How to Set Goals.

I realize that this is the second week of January and you might be wondering why I’m still writing on goals. The truth is I’m still working on setting mine. So I thought writing this post might help me figure out some of the goals that are floating around in my head, and hopefully help you do the same in the process. By the end of this post, both you and I will have a clearer process of how to set goals for this year.

Photo by cottonbro on

Goals not Resolutions.

As you know, I don’t really do resolutions. They don’t work for me. To me, you can make a resolution but not think or plan about the steps it would really take to make said resolution come true. Besides, what happens when we set a resolution and we don’t end up exactly where we resoluted to be? (Yes I know ‘resoluted’ is not a real word.)

Setting goals makes you look at where you’re currently at and the steps it would take to achieve a true change. There’s more than mere intent in goals. If done correctly, goals become a plan of action. As I stated in my 2020 post, Make Goals not Resolutions, the whole point of a resolution is to make change, so how are you going to change?

Long Term or Short Term.

When making goals, it’s important to set achievable goals. Realistic goals. Remember that when you’re trying to determine what type of goal you’re setting.

Think of Long term goals as “The Big Picture” goals. I googled long term goals, and the first results that came up consisted of goals that were like major promotions or future-changing goals. They’re the big result goals.

Short term goals are more like the steps you take to reach your long term goals. Their impact may not be as big in the immediate future, but they eventually add up to bigger results.

Both are good types to have. You need to have somewhere to go. However, even with the best intentions, goals can often be thrown off course. You could sustain an injury that throws off your physical health progress. Your kids get sick and you can’t give your immediate goals the attention needed to accomplish them. Something always happens. To this I say: Be flexible.

Before Christmas, I had a goal to go through all of the kids’ toys. I eventually got it done (and before Christmas) but it was slower progress than I wanted. Partly because toys kept getting pulled out, played with, and mixed back into the rest. I also wasn’t sure where I would take the majority of the toys as there isn’t a broken toy recycling center near here and I didn’t want to just throw them in the trash to be placed in a landfill. Honestly, I still have a small box of mostly broken toys sitting in my room waiting for my decision.

Make It Achievable for You.

Your long-term goal may be running a marathon. What are the short term goals you’re going to fulfill to achieve that long term goal? Remember, the goals you make need to be achievable for you. Not what your buddy would or can do, but you. Maybe you need to start with stretching every other day for 15 minutes and walking around your block once.

It doesn’t matter what the people around you can do, even if you’re working with an accountability partner. Even if you take the same exact steps, start in the same exact place, the results between you and them will be different. The whole point of an accountability partner is to keep you accountable to your goals, not as someone to fully base your progress on.

I am not going to tell you not to look at other people for motivation. I can’t tell you how many times I watched the people around me and thought, I wish I could do what they do. I may not be able to do exactly as they do, but I can use their inspiration to do as well as I can.

Get Things in Order.

One of my goals is to have a more organized house. We are not pack-rats, but we do have a lot of stuff we’ve accumulated over the years, especially in areas like the kitchen. In order to achieve that long term goal of being less cluttered and more organized, I need to have a starting point. I guess you could say that going through the kids’ toys was my starting point, but it’s done so where do I go from there?

I mentioned my kitchen, but I am so not ready to tackle that yet. That will definitely be a project and I have a feeling it’ll be filled with a lot of sentimental items. I am a sucker for sentimental. I think my next step to a better organized/decluttered home would be to tackle my books. I’ve been meaning to organize my new books into my bookshelves, what better time to actually sort through my books and weed out those books that I don’t read. It may be shocking but I know that there are a few books on my shelves that I don’t actually like. Plus I just received a whole box full of books that I need to sort through and integrate.

When you’re making your goals, don’t be afraid to write everything down, and I mean everything. Have a brainstorm page where you write down everything that comes into your head then have another page that is more organized and lists out every step in order. Don’t be afraid to have another page that lists out your goals in summary. If it’s not a bit messy, are you even serious about it? (That’s a joke.)

As you narrow down your goals, you’ll become more organized and more sure of how you want to achieve your goals, both long and short term. You’ll figure out what will work for you and what won’t. Organizing your goals will also help make those goals clearer to you.

Again, be realistic. Are you prepared to achieve the goals in the order that you’ve set or do you need to rearrange? Does Goal C need to actually come before Goal A? Then switch them. The whole point is to make a change that is realistic, beneficial, and sustainable for you. You can’t do that if you’re not honest about what you can do in the terms you’ve set. You may even hurt your progress if you’re not honest.

Say one of your goals is to join a gym, but your finances don’t allow it. It’s not worth it to go in debt for a gym membership. Make joining a gym the long term goal and getting your finances in order a short-term goal. You’ll get to join that gym, but you’ll be in a better place in the long run if you place your immediate focus on your finances. Does this make sense?

In Summary…

Is your goal long term or short term?
Are you realistic about the type of goal your setting? Should that short term goal you’ve set for yourself actually be a long term goal? Do you have short term goals to in place to realistically achieve your long term goal?

Be Flexible.
Things happen and goals get delayed. Don’t let that discourage you from picking them back up and achieving what you’ve set out to do.

Make it achievable for you.
The goals you’ve set are ultimately for you. Even if you make a family goal or have an accountability partner, the results won’t be 100% the same, so make sure the goals you’ve set are achievable for yourself. If you are making a group goal, have each person make a personal goal that they can achieve for themselves.
You can use other people as inspiration, but not an ultimate finishing point. Keep your personality, your life, and your health in mind when you set your goals.

Get things in order.
Brainstorm then write down your goals in an achievable order. Don’t be afraid to write down every detail, even contingency plans. Don’t be afraid to revise and rearrange, either!

My Goals.

Okay so I said I’d share a few of my own personal goals. Here they are, delivered as promised, even if they’re a bit incomplete.

A More Organized House.
Go through and get rid of unused toys
Sort through and organize Books
Sort through clothes and donate unused clothes
Sort through Kitchenware
Sort through and reorganize linen closet

Make Health a Priority
Have a better daily schedule (and utilize it)
Exercise physically for 30 minutes 5 times a week
Take more time to be by myself
Have a more organized space/home

As you can see, I haven’t gotten very far in my goals for this year, but I’m thinking I need to work in quarters instead of year long. I’m still working it out, but I was correct. Writing this post has helped me figure out how to better make my own goals. I hope it has helped you do the same!

What are some goals you have for this year?

Let me know in the comments!

Happy Monday!

6 thoughts on “How to Set Goals.

Add yours

  1. Yes!!! 🙌🏾
    Even though goals and resolutions may be perceived as the same thing to some, the mindset behind it is very different. One of my goals is to run 300km this year and the purpose of the goal is to improve my fitness. A resolution would just be to do something because it’s the new year

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Is that total or for a marathon? Either way I hope you enjoy it. Running is one of those things that you love and hate at the same time, or at least it was for me. I can’t wait to hear what you think about it.

      Liked by 1 person

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