How to Set Achievable Goals in Your Work and Personal Life

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Goals, goals, goals!  We hear about goal setting all the time, don’t we? They are at the forefront of our daily lives. Goals for work, goals for home, goals for personal development.  Have you ever written a list of goals and hoped for the best? I know I have.

But what is a goal…?

A goal is the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.

How to Set Achievable Goals in Your Work and Personal Life

So with that in mind, we know that we naturally strive for more in life. But rather than aimlessly walking around hoping and wondering, we need some focus and direction in order to achieve what we are striving for.

I don’t mean the striving for happiness and confidence kind of goals – they are states of mind and can be achieved right now by changing your own disposition.  I’m talking real goals with real outcomes that have been achieved by a specific date/point.

What I don’t mean is:  I want to be a millionaire by end of this year or, I want a gazillion followers on Instagram by next month – that’s a wish list!  We need to be more specific and realistic than that.

How to Set Achievable Goals in Your Work and Personal Life

Have you got something you would like to achieve this year?

Was there a course you wanted to take but not sure how you were going to pay for it?

Did you want to boost your social media?

In order to achieve a goal, you need to establish what it is you actually want to achieve.

No doubt most of us have a very long list but writing out a list of things we want to achieve isn’t enough.  We need to take action and we need to address areas of improvement in our personal and work life.

I use a tried and tested method called SMART associated with Peter Drucker. I have had to learn to let go of other areas in my life in order to focus my full attention on achieving the desired outcome on my goal focus.

For example: Take 4 key areas in your life which you feel aren’t quite where you want to be with them. A good way to measure this is by rank scoring these areas of your life from 1-10.

(1 being the worst score and 10 being the best)


Work – 8/10

Love 5/10

Social 4/10

House 6/10

As ‘work’ is closer to 10 than all the others, I would be more inclined to focus on this area first, as I have a better chance at achieving and becoming more satisfied. It’s also highly likely I will start to feel at ease with the rest of my areas because work is going so well.

So, let’s say I focus on work – I need to drill down what aspects of work I need to focus on. This is where the SMART method comes is. Here is a brief outline of the things you need to consider and how to approach each step to setting your goals.

S – Specific & Simple.

Be specific about what it is you want to achieve. Drill down on some figures and set some dates. It’s no use saying, I want to be successful in my work, you need to be focused on what you want, detailed and set some dates of when you want to achieve it. But don’t over specify, keep it fairly straightforward.

M – Meaningful & Measurable

Your goal must be measured by how much you want it. What will you get in return from reaching this goal? How does it make you feel? If it’s anything less than passionate and excitement, why is this a goal? It should burn some fire in your belly.

A – Achievable & Actionable

A goal needs to be achievable. There is no use in setting a goal that you know is setting you up for failure from the start. You need to make sure it possible with the resources you have available to you and that has the potential to be achieved within your time frame.

As well as being grounded about the whole thing, you do need an element of believing you have already achieved your goal. Trick your unconscious mind into believing you have already achieved your goal.  Very much like the law of attraction, believe you already have it. Meditate, practice mindfulness to believe you have already achieved.

R – Realistic & Responsible

Be realistic, consider the goal and establish if you can really make it happen? Do you need to go out and gain a qualification? Do you need to spend money that you don’t have? How would achieving your goal affect others? It needs to be realistic and if it’s not, it needs to be tweaked or changed.

Another question to ask yourself is… Who is responsible for this goal? Who will make sure this goal will be achieved? The answer is you and you alone – no one else can be responsible for achieving your goals.

T – Time

You need to allow adequate time to achieve the goal but not too much time that you deviate from the goal.

You could break down a larger goal into smaller goals with the same method for each step which leads you to the overall goal. If you wanted to become a lawyer, then you would need to apply to study, get a degree and practice practice practice.

If all the above has been taken into consideration and you can overcome objections in a realistic manner then nothing is stopping you.

We all have ambitious goals, but we need to be realistic and no matter how small the goal – follow the SMART method for achieving goal success.

Here are some sheets for you to print off and use to set your goals and start making them happen.

Click the links below for instant access.


Light and love

Kat x

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