4 Effective Ways of Setting Goals

A conceptual look at life or business goals, with similar concepts.

There’s no better feeling in life than the ability to look back at all of your accomplishments. Whether it was receiving a college degree, running a marathon, or starting a business, the completion is what truly brought you joy. For many, success and achievement give a sense of purpose and drive in life. Sometimes life challenges  us with unpredictable situations, which can be either  positive or  unfortunate, but which can result in our lack of focus and motivation. For this very reason, it is beneficial to set goals. Goals remind us of what we want to attain in life and keep us focused. Here are a few key points and helpful tips to keep in mind when setting goals:

1.) Evaluate what you want to do. List what you’re passionate about or what motivates you. Analyze your current situation, the now, and visualize the process needed to attain your goal in the future. Where are you physically and mentally? Where do you need to be?

set goal, make plan, work, stick to it, reach goal - a success concept presented with colorful sticky notes

2.) Break them down once you’ve decided what you want to do. Sometimes we make our goals too broad and difficult  to attain if not carefully planned out. For example, consider “Buying a House” as a goal. For someone who is currently a college student, this may be too time-consuming and financially straining to achieve. The average student might need to work on building up a strong credit score over the course of several months, or even a  few years. This is where the well-known “S.MA.R.T. Goal” planning method comes into effect:

Specific- decide what you want to accomplish, make them clear and well-defined

Measurable- process of staying on track and being mindful of your target dates

Attainable- make sure they’re realistic, yet stepping stones to build confidence

Relevant- your goals should be  in alignment with your lifestyle or career direction

Time-sensitivity- create deadlines to give them a sense of urgency or importance

3.) Write them down somewhere you’ll see them daily. Statistics show that writing boosts memory and increases the chance of sticking to the plan. Consider keeping a ‘’to-do” list on your refrigerator or a sticky note on your mirror; two places you most likely look at daily!


4.) Persevere and stick with it. As mentioned before, life can throw some curve balls your way, leaving you unmotivated or unfocused. Don’t be afraid to try a different approach or technique, such as expanding your deadlines or temporarily simplifying your list. Some of us need motivators to help us stay focused, like  a trusted friend or family member to hold us accountable. It’s helpful to ask for assistance or guidance from someone who has had similar goals.

Remember, success requires consistency and commitment, but can be attainable when well-planned out. Never give up on your goals or  aspirations!


By Ashley Cottrell

Proofread by Victorial Krute

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