How to set goals

December 21, 2017 0 Comments

As the New Year is quickly approaching, we start to reflect on our lives and the areas we can improve in. This is that annoying time of the year where everyone is asking you about your new year’s resolutions. Overrated conversation? Definitely. Does that mean you shouldn’t set new goals for yourself for the new year? Definitely not.

You’ve probably set new year’s resolutions before, and you’ve probably found yourself forgetting about them, too. When we fail to work towards or accomplish our goals, it’s usually because we are not specific enough in defining our goals (at least that’s the case for me). Getting specific with defining your goals is key; it helps you to visualize your goals, ingrain them in your mind, and plan a realistic way to achieve them.

Envision your life in the new year. How do you want to feel? What do you want to improve or change in your life? Once you create these visuals in your mind, it’s time to figure out a plan on how to accomplish your new goals. I use five key benchmarks in setting my goals:

  1. Be specific.
  2. Make your goals measurable.
  3. Make your goals personal.
  4. Set a time limit. 
  5. Make a visual reminder of your goals.

For example, let’s say your goal is to get in shape. You want to feel fit and healthy in the new year, and looking smokin’ would be pretty nice, too. Well, here’s an example of how you would break down your goal with the five aforementioned benchmarks:

  1. Be specific. I want to lose weight. I want to lose twenty pounds to improve my health, my looks, and my self-esteem. I’m uncomfortable with my current physique and I want to change that. 
  2. Measure it. I am going to hit the gym as often as I can. I am going to shed the weight by exercising three times a week at the gym, doing cardio and lifting weights. I’m going to seek out new workouts when I get bored, try out a personal trainer, and I’m going to research better eating habits to clean up my nutrition. I’m going to monitor my weight loss progress by taking weekly body update photos and recording my measurements. You can get as creative with measuring the progress of your goal as you’d like. The sky’s the limit.
  3. Make it personal. I want to lose weight to impress other people. I want to lose weight because I want to feel comfortable in my own skin, and have more energy every day. Why do you have this goal? Are you setting it for yourself, or for others? Set goals because you want to achieve them, and you’ll have a much higher success rate.
  4. Time limit. I’m giving myself until summer to lose the weight. I’m going to shed the twenty pounds in four months, and May 1st is my deadline. A time limit helps keep you accountable. If you don’t set one, you’re losing an extra source of motivation for yourself.
  5. Visual reminder. Creating a visual reminder brings your goal to life and rekindles your passion every time you see it. Whether it’s a vision board, progress photos, or a fitness journal, you can get as creative as you want with this one. Having some form of a visual reminder of your goal will help keep you motivated and on track.

Having a specific plan for accomplishing your goals will help you to stick to them and will increase your likelihood of accomplishing them. You are in control of your own life, so don’t let time pass without working towards a better version of yourself.



Born in Ukraine and raised in Chicago, Iryna takes pride in her Ukrainian roots. She loves writing, cooking (and eating) all kinds of food, pursuing new fitness trends, and exploring all things related to personal growth. She hopes this blog brings you value in one way or another and helps you to become a better version of you.

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