How To Set Better Goals…and How To Achieve Them

Goals are very important for us. They motivate us, push us forward and help us to feel motivated. They help us to get through the hard times and challenge us to move to the next level. Goal Setting is one of those things that people either love or they hate. When we talk to our clients about goal setting, we find they either become very excited about the prospect……or they roll their eyes and state “Goal setting just doesn’t work for me”. What we find is that they simply haven’t found the RIGHT way to set goals, the way that works for them.


When looking at setting goals it is extremely important to consider the following:

WHAT do you want?

While this seems like it is the easy part – it is actually one of the steps that a lot of people miss out on. This is because it is not just important to figure out what you want, but what this would look like when you got it. An example of this is wanting to be successful. There are many different versions of success – does this mean you are earning lots of money? Does it mean you are able to work less to stay at home with your family? Does it mean you have a job with a lot of responsibility? There is no right or wrong answer to these one – it will be different for every person on the planet, however it is essential to know this information so you can effectively look at the next steps.


WHY do you want it?

Just because you want something doesn’t mean you are motivated to work towards it. Some of the goals we want are extremely difficult to achieve and we often have to overcome many barriers to get there. It is important to look at what we want and to identify the VALUE of what this means to us. For example, if we want to loose weight or get fit – your values may be around self-acceptance, stability and energy. These values will then provide you will a very clear reason WHY you want what you want, which can be very motivating.

Having reasons for why we want what we want will also give us an indication of whether the reasons we want make change outweigh the difficulties. If we are wanting change, however the reasons for the change are not enough to motivate us, it is an indication we either need to go back to the drawing board regarding the type of goal or needing to do more investigation into the reasons why.


HOW are you going to achieve it?

Another very important part of goals setting is looking at the HOW. If we set a goal, but then do nothing further, it is highly unlikely this we will achieve the goal.  It is important to sit down and work out what is needed from both timeframes, resources and support for us to be able to get to where we want to be. For example, we may set the goal that we want to eat healthy and our values behind this are responsibility, sustainability, health and enjoyment. Simply setting the goal is not enough. We need to plan what changes will take place to enable us to eat healthy – when are we cooking, what time do we need to find to put this in place, what financial changes need to come into play? The HOW is as equally important as the WHAT and the WHY.



Some other tips on how to achieve your goals are to:

  • Formulate your goals – write down the above information in it’s simplest format, this way it is easy to refer to it.
  • Write it down somewhere you see it every day – this way you are constantly reminded of your goals, why you want them and how you are going to achieve them.
  • Commit to it – do something to cement your commitment. Whether this is telling someone else about your goals, writing it down or some other form of commitment, it is important to be able to move forwards.
  • Schedule it in:  Make sure you are scheduling in time as relevant (either daily, weekly etc) to perform the HOW. The more time you spend undertaking tasks to achieve your goal, the more likely you are to achieve it.
  • Review your goals regularly: This step is important to work out whether your goals are appropriate. As life moves on, things change and these changes could have an impact on any one or more elements discussed above. It is important to look at whether your goals are working for you, if not, review them and change them to make them work.


While The Psych Professionals assist those with mental health symptoms and concerns, we are also here to able to support people in a range of areas such as career building, goal setting and moving forward to an increased sense of wellbeing. Give us a call today to find out how we can assist you to improve your health.


Photo credit : Photo by Francisco Gonzalez on Unsplash, Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash