Have you ever been overwhelmed by all the thoughts running through your head about what you want to achieve in life? You have all kinds of great ideas but then everyday life happens and you forget about those thoughts. You end up stuck in your current position wishing you could achieve more. This doesn’t feel good, and it actually happens to a lot of people. What we all need to learn is How to setup personal goals and how to achieve those goals in order to move forward.
When we don’t set goals, we tend to lose direction. We need a map of life to keep us on the right track. This doesn’t mean we can’t go around every now and then – sometimes we get new ideas or opportunities that require a new map. We are also likely to have situations that are beyond our control. In these times, we will need to find a way to adapt and adapt. However, if we never start to track our plan, we risk getting lost completely.
Nobody wants to feel lost. It can be scary and exhausting to leave our lives to chance. You’ll want to take control of your life, where you can, to do what’s right for you. Fortunately, these instructions on how to set and achieve personal goals provide all the steps needed to keep us focused on our plans.
Related: 10 Free Printable Goal Setting Worksheets That Will Help You Achieve Anything
How to set personal goals
Setting goals for yourself may seem like the easiest part – you can start by writing down everything you want to achieve on your own. However, you can’t stop there! You might have a lot of ideas and a huge list wouldn’t be much better than all those ideas in your head. The list needs to be divided.
Make sure your personal goals are smart
When you look at your list of big goals, you’ll first need to cross out any goals that don’t fit the SMART criteria. What is SMART?
- S – specific
- m – meaningful
- A – achievable
- R – realistic
- T – track it
A specific goal is something that is highly identifiable. If your goal is to be rich one day, this is too broad and therefore, it probably won’t come true. A better goal is that you want to find a better paying job in the next three months.
Now, are your goals meaningful? You want to be honest with yourself. Make sure your goals align with your interests and motivations. It’s not a good idea to set goals that you think others might like. This would be a difficult goal to achieve.
How likely are you to achieve all of your goals? Do you have the skills, time and desire to do what it takes to get it done? Don’t put something on your list that would take a practical miracle to make it into your schedule. For example, if you want to lose 50 pounds in 3 weeks, it probably won’t. Instead, set a goal of losing a few pounds per week with a healthy diet and exercise.
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Realistic goals go hand in hand with achievability. If you have a goal of becoming a doctor but don’t want to study, your goal is unrealistic.
Finally, can you track your goal? Most goals are a process, and if you can see small increases in success, it will keep you motivated to stick to your goals.
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Prioritize your personal goals
Now that you’ve shortened your list a bit, it’s time to prioritize what’s left. Read your list and identify your most important goal as the number one goal. Keep achieving all of your goals until you get on your priority list.
Set personal goal timeframes
If you have a long-term list of goals, you will need to set a time when each goal can be achieved. Remember to be realistic! Start by sorting your list by the things you want to achieve in a week, month, year, and even a decade. Don’t be shortsighted because of urgent needs.
How to achieve personal goals
Once you have identified all of your goals, you have to work towards achieving them. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to start working on your plan when you already have one. Take small steps at a time and before you know it, you have many goals achieved. It’s a big help to know your schedule and it’s good to start seeing some of the easier goals being accomplished.
Just like reading a map, when you reach one goal, you can continue to progress through the goals timeline until you reach your destination.
Related: 25 long-term goals to do — plus tips on how to stick to them
Examples of personal goals
If you’re still struggling with what you want to set as your goals, here are some life topics that might help you fill in the blank paper you’re staring at.
- Financial/Professional Objectives Think about what you would like to collect and what your budget is. Most people tend to want more than they have money for. You will first need to determine what you really want or need. The more you want, the more you have to work and the more stress you may feel. What is really most important to you? This will help you decide if you want a goal for a second job, a better paying job, more time off work, less stress, or a healthy work-life balance. Remember to be honest with yourself and not feel the need to keep up with the neighbors when you set any kind of financial or business goal.
- Relationship goals Do you want to seek more friends or be in a romantic relationship? This may motivate a goal to join a club or church where you have more opportunities to meet people.
- health goals – Do you live a healthy life? Think about the things you do that may not be good for your health that can be changed. Some ideas might be to lose weight, quit smoking, quit drinking, start exercising, start meditating, or eat healthy foods.
- Vacation Objectives Getting a break every now and then is important and vacation goals are fun. You may want to do more than just take time off work. Think about the places you want to visit or the things you want to do and set that goal!
- Learning objectives There’s always something new to learn and it’s a great way to keep your brain fresh. Whether you want to take a class or read about a topic you enjoy, make sure you take the time to discover it. You can also learn more about yourself.
Top tips to stay motivated about your goals
- Your accountability partner Even with a good plan, there will be times when we turn away. It helps to tell at least one person what you are trying to achieve. A good friend or family member can help remind you of your goal when you start to lose focus.
- reward yourself Sometimes we need a little extra encouragement along the way. Feel free to celebrate small accomplishments. When you’re moving in the right direction, that’s a good thing!
- Add in small steps Your original goal may seem a little intimidating. Try to break this goal down into smaller steps that you can slowly achieve. Achieving these small goals will keep you motivated to continue.
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