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How To Set Goals You Will Actually Accomplish

How to set goals you will actually accomplish, plus a goal setting worksheet and reflections worksheet!

“I’m going to run a 5K this year.”

“I’m going to lose 15 pounds this year.”

“I’m going to pay off debt this year”

“I’m going to have a better marriage this year”

woman placing coin in change purse with text overlay "How to set goals you will actually accomplish"

Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. I will always be honest about what I like and use, whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

We’ve all set some high and lofty goals in our lives. Sometimes we get close, but a lot of times our planning and expectations are unrealistic and we fail. There is nothing worse than feeling like you are a failure or you can’t accomplish goals.

But a lot of times we aren’t smart when we set our goals in the first place, so we set ourselves up for failure. Let’s talk today about how to set goals you will actually accomplish with these goal setting tips!

Printable goal setting worksheet sign up graphic with woman writing and large ipad

How to set goals you will actually accomplish

1. Be realistic.

The year you are having a baby is probably not the year you will also run a marathon. There just isn’t enough sleep for that. 😉 That doesn’t mean it will never happen, it means that now isn’t the right time, but you could work on a personal record for your 5K time. Can you really live without sugar for a whole year? Maybe instead choose a goal of 80% of the time making sugar-free choices. That goal is more likely to happen and you are more likely to stick to it long-term.

2. Be practical.

A goal needs to be well thought out both in why you want to do it and how you are going to do it. So take some time to think and journal your why and how. Your why and how may look like: “I want to run a sub 30 minute 5K because it will push me to exercise regularly and thoughtfully.  I will complete my first fun 5K in March and work at improving my speed over the course of the year by completing the Hal Higdon speed training plan and completing a 5K every other month.”


3. Be timely.

Some people respond really well to deadlines: they work faster under pressure and NEED that fixed time motivating them to finish. Other people find deadlines negatively stressful and if they feel like they won’t make their deadline they just give up. Know how you respond to time pressures and organize your goals accordingly. Having a mix of shorter time frame and longer time frame goals can be helpful too.

4. Be small.

Better to tackle small goals and set new ones when they are done, than to set crazy, huge goals you struggle to make headway on. Also, try to keep your goals succinct. 10 goals can quickly get overwhelming, but 3 goals narrows your focus and forces you to concentrate on what’s most important to you RIGHT NOW.  Small goals also helps you to not quit on your goal! You can always make time for 5 sit-ups right? You can always find a minute to look at your banking app? You read one book a day to your child, right?

5. Be visual.

I don’t know how many times I’ve chosen an awesome goal and then life just catches up to me and 3-4 weeks have gone by without me doing anything to make progress towards my goal. I don’t know about you, but I need visual reminders of my goals that I will see every. single. day.  Last year I posted my new year’s goals on my fridge and updated them with my progress throughout the year. It was a little odd when people came over, but I figured it was worth it to keep me accountable and my goals at the forefront of my mind.

Printable goal setting worksheet sign up graphic with woman writing and large ipad

If you haven’t yet, download my FREE GOALS PLANNER to help you set amazing and attainable goals for your life! I included a broad number of categories to encourage you to be intentional in different areas of your life. Don’t feel like you NEED a goal for every spot, remember sometimes smaller is better.

Goal Setting Resources

You don’t need anything beyond your brain and a piece of paper to set great goals, but here are a few of my favorite personal development resources worth checking out!

Setting goals you will actually accomplish takes forethought and self-knowledge. But by taking your time and being intentional you can easily set goals you will actually accomplish this year. I can’t wait to cheer you on!

What is one goal you are going to knock out of the park this year?

What’s your biggest goal-setting challenge? 


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