The How And When Of Goal Setting

Happy New Year! It’s a few days into the New Year and your resolutions are already starting to become a burden. Don’t beat yourself up. Most likely, your resolution was an emotional decision not based on fact. New Year’s resolutions are goals that don’t usually pass the test of time. But why? Goals need to be realistic, attainable, and measureable. Realistic goals are attainable to you within a set amount of time. An example of a good goal could be earning a Bachelor’s degree in three years. A stressful goal would be earning that same degree in two years. It isn’t impossible, but it is beyond extraordinary and everything must go exactly as planned. One misstep and your strict timetable is off track. Another example of a good goal is the ever famous lose XX* pounds (*insert your personal number here). All too often, we want the weight to disappear and we commit ourselves to a goal of 10 pounds a week. When we only lose three, we are stressed to the point of gaining an additional seven. Lofty goals aren’t a bad thing, but it is important to be realistic in how and what we have to do to be successful. Success requires clear thought, decisive action, and deliberate reflection. As you begin your journey towards successfully achieving your goals (or resolutions), keep these tips for goal setting in mind:

Make Your Goals Realistic

If you don’t have $999,999 under your mattress it is unlikely that you will become a millionaire with your next paycheck.

Make Your Goals Attainable

With reasonable effort you should be able to achieve it.

Make Your Goals Measureable

Have a checkpoint to evaluate your progress. Having a way to check yourself helps you stay on track and make necessary changes.

Be Clear

Keep a clear mental picture (or physical if possible) of what you are working towards. Early in my military career I carried the rank insignia I wanted to achieve years before I actually wore it on my uniform.

Be Decisive

Your thoughts and actions must support your goal. If you want to lose weight plan your meals and eat like it. If you want a new job you must search and apply for it.

Be Reflective

Review your steps, keep what works, stop doing what doesn’t and celebrate your progress.

Be Accountable

As you create your vision, make a decision and review your steps partner with someone that will support you and keep you moving. A solid support system will help you keep your promise to yourself and help you be realistic about your effort. The most important parts of goal setting are doing and completing. You must complete your goal(s) and you must complete them often. Set a realistic, attainable, and measureable goal, achieve it, then do it again. You can connect with Damien L. Butler ( and Manifest One Empowerment Group ( on twitter @DamienLButler and @TheManifestOne; on LinkedIn and see them on YouTube at 5 River Rocks TV! Enjoy this article? You've got time for another! Check out these related articles: Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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