Have a Goal? How to Set Goals so You’ll Actually Achieve Them

Setting goals can be intimidating, but they don’t have to be. I’ve always been a “list person”, so learning to set goals was a fairly easy concept for me. I read a couple of books tweaked a few suggestions to fit my needs and found a system that works great. Most importantly setting and accomplishing goals is empowering and builds self confidence. I put together a few simple things you can do to master the art of achieving goals!

We achieve goals all the time and don’t even realize it. You can set goals for anything big or small.

I set goals for just about everything – career goals, vacation goals, wardrobe goals, exercise goals and so on. Let’s say you want to be a teacher. There are requirements, such as prerequisites, you need to accomplish to reach that goal. You sit down and determine what steps you need to take to get your degree and start plugging away. It’s really that simple and you can use the same practice for just about anything. Let’s say you’re in the market for a new car. Your current vehicle may need to be serviced, detailed and put up for sale before you can start looking at new cars. Then you have insurance and other things to take care of. So, really goals are simple when you realize it’s just a set of action steps you’re already used to taking to get something done.

Long term goals are really just composed of to-do lists and mini-goals.

So, let’s break this down. Below I’ve listed a few quick steps you can take to set and achieve goals.

  1. Write out your goal – What is it you want to obtain or accomplish? Write down a brief description of your goal.
  2. Make a list of mini-goals – Mini-goals are like goals within your final goal. You’ll want to start making a list of everything you need to get done to reach your main goal and that list becomes your mini-goal list. Don’t worry if the list seems daunting. You may start writing down things you need to do to accomplish your mini-goals and that’s ok, they’ll get lumped together in the next step.
  3. List your action steps – Action steps are like your to-do list for the mini-goals. Like I mentioned in step 2, some of the things you wrote down to do to get to your goal may just be action steps for a mini-goal. Let’s use our example above for buying a new car; putting your current car up for sale is a mini-goal and there are action steps within that mini-goal you’ll need to accomplish to get that for sale ad up. Calling around to get pricing for ads in various publications, looking at similar cars for sale and deciding on a sale price, taking photos of the car and writing the ad can all go under your action steps (or to-do list) for your mini-goal of selling the car.
  4. Set timelines – This is a very important part of reaching goals. You have your goal and you’re excited about your new car, but you need to put together a timeline and hold yourself accountable. When you write it out put a date next to your goal, as well as your mini-goals and action steps. This way you’re more likely to get them done.
  5. Review your list daily – Doing all this work to get organized doesn’t help you achieve your goal if you don’t take action. Now that you have your goal and your timeline (with your list of mini-goals and action steps) review it every morning and evening. In the morning you’ll know what you need to accomplish that day and at night you’ll be able to make any revisions or note any updates. There will be days when you didn’t get everything done for that day. Just revise those to-do items with tomorrows date. You’ll also find action steps you took care of before the timeline you set. Those you get to check off!

If you follow these steps you’ll be achieving your goals in no time. You’ll see how easy it is to accomplish anything, big or small, by simply writing it out and taking action! The possibilities are limitless!