7 Tips To Help You Set Achievable Goals

A lined notebook in a brown cover on a desk with brown pine cones, a pen on top of the open notebook with a mug of tea and a scarf

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‘You are never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream’ – C.S. Lewis

Goals are standards that you can use to evaluate how well you are doing now and where you want to be in the future.

Studies have shown that intelligence has very little to do with success, you do not need a high IQ, but cognitive control. Having the ability to delay gratification and to remain goal focused through positive goal setting techniques was actually the best key to success. You too can learn effective goal setting and achieve.

What Are Goals?

A goal is a task that is specific; it is measurable. It is the object of a person’s ambition or effort, it is a desired result. You should not confuse goals with hopes and dreams.

Why Is Setting Goals Important?

Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation. It helps you to organise your time, so you can achieve success. Setting goals can also give you direction, motivation, a sense of purpose and control of your future.

These are 7 tips to help you set effective and achievable goals that will help lead you to success:

1. Write Them Down In A Goal Planner

Writing down your goals enables you to clarify exactly what you want to achieve; this guides your daily actions towards goal achievement. Goals that are written down are far more than goals kept in your mind. When you have written your goals, you are then holding yourself accountable. Using a goal planner is the perfect way to keep a record of your goals, track your progress, keep your goals and tasks all in one place as well as being the perfect way to practise reflection of your goals and successes.

Yop and Tom have an Undated Goal Planner that provides you with all the support you need to record your goals and help you to be successful. Using this planner will make evaluating your goals and progress a much simpler task. It means that you will spend less time setting the goals and more time achieving them.

2. Set Specific Goals

The more specific your goal, the more likely you are to achieve it. A highly generic goal may not be actionable or attainable. It is easy to procrastinate over a vague or unclear goal than it is with a specific goal with a deadline. You need a goal that is going to give you sufficient direction. You can make it really simple to get where you want to be by defining precisely where you want to end up.

Forest green goal planner notebook with a gold triangle on the front and power of 3 written in gold

3. Break Down Larger Goals

The best way to get where you want to be is to have a selection of short and long-term goals. When looking at your goal list, it can be really overwhelming when you see big goals and this is why breaking them down into more manageable steps that are easy to action is essential.

When you have set your bigger goals you have to:

  1. Define your milestones – once you have created your goals, you should then divide them into milestones
  2. Create a task list – milestones ae still big steps, so you need to break them down even smaller. You should make a list of specific tasks necessary to help you achieve milestones. This helps you to beat procrastination and achieve your goals.

4. Celebrate Every Success

As humans, we measure success with only big achievements. However, the big goals may seem unattainable and overwhelming, which can push to a burn out. Celebrating every small win can prevent that.

Acknowledging your successes can evoke motivation. It will fuel a more positive mindset and attitude when it comes to working on your tasks. Journaling your successes is a great reflection activity and something you can re-read when you are struggling with motivation.

When you practise celebrating your successes, it can also:

  • Inspire others – when you share your success, it inspires and motivates others to achieve
  • Boosts confidence – when you recognise what you are good at, you improve your confidence and you are far more likely to succeed
  • Increases motivation – as a goal-orientated society, being able to check task off and rewarding yourself can encourage you to work harder

5. Track Your Progress

Tracking your progress with your goals is important as it can help you to stay focused on achieving your goals. When you are tracking your goals, it helps you to recognise potential obstacles that could stop you and how you overcome them. Using a goal planner will help you to be clear on exactly where you want to be. Writing in your goal planner what you want to achieve and writing in you progress ensures that you avoid distraction and procrastination. Tracking your progress keeps you informed of how far you have come which can promote momentum and confidence to achieve your goals.

These are 4 benefits of tracking your progress when you are trying to achieve your goal:

  1. Accountability – if you did not track your goals, you could forget… it’s easily done! We will have all done it at least once!
  2. Motivation – when you see the progress that you have made, it will motivate you to do more
  3. Shows your strengths and weaknesses – you can sometimes overestimate; however, when you track your progress, it is based on factual information. It highlights what you are doing well as well as areas that you could be struggling with; where you need to make adjustments to help you achieve your goals.
  4. Keeps you on track – if you are working on a long-term goal, it can be difficult to stay focused. Tracking regularly can help keep your focus on the tasks at hand.

A green, yellow and white patterned notebook on a desk with a silver pen resting above it, next to a MacBook keyboard

 6. Learn From Your Setbacks

When making changes, setting your goals can be very different to achieving them as there are many things that could derail your progress. Sometimes, a small setback can lead to self-sabotage. You need to harness your determination even when you are facing obstacles. You have to learn to use being side-tracked or setback as an opportunity to reflect and revise how to move forward.

Tips to help you push through setbacks to achieve your goals:

  • Remind yourself why you started
  • Do not dwell on the mistakes
  • Let go of what you cannot control
  • Re-evaluate your tasks to reach your end goal
  • Stay positive – it is a small setback

7. Good Time Management

By managing your time effectively and through careful planning, you can control your schedule so that you can achieve your goals. So much pressure and stress comes from not allocating enough time and being overwhelmed with your task load when you have goal deadlines. When you use a planner or a diary to schedule our time, you are far more likely to be successful in achieving your goals. You will have enough time to complete your tasks and reach your milestones.

Tips to help you get better at managing your time:

  • Use a goal planner to include timescales, or use a diary to include goal deadlines
  • Blocking time in your schedule for each specific task
  • Set alarms or reminders for deadlines or tasks
  • Prioritise your tasks – that way you know which tasks to spend your time on first
  • Take regular breaks – when you have regular breaks, you are more likely to be productive in your work time

Goal setting is not something you can only do at the start of the year; you can start it anytime as life is constantly changing. These are 7 important elements and tips to consider and practise in order to help you set effective and achievable goals.

How do you stay on track to achieve your goals? I’d love to hear in the comments.

76 thoughts on “7 Tips To Help You Set Achievable Goals

  1. Great tips my love! I always set goals but I’m very much into setting smaller and achievable goals and building up from there. I love that you mentioned celebrating every success too!

  2. When studying counseling I learned a method for setting specific goals that I’ve since applied in my personal life. Have you heart of SMART goals?
    Specific
    Measurable
    Attainable (within the realm of possibility)
    Realistic (doable with my specific resources)
    Timely

    I’m pretty sure the model originated in the business world, but it’s very cross-applicable.

  3. This is a great post! My favorite point you made was about learning from your setbacks. Failure is bound to happen and it’s the way we learn from it and how we come back that counts the most.

    1. Nicely written! I always make sure to make SMART goals which allows me to see the bigger picture and break it down which then leads to planning my time to make sure I get it all done

  4. Love this! I really like the idea of breaking down larger goals and celebrating every success too – it’s so important for keeping you motivated! I’ve also just gotten into the habit of tracking my progress in terms of blog goals and it’s already made a world of difference. Thanks for sharing x

    1. Good luck with your goal. I definitely recommend a blogging schedule if you are looking to be more consistent. I have a blog post on how to set one up. Thank you for reading and commenting.

      1. I aim to post once a week but it’s still something I’m figuring out. I would most definitely love to read your post about keeping a consistent schedule!

  5. This is such a great list. I’m really bad at seeing unrealistic goals with no plan to actually achieve them, so it’s super helpful seeing some of the different elements of what to keep in mind written down like this – thank you!

  6. These are all so easy to agree with and understand, but putting them into action is what I find tough! I need to block out a certain period of time and actually do what I want to do without any distractions, but for me I’m such a massive procrastinator!

    Thank you for sharing your tips though, they make perfect sense and I know they will work for so many people with the right motivation.

  7. Breaking down larger goals is a big thing for me. If I just look at my goals wholesale, it almost feels like I’ll never get anything done. Thanks for this, Lauren!

  8. These are great tips to set achievable goals. I always make sure to set goals that I have passion for. Passion drives me in times when I feel like giving up. Also, Breaking my goals into smaller chunks helps a lot.

  9. Hi Lauren,

    Some excellent tips for goal-setting, thank you. I love the CS Lewis quote 🙂

    One of the points that you make is one that I see a lot of people struggle with – “Let go of what you cannot control”. If you can’t control it then it is pointless worrying about it – focus on what you can control!

  10. Hello Lauren! What a great post. I totally agree using a goal planner really helps. I note all mine down in a spreadsheet as it helps me. I always track my progress for everything as I can see my results! Thanks for sharing a great post! Alicia

  11. Love this post! Definitely agree with breaking down the larger goals, I have implemented that idea into my life and have achieved so much more with so much less stress and anxiety. Thanks for sharing, definitely will come back to see more of your work!

  12. Love this! Such a great way to get started with goal setting as it’s so important~ 🙂 I love that you mentioned the motivation and accountability part as that is so important as part of the process. Sometimes, people focus on what they won’t do instead of why they should do something. Great post 🙂

  13. Great post, with some great tips. Write down your goals and if they are big ones break them down to small goals is my biggest tip when making goals. Thank you for sharing.

  14. Thank you for sharing these informative tips. I completely agree with breaking down larger goals and celebrating your wins. I’ve been tracking my progress on paper and it definitely gives a boost of motivation. It’s also is a perfect way to see where you could use some improvement!

  15. Setting small more achiavable goals in order to get to a bigger goal is what helps me stay motivated. Scheduling specific tasks and setting up dead lines for each goal is also helpful.
    Thank you for this post!

  16. I never used to be much of a goal-setting person, but having a record of what I have worked toward, how I have achieved it, and where I have fallen short is a big help and something I love having on paper to look back on.
    Love your tips for setting good goals and utilizing a pretty book for the purpose!
    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  17. Loved this post! I have always struggled with goals, but writing them down and breaking down larger ones, it surely helped! ALso giving yourself a time frame and celebrating the small wins is so so important x

  18. Another tip to achieve your goals is to make them SMART goals. SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and anchored within a Time Frame. There’s no point setting yourself a goal if they’re not realistic and you don’t know what it’ll look like when you’ve completed your goal

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