Many of us find ourselves wanting to make changes at some point in our lives. This could be for a variety of reasons including wanting to change jobs, buy a house, be your own boss, have a kid, etc. When we start to feel the desire to make change in our lives, it is important to know how to successfully do this. The best way to ensure successful and positive change in our lives is to set goals. In this post, I will share 9 ways to set, keep, and meet your goals.
- Make a Decision
The first thing you need to do when you are setting goals, is to decide on why you are wanting to set goals. What do you hope to achieve from setting goals? Many people think that setting the goals themselves help you decide this, but honestly if you put some thought into why you need to be setting goals in the first place you are more likely to follow through on these goals or to meet the goals you want in life.
The next thing you need to do when setting goals is to decide on what kind of goals you are going to set. There are so many facets of life that you could set goals for. Personally, I decided to set professional and personal goals. This way I can keep track of where I want to be career wise and keep track of the numerous other areas in my life. However, you may choose different types of goals like lifetime goals or yearly goals. Just choose what works best for you.
- Write it Down
Now that you have decided you are going to start setting goals and working towards accomplishing them, it will be really helpful to write these goals down. There are many benefits to writing down your goals such as providing yourself with a visual aid, and remembering all the goals you want to set. When you don’t write these down, it is very easy to lose focus or to forget what you are working towards. I plan on creating a worksheet to help you write down your goals in the future. Once I have created this, I will update this section.
- Break it down
Once you have written down all the goals you want to set, you may want to break these goals down into more manageable timeframes. I mentioned above you may way to set lifetime goals or yearly goals, buI would recommend breaking your goals down even further. Personally, I use the following breakdown when I set goals:
Many people make the mistake of only creating either long term or short term goals, but not both. Breaking your goals down into these four categories will allow you to create both long-term and short-term goals. This will then allow you to create steps towards meeting these long-term goals and will allow you to feel a sense of accomplishment early on.
- SMART Goals
Once you have created your goals and broken them down into various timeframes of completion, you will want to make sure that your goals have five SMART qualities.
You will want to narrow your goals down from “I want to lose weight” to “I want to lose 50 pounds”
Once you have narrowed down your goals you will want to determine a way to measure this. With the losing weight goal, you will want to include a timeframe for losing the 50 pounds, such as “I want to lose 50 pounds in 12 months” and you will want to include a way to track your weight loss such as through weekly weigh-ins or measurements.
Making sure your goals can be achieved is very important to help you stay motivated and to meet goals in a mentally and physically healthy manner. You also don’t want to set yourself up for failure.
Making sure your goals are applicable is extremely important. If you only need to lose 10 pounds, there is no reason for you to set a goal to lose 50 pounds.
Setting the time-frame in which you want to accomplish a goal is important to keep you focused, motivated, and on track for success.
Now that you have broken down your goals, you will want to develop a plan of action. I recommend starting from the larger goals and working your way down to the smaller goals. I find that creating individual lists of my weekly, monthly, and yearly goals is very useful. Once I create these lists I am able to create a daily to-do list with individualized steps towards meeting these larger goals.
An example of this would be if you decide you would like to lose 50 pounds in 12 months. You would simply make your monthly weight loss goal based off that percentage and then create weekly weight loss goals from there. Your daily tasks to meet this goal would include various workouts and meal planning.
- Be Self-Aware
Once you have set SMART goals that are carefully broken down in a manner that works for you, you will want to determine the best way for you to set boundaries for yourself. It is very important to not become consistently stressed, overworked, or obsessed with meeting your goals. This is not to say you should not be determined and that meeting your goals won’t require time and effort, because they will. Instead, this is to say that you need to be aware of your personal limitations and to set boundaries that will allow you to maintain your overall physical and mental health and well-being.
Now that you have set your goals and created a plan, you may find it useful to have accountability. You can find accountability in a variety of ways, including:
- Social Media
I found that I started meeting my goals when I started blogging about them. It wasn’t enough for me to just share my goals with those around me. For this reason, I would recommend utilizing social media to help hold yourself accountable. Now, a lot of people need that one on one support. I encourage this too. Just make sure whomever you choose to be your accountability is able to devote the time and effort in to helping keep you focused.
- Set Rewards
I have found that you are much more likely to stay motivated if you establish a reward system for goals that you meet. The great thing about this is that you can choose what your rewards will be. I recommend setting small rewards for short-term goals, and large rewards for long-term rewards. However, it is extremely important to give yourself rewards that help keep moving your forward. You never want to reward yourself with a potential set-back.
Examples of rewards that could hinder you would be, rewarding yourself with dessert when you’ve lost 5 pounds, or allowing yourself to spend $50 when you have saved $500. This is not to say these rewards are necessarily bad, but you have to know your personal limitations. If you have a sweet tooth and are trying to lose weight, try rewarding yourself with a new haircut instead. If you have a problem spending money in places you shouldn’t reward yourself with a day of relaxation at home instead.
- Stay Positive
Ultimately, it is important to stay positive throughout the goal setting process. You have already made the first steps by just thinking about and creating your goals. Now keep yourself motivated by continuing to find reason for why you are doing this, and never giving up. Continuing to push forward is the only way to ensure you are constantly growing and improving. Even if you experience some sort of set-back you can always find ways to remain optimistic or motivated.
I hope you find this list of how to set your own goals helpful. If you would like to read additional blog posts on goal setting, I highly recommend these two posts from a fellow blogger at The Extra Income Project: 14 Amazingly Powerful Benefits of Goal Setting and The Primary Benefit of Goal Setting to Ensure You Improve. I look forward to seeing where my goals take me in the future and I look forward to hearing about your goal progress as well.
Feel free to share below what goals you have set for yourself and any goals you have already met! I want to hear how you chose to reward yourself as well!