how to set a goal and achive it

How to set a goal and achieve it

What is the goal?

Have ever wonder how to set a goal and achieve it? A goal may be anything that you plan to achieve, over the long term or the short term. It could be something like doing cardio for 10 minutes, having enough funds to invest in a fishing boat, or reading a Dan Brown’s bestseller. 

Being motivated towards one’s goals, feeling down upon being unable to meet the milestones, defining and extending timelines are all a part of the game. Keeping goals realistic helps achieve them.

If you think there are ways in which you could use some help for setting and achieving goals, this article has some nice resources for you!

How should my goal be? 

In every aspect of business or life, one is required to set goals. Having a clear goal in one’s mind not just builds a sense of direction, but also motivates one to march ahead in life, as one is sure of what one needs to do. One recognizes the importance of the tasks that he undertakes in life. It is always good to have a target that one can aim for. The vision becomes clearer towards the achievement of one’s goals, and one does all that one can towards the purpose. The degree of focus in life is higher.

Listen to the interview of
Mr. Krishna Mohan who’s an successful entrepreneur, national level trainer and a mentor to know how he considers Goal Setting is a major activity which leads us towards successful life

Let us now consider what a SMART goal is:

A SMART goal is basically a concept that guides one towards goal setting. SMART is primarily an acronym. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. The aforementioned criteria inspire an individual to focus his energies towards a goal. With the efforts are all focused on a single goal, the odds of cracking the goal are high.

The components of a SMART goal:

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  • Specific: clearly defined
  • Measurable: A goal is measurable when it has a specific criterion that can be measured to gauge one’s progress.
  • Achievable: The goal is attainable and not impossible to achieve.
  • : Realistic goals are not just within reach, but they are relevant to your life’s purpose.
  • Timely: A goal is timely when a setter sets clearly defined timelines for the goal. One can extend the timelines of a SMART goal later based upon the circumstances. But the timelines are nevertheless set to introduce a sense of urgency.

Let us take a look at these parameters in more detail:

  • Specific

When a goal is specific, the odds of achieving it are higher, because there are parameters that define your accomplishment. One should give due consideration to the five Ws.

Who is involved in the goal? What is it that one is attempting to accomplish? Where does one endeavour to achieve the goal? When does one plan to accomplish it? Why is it that you are looking to achieve the goal?

When one aims for getting in shape, it is a generic goal. But when one plans at getting a gym membership and working out for a fixed number of hours four days a week, it is a specific goal.

  • Measurable

A goal shouldn’t be vague but should have a measuring criterion associated with it. That way, one can be sure of the progress that one makes. One is then sure that one is on the right track to achieve one’s goal. 

One has to repeatedly ask oneself, how much or how many, has the goal been achieved. One also has to consider the indicators of one’s progress.

In addition to the goal mentioned above, if one plans to lose a pound of weight weekly, the goal becomes measurable.

  • Achievable

A goal should be such that it is attainable and achievable. It is only then that one tries to figure out ways in which the goal can be achieved. 

To be challenging, a goal should be stretched while it stays achievable. When it is well defined, it will appear achievable for one.

So, one should ask oneself – Am I possessed with the capability to achieve the goal? Can I do something to be more capable and change things for better? Are there others like me who have achieved the goal successfully in the past?

  • Realistic

A goal is realistic when it can be materialized by using the available resources. Ultimately, a goal is realistic if one believes that it can be accomplished. One has to consider: does the goal seem within reach? Can it be accomplished in the stipulated time using the available resources? Am I personally committed to achieving the goal?

  • Timely

Clearly specify the start and the finish date for your goal, and you have a goal with you, that needs to be accomplished within the stipulated timelines. When time constraints are absent, the urgency is also missing from a goal. The motivation for working towards the goal is then affected.

Adding to the gymnasium goal example, one can add that I want to lose four pounds this month, starting right from the first.

Why is the SMART goal setting Important?

People sometimes enter the vicious cycle of setting unrealistic goals, which they know that they will never achieve. If one sets a comparative goal, such as being the best at a so and so thing, it is not a SMART goal. There is no sense of direction in the goal.

Instead, a SMART goal will motivate you to push yourself further still. With the sense of direction that prevails, the motivation levels are higher.

Types of goals and which I should set? 

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4 Types of Goals Based on Time:

Goals that are set based upon time periods invariably stand a higher chance of coming true. They are more realistic and well-oriented. Let us take a look at the four kinds of time-based goals.

  • Stepping stone goals
  • Short term goals 
  • Long term goals 
  • Lifetime goals

There cases wherein people reveal that they have too many goals in life. In such circumstances, they are discussing only the last two goals mentioned, which are the lifetime and the long term goals. When one takes up too many of these two types of goals, one tends to run the risk of overloading oneself. One has to correspondingly safeguard against the same.

Ultimately, it is the same story in the case of short term goals as well. It is better to avoid taking up more than one can manage. Similarly, even upon failing once, one can take up those goals again, such that on builds a better understanding of one’s personal limitations.

Let us consider each of these four goals in more detail:

  1. Lifetime goals

Lifetime goals characteristically take from anywhere from a year to an entire lifetime to materialize. So, how does one figure out the life goals for oneself?

The ideal way to figure out goals for a lifetime is to visualize oneself, in the mold of the best one can become. A few of the questions one needs to ask oneself in the same regard are related to the journey one has accomplished to date in the quest of being what one can be. Is one single or has a family? What qualities of one’s final version does one already have? Is one wealthy or merely comfortable? 

One should consider the future version of oneself in this light. It allows one to alter one’s goals and select the most feasible and lucrative versions.

The goals that you finally come up with are the most refined versions of one’s being. Take up these goals, and you will transform into a better person.

Lifetime goals are characteristically closely aligned with your values in life. They are a true representation of the factors that you actually value in life. This is what makes the lifetime goals achievable.

One should also recognize how the lifetime goals will transform your life, as you come of age. 

One also has to understand that lifetime goals naturally transform with the passage of years. The lifetime goals one has at 20 are going to be different from the lifetime goals one has at 40. The change is not going to show rapidly, but every 5 years, you may want to bring about a certain degree of change in your lifetime goals. 

The slight tweaking will not bring about a change in the underlying essence of your lifetime goals. The goals that you’ll set every five years for yourself will be updated versions of your overall lifetime goals.

Lifetime goals also feature seamless integration capabilities. You can integrate more actionable short term and long term goals with lifetime goals, and work upon the two in unison. 

  1. Long-Term Goals

The long term goals are the kinds of goals that call for the maximum work input on your behalf. But one has to make sure that one makes long term goals that have a certain time limit associated with them. This seldom exceeds over 5 to 10 years. 

Bill Gates once expressed that people tend to overestimate what can be accomplished in a year and underestimate what can be accomplished in 10.

Therefore, when one is serious about accomplishing a goal in life, one should go for a long term goal that materializes many years down the line. Then one should break down his long term goals into short term goals, which are more achievable over smaller periods of time. That’s how one gets underway with achieving a long term goal.

Let us consider an example of a long term goal. One may give himself 10 years timeline to set aside $100,000 in savings for retirement. 

With a 10 year timeline, this is a long term goal. 

The next step in line is to do some serious planning, divide your long term goals in a series of short term goals, and see how you intend to set out towards achieving it.

  1. Short term goals

Short term goals may not necessarily be short, as the name implies. They characteristically span in a range of a year, six months, or a month. 

Short term goals are seldom standalone goals. Instead, numerous short-term goals combine for the materialization of a long-term goal. It is not just long term goals that short term goals help materialize. They help materialize lifetime goals as well. 

Short term goals can also be segregated into smaller segments, such as daily goals or weekly goals.

Let us now continue with the example mentioned above, which discusses having $100,000 in savings for retirement over the 10 years that follow. 

What is the way to break down the goal into short term goals? There are numerous ways, such as paying off credit card bills within a year and stopping using credit cards. This will ensure that one will not have to pay the high interests associated with credit cards. Either of the goals is reasonably achievable unless one has an excess debt.

  1. Stepping stone goals

Stepping stone goals are not as major as the one’s mentioned above. They are instead more like transactional goals. 

Stepping stone goals are overall action steps. They enable one to achieve bigger goals over the long term. 

Another way of defining stepping stone goals is building blocks. They enable one to create short term goals, long term goals, and lifetime goals.

Let us continue from the example mentioned above, wherein one intends to pay off credit card debts within a year. The stepping stone goals that will help towards the achievement of the same are reducing one’s expenses and setting a budget. This may further translate into selling stuff and going for an affordable mobile plan.

What are the five steps of goal setting? 

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Why is goal setting important? If a person does not know where he is going, there is no way he is going to reach the destination. 

In life, it is hard for an individual to manage without having any goals. Over the short term, goals provide motivation, and over the long term, they provide vision and direction. When one sets goals in life, one is empowered to distinguish between the important and the irrelevant. While an individual grows in stature, goals help create self-confidence.

We come across goal setters in our life all the time. Olympic athletes are goal setters, and so are the authors of bestselling books. Anyone who aspires to achieve greatness in life is going to be a goal setter.

Let us now take a look at the five things one should remember in life when setting goals:

  1. Jot down your goals

Make a list of your goals. This is a powerful strategy for the achievement of one’s goals in life

By jotting down your goals, you will be able to take a look at them any time you desire. This will give you motivation towards acting upon the achievement of your goals, at any time that you desire.

With your goals all written down, you will be in a position to make a commitment towards the achievement of the same.

A popular study from the Harvard business school is particularly relevant in this regard. The study showed that only 3% of people actually write down their goals. There are another 14% of people who do have goals in life but do not write those down. 

This 3% of people, surprisingly, made more money than the other 87%.

  1. Your goals should be measurable, attainable and short

When one sets goals for himself in life, it is preferable if the goals are measurable, attainable, and short. Such goals are known as quantifiable goals. 

Let us consider a few examples of quantifiable goals.

Find at least one writing course in a year

Attend at least one writers’ conference every year

Submit at least two articles weekly

The best safeguard against getting discouraged is keeping your goals of the kind that can be achieved. A few of the people find short term goals more challenging. For others’ long term goals are more challenging. 

So ultimately, it is by one’s own rules that one adheres by. One creates his own road to success.

But one also has to safeguard against setting wimpy goals, just because he is scared of failure. They may set smaller goals in life, and further play it safe to prevent failure altogether. 

Nevertheless, bigger goals are more achievable, and it is a fine idea to set bigger goals in life.

  1. Define deadlines

It is deadlines that make a goal a goal. In the dearth of deadlines, a goal is but a dream. So, for what kind of goals should one set deadlines for? It is a fine idea to set deadlines for both, long term and short term goals. You are then all set to achieve your goal quicker.

Deadlines tend to scare everyone and one is bound by time for achieving his goals in life. So, what is the way around? How does one make it stress-free?

It is okay if your deadlines are flexible. You can allow yourself some additional time to achieve the target that you always wanted to achieve. Life changes and brings about a change in goals. Deadlines change by default.

An individual should never consider twice while giving himself some additional time to achieve a goal. It keeps the motivation alive and is absolutely worth it.

  1. Go through your goals every single day

Visual aids program the brain effectively. Among the most-effective visual-aids are reading and re-writing. 

Have you recently been considering jotting down your goals and putting them somewhere where you can see them every day? This could be anywhere, in a picture frame on your desk, as a refrigerator magnet, as a wall hanging or at your work station. 

This way, one is empowered to remind himself of his goals in life. They make a way into your psyche and the implementation shows up in every aspect of your life.

Just as an example, if you are writing a book, you could make a graphic design wallpaper for New York Times bestsellers, and post your name towards the top.

  1. Goal setting should be a routine

Goal setting shouldn’t be reserved for the time when you make year-end resolutions. Each month, day or week is the right time for goal setting. For this aspect, quality is detrimental as well.

Upon waking up in the morning, you should have a to-do list in mind. This helps with efficient management of time and organizes your entire life. 

With a list of your goals right next to you, you’d be inspired to work upon the same. In case you come to discover that there are a few unfinished items in your list, the factor should not discourage you. Buy yourself some additional time. You can uncheck the entry on the following morning.

Ultimately, one should make sure that your goals are towards the front of one’s mind in all that one does. One is overall going to get just one chance to live one’s dreams.

Cecil B. De Mills once specified that the only people who steadily see their goals right before them come across success in life. They are incessantly aiming for their goals. That’s what we call dedication.

Why it is that one’s goals in life need to be realistic. First of all, one should not see realism as something that is opposed to ambition. Instead, the goals that one sets for oneself in life can adhere to the tenets of realism while they are ambitious. That is exactly where the roots of success lie.

How to set a realistic goal? 

There should not be an element of vagueness associated with one’s goals in life. That way, the goals are likely to sound like a fantasy novel. One should closely consider if his goals are achievable with the resources available at his disposal.

So how it is that one sets out to create a realistic goal for himself?

  • How to set a goal?

If you believe that your life can be enhanced in any particular aspect or its entirety, have a goal in place that you would like to achieve. This may concern a financial matter, such as saving more, or an athletic matter, such as losing some weight. This may be a business concern, wherein one may want to boost his graphic designing skills. It could be anything. One needs to break down his goal into smaller sections and see what he can achieve daily, in a week or in a month.

  • Check if the goal is realistic

Self-assessment is the best assessment in some cases. You’d have a choice at going that extra mile or going easy on yourself. 

It may not be right to aim at running 100 meters in 9.5 seconds in a week, if you don’t see that happening. Irrespective of what your goal pertains to, business, finances, or outdoor sports, it should be realistic. This will render motivation for you to keep moving on.

  • Realistic goals make us easier to achieve them 

Realistic goals are measurable by default. That’s what makes them realistic. Attempting to go overboard may not do one well. An example of a realistic goal is losing a pound of weight every week. One can then work out heartily for a couple of hours a day, four days a week in the gym, and see his goal materialize. The same methodology works nicely for long term goals as well.

Also Read : Entrepreneurship should be your career choice on the side! – Why?

How to take action and achieve goals?

Irrespective of the nature of our goals, business or athletic, we are determined towards achieving them and take sustainable steps towards the same. Still, there are cases wherein we run out of motivation and inspiration despite putting in our best efforts. When fear creeps in one is more likely to give up on his goals.

In this regard, organizing one’s effort towards one’s goals boosts the odds of one achieving them. Avoid overloading yourself. Instead, it’s always better to prioritize one’s efforts. The goals that you choose to go ahead with should be the best match for the unique circumstances that surround you, your personality, and your preferences as well.

It then helps to be specific about one’s goals, and not aim at making a measurable difference to humanity. Instead, one should consider how one can involve himself with charity or volunteer for social service, and go ahead with one’s plans.

It then helps to be sure about one’s goals. So do some research online when you want to get a holiday loan, or invest in a new fishing boat? Consider how the people before you have fared, when they set out on achieving the same goals.

If your goal seems overwhelming at first, break it down into more achievable sections. Have a plan of action in place – you may write it down to achieve the best results. It will help you overcome all hurdles along the way, financial or shortage of time. Figure out ways to work around the hurdles. Keep faith in yourself, and you’ll find things falling into place. Take action and be positive.


Goal setting is something that is a part of our everyday lives. It’s all about making a transition from where you are to where you want to be. When energy and motivation find direction, one is all set on his way towards achieving his goals in life. The positivity of mindset is of great help in this regard.