The Ultimate Guide to Setting Goals

The Ultimate Guide to Setting Goals

New Year, New Me… that’s how it goes, right? 

January arrives and the New Year’s Resolutions start rolling off the tongue… So many of us make these Resolutions, but hardly any of us actually stick to them… That’s because a resolution isn’t a goal. And to achieve what you really want, you need to set goals.

A goal could be something as big as saving an amount of money to buy a house, or as small as completing a report by next Thursday. 

But trying to achieve something without setting goals can cause you to lack focus, motivation and direction. Setting goals and working towards something is the key to success. Here’s how to set goals to make them happen.

1. Ideas

Start by jotting down some ideas of things you’d like to achieve in 2021… or even in this month. Think about how important it would be to achieve each of the things on your list and how much effort is worth putting into each.

2. Refine Your Goals

Next, think about how you are actually going to achieve your goals. Splitting them into short-term and long-term goals can help you prioritise them. 

3. Make sure your goals are SMART goals

You might have heard of SMART goal setting in other areas of your life, but it’s just as important to apply this principle to your personal goals too if you want to achieve them.

Specific - Your goals need to be specific with an end goal to aim for. If you’re not specific, how will you know if you’ve achieved it.

Measurable - Make sure your goal has a deadline so you can keep yourself on track. If your goal is to save an amount of money in 12 months, you should be able to check you’re on track on a monthly basis. Without a deadline you can’t measure your progress and this can cause you to lose motivation and give up trying.

Actionable - You need to be able to do something to make your goal happen. If your goal is to run a marathon in 6 months, but you’re not able to run for the next 3 months, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to achieve your goal, no matter how hard you try.

Realistic - This might seem obvious, but your goal needs to be realistic. There’s no point setting a goal to walk on the moon… unless you’re actually an astronaut. 

Timely - Make sure you know how long it will take you to achieve your goal and work out if there’s actually enough time to make it happen.

And most importantly, write these goals down and put them somewhere you can see them, so everyday you’re reminded of your goals. Not only will this help to keep you on track but it can help motivate you to not just achieve them but smash them.

Top tips to help make sure you achieve your goals:

1. Visualise accomplishing your goals

Visualising the end result can actually help you achieve your goal. When you visualise achieving the goal, your body feels what it’s like to have done so, and it motivates you to make it happen.

2. Share Your Goals

Whether you share them in your WhatsApp group with your friends, or post about them on social media, sharing them with someone makes it more real and you’re more likely to stick to your plan to achieve them because you feel like people are expecting you to. It’s a little boost of motivation to stick to your plan and not give up, everytime someone asks about your progress.

3. Keep goals visible

Pin them up on your fridge, or put them as your phone’s lock screen. It doesn’t matter as long as you see them regularly and keep your goals front of mind.

4. Regularly review your  goals

Keep reviewing your progress and whether anything needs to change in order to achieve your goal. Life happens and plans can change, but as long as you’re fixed on the end result, changes to how you achieve them can change.