Achieve Your Goals: A Comprehensive Guide to Goal Setting

Author - Megan Isola
Published - September 4, 2023

Everyone has goals whether or not they realize it. Some people want to lose weight, while others want to purchase a home. Your goals can influence your overall life, so setting the right goals and creating a plan is crucial. For instance, someone who wants to purchase a car needs a plan for affording that car, while someone who wants to complete a major project needs to set milestones

Goal setting is important in business because every business aims to increase sales. For instance, accountants use practice management software to manage their businesses, but we don’t have software to help us manage our lives. Instead, we must rely on our ability to set and achieve goals. 

So how do you set goals that you can actually achieve?

Setting Goals

Anyone can have a goal, but there are good and bad goals. Ultimately, your goals must be achievable on some level. There are different types of goals: short-term and long-term goals. Your long-term goals won’t happen overnight and typically won’t be realized unless you have a plan made up of much smaller goals. 

By setting goals the right way, you’ll be less likely to give up on them. Goals shouldn’t be abstract concepts; instead, they should be something you can work toward instead of dreaming of. They should be clear, written down, and you should be constantly reminded of them. Here are a few tips to help you set better, more achievable goals:

Write your goal down

Writing your goal down materializes it from thin air. You’re more likely to achieve a goal if you write it down because it enables you to create a clear plan for it. For instance, if you want to lose weight, your ultimate plan might include tracking calories and setting specific daily and weekly goals. While this might sound old-fashioned, it’s incredibly effective for helping you achieve these goals rather than thinking they will happen eventually. 

Write your goal down, no matter what it is and how long it’ll take you to achieve it. If you want to purchase a house in ten years, write it down. Then, write a plan for how you’ll save enough money to purchase that house. For instance, you may set a monthly or yearly savings goal, breaking your goal down into more digestible chunks. 

Make your goals specific

Any time you have a goal, it should be specific. Wanting to lose weight is great, but how much weight do you want to lose? Goals must be specific to be achievable. You should be able to envision reaching your goal in mind by getting more specific about them. The more specific you are, the more willing you will work toward it. For instance, if you want to buy a house, what kind of house, how many bedrooms, what features are you looking for, and so forth?

The more specific you are about your goals, the more likely you are to succeed because you’ll actually be able to envision them. 

In addition to being specific about what the goal is, you should pick a specific deadline for reaching your goal. For instance, if you want to buy a house in ten years, pick a date in the future for when you’ll have achieved your goal based on your overall plan. 

Don’t skip this part. While you might not know if it’s possible to reach your goal by that exact date, you need this timeframe to help you break your goal into smaller milestones. For instance, if you want to lose 20 pounds by November 1st, and it’s currently March 1st, you can break your goal down by the month, setting an exact amount of pounds you want to lose every month until November when you reach your goal. 

Determine your reasons

You won’t achieve your goals unless you identify your reasons. Why do you want to achieve those goals? For instance, why do you want to lose weight? Asking yourself these questions can give you the motivation you need to actually get it down. Let’s say you want to purchase a house in 10 years. Why do you want to purchase a house? Many people might say that they can start families, stop renting because it’s a good investment, and so forth. Knowing the reasons behind your goal can help you stick to it, even when your goal is many years away from being achieved. 

Always have an action plan

Having a goal is essential, but you won’t achieve that goal without a plan. You can say you want to lose weight, but you won’t do it until you determine how to lose it. For instance, are you going to focus on diet, exercise, or both? What are you going to eat? How are you going to track your progress?

An action plan ensures you keep your goal at the top of your mind and know exactly what you should be doing at any given time. 

Consider your challenges

Every goal will have obstacles that try to prevent you from reaching it. Instead of letting those obstacles get in your way, consider the challenges beforehand and strategize a plan for overcoming them. For instance, if you want to lose weight, you’ll have to deal with cravings or get-togethers with family and friends where the food might not be the healthiest. 

How you overcome these challenges should be part of your action plan. For instance, if you get a craving, you might have a backup plan for an alternative healthy snack.


Final Thoughts

The most important part of goal setting isn’t the goal itself; it’s how you achieve the goal. Without having a thorough plan of action and tracking your goals regularly, you may never achieve them. There will be times when you feel farther from achieving your goals than ever, so don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board to find ways to overcome obstacles and set new goals when necessary. 


Megan IsolaAuthor bio:  Megan Isola holds a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and a minor in Business Marketing from Cal State University Chico. She enjoys going to concerts, trying new restaurants, and hanging out with friends.





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