Knowing how to set goals properly can give you a huge advantage in terms of achieving your dreams. If you don’t set goals, you might never accomplish what you want to accomplish!

Goals give you a step by step outline for how to create your ultimate happiness – without them, you’ll be floundering. (No one likes to flounder, amiright?)

When you know how to set goals in the most effective way possible, you’ll be on your way to making your dream life a reality a lot sooner!

Goals are a huge aspect of your happiness journey. If you look at your ultimate dream life and all that that entails, it can seem super overwhelming! But when you use goals to make that dream life a reality, it lessons that anxiety by a long shot!

You give yourself a complete outline of what you need to do and when. Overwhelm disappears when you have a detailed plan and that’s what you need for your happiness journey!

But truly, that’s only if you work through goal setting the right way. There are a lot of times that you might set goals that end up being completely ineffective. That’s no good!

Keep reading to see exactly how to set goals and keep up with them in a way that will ACTUALLY help you achieve all that you want to in life!

how to set goals

Start With Intentions First

This is a step that I see people miss all the time!

Goals are super fantastic, but the reality is that they can only take you so far when you don’t feel inspired.

Think of it like this: goals can feel super inspiring at the beginning. You’re starting a new journey toward what you want to accomplish! But at the end of the day, goals are only the logistical side of that journey. They tell you what to do and when to do it. They are the “stats” of your happiness journey.

And that’s where intentions come into play! Intentions give you the inspiration you need to keep going through the journey of accomplishing your goals.

Before you ever decide to set goals, sit down with yourself and think about what your dream life truly looks like. Write it all down.

What does each aspect of that life look like to you? What means the most to you? In your dreamiest, happiest life, what are you up to? What exactly does happiness mean to you?

Go into as much detail as possible!

After writing all of that out, you can create intentions that summarize that happiness into specific phrases. For example, an intention for myself would be: “Travel to Greece and specifically go to Athens and Santorini on my first visit.”

Traveling and seeing other cultures is a very important thing to me, and I have a huge desire to make that happen! I’m inspired by that desire, and that’s where to the key to this is. If I had just simply set a goal to go to Greece without the inspiration of the intention, it would eventually fall flat and not get accomplished!

But my intention of wanting to travel to other countries and learn about different cultures inspires me to keep going toward my goal.

Check this out to hear more about setting intentions.

After you set an intention, you need to turn it into a specific goal! That’s the next step of the complete process of goal setting.

Make Them Specific and with a Time Frame

Have you ever heard of someone set a goal that says, “I want to lose weight,” and that’s the end of it?

Guess what, folks – that is a terrible goal! I said it. I SAID IT!

A much, much better goal would be, “Lose 48 pounds in the next 12 months.” The reason why that goal works out so well is because it’s very specific and set to a time frame.

Goals that aren’t specific and with a certain time frame will never be accomplished. Without a specification on them, you’ll never know when you achieve what you’re trying to achieve. Without a time frame, you won’t have a sense of urgency to get it done!

Think about the previous example. If you just say, “I want to lose weight,” when do you accomplish that goal? When does the process of losing weight end? You may never know!

But with the rewritten goals, you can see exactly when you’re accomplishing them and that’s really powerful!

Write Them Down

Ahhhh, the good ‘ole pen and paper trick. I hear people diss on this all the freaking time anymore, but I still believe in its goodness!

Writing down your goals makes them official, y’all. It’s not the best idea to have them only inside of your head. Your head is a good place for things to feel only sorta real.

You need to make a plan for them and put them on paper to make them feel more real! It’s like you’re saying to yourself, “By writing this down, I’m definitely going to make this happen for me and nothing is going to get in my way!”

It’s a great idea to write your goals down in your planner, but you could also write them on a dry erase board to keep in your room or on your fridge!

I use The Happy Planner for absolutely everything in my life, and I highly recommend it for goal setting! (That’s not an affiliate link – I just really love The Happy Planner.)

Start With the Big Goals and Break Them Down Smaller

Let’s jump back to the intentions you set earlier for a second. When you think about those, they are MAJOR things! You’re trying to plan out your dream life, and that’s a huge deal!

When you turn those intentions into goals, they turn into HUGE goals. It can be super overwhelming to look at those goals because you might be thinking, “Where in the heck do I start?!”

That’s why breaking them down is the next step in knowing how to set goals that really work! If you get overwhelmed by your own goals, you’ll only end up wanting to quit on them. No one wants to be a quitter!

Instead, you need to take your big goals and break them down into smaller ones (still keeping to the concept of specific and set to a time frame!)

The weight loss goal we discussed earlier that was, “Lose 48 pounds in 12 months.” You could break that down into losing 4 pounds every month. Or you could go month to month, setting differing amounts each time. It doesn’t matter which way you do it!

It only matters that each break down of the big goal is also specific and set within a time frame.

Review the Progress of Your Goals as You Go

Imagine that you set a goal to be accomplished a year from now, you start working towards it without ever really sitting down to review it, and then lo and behold – you didn’t accomplish it!

Going back to review your goals is very, very important. You need to be able to see how on track you are with your progress. Without doing that, your goal can fall to the wayside and you might not even notice.

But reviewing your goals doesn’t have to be an every day task and it doesn’t have to take a long time. I recommend you sit down to review those goals about once a month to see how you’re doing!

Some simple questions you want to ask yourself are:

  • How close am I to accomplishing this month’s specific goal?
  • Is there anything more I need to do in order to get closer to this goal?
  • What am I doing that’s on track to getting me to this goal? Is there anything I’m doing that’s getting in the way of me accomplishing my goal?
  • Does the timeline of this goal need to be adjusted for any reason?
  • What can I do next month to help me achieve this goal?

You can journal about those questions to get the best responses! I’d also suggest you mark a day each month in your calendar so you don’t forget!

Make Sure You Don’t Work on Too Many Goals at Once

So this tip isn’t exactly for setting goals, but it’s very much worth mentioning!

When you think about setting your goals for a joyful life, you can get this burning desire to go after every single goal you have all at once….but that’s not necessarily the best idea.

Once again, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed by goals. If, like we said above, they aren’t clear enough, they can cause anxiety. But goals can also cause anxiety when you are trying to accomplish too many at once!

Listen, I’m all about making the most out of your time. But you also have to be realistic – you only have 24 hours in a day. You should work on your goals, but you also have a life! You have to take care of you. Your life is full of other responsibilities just like anyone else.

It’s a good idea that you actively work on only one or two goals at a time. If they’re super small, then you can add more. If one of them is really big, then keep to that one only!

Making sure that you’re keeping your anxiety surrounding goals at a minimum is top priority! Make sure you list out all of your goals, and decide which ones are the most important to you to work on right now. Go after those, and then move onto the next ones!

Journal about this topic with prompts sent to your inbox…check it out right here!

That’s How to Set Goals…Now Go Set Yours!!

Goal setting absolutely does not have to be complicated. Goals are a great thing to use to help you make your happiest life a reality! You deserve to feel as much joy as possible, so set those goals like a champ and go after your dream life!

Sierra Mafield Blog