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Goal setting is a process for identifying something you want to accomplish in the future, and for establishing measurable objectives and criteria for achieving your goals.

The process of setting goals helps you consider what you want to achieve, and where you want to go in life.  Goal setting is a process that gives you a long-term vision to work towards and provides the short-term direction for motivating yourself to take action on reaching your goals. 

The process of setting goals helps you choose your vision of your ideal future and gives you the focus and direction to turn your goals into reality.  Goal setting is important because it helps you decide on your future and provides measurable framework for achieving your goals.   

These goal setting tips can help narrow your focus, so you can set better goals and achieve your goals.  

Goal setting definition

Goal setting is the act of setting clearly defined goals and then working towards goal achievement every day.  These clearly defined goals should be something you want to achieve in the future with a clear date to achieve your goals.

When setting goals, identify something important you want to accomplish in the future that will transform your life.  Ensure your goal setting process includes goals that are measurable and time-bound.  When you set measurable goals, you are clear on exactly what you want to achieve, and for motivating yourself to make measurable progress towards achieving your goals.  

Why is goal setting important?  

Goal setting is important for thinking about your ideal future, and for deciding what you want to achieve in life.  The process of setting goals is important as goals provide a clear path and plan to work towards every day.  Goals give your life direction and purpose. 

Goal setting is a path to achieving your desired future.  When you set goals, you have a clear path and plan to follow, which ensures you stay focused and accountable to your goals. 

Setting goals is important because it clarifies what is truly important to you.  Having goals to work towards also increases your productivity, lowers stress, improves focus, and eliminates procrastination. 

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Why set goals?

Setting goals helps you choose a destination in life and helps guide your focus and daily habits.  When you set goals, it helps you identify things that are important to you and establishes measurable objectives to make progress on.

Setting goals helps you define measurable targets to work towards daily.  Goal setting also gives you a clearer focus and provides greater clarity in decision-making.  Goal setting also gives you a sense of personal satisfaction and confidence when you reach your goals.

Discover why writing down your goals is key to achieving your goals.

Goal setting: how to set and achieve your goals 

Here are 8 step goal setting tips on how to set goals and achieve your goals.

1. Decide on your goals 

The first step in successful goal setting is to choose exciting goals, and then commit to your goals.  Before you decide on which goals you want to achieve, list out all of your possibilities. 

Goal setting is a process that helps you decide what you want to achieve in life, so your goals must be clear and well-defined. When you choose your goals, ensure your goals are measurable and time-bound.  

When you set your goals, you imagine what your future looks like to have achieved your goals.  This vision gives you a sense of what accomplishing your goals looks like, and what achieving your goal feels like.

The more specific your goals, the more your mind will take ownership of the measurable objective you want to achieve.  This focus ensures you can break your goal down, and that your goals give you the focus and motivation needed to achieve them.

Read also: 10 benefits of goal setting.

2. Define your goals 

Setting goals gives your life purpose, and boosts your confidence and self-esteem.  When you set your goals, it’s important to define what success looks like when you’ve achieved your goal.  

When you define your goals, it’s important to put your goals in writing.  It’s also important to define measurable objectives and obstacles for each goal.  When you make your goal measurable, you define the specific measurements that enable you to see the progress you’re making.  Clearly defined goals also boost your focus and motivation. 

When you set goals, it’s important to set a deadline for your goals.  When you have a clear deadline for your goal, your goal becomes time-bound and gives you a clear destination to reach.  

Read more about setting short-term goals.

3. Write down your goals

Describing your goals in written form gives you a greater chance of achieving your goal.  Writing down your goals is a crucial first step in choosing your goals. 

When you vividly picture achieving your goals, you’re more likely to take action and stay motivated.  Writing down your goals means you commit to achieving your goals and become emotionally invested in taking action.  

When you write down your goals, the goal is embedded in your mind.  Your brain looks for every opportunity to work on achieving your goal.

Writing down your goals also gives you a place to refer back to if you are having a challenging time.  This can help you reset, and increase your motivation to reach your goals.

Discover the transformation benefits of writing down your goals

4. Make your goals measurable   

Measuring progress is essential if you want to achieve your goals.  When setting goals, it is important to assign measurements and deadlines to help you track progress and measure success.

To achieve your goals, your mind needs a realistic deadline, and measurement, to take the goal seriously.  Having measurable goals boosts motivation and also makes you accountable for achieving your goal.

Without measurable goals, you won’t be motivated and emotionally invested in the outcome of your goal.  Having measurable goals helps you set clear intentions of who you want to be in the future. 

This intentionality ensures you stay on track to achieve your goals.  

Not setting measurable goals is a critical goal setting mistake.  Discover 10 other goal setting mistakes to avoid. 

5. Commit to your goals

Achieving your goals takes courage and commitment.  It also takes accountability to stay on track to achieve your goals.  When goal setting, accountability means holding yourself responsible for achieving your goals.

Accountability provides the structure and support to ensure you stay on track and make progress on your goals.  When you are accountable to your goals, you are committed to taking action to reach your goals.

It can sometimes be hard to achieve your goals by yourself.  Accountability accelerates your progress on your goals, helps you overcome obstacles, and helps you achieve your goals.   Weekly accountability meetings to discuss progress on your goals increases your confidence and motivation.  

To stay on track to achieve your goals, you can work with an accountability coach, accountability partner, friend, family member, or colleague.  Staying accountable to achieve your goals provides the support and motivation to push you forward. 

Discover the benefits of working with an accountability coach

6. Break your goals down

Before breaking your goals down into actionable steps you need to choose the right goals and measurable objectives.  Defining your goals, and putting measurements and deadlines in place, makes it easier to break your goals down. 

Breaking down your goals into short-term, measurable tasks and objectives will help you manage your time better, be more productive, and plan your day effectively. 

Making progress on your goals builds confidence and motivation.  When you break bigger goals down into smaller goals, your goals feel more manageable and achievable.

Setting a big goal can feel overwhelming and cause procrastination.  Having smaller goals to work towards enables you to plan out your day more effectively and stay focused. 

Breaking your goal down also helps you identify the obstacles that stop you from reaching your goals.  Overcoming obstacles can accelerate your path to goal achievement. 

Read also: 4 steps for working towards a goal

7. Prioritise your goals 

Setting goals gives your life direction and helps you define who you want to be in the future.  Goals also provide the framework to turn your vision of this future into reality.

To achieve your vision, it’s important to prioritise your goals.  When you prioritise your goals, you focus your time and energy on your most productive activities.  When you prioritise your time, you increase your focus on the activities that will help you reach your goals faster.

This helps you manage your time better, increase your focus, and lower stress levels.  Prioritising your goals also reduces overwhelm and procrastination, giving you greater direction and purpose.

When you prioritise your goals, you direct your time and resources to your most important work.  This helps you plan your time better, which can reduce distractions and multi-tasking.

8. Set goals for all areas of your life

Setting goals helps you improve every aspect of your life that is important to you.  Life goals give your life purpose and meaning and define who you want to be in the future.

Goals help align your focus and promote self-improvement and personal growth.  To achieve the life you want, it’s important to set big and small goals that motivate and inspire you.  This could be setting big life goals, health goals, financial goals, and fitness goals.  You can also set relationship goals, personal growth goals, and business goals.   

When setting goals, it’s important to get clear on what achieving your goal will mean to you.  It’s also important to understand how you will feel when you achieve your goal and what difference achieving your goal will make in your life. 

When you have this clarity on the outcome of your goal, it becomes easier to set goals that align with your bigger vision.  

Conclusion

Goal setting helps you clarify exactly what you want to achieve in life and provides a specific plan and path for achieving your goals.  When setting goals, it is important to choose goals that are important to you.  It is also important to choose goals that are measurable and have a deadline attached to them. 

When setting goals, ensure your goals are specific so you have a long-term vision and short-term focus.  If your goals are real and exciting, you are motivated to take action on achieving your goals.  When you set deadlines to accomplish your goals, you maintain focus and increase productivity.

Now I’d love to hear from you.

What’s your best goal setting tip?

Let me know in the comments.

Goal setting articles 

How to set goals that matter 

SMART Criteria: How to set smart goals 

Productivity: Tips on how to be more productive

The importance of writing down your goals 

8 time management tips to manage time effectively

A simple guide on how to be more productive 

About Mark Pettit 

Mark Pettit is a time management coach and accountability coach based in Colchester, Essex, UK.  He provides time management coaching programs and accountability coaching programs to business owners and entrepreneurs in the UK, US and Canada.

Mark also writes about time management, productivity and goal achievement.  Each month, over 10,000 people read Mark’s articles to help them achieve their goals faster.

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