How to Set Goals You Won’t Break

It’s never a bad time to set new goals. Whether it’s the beginning of a new year, you’re starting a new job, or just a Tuesday, it’s always good to better yourself.

But how many of those goals do you follow through on? Maybe you go to the gym every day for the first two weeks, but then you have a hair appointment, so you don’t go a day—and your habit is ruined. Or maybe you do well on saving money for a few months, but then you decide to splurge on a new pair of shoes.

It may not seem like it, but the problem might be in how you’re setting your goals. Follow the steps outlined in this post, and you’ll be on your way to accomplishing the things you’ve been dreaming of.

Step One: Set your long-term goals.

If you’re not sure where to start, try setting goals in each area of your life: career, financial, physical, spiritual, relationships, and personal. Think about your end goal first. Do you want to be a certain weight? Do you want to save some sum of money? Maybe climb a mountain? Decide what you want, and write that down.

Step Two: Break it down into smaller increments.

Take your long-term goal and create smaller, short-term goals that will help you reach it. For example, if your goal is to lose 20 pounds by the end of the year, you might set smaller goals to lose 5 pounds every three months.

Step Three: Make your goals SMART.

smartstands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused, and Time-bound. Look at each of your goals and make adjustments to fit these criteria. For example, for your weight-loss goal, you already have the time-bound, measurable, and results-focused parts met: lose 5 pounds in 3 months. If you were to make it more specific, you could include your goal weight. Only you know if your goal is measurable or not.

Step Four: Assess your obstacles.

Spend some time going through each of your goals and writing down any obstacles you might encounter, any resources you need, and what success looks like. In the weight-loss example, obstacles might include unhealthy temptations, lack of time, or scarcity of support. You might need resources like a gym or healthy snacks. Success could look like a more active you.

Step Five: Take action.

Now that you have your goal and a realistic plan on how to get there, it’s time to get to work!

What are your goals? Leave a comment and let us know, and if you need some inspiration, check out this list of 50 small ways to get more out of life.