Setting Goals: How You Can Set Better Goals With 5 Easy Steps

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If you are like me, the New Year is a time of hope.  A fresh start.  A chance for me to reset my motivation, and intention, and that inner voice that decides how worthy I feel on any particular day.  Though they’re just separated by a number of hours, you have to admit that Dec 31 and Jan 1 feel drastically different. There is a completely different energy that is hard to ignore.  The best way to channel that energy is to set goals for yourself for the coming year and begin working toward them.

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What goals did you set for yourself in 2018? Did you achieve them?

Did you set any for 2019 so far?

setting goals, goal setting, SMART goals

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Some common ones I see my friends and family set are:

  • I want to be healthier
  • Jen, I want a better love life
  • I want a more successful career

Do you notice how people typically give up on their goals by like Jan 20? I have definitely been guilty of that more times than I can count. The reason most New Year’s resolutions are unsuccessful is because they are too vague to give you any sense of direction.

Setting SMART goals

For a goal to be successful, it has to be SMART. And I don’t mean in an intellectual context, I mean it has to be S.M.A.R.T. (Specific- measurable- achievable- realistic- timely)

Setting goals, goals, smart goals, resolutions

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For instance, share this with that friend who says they want to get in shape in 2019.  (Maybe that “friend” is you! No shame.) Rather than say, “I want to get in shape,” say, “I will run a 5k in July 2019.”

Why is this a better goal? Let’s review the image above…

  1. The new goal is more specific. Instead of saying you want to get in shape, you are giving yourself a specific area of fitness to target (your endurance)
  2. The new goal is measurable. You can easily track your progress on an app or chart.
  3. It is achievable.  You would be able to start from scratch and achieve this in a reasonable time frame.
  4. It is realistic.  Even if you are a total couch potato, barring major medical issues, you can jog train to jog 3 miles over the next 6 months.
  5. It is timely.  You have given yourself a deadline in which you want to achieve the goal.

BONUS: In the new goal, you said, “I will,” instead of “I want to.” Conscious language matters!

Additional Resources

Pursuit Goal Journal – A Unique, Down-to-Earth Method for Productivity, Motivation, Mindfulness, and Goal Planning. 6 x 8.5 inch. (Charcoal) Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals Goals: How to Get the Most Out of Your Life


So, absolutely set goals for yourself this year.  They are a wonderful thing, and it is a noble pursuit to try to better yourself.  But make them QUALITY, measurable goals.  Make them S.M.A.R.T. and you are way more likely to succeed.

Setting goals, goals, smart goals, resolutions

(Click to download this image and get started creating some goals for yourself.)

I would love to hear your New Year’s resolutions, and to help you S.M.A.R.T.ify them.  Leave them in the comments below and I will share mine.

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10 thoughts on “Setting Goals: How You Can Set Better Goals With 5 Easy Steps”

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  4. I used to work as a social worker for clients with mental health and substance abuse issues and we used SMART goals all the time. I need to transfer these into my own life and start doing them with my business and my day-to-day life. It’s always great to get a reminder of what works.

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