How can I set compelling goals?

What you will get from this article:

  • Learn why goal setting is vital to growth in every area of your life
  • Understand how to set goals that excite and inspire you
  • Get powerful strategies for achieving your goals
  • Unlock a short goal-setting workshop hosted by Tony Robbins

How to set goals

Do you know how to set goals? How often do you achieve the large objectives that are important to you? If you’re having trouble following through with your goal planning, you may be tempted to stop trying. People say things like, “Maybe this is just it,” or, “I’ll settle for what I have.”  

But frequently what’s getting in the way of achievement is the actual goal. If your goal is to “lose weight,” how will you know when that goal is complete? When you’ve lost one pound? Five? Forty?

Without a clear target, you’ll never hit your mark. That’s why it’s crucial to learn how to set goals that are clear, measurable and actionable.

Reveal how to create compelling goals – and achieve them

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What is goal setting?

Goal setting can look different depending on an individual’s lifestyle, values and definition of success. Your goals are unique to you and don’t need to look like anyone else’s. 

The classic goal-setting definition boils down to the process of identifying something you want to accomplish and establishing measurable objectives and timeframes to help you achieve it. Goal setting can help you in any area of your life, from achieving financial freedom to adopting a healthy diet. When you learn how to set goals in one area of your life, it becomes easier to set them in other areas.

Setting progressive goals that allow small wins helps you move on to larger achievements. These small goals lead to progress, which is the only thing you really need to feel fulfilled and happy.

Why is goal setting important?

Goal setting is the fundamental key to success. Whether it’s increasing your intelligence, learning a new skill or rekindling a relationship, setting goals lets us create our future. It also helps us grow and expand, pushing ourselves to transform in ways that we never imagined. In order to feel fulfilled, we need to know and feel like we’re working to achieve something. Tony Robbins says, “Progress equals happiness,” and setting goals gets us there.

Effective goal setting lets you measure progress, overcome procrastination and visualize your dreams. If you don’t know what you want to accomplish, you can’t create a plan to get there. Setting goals is the vehicle that will drive you to your desired destination. 

Goal setting also keeps you accountable. Whether you’re learning how to set goals at work or in your personal life, telling others about your goals makes you more likely to establish the patterns that will accomplish them. 

Here we’ll cover how to set goals to ensure you achieve them. You’ll learn what makes a compelling goal as well as the steps you need to take to see them through.

How to set goals

What is goal setting to you? When you set goals, are you used to seeing them disappear in the rearview mirror? We’re willing to bet if you’re reading this page, you’ve set a goal or two in your life. But did you see them through? 

You’re much more likely to put time and energy into something that excites you, so your goals must reflect that same level of momentum. Think of a goal as a dream with a deadline. Now all we have to do is create a blueprint to achievement.

1. Perform a brainstorming session.

Give yourself six minutes to brainstorm a list of anything you’d like to achieve, create, do, have, give and/or experience in the next 20 years. Write as many items down as fast as you can in this time. Use the rocking chair test to come up with ideas: Picture yourself in retirement, thinking back on your life from your rocking chair. What accomplishments will you be most proud of? What will you most regret? These are your most important answers to the question, “Why is goal setting important?”

why is goal setting important

goal setting strategies

2. Refine your goals

Setting deadlines is crucial to goal setting. Go back through your list and write one, three, five, 10 or 20 years next to each goal to indicate how long it will take to achieve them. Some goals take a lifetime to achieve, but make sure you are pushing yourself toward both professional and personal growth. If you don’t know how long a goal will take – like finding a healthy relationship – write down how long you would like it to take. Remember what Tony says: “Goals are like magnets. They’ll attract the things that make them come true.”

3. Connect your goals to your purpose.

Go over what you’ve written. Choose your top four one-year goals. These are goals that excite you because they are most connected to your purpose in life. Write a paragraph for each goal explaining why you will achieve this goal within the next 12 months. This isn’t a to-do list. This is creating a vision for your life. When you have a powerful reason “why,” you’ll more easily discover the “how.”  

how to set goals

what is goal setting

4. Create SMART goals.

Now it’s time to take those big goals and break them down into smaller SMART goals. Are your goals specific? Measurable? Achievable? Realistic? Do they have a specific timeframe? These are the components of a SMART goal. Breaking down your goals in this way sets a strong purpose and intention, making them more concrete and easier to achieve. You’ll also be able to better track your progress and celebrate your successes – two keys to achieving goals we’ll talk about next.

How to achieve your goals

Learning how to set goals is worthless if you don’t learn how to achieve goals. Set yourself up for success by following these tips.

1. Visualize your goals

Where focus goes, energy flows, so it’s critical to focus on your goals. Visualization is one powerful way to do this. When you visualize your goals on a daily basis as if you’ve already achieved them, you align your purpose and values with your actions. Everyone from star athletes to entrepreneurs uses visualization as well as practices like vision boards to help with goal setting. You can even tape images of your goals on the mirror in your bathroom or pin them to the wall next to your computer. If your goals involve adopting a healthy diet and losing weight, put them on the front of your refrigerator or a kitchen cabinet.

2. Keep yourself accountable

Find a friend, family member or another person you trust and share your list of goals with them. You can also share the list with a mentor or life coach. Sharing your list will make you more accountable and give you a partner who will work with you through frustrations or roadblocks. The right partner can help you transform obstacles into opportunities and stay on track.

3. Track your progress

Have a set schedule to review both short- and long-term goal setting. This helps you track progress as well as determine what activities are helping you and which are hindering you. It’s important to know when you need to make alterations to your course. As Tony says, “Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.” Don’t lose sight of your ultimate goal, but remember that life is happening for you, not to you.

4. Celebrate your successes

Goal setting doesn’t have to be a boring set of tasks to check off. When you’re planning your goals, include ways to celebrate your successes. If you’re working toward financial freedom, set aside a budget for a nice dinner when you reach a certain goal. Celebrate relationship milestones. Got that promotion? Share it with the world and celebrate. It will help you stay focused – while also being present in the moment.

Why is goal setting important? Imagine yourself older and looking back. What’s the pain from not achieving, and what is the pleasure from having achieved your goals? Effective goal setting helps you stay focused, keeps you accountable and is the single most important aspect of reaching your dreams.

Ready to take action to set and achieve goals?

This short workshop is packed with valuable information about how to set goals that will take your life to the next level.