Five Pointers for Successful Goal Setting

     Here we are, three weeks into the new year. Still on the resolution wagon, or did you fall off and are sitting in a rut, wondering what to do next? Here are five tips on setting your goals. So get up out of that rut, or snap those figurative horses into high speed, because you are going to kick some resolution booty!
     1. Motivation - Don't think you can set a goal and it will magically happen. Your goals need to be motivating for YOU. The goal you set needs to be important to you and the outcome of the goal needs to have value. The goal needs to have a sense of necessity, or urgency, to it; otherwise, you'll probably put it off. Without those three things - importance, value, necessity - you won't be motivated. Try writing down the goal along with the WHYs of the three characteristics listed in order to hold yourself accountable. If you don't have motivation, the opposite happens - you get depressed and frustrated, and even give up. Don't let that be the case.
     2. Set SMART goals. Specific - well-defined goals. Measurable - use dates, amounts, etc to measure success. Attainable - is your goal realistic but not too easy? Relevant - the goals should align with the direction you want your life to take. Time-bound - in order to keep that sense of urgency, make sure you give yourself a deadline.
     3. Write it down. Use positive and powerful words so you can see yourself achieving your goal. For example, "I will" sounds so much more powerful than "I would like to...". Writing something down also gets it out of your head, and into your hands as a tangible thing. Then you can put them in places you'll see them and can remind yourself to keep up the work.
     4. Short-term goals. OK, you've set a goal. Now you need to set (and write down!) short-term goals that will help you reach the main goal. This way, you have a plan of action in case you get a little lost, and it also allows you the satisfaction of crossing a short-term goal off the list when it's achieved. BOOM! Extra motivation!
     5. Perseverance. You'll need to stick to your goal, after all, it's an on-going process. Things don't just happen overnight. Give yourself reminders and rewards, track your progress,  be flexible and change things as needed, but always keep moving.
     Good luck and go get 'em!

(Pointers adapted from article "Golden Rules of Goal Setting" on

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