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How to Set SMARTer Goals, so You Can Make Your Dreams a Reality

Updated: Oct 31, 2023



Did you ever set a New Year’s Resolution and find that it fizzled early in the year? Do you set goals and forget about them? Do you fail to follow through on your goals and not know why?


Most New Year’s Resolutions will have failed by February. This can be for a couple of reasons:

· Setting goals that are too difficult

· Setting goals that are too vague

· Setting too many goals at once

These are the main reasons that goals fail, because if your goal is too hard or to vague, it is difficult to make a plan of action to follow through.


For example, if you set a goal to lose 30 pounds in a month, that isn’t really reasonable, it is too difficult, and you aren’t going to be able to do it unless you starve yourself, and something like that just isn’t sustainable.


An example of a goal that is too vague would be something like, “I want to get fit.” This is too vague because it doesn’t specify how you are going to do this, or give you any way to measure your progress. You might get a bit more fit, but not feel like you met the goal because it wasn’t specific enough.


Setting too many goals also is a recipe for disaster, because it takes about 28 days to build a new habit, and trying to change too many things in your life all at once can just become overwhelming.


This is why it is important to set goals in a way that sets you up for success from the beginning, so you aren’t one of the people giving up on your resolutions in February. Remember, you can set a new goal any time (think now!) it doesn’t just have to be at the beginning of the year or another big milestone.

SMART Goals

There is a framework called SMART goal setting that will set you up for success from the beginning. This framework helps you avoid the most common pitfalls in goal setting, so that you will be able to follow through and meet your goals.


SMART is an acronym which stands for:

· Specific

· Measurable/ Meaningful

· Achievable/ As If Now

· Realistic

· Time bound

When you set a goal, first, you want to make sure that it is as specific as possible. You could say, “I will lose 30 pounds by lifting weights by September 30, 2023.” This way, you know what you need to do, when you need to do it by, and how you are going to do it.


The goal needs to be measurable, so having a numerical metric attached is helpful. So you could say, “I will read 12 books in 2023.”


For the goal to be meaningful, that means you need to really want it. It shouldn’t be a goal that is being imposed on you by someone else like your spouse or your boss. This is going to set you up for failure, because it isn’t a goal that you really want to go after.


Having a goal that is achievable means that it is possible to manage. So for the weight loss goal, you want to make sure that you aren’t trying to lose too much weight all at once. Similar for the reading goal. You don’t want to say you are going to read too many books or you are setting yourself up for failure.


As If Now means you state your goal in the present tense. You would say, “I have lost 30 pounds by September 30th.” Or “I have read 12 books in 2023.” Or, “I have a great new job in my chosen profession.” When you state it this way, it tricks your subconscious mind into thinking it has already happened, so you have excitement about the goal, and it is easier to take the needed actions.


Realistic is similar to achievable. You don’t want to set a goal that is impossible. Say, being the first person to create teleportation, unless you have a science background in this type of research. You would want to create a smaller goal first, like learning science in College or something of that nature instead.


Time bound simply means you have a timeframe for your goal. If you leave it open ended, then it is easy to put off working on it. If you notice my earlier examples, I gave a date for each one. Ideally, if you do this then you will be less likely to put off your goals until tomorrow, and get to work on them right away.

How many goals should I set?

Personally, I think if you are new to setting goals, you should probably not start with more than 3 new goals at a time. This way, you don’t become overwhelmed with trying to change your whole life at once.


I usually set goals for different areas of my life like:

· Health & Fitness

· Family

· Work or school

· Personal development

You can divide them up any way that you would like, and you can use these categories or different categories of your choosing. If your health is great for example, you may want to focus more on work, family or personal development. So, you could have all 3 goals in one category if you wanted to.


Once you get used to setting goals, and you are working successfully towards meeting them, then it is alright to set a larger amount of goals for yourself. For example, for 2023 I set 11 goals at the beginning of the year, and one is already completed.


As you complete your goals, you can set new and more difficult goals.

I hope you find this goal setting process to be useful, as many other people including myself have found it to be. All the best of luck with your goals!


Do you need help setting your own mission statement? Or writing goals that align to your personal values? If so, spiritual life coaching could be right for you! Contact me to find out about my Life Coaching Programs and get your FREE 1:1 Consultation.



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