goal setting how to set goals

Goal Setting 101: How to Set Goals You Can Easily Achieve

“To do: set goals for next year.”

This task is probably on your to do list each December. And with good reason. The end of the year always makes us reflect on it and make plans for the next one. We always strive for better things, bigger things, because it is our nature.

To set goals is really a task that should be done by everyone. I think we all need to consider and plan our future. Winging it is not feasible anymore, especially after you finish college or start working. And if 2020 has taught us anything, is that we should be prepared for most things, especially financially. 

So here we are, at the end of the year, preparing for the next one. I am here to hopefully help you set goals in an efficient and easy way, so that the goals list won’t seem so scary anymore. 

It’s time to adapt, improve, succeed and crush our goals! Let’s do this!

Here are my 6 easy steps to help you set goals you can easily achieve:

1. Reflect on current year 

I feel this is an important step that most people skip. 

First thing first, if you have a current year goals list, go through it point by point and check off what you have accomplished. 

Second thing, reflect on the past year and realize

  • What were your accomplishments? Did you lose the 20 pounds? Have you started the blog? Did you save up $5k for the emergency fund? Write everything down….even the goals you didn’t set up at the beginning of the year. For me, starting a blog wasn’t a 2020 goal, but it still happened, and I am so proud of it.
  • What were the bad habits or actions that stopped you accomplishing your goals, and how can you improve them in the next year? This could be something like “I spent too much money on take away, so this year I want to limit my takeaways orders to once per week”.

I also suggest writing down the current status for the goals you already know you want to achieve in the new year. For example, if you want to grow your YouTube, write down how many subscribers you have right now, so you can see the growth next December and see if it’s feasible. 

2. Quick Brainstorm

This is the fun part of setting goals. Just write them down. 

You can think big or small. I mean, you can write down 3-5 year goals, like buying a house or becoming a real estate agent. Or you can set goals you want to achieve in one year. Your choice. 

Write them down on what makes you comfortable at the moment, it can be on a piece of paper, on your notebook, on your phone, etc. You can always transfer them to a different place. The important thing now is to jot down your thoughts and ideas, WITHOUT EDITING. 

I would also recommend to split them in categories, so they will be easier to track. First, think of all the professional things you want to achieve, then go to personal & family, then finance, health and so on. 

3. Transform your goals in SMART goals. 

If you want to set goals in a way that helps you accomplish them, the vital thing you need to do is to make them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound). 

Here are some example of how you can do that:

  • If you want to lose weight, don’t make it your goal to “Lose weight”. Write down “Lose 20 pounds by December 31ist”.
  • Instead of “Make more money”, say “Start selling on Etsy by 1st of June” or “Earn $500 a month from Uber”
  • Don’t write down “Be healthy”, set goals like “Drink 6 glasses of water a day” and “Exercise 3 times a week”

Part of the SMART goal setting is the Time-Bound aspect. Analyze and decide what is the correct and achievable time frame for you to tick off that goal. Do online research, if you have to. 

Don’t write down “Make $5k from my blog the first month”, that is an unrealistic goal and you will not be able to check off the list, therefore it will frustrate and demotivate you. Read other people’s blog income reports and success stories, and always underestimate your success. If someone did it in 3 months, don’t say you will do it in 2 months, that 3 months were probably a best case practice anyway. Say “Make $5k from my blog by the 8th month of blogging”.  

4. Write three tasks you need to accomplish for each goal. 

This is a very helpful step if you want to set goals that you can actually accomplish. It’s especially important if you want to make your life easier and make the process of achieving that goal more clear and efficient. 

Take each goal and add three tasks or to-dos for it. 

Let’s say, for example, that you want to “Start selling on Etsy by 1st of June”. 

The three tasks could be

  • Create Etsy products;
  • Set up Etsy account;
  • Add and optimize products on Etsy (descriptions, photos, etc.)

Now you have a clear plan to actually accomplish this big goal you have. Doesn’t it seem easier to do? You already know where to start and what to do. You can definitely do this by the 1st of June.

5. Have your goals visible in multiple places 

You might not think this is an important step, but it is. Visualizing your goals each day or week is crucial in actually taking action. It’s like an unwashed plate in the sink….eventually you will get to it because you know you have to and it bothers you to see it undone. 

So, after you write your goals in your planner (or wherever else you choose to), write them again in other visible places. Have them in your Notes app. Or on a vision board in your office or living room. Maybe get a magnetic whiteboard for the fridge. Better yet, in all of these places. Just make sure you see them at least once a week, if not once a day. 

The more you see them, the more you remember to work on them.

6. Revise monthly 

This step is THE step you have to take to crush your New Year’s goals. 

Most of us fall into the trap of setting goals and resolutions, and then not coming back to them for the whole year. December rolls in, we remember the list, and we realise we forgot to work on most of the goals we set back in January. I’m definitely guilty of doing this in the past. 

So you need to schedule in one time a month to check in and revise your goals. See what have you accomplished so far? What are you working on? Are you behind schedule on something? What is the plan for the next month? 

I recommend setting a date in your calendar for every last Sunday of the month, for example, to sit down and revise them. 

So these are my 6 steps to crushing your goals! I hope you found them useful and I hope it will make the process easier and more successful! 

Now let’s go crush them! We can do this!

P.S. If saving money is one of your goals, check out this article on How To Save Money!

p.s.2. *This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links, at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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