Goal-setting assumes you already have an idea of how you would like things to be different. It assumes you have a goal in mind. The process of goal-setting means refining it so that it is well-specified and understood, and conforms to some basic success criteria. You should focus on creating your goals with a level of intensity that is sufficiently high and consistent to kick-start the chain of events that will lead to its fulfilment.

It’s an important skill to master, though, because self-improvement is a key component of any personal journey towards success.Perhaps you want to expand your business or increase your profits. Or maybe you’ve thought about meeting new people or learning a new skill. A goal gives us a target to work towards – it’s like a North Star.  It provides clarity on our desires and allows us to create focus.

But a goal on its own isn’t enough. You also need a plan to turn your goal into reality. After all, a goal without a plan is just a dream.

Here are 5 essential strategies that will help you set better goals and create a plan to guide you along the way. 


Choose meaningful goals

We set goals to move us forward and to effect positive change in our lives. Start by choosing a goal that you know will give you a sense of achievement once you meet it. This will give you the passion you need to get past square one and help build our resolve. Ultimately, you have to really want your goal if you hope to be able to achieve it.

It could be a long-term personal mission such as expanding your business or adopting a healthier lifestyle.  Or it could be something smaller that you can accomplishing short time frame.  Either way, the goal should be a positive force that will motivate you to get ahead. 

Keep it SMART

You can use the acronym SMART to introduce some structure into your goal-setting. The concept is simple: for a goal to be successful, it must be:

Specific: The goal must be clear and unambiguous. Keep it as specific as possible so you can outline the steps you need to take.

Measurable: Having measurable goals allows you to track your progress. You might set a precise figure or deadline you need to meet. For instance, you can set your goal to increase revenues by 10% within 6 months.

Attainable: Make sure that you have a real chance at achieving the goals you set. Otherwise, you risk discouraging yourself. Ask yourself if you have the skills or resources to bring your vision to life. 

Relevant: The goal should also align with your needs and the direction you want your business to take. You could set a goal that answers a pressing need such as getting your sales up or cutting overhead costs.

Timely: Every goal needs a deadline. Not only does it add a sense of urgency to the goal, but it also gives you something to focus on. 

Break it down into smaller milestones

We tend to set goals with the outcome in mind. But it’s the steps you follow to get from point A to point B that matter the most. If you have a big goal that seems too difficult or overwhelming , try breaking it down into smaller chunks. Things get less daunting if you know what to do every step of the way. Not only does it make your goal more manageable, but it also makes the path to achieving your goal more attainable. 

Keep your goals visible

You want to write your goals down and put them in a place where you will see them often. It could be something as simple as Post-It notes on the wall or timed reminders on your phone. Visual cues will keep you motivated to continue working towards your goal.

Sharing your goals with your family or friends can also be helpful Knowing that people are monitoring your progress can improve your commitment and accountability to reaching your goal. They can also provide valuable feedback and support to help you stay on track. 

Reward yourself

Rewarding yourself for reaching critical milestones can go a long way in keeping yourself motivated. Having something to look forward to makes it easier to follow through with the steps you need to reach a goal. The reward should be simple and easy to do or acquire. For instance, you might reward yourself by buying something nice, a fancy coffee or drink or perhaps a night out with friends.  Treat yourself – you deserve it.

If you follow the process thoroughly, you will have a goal that brings you out in a rash of enthusiasm every time you think about it, grinning from ear-to-ear. You have a goal that you can commit to. You will have this sense of ‘How can it not happen?’ It just seems inevitable given the energy you feel. If this is not the case, you have more work to do, either on the goal itself or on factors around it.