If you’re like most people, you have a lot of goals. Maybe you want to lose weight, get fit, or finally start learning how to play an instrument. The important thing is that you’re setting out on this new path with enthusiasm and eagerness – as long as you make sure that your goal is realistic!
Distinguish your long term goals from your short term goals.
If you’re like most people in the world, you likely have multiple goals that are important to you. Maybe one of your short term goals is to save $2,000 by the end of the year. In order for this to happen, however, it will require many steps over several months—like cutting back on spending and finding ways to earn more money through side hustles or other part-time work. This is an example of a short term goal that helps move along your way toward your long term goal (saving up enough money so that you can retire comfortably).
Create a list of your goals based upon why you want to achieve them.
A goal is something you want to achieve. Why do you want to achieve it? What will you get out of it? Your motivations, or reasons for wanting a particular goal, should be based on the benefits that are associated with achieving that goal. For example:
- “I want a new job because I’m not happy at my current job.”
- “I want to lose 20 pounds so I can feel healthier and more confident.”
- “I want to be an artist because creativity fulfills me and helps me find meaning in life.”
Narrow down your list.
- Narrow down your list.
- Prioritize the goals you want to achieve.
- Set up a schedule for completing your goals.
Prioritize your goals in order of which is most important to you.
In order to prioritize your goals, you need to think about what’s most important to you. This is where it’s helpful to think about the results of each goal—what will happen if you don’t achieve a particular goal? If there isn’t much at stake for not achieving that goal, then maybe it shouldn’t be prioritized as highly as other goals.
For example, let’s say that one of your goals is “going on vacation.” It might not be worth prioritizing this over other goals like getting better grades or saving up money for your future. Going on vacation can wait until later in life when more pressing issues have been addressed. On the other hand, if one of your goals is “not dying,” then this should definitely take precedence over everything else because failure to succeed at it would lead directly toward death (and nobody wants that).
Consider the obstacles that may get in the way of accomplishing these goals, and how you might overcome them.
It’s important to consider the obstacles that can get in the way of accomplishing your goals. For example, you may be tempted to go on a spending spree when you finally become debt-free, but then find yourself right back where you started—in more debt.
Or maybe your goal is to buy a car and learn how to drive stick shift. You could spend weeks taking lessons at the local community college and learning about cars from friends or family members who know about them, but none of that will count for anything if it turns out that stick shifts are just not for you.
The point is: before embarking on anything new or different, make sure it’s something that works well with who YOU are and what YOUR needs/wants/desires are!
Make sure your goals are realistic, attainable, and measurable.
Your goals should be realistic, attainable, and measurable. To give you a better idea what we mean by this:
- Realistic – Make sure your goals are within the realm of possibility. If you’re trying to lose 50 pounds in a month, that’s probably not going to happen unless you’ve been working out intensely for weeks beforehand.
- Attainable – You needn’t set an unattainable goal of becoming president or winning an Oscar if your dream job is just being an accountant at a local firm. Focus on what’s most important for now and work up from there.
- Measurable – It’s sometimes easier to measure progress towards a goal by having concrete things that help show how far along we are (i.e., losing 5 pounds per week).
Set up a schedule for completing your goals.
If you want to be successful at accomplishing your goals, it’s important that you create a schedule. You need to set aside time every week or day to work on your goal. If you don’t have enough time, then consider re-prioritizing your goals so that the most important ones are completed first.
Make a plan
Set a schedule for completing your goals. It’s important that you have a plan for how to accomplish them and also what to do if you don’t achieve them. Are there things that you can do in the meantime? Will you keep working at it or will you give up? If so, when will you decide whether or not to give up? Are there any interim milestones that would help keep your motivation high?
It’s also important that once achieved, each goal doesn’t become the end in itself; rather, it should be considered simply as one part of an ongoing process of self-improvement. To this end, we recommend creating new goals based on those already achieved (such as: “I did well with my work goals; now let’s see how well I can handle my family obligations”).
If you find yourself struggling to keep on track, consider investing in working with a life coach, who can help keep you accountable.
Remember that successful goal planning is a process, and you’ll need to keep at it until it becomes second nature. With practice and the right support, you’ll be able to set your goals for success and achieve them!