Set Smart Goals & Achieve Them

How To Set Smart Goals & Follow Through

One of life’s greatest accomplishments is achieving your dreams and desires through hard work and dedication. While we hear the stories about the success and praise of world class athletes and superstars, they all have one thing in common—a drive to succeed. While the majority of us will never reach such celebrity status, we can use their accomplishments as examples of how to set smart goals and reach success, particularly in our own life.

Have you ever decided to take on a project, and began with excitement and motivation? But then over time, start to lose interest and your project becomes something you put at the bottom of your “to-do” list… only to later be forgotten? Well, this trend is popular and typical according to a Forbes report that states, “Just 8% of people achieve their new year’s resolutions.” They estimate that 40 percent of Americans make resolutions.


Set SMART Goals

With such a small number actualizing their goals into reality, it can be a daunting task and one that may seem impossible to achieve. However these tips will reveal some surefire ways to get a head start on not only setting goals, but also achieving them. Believe me—it can be done!


Start with Something Simple

Many times while setting goals we set the bar really high for ourselves, ultimately setting us up for failure. While setting high goals for ourselves is not bad, taking small steps toward a larger goal is a way to eventually reach the end. Breaking down a large goal into smaller chunks can not only keep you confident, but also help you stay motivated along the way. If you desire to run a half marathon, but have never ran more than one mile, you wouldn’t start training by running five miles. You would start by breaking the distance down into small chunks that eventually will build up to the larger whole on race day. The same goes for any goal you set for yourself—whether personal or business related.


Make Time

Thanks to technology, we have the ability to be more connected to our world than ever. While this is mostly a good thing, it also makes us realize that there just isn’t enough hours in the day. In order to set a goal, you have to cut out time in your schedule to work towards those goals.

Say you want to publish a book. It won’t get written if you don’t give yourself time to write each chapter. Cut out chunks in your schedule to dedicate toward your craft and only focus on that craft–don’t multitask.


Articulate the Benefits

On days when you aren’t feeling motivated—and believe me those days will come—you have to remind yourself why you are working towards your goal. If you can’t clearly define the benefits, it’s much easier to just throw your hands up and give in when the going gets tough. Instead articulate your benefits to not only yourself, but also others. When you let people know why you’re doing what you’re doing, it not only motivates you intrinsically, but also makes you feel accountable.


Regret Nothing

While on the road to success, it would be impossible to not experience mistakes and setbacks. Perseverance is what sets apart the successful from the average; and that will be needed in order to achieve those goals. While it can be discouraging to experience this, learn from it and move on. Don’t dwell or think that your project is doomed. Keep going.


Take Time to Reflect

Even the most successful people know that they have a limit and need to take a break sometimes. While taking time away not only makes you less susceptible to burnout, it also gives you a chance to reflect on your experience and learn from it. If your small goals are working toward one larger achievement, learning how to be more efficient in between can make the process much easier and less complicated the next time around.

Photo credit: Paxon Woelber / CC BY 2.0

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