Personal Development

How to Set Goals You’ll Actually Achieve

Over the years one thing has become evident to me. The most successful people I know don’t end up there by mistake. While from the outside it can sometimes seem like luck or that it happened overnight, I believe that the key to their success is having a clear set of written goals that outline and provide action steps toward their dreams.

I believe that no matter what happened this past year, you have the power within you to achieve your dream. I encourage you to close the chapter on 2020, and use the lessons you have learned to write goals driven by what truly motivates you. 

For many of us, this year has helped provide new clarity about what is most important to us. Use that to really hone in on what you want to achieve this next year. 

I’ve outlined the seven steps of the SMARTER goal system below to help you as you write your goals the next year. 

  1. Write specific goals. The more focused your goal, the more you will find yourself motivated to accomplish it. If a goal is too vague it can be hard to know where to even start.
  2. Goals should be measurable. As you write your goal, you need to ensure that it has built in markers for what it would mean to achieve it. You should be able to break the goal down into specific milestones along the way in order to track your progress. 
  3. Make your goals actionable. Use action verbs to help ensure that your goals define what it is you are going to do. This type of goal will prompt you into action. This will help you throughout the year to stay motivated. 
  4. Risky goals are better than playing it safe. I challenge you as you write your goals for this next year, to make them ones that will stretch and challenge you. If you set goals that you know you can achieve you aren’t forcing yourself to rise to the challenge. 
  5. SMARTER goals must be time bound. The most successful goals are those with a sense of urgency. But how can you ensure that your goals will trigger that response in you throughout the year? You need to time-key your goals with either a deadline, frequency or a time trigger.
  6. Create exciting goals. An exciting goal is one that connects with your internal motivation and inspires. This is a critical step.  If your goal isn’t compelling to you personally then it will be very difficult to stick with it when obstacles come up. And they will.
  7. Set relevant goals. I look at this as a necessary “gut-check”. Before you commit to your goals, you must review them and ensure that they are taking into account your life circumstances as well as your values. What you hope to achieve this year must be balanced with the reality of your circumstances.

I believe that this year can be the year you accomplish more than you ever thought possible. And it begins by writing down clear, SMARTER goals. What goal do you want to set first?


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use and believe will add value to our readers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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