Mind & Body Goals

How To Set Goals And Stick To Them

Photo by Ambreen Hasan on Unsplash

Whether you want to try to do something as simple as lose a few pounds, or something as complex as starting your own business, it is absolutely important to create and set goals, and then stick to them. Goals are what make us strive to become better and to continue to press onward so we can have the things we want or be the person we have always wanted to be.

By setting goals, we create a sort of “visionary prize” for ourselves that helps us stay on track. Without having a goal in mind, the final result does not appear to be as clear. If we come up with some goals and then stick to meeting them, it’s amazing what we can achieve. There are many things you can do to help you reach your goals, and with some simple advice and a bit of hard work, your dreams no matter how big or small can come true.

Why Goals are Important

Goals are important because they help to give you clarity of the final result. For example, if you want to lose 50 pounds, setting small, incremental goals can help encourage you and keep you moving in the right direction.

Once you reach your final goal, a true feeling of achievement takes hold and you gain courage to try something else. Perhaps it may also encourage you to do something much more bold, like go rock climbing or learn a new sport. Small goals are wonderful stepping stones towards helping us reach that final outcome.

Aside from helping you move towards the right direction, setting goals make you more accountable to yourself. If you hadn’t set a personal goal, there is no repercussion if you falter. On the other hand, if a goal is already put in place, you can begin to create some rules and boundaries to help you stick to it.

Build A Support Structure

Let others know about your goal and keep them informed of your progress. This way, someone else is aware of what you are working toward and can help to encourage you. Any goal is designed to help you be responsible for the mistakes you make, or for any learning curves you might experience along the way. It helps keep us focused with our eyes on the prize, and allows us to better understand what it is we are trying to achieve.

Keep in mind that most successful people began their journey with some kind of goal in mind. No famous business owner, movie star, or sports hero began their journey expecting everything to simply fall into place the way they wanted it. Instead, most likely they decided what they wanted in advance, and then worked hard to get there. The same can be applied to us in our day to day journeys: if we want something big to happen, WE have to make it happen. This is where the role of setting and sticking to goals comes in.

How to Achieve Your Goals

Create A Simple List Of Things You Will Need To Accomplish

No two people are alike, so it is no surprise that not everyone will attempt to reach the goals the same way. However, we can all utilize some simple techniques that will help us to get to the final goal easier. Like any task you face, a list is essential. Create a simple list of things you will need to accomplish before your goal can be reached.

Most goals are reached in steps, so write down all of the steps that will need to be accomplished in advance before the final goal is reached. You can also make a list of items you might need to buy, books you might need to read, or just little things you can do to prepare for the finalization of your goal ahead of time.

Think about realistic goals versus unrealistic ones, and then only establish goals that you can feasibly conquer. For instance, if you want that dream car that costs $50,000 and you know you can never afford it, it might be time to take a step back and re-evaluate your goal. Maybe the compact sedan for $15,000 is something you can actually afford to purchase and may be what you will really enjoy. Take some time to really think about which goals are “doable” and which ones might be beyond reach. Or, you can set a smaller, less lofty goal and then slowly work your way towards your dream goal later. Often, the most essential part of reaching goals is the process and not the goal itself.

Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself

Do not be too hard on yourself if you falter along the way to reaching your goal. Everyone makes mistakes, and this is how we learn. Without these little fumbles, we miss out on some very valuable lessons in life.

Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move forward. Keep in mind that each mistake you make should be a learning opportunity and just be sure not to repeat it in the future.

Get Organized, And Keep Track Of Your Progress

If you are quitting smoking, keep tabs on how many cigarettes you have NOT smoked in a day, week, etc. Tally up the money you’ve saved. If it’s weight you are trying to lose, make a food diary and write down what you eat each day as well as your calorie and fat content, so you can more clearly see how everything is progressing.

Keep a list on your phone, log it online, or simply written on a notepad can really help you see where your progress is being made. In addition, every small step or thing you complete gives you a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. This feeling only helps to encourage you to push forward and reach for the stars.

Get A “Goal Buddy”

Depending on what your ultimate goal is, you might even want to recruit the help of a friend. Perhaps you and someone you know have a similar goal in mind. It can be something as simple as getting more exercise, or something as lofty as starting your own business. If you have a support system, you are more likely to be successful.

Plus, your “goal buddy” might be able to offer some helpful advice and you can learn something from each other along the way. Having a true support system makes a huge difference between achieving your goal and just thinking about it. In addition, having someone walk down the path with you can make it much more fun, and seem less like a task that you feel you HAVE to do.

Keep A Positive Frame Of Mind

Sometimes, a matter of achieving your goals can be as simple as your frame of mind. Try some meditation techniques to help you feel calm and more relaxed. Yoga, walking, relaxing music, and just plain old quiet time can do wonders for your psyche.

Try to eliminate some of the more stressful elements in your life. By doing this, you are allowing more room in your mind and more time on your hands to focus on the more important things. Do not let things upset you as easily as you once did. Instead, learn new coping skills so you can quickly solve problems and turn your attention back towards your goal.

Utilize The New Technology That Is Available To You

You can use a myriad of goal setting and tracking apps for everything from weight loss to business achievements. If you own a website, there are a great deal of web tracking software programs that will help you analyze your current sales and help you reach your goal. Make the Internet work for you by searching for goal related programs and websites that will be your ally throughout the process.

Time Management

Think about things like time management, and how these programs can assist you with it. In fact, time management is another key part of accomplishing a goal. By better being able to manage how you use your time, you can see where there might be room for improvement and then focus on how to gain more time to get what you want.

Consider Your Personal Habits When You Set A Goal

For example, do you drink often or even in excess on the weekends? How is this getting in the way of your goal? Do you have a messy household that constantly needs cleaning? Come up with a list of personal habits that might be considered unhealthy or harmful, and think about how you can change these habits so that you feel more comfortable with your life. Eliminating negativity will do wonders for your life as well as your ability to reach your goals.

How to Stick With Your Goals

While the tools you implement are designed to help get you heading in the right direction, the real key to achieving your goals is sticking with them. Many people establish loft goals for themselves, and then end up “falling off the wagon” or getting off track. It is essential that you stick with the goal in mind. Otherwise you will feel a significant sense of loss and possible failure. Many people tend to give up easily once they get off track. If you know how to stick to the goal initially, you will not encounter as many problems staying in line.

Think Ahead

If you have a big vacation planned or there is a holiday coming, then think about how that time will affect your goal. If you expect a contract to run out or a larger bill during a certain part of the month to get in the way, prepare in advance. Always try to stay one step ahead of the game, that way you are not hit with any surprised you don’t like or that will get in your way.

Consider what certain restaurants serve and look at the menu in advance before eating there if you have weight loss goals. These are just a few examples of how simple planning ahead can be a real lifesaver.

Get To The Cause of Why You Falter

A lot of times, people have difficult setbacks that can cause them to get distracted and derail them from accomplishing their goals. Seriously think about what causes you to have problems on your way to achieving your goal. If you fail, don’t just simply reserve yourself to keep going. Really, truly think about WHY you faltered and what caused it. What were the reasons behind the mistake?

By getting to the root of the problem, you can avoid it next time and just continue to move forward. Never beat yourself up too hard if you do make a mistake. Remember we are all human, and things will happen along the way that are either out of our control or that we must learn from. As long as every mistake is used as a lesson, we’re really not losing out in the long run.

Look For New Inspiration

Often, setbacks can leave us feeling a bit deflated and discouraged. If this happens, look for new motivations or sources of inspiration. Online chat and message boards with others who have similar goals are great places to go for moral support. They may also be able to suggest other tools for motivation and help you establish new ways of thinking.

Use your children and other loved ones as sources of motivation. Think about your goal and how it will have a positive effect on others, and not just yourself. Many people will attest that other important people in their life helped to inspire them to reach their goals.

Remember That Change Is Not Always A Bad Thing

While most people are typically resistant to change, you will find that you might need to adapt while you’re on the way to your final goal. Adaptation is what helps us grow as human beings, and it inspires us to be the best person we can be.

Realizing that change is not always a bad thing can be instrumental in helping you get to that big goal. Do not be afraid to try something new or unusual in order to reach your goal. You just might surprise yourself in the long run and discover new ways of doing things. Often we are forced to deal with change when a situation arises that we are unhappy with. Instead of being negative or feeling defeated, use this as an opportunity.

Remind Yourself Every Single Day Why You Want To Achieve This Goal

Create daily reminders or just put something up at your desk or in your bedroom to help encourage and inspire you. You might even come up with your own personalized slogan that will serve as encouragement. No matter what you choose to do, daily reminders are a great way to help you stick with everything. Create some kind of time frame for every little step you make. This way, you have a definitive moment when the goal will be achieved. Use a calendar or other method to track this progress daily until you hit the time-frame.

Be Sure To Take Care Of Your Overall Health

Remember, if you get sick or feel sluggish, you will have a much more difficult time reaching any goal you set. Get a good night of sleep every night. This means a minimum of five hours, but preferably the standard eight hours per night. Sleep helps you stay focused and helps to prevent mood swings and other problems.

Eat a healthy balanced diet that incorporates whole grains, proteins, and fruits and veggies. Stay away from sugary junk foods that can cause you to reach highs and lows and then eventually crash. Limit alcohol and caffeine. By doing these simple things, you will feel better overall and be able to stay focused.

Determine what time of each day is best for you. In other words, do you find that you can focus on your goal at lunchtime during work? Or is right before bedtime when the kids are asleep a better option for you? Perhaps you are able to squeeze in that workout you’ve been planning in the early evenings while you work towards your weight loss goal. Determine what your daily schedule is and then pick the optimum time in between where you can really buckle down and work on your goal. Understanding optimum time-frames is a great way to get you on track by utilizing that time management tool effectively.


Everything from dropping a few pounds to starting and keeping up that successful business is a milestone in our lives. No matter what the size and scope of your goal, it CAN be achieved through patience, diligence, and hard work. Understanding how to set your goal and utilizing time frames and organization skills, you will find that it is not as hard as you may have originally thought. Enlist the help of a friend and watch your dreams come true that much faster. Understanding how to stay on track towards a goal is essential. Keep your eyes on the prize and always remember the ultimate reward of accomplishing the goal. Truly, the end result is what makes setting goals and achieving them so enjoyable.

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