There is nev­er a bet­ter time to look towards the future than right now. Goal set­ting does not need to be con­strained to the start of a new year. So, let’s look at three help­ful tips for effec­tive goal setting.

First, what is a goal? A goal is defined as “the object of a person’s ambi­tion or effort; an aim or desired result.” Goals can be for the short-term or long-term. And, many times, short-term goals can be used to achieve your long-term ones. Goals are not a one-and-done activ­i­ty, too. They are an active under­tak­ing that require ded­i­ca­tion and work.

TIPS FOR GOALS

1. Set goals with high value.

We all dream big dreams for our life. In order to make those dreams a real­i­ty, you have to put in some work. This is where goals come in. Make a list of the dreams you have and rank them by pri­or­i­ty and fea­si­bil­i­ty. When you have made your ranked dream list, you can now set goals that relate to the things that have the high­est pri­or­i­ty in your life. When you do so, you give the goals high val­ue. High-val­ue goals moti­vate you to put in the hard work to achieve them.

2. Fol­low the SMART method of goal setting.

When you work on your goal set­ting, make sure you fol­low the SMART method. By doing so, you ensure that your goals are ones that are clear and well thought out. Here’s the break­down of the SMART method:

  • Spe­cif­ic—Make sure your goals are clear and well-defined. Don’t be vague and say “I’d like to learn how to play the gui­tar.” Instead, say “I will take a week­ly gui­tar lesson.”
  • Mea­sur­able—Use spe­cif­ic amounts, dates, etc. As you craft your goals, assign specifics to them that can be mea­sured like “I will take week­ly gui­tar lessons for three months.”
  • Attain­able—Cre­ate goals that are pos­si­ble to achieve. Don’t set goals for your­self that you have no way to accom­plish or you will feel defeat­ed and reluc­tant to set goals in the future.
  • Rel­e­vant—Set goals that line up with your life and career. In oth­er words, set goals that align with the things that mat­ter in your life.
  • Time-bound—Your goals must have a dead­line. Open-end­ed goals lead to unachieved goals because there is no urgency to them. Give your goals an end date so you have some­thing to work towards.

3. Be accountable.

Find an account­abil­i­ty part­ner to keep you on track. When you have some­one that is reg­u­lar­ly check­ing in on you to see how you are doing with accom­plish­ing your goals, you will work hard­er to stay on pace to achieve them!

BONUS TIP!

You can track your progress on accom­plish­ing your goals through goal track­er apps. Check out these three: Strides, Repeat Habit Track­er, and Way of Life.

Set­ting goals not only gives you focus for the future, but it also allows you to see just how much you are capa­ble of.  When you look at where you are now com­pared to where you were at the ini­tial time of your goal set­ting, you’ll be amazed at what you have achieved. Take the time to set SMART goals and, as Success.com says, “Make sure that the great­est pull in your life is the pull of the future.”