal in your dream marathon or achieving financial freedom by the time you’re 40.

The Goal-Setting Theory

Ever heard of the goal-setting theory? No? Well, let me enlighten you. This theory, proposed by Edwin Locke, suggests that setting specific and challenging goals leads to higher performance than setting general and easy goals.

It’s like aiming for the stars to at least land on the moon. So, when you're setting goals, make sure they are specific and challenging.

Instead of saying, "I want to get fit," try, "I will run a 5k in under 30 minutes by the end of the next year." See the difference? One is a vague wish; the other is a measurable goal with a clear time frame.

Why Specific Goals Matter

Setting specific goals gives you a good chance of success because they provide a clear direction and help you focus your efforts.

Imagine trying to hit a bullseye without knowing where the target is. Pretty much impossible, right? That's what vague goals are like.

Specific goals, like "I will save $5000 for a vacation by the end of the year," give you something tangible to work towards.

Breaking Down Big Goals

Big goals can be overwhelming. Trust me, I’ve had my fair share of moments staring blankly at my vision board, wondering how on earth I’ll achieve everything.

The trick is to break them down into smaller steps. These smaller, actionable goals make the big ones seem less daunting. I developed my "Zoom Method" around this principle which I cover in my book.

For example, if your ultimate goal is to start your own business, your first step might be to set aside time to research your market.

Next, you might focus on creating a business plan. Each small step brings you closer to your main goal without causing a mental meltdown.

Performance Goals vs. Outcome Goals

Another important distinction is between performance goals and outcome goals. Performance goals focus on the actions you need to take, like practicing piano for 30 minutes a day.

Outcome goals focus on the result, like performing at a recital. Both are important, but focusing on performance goals can give you a better chance of success because they are within your control.

Incorporating Goals into Your Daily Life

To truly embrace the goal-setting process, you need to integrate your goals into your daily life. This means setting aside time each day to work towards your goals, tracking your progress, and adjusting your action plan as needed.

It’s not just about setting goals; it’s about making them a part of your routine. Whether it’s a specific task you tackle each morning or a weekly review of your progress, consistency is key.

So, there you have it. Setting goals is not just about dreaming big; it's about taking those dreams and turning them into specific, actionable objectives.

By understanding the different types of goals, breaking them down into manageable steps, and incorporating them into your daily routine, you're on your way to greater success and personal growth.

Plan your path by setting goals.

The Benefits Of Goal Setting

Setting goals isn't just about scribbling down big dreams and hoping for the best. It's a structured process that can bring about real, tangible benefits in both your personal and professional lives.

Let's dive into why goal setting is a good thing and how it can lead to better results.

Provides Direction and Focus

I like the metaphor of goals being the GPS for your life. Without clear goals, you're essentially driving without a destination.

Setting primary goals helps you identify what’s important and focus your efforts on achieving specific objectives.

As a life coach, I've seen countless clients flounder without direction. But once they set clear, measurable goals, they find their path.

Trust me, there’s nothing like seeing a client hit their top goal and know exactly where they're headed next.

Enhances Motivation and Persistence

Goals are like the fuel that keeps your engine running. When you have a specific goal in mind, it’s easier to stay motivated and push through tough times.

Remember when you set that New Year’s resolution to hit the gym? Okay, maybe that one didn’t stick.

But for those who set attainable goals and break them into smaller steps, motivation tends to last longer. Each small victory keeps the fire burning.

Improves Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem

Achieving your goals, even the smaller ones, can do wonders for your confidence. It’s a great way to prove to yourself that you’re capable of more than you thought.

One of my clients set a big goal to speak at a major conference. With smaller, actionable goals, she built up her confidence and nailed it. That’s the power of goal setting – it builds you up, one achievement at a time.

Facilitates Better Time Management

Goals force you to prioritize your tasks and manage your time more effectively. When you have a clear target, it’s easier to identify what’s important and what’s not.

This is especially true for professional goals, where time management can make or break your career. Setting clear, realistic goals helps you allocate your time wisely and stay on track.

Promotes Personal Development and Mental Health

Setting goals is a great way to foster personal growth and improve mental health. Whether it’s spiritual goals, personal development, or even something as simple as reading a book a month, goals push you to grow and learn.

I've seen clients achieve significant change in their mental health by setting and reaching small, daily goals. It’s all about those incremental improvements that lead to a happier, healthier you.

Encourages Taking Action and Overcoming Procrastination

Let's face it, we all procrastinate. But having clear, actionable goals can be a good way to overcome that. When you know what your next step is, it's easier to take action.

I've often advised clients to set specific, attainable goals to combat procrastination. It’s amazing how breaking a big goal into smaller tasks can make the impossible seem doable.

Provides a Sense of Accomplishment

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of crossing a goal off your list. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and keeps you motivated to tackle the next one.

This is why having measurable goals is so important. They provide tangible evidence of your progress and success. It’s like getting a gold medal in the game of life.

Helps Manage Stress and External Factors

Goals can also help you manage stress by providing a clear plan of action. When you know what you need to do, it’s easier to stay calm and focused, even when external factors try to throw you off course.

This is particularly useful in leadership roles, where stress can be a constant companion. Setting realistic goals helps you stay grounded and maintain control.

To sum it up, goal setting is more than just a motivational exercise. It’s a powerful way to provide direction, enhance motivation, improve self-confidence, and manage your time and stress.

So, whether you’re setting new goals for the next year or refining your long-term plans, remember that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Now, go set some goals and conquer your world!

Record your achievements.

Goal Setting Methods

Alright, buckle up because we're diving into the art and science of setting goals. It’s not just about jotting down what you want on a sticky note and hoping the universe delivers.

There are structured methods to this madness, and I'm here to spill the beans. As your trusty life coach, I’ve seen what works and what leads to motivational dumpster fires.

Let’s explore some of the most popular ways to set goals effectively.


Ah, SMART goals. Probably the first place anyone should start. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This method is a gold standard for a reason. Let’s break it down a little bit:

Specific: Be clear and precise. Instead of saying “I want to get fit,” say, “I want to run a 5k in under 30 minutes.”

Measurable: Ensure you can track progress. Numbers are your friends here.

Achievable: Set realistic goals. Want to be a millionaire by next Tuesday? Maybe start with saving $100.

Relevant: Your goals should matter to you. If it’s not important, you won’t stick with it.

Time-bound: Set deadlines. Otherwise, it's just a dream.

One of my clients, let’s call him Dave, wanted to lose weight. His original goal was just “lose weight.”

After a SMART makeover, it became, “Lose 10 pounds in 3 months by exercising three times a week and cutting out soda.” Guess what? Dave’s rocking his new jeans now.

WOOP Method

If you like a little bit of psychology with your goal setting, the WOOP method might be your jam. WOOP stands for Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, and Plan. Here’s how it works:

Wish: Identify your dream goal. Let’s say you wish to start your own business.

Outcome: Visualize the best outcome. Picture yourself in that corner office, leading your dream team.

Obstacle: Acknowledge what might stand in your way. Maybe it’s funding or time.

Plan: Develop a plan to overcome these obstacles. Perhaps start with a side hustle to build capital.

I used this method when I wanted to write my first book. My obstacles? Time and procrastination. My plan? Writing for 30 minutes every morning before doing anything else. Guess what, I finished the book.

Visualization Techniques

Here’s a fun one. Visualization is like daydreaming but with a purpose. Spend a few minutes each day imagining achieving your goals. Picture the details vividly.

What are you wearing? Who's congratulating you? Feel the success. This technique tricks your brain into believing you’ve already succeeded, which boosts motivation.

One of my clients visualized nailing a major presentation at work. He practiced his speech while imagining the applause and high-fives from colleagues.

Not only did he nail it, but he also got promoted to a leadership role. True story.

Breaking Down Big Goals

Huge goals can be intimidating. The trick is to break them into smaller, more manageable tasks. This method is fantastic for making progress without feeling overwhelmed.

For instance, if your goal is to run a marathon, start with running a mile. Then two. Increase gradually. Celebrate each milestone. These little victories keep you motivated and on track.

Setting Different Types of Goals

Goals come in various shapes and sizes. There are personal, professional, spiritual, and even social media goals - yep, getting those followers up counts! Balancing different forms of goals ensures well-rounded growth.

For example, mix professional goals like getting a promotion with personal development goals like learning a new language. It’s like creating a well-balanced diet but for your life.

Accountability and Tracking

Lastly, don’t forget to hold yourself accountable. Share your goals with a friend, family member, or mentor. Use apps or journals to track your progress on a daily basis.

This not only keeps you on track but also provides motivation when you see how far you’ve come.

So, there you have it. Whether you're using SMART goals, the WOOP method, visualization, or breaking down big goals, there are plenty of ways to set yourself up for success.

Remember, the most important task is to start. Set those goals, take actionable steps, and watch as you turn dreams into reality.

Share your goals to reinforce action.

Steps to Set and Achieve Your Goals

Setting goals is one thing; achieving them is another beast entirely. Here’s your step-by-step guide to not just set but smash those goals like a pro.

1. Define Your Goals

First, get clear on what you want. Specific goals beat general goals every time. Instead of “I want to be healthier,” try “I will exercise three times a week.”

Be precise and detailed. This is where you set the upper limit of what you want to achieve.

2. Break Down Big Goals

Big goals can be overwhelming. Break them into smaller, manageable tasks. If your goal is to write a book, start with a chapter. This makes the process less daunting and more doable.

3. Set Measurable Goals

One of the first questions I ask a client when they set a goal is "How will you know when you've achieved it?" The answer is easy when you can quantify your result.

Make sure your goals are measurable. This means you can track progress and know when you’ve achieved them. For instance, “I want to save $1,000 in three months” is better than “I want to save money.”

4. Create an Action Plan

List out the steps needed to reach your goal. This might involve researching, gathering resources, or learning new skills. A clear action plan turns goals into actionable tasks.

When you have a clear action plan, you're less likely to get lost in the process. Aimless actions are wasted actions.

5. Set Deadlines

Deadlines create urgency and keep you accountable. Without a time frame, goals can linger indefinitely. Mark specific dates on your calendar and stick to them.

I was a classic last-minute essay writer in college and university. Once I realized this was my strength, I began moving the deadlines sooner. This was I would get my assignments done early.

6. Visualize Your Success

Spend time each day visualizing your success. Picture the moment you achieve your goal. This mental practice boosts motivation and confidence.

I’ve used this technique with clients preparing for big presentations. Visualizing the applause and praise helps calm nerves and build excitement.

7. Monitor Your Progress

Regularly check in on your progress. Adjust your action plan if needed. Life happens, and flexibility is key. Use journals, apps, or spreadsheets to track your journey. Seeing your progress keeps you motivated.

8. Stay Accountable

Share your goals with someone who will hold you accountable. This could be a friend, family member, or mentor. Regular check-ins help keep you on track.

You'll feel more determined to succeed when people are rooting for you. Then you can share your success with them too.

9. Reward Yourself

Celebrate small victories along the way. Rewards keep you motivated and make the process enjoyable. Whether it’s a night out or a small treat, acknowledging your progress is important.

Just make sure the reward doesn't negate the goal. For example, if you succeed at eating at a calorie deficit Monday to Saturday, don't reward yourself by gorging on cake and ice cream on Sunday.

10. Reflect and Adjust

Finally, reflect on what’s working and what’s not. Adjust your goals and methods as needed. It’s okay to pivot. Flexibility ensures you stay on the right path even when obstacles arise.

The best plan you can do is the one you WILL do. Learn from slips and trips, but keep moving forward.

Story Time

I once had a client whose goal was to run a marathon. We broke it down into smaller goals: first running a 5k, then a 10k, and so on.

She visualized crossing the finish line, tracked her progress, and celebrated each milestone with small rewards. She not only completed the marathon but did so with a personal best time.

Setting and achieving goals is about more than just wishing for things to happen. It’s about creating a structured plan and taking consistent action.

Follow these steps, and you’ll find yourself achieving more than you ever thought possible. Now, go out there and turn those dreams into reality!

track progress

Overcoming Challenges in Goal Setting

Setting goals is the fun part; achieving them is where the real challenge lies. But fear not, intrepid goal-setter! Here’s how to overcome the common hurdles that might trip you up on your way to glory.

Lack of Clarity

One of the biggest obstacles is not knowing what you really want. Without clear, specific goals, you're just wandering aimlessly.

Think of it this way: You can't find something when you don't know what you're looking for. Make sure your goals are well-defined and specific.

Instead of “I want to be successful,” aim for “I want to earn a promotion to a leadership role within six months.”


The classic enemy of progress. Procrastination can derail even the most important goals. The trick is to break down big tasks into smaller, more manageable ones.

An easy goal to start with might be setting aside just 10 minutes a day to work on your project. Gradually increase the time as you build momentum.

External Goals vs. Internal Motivation

Sometimes, we set goals based on what others expect from us. These external goals can lack the personal drive needed to achieve them.

Focus on what you truly want. Internal goals, those that align with your personal values and desires, are more motivating.

As an inspirational quote I once read said, “Set goals from your heart, not from others’ expectations.” I felt that.

Overcoming Implicit Assumptions

Implicit assumptions about your abilities can hinder your progress. These are the little voices saying, “You can’t do this.” These are limiting beliefs.

Recognize these thoughts and challenge them. Believe in your capacity to grow and improve. Remember, the control group in life is often ourselves; overcoming internal barriers is key.

Balancing Personal Lives and Goals

Life can get busy, making it hard to stay focused on your goals. Integrate your goals into your daily routine.

For example, if you aim to improve your fitness, make it a part of your morning ritual. Balancing goals with personal lives requires flexibility and time management.

Dealing with Setbacks

Setbacks are part of the journey. The key is to view them as learning opportunities rather than failures. Adjust your plan and keep moving forward.

I had a client who missed her goal of hiking Mount Kilimanjaro due to an injury. Instead of giving up, she shifted her focus to rehabilitation and strength training, setting new, achievable goals.

Her setback merely extended her timeline. It did not prevent her from reaching the peak.

Managing External Factors

External factors, like unexpected events or changes in circumstances, can throw you off track. Plan for these by having backup goals or alternative routes to your primary goals.

If your goal is to save money but you face unexpected expenses, adjust your savings plan rather than abandoning it.

Maintaining Motivation

Keeping motivation high over the long haul is challenging. Celebrate small victories and remind yourself why you set the goal in the first place.

Inspirational quotes, vision boards, or even a simple list of reasons can reignite your passion. But also keep in mind that motivation fluctuates naturally. Sometimes you just can to go without it.

Organizational Behavior

Understanding organizational behavior can help, especially for professional goals.

Knowing how to navigate workplace dynamics and leverage team support can be crucial. If your goal involves teamwork, ensure everyone is aligned and motivated.

Regular Review and Adjustment

Finally, regularly review and adjust your goals. Life changes, and so should your goals. I wish I had known this in college. I spent years working toward a goal I didn't even want.

Regularly check in on your progress and be willing to tweak your plan. Flexibility ensures you stay on the right path.

Story Time

I once worked with a client who struggled with balancing her career goals and personal lives. She wanted to advance in her job but felt overwhelmed.

We broke down her goals, integrated them into her daily routine, and created a flexible plan. She not only achieved her professional goals but also maintained a happy personal life.

Overcoming challenges in goal setting is all about staying flexible, focused, and motivated. With these strategies, you can navigate obstacles and achieve your goals.

Now, go out there and tackle those challenges like the champion you are!

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How To Set Goals

Setting and achieving goals is a journey filled with excitement, challenges, and growth. It's not just about writing down your dreams; it's about creating a roadmap to turn those dreams into reality.

Remember, the key to successful goal setting lies in clarity, motivation, and flexibility.

Think of your goals as the GPS coordinates of your life's journey. Without them, you're just wandering aimlessly.

But with clear, specific goals, you have a direction and a purpose. Break those big, intimidating goals into smaller, manageable steps. Celebrate each small victory along the way to stay energized for the journey.

Embrace the methods that work best for you, whether it's SMART goals, the WOOP method, or daily visualization.

Find what resonates and stick with it. And don’t forget to hold yourself accountable. Share your goals with someone who will check in on your progress and keep you on track.

Overcoming challenges is part of the process. Life will throw curveballs, but flexibility and persistence will see you through. Adjust your plans as needed, and don't be afraid to pivot if something isn’t working.

Finally, reflect regularly on your progress and be willing to tweak your goals. Life changes, and so should your goals. Keep your eyes on the prize, but stay open to new paths and opportunities.

So, what are your important goals? What steps will you take today to move closer to your dreams?

Remember, goal setting isn’t a one-time event; it’s a continuous process of striving, achieving, and growing. Take control, set your course, and embark on the adventure of reaching your ultimate goals.

Now, go out there and show the world what you're made of!

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