How to set goals that you can accomplish

set goals, writing a list

Have you been having a great time ringing in the New Year? I hope so! It’s definitely hard to believe that it’s 2020. Do you feel stressed when you try to set goals for a new year? This might be because you have a habit of setting unattainable goals. When you want to set yourself up for success, it’s best to take a few precautionary measures. This helps ensure that you are able to achieve what you’re trying to achieve. If you’re always basing your efforts on pie-in-the-sky plans, chances are, you’ll be disappointed.

This post will help you learn how to set goals in such a way that you are bound to succeed. Every person is unique and your needs and limitations might be vastly different from mine or someone else’s. A key to setting achievable goals is to first identify your own needs and limitations. This way, your goals will have purpose (i.e. to meet your needs) and you can customize them to avoid overextending yourself.

Evaluate the situation

If you want to set goals you can achieve in 2020, take some time to analyze your life. What are your desires for the year ahead, and what are your specific needs? Your goals may be fine-tuned according to topics, such as marriage, career, spiritual life, health, etc. It’s helpful to make a list regarding each topic, asking yourself the same questions. What do you need or want? How can you accomplish it? Once you’re certain that you have thoroughly evaluated your current circumstances, you can move on to the next phase.

Specify exactly what you hope to accomplish

If you set goals that are too broad or not clarified, it’s akin to “grasping for straws.” Let’s face it. We can make a nice, long list that includes things like “lose weight,” “travel,” “have more fun,” etc. Chances of achieving such goals are little to none because it’s unclear what the exact goals are. Identify and state exactly what you hope you accomplish. Also state what types of actions you can take to achieve your goals. Then, add a time table but don’t become a slave to it, meaning, if you’re not right on target, you feel like quitting.

Instead, use your plan as a guide and as inspiration. Instead of writing that you want to lose weight, be more specific. State how many pounds you hope to lose. Also state what you can do to accomplish it. (Stop eating processed sugar? Eat two servings of raw vegetables and fruits every day? Take brisk walks for 30 minutes at a time twice a day?)

When you set goals, make sure they’re reachable

You might want to lose 45 pounds but writing a goal of losing 10-15 pounds may be more attainable to start. Setting an impossible goal is a first step toward failure. Don’t undermine your own efforts at the starting gate. Setting realistic goals will help you stay motivated. If you set out on a particular goal journey and later realize you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, stop. Re-analyze, redefine, rewrite the plan, and start again.

Decide if you should set goals privately or with others

Determine your goal-setting personality. Do you do better when someone else is holding you accountable? Are you more likely to achieve success if you tell no one about your goals? There’s no right or wrong way to go about it. The idea is to devise the type of plan that will best enable you to accomplish what you hope to achieve. If you like visual reminders and encouragement, then hang a goal poster (vision board, whatever you want to call it) in a conspicuous location and look at it often. Perhaps, you’d like to set goals as a married couple or with your spouse and children together. You might do it both ways, as well. You can keep some goals private and share others.

Avoid procrastination when you set goals

If you hope to achieve a specific goal, such as becoming more organized, in 2020, don’t wait until the year is half over to launch an effort. Incorporating a time table into your plan does no good if you disregard it. Working toward a goal only has two directions, forward (progress) or backward (unaccomplished). There is no standing still. You’re either moving closer toward success or away from it. Procrastination is standing still, which is, in effect, keeping you away from your goal.

Celebrate success

Any time you accomplish one of your goals, make a big deal about it. Decorate as if for a party. Serve a special meal or snacks. Let someone know about your success! Give thanks to God for helping you achieve what you set out to do. Each celebration serves as motivation and encouragement for future goals. Remember, when you set goals, make them achievable.  It will then be likelier that you’ll have something to celebrate!

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