Setting goals and resolutions is easy, but how many of us achieve our goals? Achieving goals involves numerous steps from setting a realistic goal, outlining the steps you are going to take to make it and the most crucial step tracking new habits and monitoring progress. Here are a few tips on how to set goals and achieve them with free printable planning sheets you can download below.
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You have a vision for the life of your dreams. This Dream can be anything from dropping a few pounds, hitting the gym more, starting a business to creating your website or blog. Maybe you just want to simplify things and manage all your daily tasks a little better.
The ability to make your dream, a reality requires taking actionable steps toward it. It would help if you had a plan, and the best way to make a plan come together is to write it down and track what works and what doesn’t.
Five Steps to Set Goals and Achieve Them
Step 1 What is Your Goal? Set a Weekly Goal
- Write down the weekly goal in the space provided.
- Tell someone about it.
- Use an accountability group to hold yourself to it.
Step 2 Outline Tasks Needed to Move You To Goal
Break your goal down into actions you can take to meet your goal. When you have a significant goal, like losing a large sum of weight, it might be easier to start with smaller actions to help you achieve the goal.
- Eat a healthy diet
- Exercise 3 x a week
- Track Food and Exercise
Other activities you can take toward your health goals include taking vitamins, meal preparation and drinking more water. Whatever actions you could choose to move towards your goal, this is an excellent time to create a mind map of all the things you can be doing to get towards them.
This outline isn’t about how or when you are going to do these things. Just focus on the specific tasks that will help you move towards your goal.
Step 3 Create a Plan
Once you have a list of things you need to do to reach your goal, it is time to lay them out in a plan. Some of your tasks will take longer to achieve or require steps to take first to continue to the next task.
Take your actions and outline them into tasks you can complete daily, weekly, each month and over three months.
- Weekly Tasks
- Daily Tasks
For example, in my weight loss example losing 20 lbs will probably take a few months, so that would be in your 3-month goal/action plan. However, each day you can focus on eating healthy and drinking water.
Step 4 Tracking Your Goals
The best way to monitor the progress of your goals is to track what you are doing. I like daily and weekly tracking journals that help you look at your entire week and see where you succeeded and where you had obstacles to reaching your goal.
For big goals, this will help you look at your tacking and see how you faired with longer 3-month tasks and goals. Having a written record will also help you adapt and improve, which is the ultimate way to set goals for success.
Step 5 Review Your Week and Month
If you are using a goal-setting journal, no doubt, you will see the box asking you what your week’s wins were and what were your week’s challenges. Successes and challenges are essential data to collect when working towards your goal.
You will quickly start to see what you did well, what worked best and where you could improve or if there were circumstances you could not control.
So each week, take a moment to ask:
- What were this week’s wins
- What were this week’s misses
- What can you do better to improve goals next week
Set Realistic SMART Goals
When goals are unrealistic, you set yourself up to fail. So one of the most important tips is to set SMART goals.
- S – Specific
- M – Measurable
- A – Achievable
- R – Realistic
- T – Time-Bound
As I mentioned above, state precisely what it is you want to achieve (be specific). Break this down into smaller mini-tasks and goals (measurable). Make sure your goal is reasonable, achievable and realistic. Give yourself time, but set deadlines for your goals.
Critical Things For Tracking Goals Successfully
Tracking is a must for achieving goals. It is your best tool for monitoring where you are succeeding and where you can improve. You may find things in your life, keeping you from your goals, and tracking will help you break things down, review and reorient yourself in the right direction.
Don’t Expect to Be Perfect
You want to achieve a goal, but you don’t want to be so hard on yourself that you will give up. This negative feeling happens a lot when we set unrealistic weight-loss goals. You want to lose x number of pounds in x time, but these goals are often unrealistic and unachievable.
For many goals, you will need to adapt and change elements of your life. These may include time commitments, learning a new way to eat, or taking courses to learn a new skill. Don’t be hard on yourself when things don’t go your way, use the tracking tools to review your progress and adapt and change along the way.
Keep At It. Don’t Give Up on Your Dreams.
Persistence and consistency are a few more things you will need to achieve your goals. It is easy to set the goal, but sticking with it when it isn’t working and changing your approach and action plan is also very important.
Please don’t give up on it, continue to work and change things to help you reach your goal. Keep breaking down your bigger goals into smaller, manageable tasks and reward yourself when you succeed.
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