3 steps to help you set goals like a wizard 🪄

Nov 24, 2023

Here's the big secret to setting effective goals: learn how to set goals that you feel excited to achieve. Read on for our 3 tips and tricks to set yourself up for success.

Remember, setting effective goals is actually a skill — we aren't born knowing how to do it, and it takes practice (personally, all I was born to do was take a nap… 😴)

Step 1: Set goals that inspire you

Have you ever looked at your to-do list and felt uninspired?

When you set goals for yourself, it is important that they motivate you: this means making sure that they are important to you, and that there is value in achieving them. If you have little interest in the outcome, or they are irrelevant given the larger picture, then it might be worth taking some time to reflect as to why they’re on your list. Motivation is key to achieving goals. When setting your goals take a moment to reflect and ask yourself why is this goal important to me? 

Try your best to set goals that relate to the high priorities in your life. Without this type of focus, you can end up with far too many goals, leaving you too little time to devote to each one. Taking a moment to identify the goals' importance can help you prioritize and complete goals that support you in achieving what’s most important to you.  

When setting goals, ask yourself:

  • Why is this goal important to me?

  • What is my ultimate objective or vision?

  • Is this goal aligned with my values and priorities? 

  • Is there anything that needs to shift for me today to complete this goal? 

Read on to become a goal-setting pro!

Step 2: Whatever your goals are, make them SMART

When setting goals we are trying to find clarity on what’s most important. Using the SMART goal framework can be key in supporting you in setting and achieving goals. 

Well, what makes a goal SMART? A SMART goal is:

  • Specific.

  • Measurable.

  • Attainable.

  • Relevant.

  • Time Bound.

We'll dive into it a bit more now.

S: Set Specific Goals

Prioritizing your sleep sounds like a good idea, but what does it really mean? Aim for specific goals instead, such as setting a time you’d like to start winding down or be in bed by.

M: Set Measurable Goals

Make the goal one you can measure. A goal of walking more is not so easily measured, so change it to walking three days a week so you can monitor your progress.

A: Set Attainable Goals

Avoid aiming too high or too low. Think like Goldilocks and find a goal that feels just right.

R: Set Relevant Goals

Goals should be relevant to the direction you want your life and career to take. By keeping goals aligned with this, you'll develop the focus you need to get ahead and do what you want. Set widely scattered and inconsistent goals, and you'll fritter your time – and your life – away.

T: Set Time-Bound Goals

Your goals must have a deadline. Again, this means that you know when you can celebrate success. When you are working on a deadline, your sense of urgency increases and achievement will come that much quicker.

Of course, not every goal needs to be a smart goal but it can be helpful to provide this framework, especially for bigger projects or larger goals. 

Step 3: One little trick that actually helps…

Our next tip seems simple — but it really works.

According to Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California, people are 42% more likely to carry out their goals just by writing them down.

Here are a few reasons why: 

  1. Helps you clarify what you want to achieve 🔎: Writing down your goals helps you clarify what you want to achieve. When you write them down, you have to think about what you really want and what steps you need to take to get there. This clarity makes it easier to stay focused on your goals and make progress toward them.

  2. Creates a sense of accountability for yourself 🤗: When you write down your goals, you create a sense of accountability for yourself. You have a tangible reminder of what you're working towards and why it's important. This accountability can help you stay motivated and on track.

  3. Helps you remember your goals better 🧠: Writing down your goals also helps you remember them better. When you write something down, you're more likely to remember it than if you just think about it. This can help you stay focused on your goals and avoid distractions.

By adding your goals to the app you are more likely to achieve them. We also offer the option to share your goals with the host. You don’t have to go at it alone. Letting other people know about your goals can help with accountability and support which can be key to your progress.

Bonus: Why Flexibility is King (or Queen 👸🏽)

Time to get flexible.

Life is dynamic, and circumstances may change. Be open to adjusting your goals when necessary. Regularly assess your progress and be willing to modify your approach if something isn't working. Flexibility is key to overcoming challenges and staying on track.

Tips for staying on track: 

  1. Visualize your achievement 💭: What will completing your goal look and feel like? Visualizing your accomplishments motivates your work and progress. Practice all the steps and pieces in your mind, including that point when you succeed!

  2. Anticipate possible challenges 🤔: Obstacles and setbacks are a part of life. For each of your goals, try to anticipate some challenges you might encounter. Generate a list of resources that can help you overcome these challenges and get ahead of obstacles by overestimating the time it may take to finish your goal.

  3. Reward yourself 🎉: Incentives can be a fun way to encourage your work towards your goal. Structure your work with little rewards along the way. They give you something to look forward to, which can help you get down to work in the first place.

  4. Break your goal into smaller tasks or action steps 📝: This can make progress feel more manageable and give you a sense of accomplishment as you move towards your goal. Who doesn’t love checking off a box or crossing off a to-do?

Regularly reassess your goals, celebrate your successes, and learn from any setbacks.

Setting goals with focused

At focused, we work hard to help you work smart. Goal setting takes practice, and that's why we've designed a goal-setting ritual that you'll actually look forward to each day and be able to stick to. If you’re already a member, we are so grateful to have you. And if you’re not already a member, please consider giving us a try! We can't wait to work with you.