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How to Create Achievable Goals

‘Tis the season to push the reset button. It is the new year after all! It’s time to commit to new goals as well as renew our commitments. The sobering data and reality shows that, in a study published by University of Scranton, 92% of people who set goals for the new year fail which means only 8% succeed. Wa...wah...wahh... This is an unmotivating and yet surprisingly helpful statistic. Time after time, new year after new year, we are not deterred. We set new goals for the New Year. That’s an A for effort and yet, it is not enough.

I am talking about this because setting goals is important, essential and crucial for growth and for creating a life that we want to experience and accomplish. And more importantly, most of us have personal and professional goals. These goals my include achieving or improving:

· Physical health

· Mental wellness

· Financial wellbeing

· Healthy habits

· Relationships

· Leadership roles

· Career

· Family

· Vacationing

Let’s get into the important part. How do you create achievable goals? It is enormously important to create clear goals. Clarity is essential for our brains and for ourselves. Clarity helps us to find focus and direction. Unclear goals or abstract goals only bring confusion. Confusion will make us susceptible to easily becoming overwhelmed. Feeling overwhelmed leads to self-doubt and self-doubt leads to giving up. Why even bother at that point? The motivation and excitement have dissipated and expired. Your energy has been sapped.

Those 8% of people that succeeded are not necessarily more hardened or able to withstand more suffering than most of us, the kind of suffering that causes people to give up, overcome by feelings of self-doubt or being overwhelmed. Given any scenario whether skillful, purposeful, or not, these goal-achievers likely succeeded by avoiding common traps as a result of creating clear and realistic goals. Creating unclear goals is like sailing to an island without navigational information and the stars to help you reach your destination. You rely on magical thinking that somehow, someway the universe will bring you to the best island. In reality, the sailboat will sail all over the ocean with no target. There is nothing wrong will sailing all over the ocean and never docking to a specific island if that’s the goal.

In order to avoid landing in the 92 percent of individuals failing to achieve their New Year’s goals, let’s define what it means to have clear goals. Let’s take the physical wellness goal as an example. Clear goals need to answer these questions:

· What does it mean for you to be physically healthy?

· What aspects about being physically healthy are important to you?

· What is the first milestone for you to achieve?

· What is the timeframe?

· What are the biggest roadblocks for you?

· How will you overcome these roadblocks?

· Who do you have to support you?

· What is the first step towards physical health?

· What commitments are you willing to make?

· What are you willing to give up?

· What needs to happen first, second, and third?

· How will you maintain?

These are just a few examples of questions that will help clarify your goals. There are many more, of course. The key takeaway is that as long as your goal is clear to you, you follow your own plan, and have support, you are more likely to achieve your goals than not.

Coaches are known to help clarify your goals and support you on your journey. We would love to support you. Send me an email at Schedule a discovery session!


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