Goal setting doesn't have to be hard. If you work through some goal-setting techniques, it can set you up for success. Often goals feel unachievable because they are too hard or too broad, but try taking five basic steps to make sure that you are achieving goals weekly, monthly and yearly.
Decide What You Want
The problem with many goals is that people are confused about what they want. First decide where your goals lie with life, health, fitness, career, spirituality and family. Then list two or three goals for each topic to give you balance.
Aim for SMART Goals
Failure rates for achieving goals are high because many goals are unattainable and unrealistic. Avoid this by taking the SMART approach. Be specific. Have measurable, attainable and relevant goals that are time-bound. It's a wonderful goal to want to lose 70 pounds in a year. But how are you going to achieve that without being overwhelmed? You have to be specific about the kinds of exercise and diet you need to commit to; you have to record short-term and long-term goals and update them as your fitness level improves.
Be Positive and Stay Positive
Instead of saying, “I am not going to miss my exercise routine today,” say “I’m really busy, so I’ll just make time for 20 minutes on the treadmill.” Stating your goal positively will help you view it as a good thing to do, and not as a byproduct of what you had to avoid. Positive affirmations work best if you speak them aloud emphatically. In the above example, place the emphasis on the word "make." That one little trick will spur you forward when you're in doubt of your abilities to make things happen or believe in yourself.
Make It Visual
Writing your goals down confirms your willingness to make them happen. Then hang the list up to remind yourself daily of your direction and dedication. A written list of goals is an effective way to remind you of what you need to do and how to do it. Then once you’re done, it’s a good way to review your accomplishment. You can also use an attractive journal that you feel good to work with or online goal tracking programs or apps.
The fear of failure is sometimes to blame for setting our goals too low or not achieving them. Don’t let your fears and worries about not meeting your goals slow you down. Instead, believe in yourself and have faith in who you are and where you are going. As you achieve one goal, you can see better and believe more easily in the accomplishment of others.