How to Set Goals and Achieve Them

If this were posted on January 1, I probably would have just started a diet, gotten a gym membership, registered for 26 college credits, and set who knows how many lofty resolutions. And I wouldn't be alone. Each year an average of 45% of Americans make New Year's Resolutions, but only 8% reach their goals. I'm determined to be part of that 8% this year, so let's discuss how to set goals and achieve them.

Long-Range Goals

Most worthwhile goals are long-range ones. Things like weight loss and getting out of debt rarely happen in a week. When you're looking to change, begin with the end in mind. Then determine a reasonable time frame to get there, whether its 6 months or 5 years.

Example: lose 25 pounds this year

Intermediate Goals

Once you've established what you'd like to achieve in the long-term, break it down into smaller, manageable goals. If your long-term goal should take a year to reach, intermediate goals would happen each month.

Example: lose 2 pounds each month

Short-Range Goals

It's time to take those intermediate goals and break them down too. If your intermediate goals are each accomplished in a month, short-range goals would be achieved each week.

Example: lose 0.5 pound each week, attend gym 5 days each week, plan weekly meals on Sunday

Daily Tasks

Finally evaluate what you need to do each day to reach your short-range goals. These daily tasks will be the key to reaching your long-range goal.

Example: drink 75 oz. water, high-intensity cardio for 30 minutes, no sweets

A former teacher of mine taught that a goal not written is merely a wish, so I created a worksheet for you to write down your own goals. Just click on the image below and the download option will open in a new window. Print as many as you need to organize each of your long-term goals.

Keep me posted on your goals. I'd love to know when you accomplish them. We can celebrate together!