A Great Goal Setting How To Guide (With Just 5 Easy Steps)

Goal setting is a huge part of who we are as people.

We’re (mostly) ambitious, results driven people, always seeking the latest upgrade, and chasing trends like a dog chasing a car.

If you are like me, the New Year is a time of hope.  A fresh start.  A chance for me to reset my motivation, and intention, and that inner voice that decides how worthy I feel on any particular day. 

Though they’re just separated by a number of hours, you have to admit that December 31 and January 1 feel drastically different. There is a completely different energy that is hard to ignore.  The best way to channel that energy is to set goals for yourself for the coming year and begin working toward them.

What goals did you set for yourself last year? Did you achieve them? Keep reading to find out how you can set goals and actually achieve them.

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Also, I am not a doctor or mental health professional. Just someone who has lived with anxiety for many years who is passionate about sharing her experiences and tips for success. If you are in crisis call your doctor, then click here for some good mental health resources.

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A little about me

I have to admit: My goal setting has been, well, not that effective. I’ve been really falling off the bandwagon. Instead of creating actual achievable goals, I’ve been wishing for unicorns and rainbows and a million dollars and not really putting any work in.

That’s cool. We’re all guilty of it. Yes, you are AWESOME. But that doesn’t mean things will just happen for you. I fully believe in the Law of Attraction, but you gotta do the work, my friend.

I’ve been wishing my health was better.

I’ve been wishing I had more energy.

That I had less anxiety.

Don’t be like me. Goals like that are, very likely, not going to be accomplished. Shoot for the stars, but also, make sure to build a rocket ship to get there.

What about you?

Did you set any goals for this year so far?

Some common ones I see my friends and family set are:

I want to… (Fill in the blank)

  • Be healthier
  • Have a better love life
  • Have a more successful career
  • Make more money
  • Have more friends
  • Get a new hobby

Do you notice how people typically give up on their goals by like January 20th? I have definitely been guilty of that more times than I can count. The reason most New Year’s resolutions are unsuccessful is because they are too vague to give you any sense of direction.

So how can you set yourself up for success from the beginning, with goals designed to be met?

Goal setting how to guide

For a goal to be successful, it has to be SMART. And I don’t mean in an intellectual context, I mean it has to be S.M.A.R.T. (Specific- measurable- achievable- realistic- timely)

goal setting how to

For instance, we all have that friend who says they want to get in shape this year.  (Maybe that “friend” is you! No shame.) They (or you) are sick of being tired and not having confidence about their appearance.

Tell them about SMART goals! Tell them, rather than say, “I want to get in shape,” say, “I will run a 5k in July 2019.”

Why is this a better goal? Let’s review the definition of SMART goals.

The new goal is specific

Instead of saying you want to get in shape, you are giving yourself a specific area of fitness to target (your endurance). You are saying a specific thing you want to do, rather than, “I want to get in shape.” What does that mean? Make sure you are defining it clearly.

Pursuit Goal Journal – A Unique, Down-to-Earth Method for Productivity, Motivation, Mindfulness, and Goal Planning. 6 x 8.5 inch. (Blue)

The new goal is measurable.

You can easily track your progress on an app or chart. So, if you made the goal to run a 5k, you can set micro-goals that act like stepping stones on your way. You can say, “This week, I will jog 1 mile, 3 times.” Or if you have a time goal, say, “This week, I will run for 30 minutes, 3 times.”

The new goal is achievable. 

You would be able to start from scratch and achieve this in a reasonable time frame. So, if you’re a total couch potato, don’t set a goal of being able to run a full marathon in a month. That’s not gonna happen, sorry to say.

Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals

The new goal is realistic. 

Barring major medical issues, you can likely train to jog 3 miles over the next 6 months. All it takes is a little time and dedication, and a lot of patience with yourself. But it can be done! So set goals that are realistic for you, in whatever season of life you’re in.

The new goal is timely. 

You have given yourself a deadline in which you want to achieve the goal. You said, “I will run a 5k on X date.” That gives you a clearer picture of the action steps you need to take to meet your goal, rather than leaving it more open to interpretation.

BONUS: In the new goal, you said, “I will,” instead of “I want to.” Conscious language matters!

Get out there and do it

So, absolutely set goals for yourself this year.  They are a wonderful thing, and it is a noble pursuit to try to better yourself.  Because none of us are perfect, and we are all capable of getting out there and setting goals.

Even if you’re a busy mom.

Even if you have depression and anxiety, like me.

Or maybe, you’ve had too many goals fail in the past, and you’ve lost a little faith.

Set those goals. But make them QUALITY, measurable goals.  Make them SMART and you are way more likely to succeed.

Setting goals, goals, smart goals, resolutions
Click HERE to download this image and get started creating some goals for yourself. PS- You get a better worksheet, when you subscribe. Just sayin’.

What goals do you have for yourself this year? Tell me in the comments below, and don’t forget to share this post!

So, download this goal setting worksheet and get started!

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Related posts for goal setting:

50 Must Have Mental Health Resources

Taking Control of Your Health: Only YOU Can Make You Better

How to Start Over With Fitness

How to Challenge Negative Thought Patterns

What Self Care Really Is

38 thoughts on “A Great Goal Setting How To Guide (With Just 5 Easy Steps)”

  1. Bueno, New Year for Babushka is usually Chinese New Year because she’s always running Cubantime, so being .25 Chinese that’s the date I pick for real goals. Except for 2020. BB will start over June 1. Hopefully this pandemic will be more manageable by then…

  2. I love using the S.M.A.R.T method for goal setting, I think it’s one of the best ways to achieve a goal. But just like you, I’ve also been having a hard time being consistent and thorough with my goals. This was a great read and reminder that I need to sit down and really work out what my goals are for this year. Thanks for the awesome post, as usual!

  3. I found the “Smart” recently and it seems really helpful. I try to follow it, but you more information about goals and setting them. I’m always dedicated to achieving my goals. Thank you for sharing it!

  4. Great post! I had this exact conversation with a friend in the beginning of 2020 and he was like “wow how do you know all this?” I READ BLOGS haha. Honestly, though. I learn so much through blog posts like yours so thanks for sharing.

  5. I used to work as a social worker for clients with mental health and substance abuse issues and we used SMART goals all the time. I need to transfer these into my own life and start doing them with my business and my day-to-day life. It’s always great to get a reminder of what works.

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