#GOALS: A Guide to Setting Personal Goals and Making Them Stick

It’s a whole new decade.

With the new year and new decade, most of us have started thinking about our goals. Whether we want to lose weight, get a promotion, or save up to move, we have a list of things we hope to accomplish.

The disappointment comes when we don’t reach all of our goals. Sometimes emergencies happen or the rush of daily life causes us to lose focus. No matter what, not reaching a goal can be soul-crushing. 

However, you don’t have to face disappointment anymore after setting personal goals. Keep reading for goal-setting tips that work. 

Figure Out Your Goals

The first step to achieving goals is figuring out what your specific goals are in life. We all want to be successful and happy, but what does that look like?

Saying your goal is achieving ultimate happiness is great and all, but let’s break down the specific goals in the process. We need to make SMART goals. SMART goals stand for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals.

Highlight Specific Goals

When setting specific goals, you want to sit down and truly think about the goals you want to set. Grab a pen and paper, put yourself in a productive environment, and allow yourself to think for a while.

Don’t be afraid to scribble down thoughts and scratch out the thoughts that don’t serve you. Goal-setting is overwhelming because it starts broad, but we want to pull out specifics.

Ask yourself, “What exactly do I want to accomplish? Why do I want to accomplish it? How am I going to reach it?”

Instead of saying you want to be healthy, think about what goals you can set to make yourself healthier. Do you want to eat better or exercise more? Are you looking to lose 30 pounds?

Setting a specific goal is crucial because it takes away the unnecessary mental clutter. 

Make Your Goals Measurable

One of the easiest ways to make goals measurable is to create sub-goals to your overarching goals. Now that your goals are specific, make your process clear.

It’s like making a cake. The end goal of your baking session is a cake, but the recipe is what helps you measure things out to reach the end. You need to develop the recipe for your goal. 

Let’s say your goal was to lose 30 pounds. It’s now time to develop sub-goals to reach that goal. 

One measurable sub-goal you can set is pledging to go to the gym at least 5 times a week for 45 minutes. You can measure out your time in the gym in a chart or planner you create. 

Another sub-goal could be you only allow yourself to eat out once per week. This goal can be easily measured by keeping a count of how many times per week you eat out at a restaurant.

As you go along in your process, you may find sub-goals that need to be measured differently or altered altogether. For example, as you lose weight, you may find you need to stay at the gym longer to continue losing weight. Go back to your chart and alter the measurements.

Guarantee Your Goals Are Achievable

Sometimes the reason we don’t reach a goal is that it wasn’t achievable in the first place. If you barely have a savings account now but your goal is to become a millionaire in 2 months, you might have an extremely hard time attaining that goal. Unless a miracle happens, you most likely won’t become a millionaire in such a short time.

Realize things take time, and lasting results come with plenty of preparation and hard work. Overnight success is possible but not likely. 

If you’re wanting to save up for a month-long trip to Europe, measure your progress along the way. What seemed reasonable in the beginning may not be reasonable as you grow closer to the trip date. 

Perhaps to keep the trip attainable, you lower it from a month to a 2-week trip in Europe. You can even move the trip further out to give yourself more time.

Be realistic with yourself while also being merciful to yourself. 

Set Relevant Goals

As you write down the goals you wish to reach, assure yourself they are relevant goals. Is it the correct time for your goals, and are you in a place where you can reach them?

If your goal is to develop a savings account, you may set the sub-goal of working 30 more hours a week. However, if you’re a mother with several children, the extra hours may not be a goal relevant to your current situation.

This is where brainstorming comes into play. Instead of working a ton of extra hours, perhaps you can search for a better paying job or take steps towards a promotion that will boost your pay.

Write Down Time-Bound Goals

All of us want to reach our goals, but we need to know when to reach them. Not giving yourself a time limit can cause you to veer off course. 

Perhaps your goal is to completely remodel your kitchen. If you don’t set a date, you won’t know when to complete all the tasks necessary to remodel the kitchen. 

If you tell yourself you want everything finished in 6 months, you know when to get things done and are more disciplined throughout the process. In fact, not giving yourself the time limit can prove itself more stressful in the end. 

Setting Personal Goals You Can Reach

Sitting down and setting personal goals can be terrifying for many reasons. It may seem impossible at the current moment, or maybe you haven’t reached past goals so you’re scared to try again.

By setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals, you are on the highway to success. As you continue your journey, allow yourself to mess up and jump back in the saddle after any falls. For more resources and information about our healthcare network, make sure to check out our site and contact us