Setting Real Goals

Many of us find goal setting to be a challenge.measure_success_#4

We have so many things we want to achieve, so many things we dream about, but we often don’t know how to plan for our success.

We know it’s important to set goals, but, we don’t often do it.

Or, we do it but miss a critical element: making them measurable and time-bound.


Because without these elements, we can’t measure progress—in other words, we don’t know when we’ve achieved what we want to achieve. Goals need to be quantifiable for us to be able to chart our progress.

For example, if your goal is:

  • “To be successful.” How do you measure success? Compared to what?
  • “To make more money.” How much do you want to make?
  • “To travel more.” How much more?
  • “To be happier.” What makes you happy?

My point: how will you know you’ve achieved your goal if you don’t define your measurement of success? If you can’t gauge accomplishment, you may find yourself endlessly reaching for a goal that keeps moving further from your grasp—and that’s definitely not what you want. Instead, set yourself up to succeed with realistic, specific goals that are time-bound and attainable!

Let’s try that again:

  • Instead of a goal: “to be successful,” say, “I want to be promoted to Account Executive by the end of 2013.”
  • Instead of a goal “to make more money,”say,“I want to earn X dollars per year.”
  • Instead of a goal “to travel more,”say, “I’m going to take at one international trip every year.”
  • Instead of a goal “to be happier,” say, “I want to visit my grandchildren at least three times per year” (or whatever you define that makes you happy).

The takeaway?

Take a look at your life and the direction you want it to take, and then set specific goals you can realistically achieve in a particular time frame. In the long run, doing so will lead to more goal-achievement and to a greater overall satisfaction with life.

Want to know more about setting intrinsically motivating goals and getting the support you need to achieve them? Let’s talk!

Photo credit: Shereen M 11 inches & a cat via photopin (license)

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