How to Set Achievable Goals


You read a lot about “Goal Setting”. You hear the importance of setting goals in your life, career, relationships, etc.
Setting goals is tough. We either aim too low or we shoot too high. But how do we find that happy medium? How do we set goals that are achievable?
First, I like to start with categories. You can choose how many categories you focus on, but remember – the more categories you list, the longer your list of goals become.
It is also important to think of an achievable timeline. I could decide to make a list of goals to achieve by NEXT year. But how many times have you made this yearly list only to be disappointed 12 months later? For those who do knock things off their yearly list, please share your secret!
One of my goals is to focus more on the category of health. I want to make better decisions in the foods I eat. I want to practice having a healthy mindset. I want to put fitness into my weekly routine. I have lived a long life of eating what I want and getting away with not working out, but now I am coming to an age where those Starbucks coffees are starting to show…
I am starting my health goal in a few small ways:
  • Reading books about eating healthy
  • Making the decision to join my local gym
  • Learning and reading about yoga
It’s a start! But so far, this category is feeling achievable if I take it in small steps. I hope to have a better routine by the time summer kicks off.
The next category I am focused on is self-care. My job causes a lot of stress on a daily basis. I spend 9 hours of my day only thinking of my students. It’s become a trend that it will be 3:00 and I will realize that I never went to the bathroom. I come home and the job is still not done with grading and planning. This routine is not only unhealthy, but it is making me forget to take care of myself.
I am starting to work more on self-care in a few small ways:
  • Dedicated the first 30-45 minutes when I get home to doing something fun for myself.
  • Reading before bed (was always something I loved growing up)
  • Choosing at least 1 night a week to not bring any work home, including laptop.
My timeline for this goal is on-going, but I will take another look at the end of February to see how I did.
This is how I goal set. It has worked for me for years when I have actually sat down and taken the time. You may have a different strategy that works best for you. Please share in a comment!
I think of 3-5 categories that I would like to work on. I set realistic timelines. I make sure it is something I am truly passionate about. If you set a goal to run a mile every day, but have always hated running – You aren’t setting an achievable goal. You will likely quit your goal within a week. I know this, because I’ve done it a lot.
After I have made my categories, I come up with a few small steps to help me get started. Once I’ve worked through these small steps or it’s been about a month, I make another list of steps. The steps get more specific and more challenging as time goes on. And eventually, it does become part of my routine.
Don’t let mistakes or forgetfulness keep you from achieving your goals. Make simpler steps, ask for help, read about it! The more you learn and practice, the stronger your goals will be.
Here are my 5 achievable goals for the New Year:
  1. Make healthy habits and choices
  2. Take care of myself weekly
  3. Write every week
  4. Go on at least 1 long vacation
  5. Focus on the finances
I will continue to share my tips, strategies, and goals with you along the way.
As always, thanks for reading!

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