How to set a goal (and stick to it!)

How many of us are guilty of setting a goal that we don’t stick to? In the spur of the moment, it’s relatively easy to decide that we are going to do something, however with this we have to take on a whole load of responsibility! Setting the goal is actually the easy part of the process. However, once that decision has been made, this can be the first step of a long and potentially difficult journey. But don’t let this put you off! Here’s how you can go about setting a goal, and actually stick to it!

Step 1: Set your goal

First off, you need to decide what kind of goal you are interested in pursuing. Have you always wanted to move up in your career, or maybe you’d like to become more fit and healthy? Whatever the goal, make sure that it is something which you are truly serious about. Setting the goal is usually the easiest part for people, because our mind will usually push us to set goals naturally, without us having to think much about it.

Step 2: Break the goal down

One big goal can seem very overwhelming, and if you aren’t able to achieve it until quite far in the future, this can be pretty demotivating as you are not getting immediate gratification. This is why breaking down your goal can be so important. For example, a weight-loss goal may have smaller, broken down pieces such as ‘sign up for the gym’ ‘buy a healthy recipe book’ and ‘lose 5 pounds’. With each hurdle that is overcome, you will feel a sense of achievement and are able to reward yourself.

Step 3: Write it down

To make your goal seem a whole lot more ‘real’, be sure to write it down and stick it up in a place where you will see it every day, such as next to your mirror or even as a screensaver on your phone. It helps if you write a few bullet points underneath the goal, such as motivational messages and tips on how to achieve your goal.

Step 4: Tell someone

Telling someone we know about the goal increases the likelihood of us sticking to it, as we now have somebody else to receive praise from as well as ourselves! Telling somebody else also means that we will feel more embarrassed/ disappointed in ourselves if we give up on our goal, therefore increasing our motivation levels.

Step 5: Brush off hurdles, and reward yourself.

If something doesn’t go to plan, try not to feel dejected. The best thing to do is brush it off and try and think of another way of getting around it. It’s also important to reward yourself for each item that gets ticked off your list, no matter how big or small! This will motivate you to keep going until the very end.



Have a go at writing yourself a letter as if it’s 6 months from today, describing all the things that you’ve achieved and where you are now in terms of your life and your job. How do you feel? What goals would you have like to have achieved? What are you doing differently? Then put your letter in an envelope, and ask a friend to post it to you in 6 months’ time.


If you would like professional help with setting a goal, visit Finding Your Voice or book your free 30 minute coaching session here.

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