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How to Set Goals


We all make goals and we make them for many reasons. They can help us be productive in both our personal and professional lives.

Explore this Guide:

  1. Make the Main Goal
  2. Find the Goal’s Purpose
  3. Make a Detailed Plan
  4. Measure the Results
  5. Reward Yourself

But if you don’t know the key aspects of goal making than your efforts can seem pointless. By taking into mind the following key components of goal setting, you can successfully accomplish all your goals.

Why Make Goals?

Goals are how you decide to do something and the plan you take to achieve it. Goals consist of long term and short term goals. Sometimes your goal is a big picture, far in the future kind of goal, and other times your goal is closer to the present. Sometimes long term and short term goals can be seen as main goals and sub goals that lead you to your ultimate goal.
For instance, maybe you want to start a successful business, having a successful business would be your long term or ultimate goal. All of the tasks and accomplishments that are necessary for you to get to your ultimate goal are the short term goals or subtasks or steps necessary to achieve the main objective. One of those short term goals might be getting the papers for your business in order.


Different Kinds of Goals

Goals don’t just have to be professional. You can make fun goals too! There are lots of formal, professional, and serious goals we need to make throughout our lives, but there are personal and fun goals we can be making along the way as well. Make goals for your more professional and serious successes, but set goals for yourself as well, like to get out every Friday, or to save up for a vacation this summer. You’ll also want to be making financial goals, like to save up for a new car, or spend less on entertainment this month. If you ever need help reaching your financial goals and getting back on track you can take out a personal loan at Check City.

  • Professional Goals (goals about work, or your own professional endeavors, hobbies, or talents)
  • Fun Personal Goals (goal to save up for vacation this summer)
  • Serious Personal Goals (goals to better your physical or mental health)
  • Financial Goals

What are SMART Goals?

SMART goals stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. It is an acronym that describes the kind of goals you want to make. You want the goals you make to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
Don’t just make a blanket goal to lose weight, make a specific goal to lose 10 pounds.
Utilize a scale to measure your progress.
Plan to achieve your goal by formulating a new plan for your meals and exercise.
Make a plan to lose weight because this goal is relevant to your life, and will give you tangible health benefits.
Give yourself a timeline by planning dates for weigh-ins, with specific weight goals for each weigh-in date.

1. Make the Main Goal

Don’t have too many goals at one time. This may be difficult if you are creating a business, but that is why hiring dependable employees and delegating effectively and communicating well with each other is so important, especially in the beginning. If any one person in your project has too many goals they need to achieve they can have trouble focusing and end up not accomplishing anything very well. So delegate goals so that each person can have the most focus possible for their manageable set of goals. That way, each goal gets accomplished on time, and in the best way, done all the way and not incomplete or done poorly.

2. Find the Goal’s Purpose

Every goal needs a clear sense of purpose. You need to have a specific objective in order to effectively motivate yourself to achieve this goal. Yes you may want to have a successful business but why? Think about your reasons and write these down. Many successful businesses today made it big because they had a clear motivation behind all they do, and a lot of them end up sharing this in their company’s origination stories or in their company motto.

3. Make a Detailed Plan

When planning your goals you’ll want to list out a series of steps or subtasks, or sub-goals that are going to get you to your main goal. You want these steps to be very specific things you can really do. Be detailed so nothing important falls by the wayside. For instance, only saying “make print ads” may not be helpful. You also need to plan out how you’re going to make them, when they are due, and where they’re going to get posted, and who is in charge of getting the permissions to post them at each location. Right all these things out, plan out the times, the places, and the people involved.

4. Measure the Results

Keep track of how you’re doing. If the steps you have in your plan aren’t giving measurable results than you can change your plan.

5. Reward Yourself

Sometimes an extra motivator or benefit is helpful when reaching your goals. In life we always like to have good things to look forward to, so feel free to reward yourself when you reach your goals. There are many healthy ways you can reward yourself. You can reward yourself with food, like a celebratory dinner, or a favorite dessert. You can also reward yourself by going shopping and buying yourself a gift. It doesn’t have to be expensive either. Activities like fun outings, a movie or spa night, can also be great ways to reward yourself for achieving something.



Create a Goal Workspace

It can also help to have a place where you write all these things down. Some even find it helpful to hang up your planned goals where you can see them every day. It can also help to place your plans in the most relevant place. For example, if your goal is about losing weight it would make sense to keep your goal chart in the kitchen, or near your treadmill. If your goal is about work then you’ll want to keep your goal chart in your workspace.

  • Put your goals on a calendar. With a calendar you can easily outline the dates of your plan.
  • Put your goals on a template, or chart. With a chart you can keep track of your progress levels and check off items once you’ve finished sub-goals.
  • Use an app. There are countless apps out there to help you track your habits and reach your aspirations. Here are some of the best goal setting apps:

Daylio is a great app for journaling and tracking your moods. It is also one of the most customizable apps, and allows you to track anything you want. It has a pleasing design, icons, and color palettes.

Loop is another great app for tracking. With Loop you can easily see all your goals and their progress in one place.

ATracker has some nice calendar and task features.

TickTick is a great goal app for groups or partners. You can sync and share tasks and goals with other people. There’s also a function to help you focus on certain tasks.

In some ways, goals are how we live our lives. It’s how we make decisions and enact change. Knowing how to properly set goals can help you level up in your personal and professional life. As Les Brown once said, “Your goals are the road maps that guide you and show you what is possible for your life.”


Learn more about setting goals by reading, “How to Set Goals the Easy Way.”

Read more about SMART goals and how this acronym applies to your personal life by reading, “Personal Goal Setting: Planning to Live Your Life Your Way.”

The Ultimate 3 Step Guide to Keeping All Your Goals

You can change your entire life just by learning the right way to set goals. All it takes are these 3 simple steps to set goals you’ll never fail.

The power of goal setting can help you become the person you want to be and create the life you want to lead. All you have to do is learn how to set goals so that you actually achieve them. Whether you are making relationship goals, setting couple goals together, or planning some personal goals, these 3 simple steps can ensure you always accomplish any goal you set your mind to.


“Just remember, you can do anything you set your mind to, but it takes action, perseverance, and facing your fears.”

—Gillian Anderson

Learn how to take action, persevere, and face all your fears so that you can accomplish all your goals by implementing these goal setting tips.

1. Make Smaller Goals

The phrase “an inch is a cinch, a yard is hard” works for goals as well.

It is important to make your goals achievable. If your goals are too big they’ll be hard to accomplish. It’s best to set small, achievable stepping stones toward a lofty goal. Rather than setting a goal to lose 50 pounds in a week, set smaller goals to lose 1 or 2 pounds a week.

Each goal should be broken into manageable chunks rather than one giant goal. This makes the goal much more doable. Use a step-by-step planning worksheet to write down your smaller steps and keep track of your progress with those steps. Here are a couple of ways to break down some common goals.

  • Get Out of Debt. Make your get out of debt plan more feasible by beginning with a budget and/or getting a second job.
  • Read More. Many people want to become more well-read. If you struggle reading, consider joining a book club to increase your ability to discuss what you read.
  • Learn More Technical Skills. If your job requires you to learn new computer skills, such as Microsoft Excel, begin by creating spreadsheets for your own budget. If you make the project personal, you’ll learn the software faster.
  • Stay More Informed. If you want to be more politically well-informed, start reading from numerous sources. As you broaden your exposure, you will eventually become more well-rounded and able to discuss politics with co-workers and friends.

Knowing how to make goals into smaller steps is very important when learning how to set goals in the first place. If you don’t set SMART goals then you’ll be setting yourself up for failure instead of success.

2. Write It Down

Once you have decided your goals, write it down. When you write the goals down they become more real. Think of it as a way of setting your intentions. You build a sense of accountability into your goal-setting that can keep you honest about your progress and motivated to keep going. It can also limit your ability to rationalize taking shortcuts or a day off. When learning how to set goals, it is very important to include this in your goal setting worksheet.

Writing your goal setting plans down can also help you to visualize your plan of action and think through all the possibilities. Any goal is going to have its own setbacks. Brainstorm what your setbacks might be and make plans to overcome obstacles before they arise.

3. Plan to Win!

You’ve heard the saying, “Failing to plan is to plan to fail.” Well, when you set goals you have to plan to put your goals into practice. Just as you broke your goal into easily digestible parts, you will need to plan each step of the way.

For example, if your goal is to lose weight, find healthy, low-calorie recipes and plan your meals daily. A good trick is to make your meals ahead of time and portion them out throughout the week. If you create delicious meals and snacks, you will be less likely to cheat. There are many good calorie counters and meal planners online. By keeping a quality food journal, you exponentially increase your success! It is important to do your due diligence and find tools to help you achieve your goals.

Or maybe you hate going to the gym but you do love workout videos. Then plan to use those instead! Whatever you need to do to make keeping your goals easier

Each goal you set is potentially a life-changing endeavor. You can increase your happiness and expand your horizons when you set and realize quality, worthwhile goals. By setting and planning worthwhile goals you can accomplish much more than you ever imagined possible. You can increase your marketability, expand your knowledge, and make yourself a better person, just by setting and keeping your goals.

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