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Effective Tips for Goal-Setting 

Einstein said it best when he said happiness should be tied to a goal rather than to people or material things. One of the most effective confidence-boosting strategies is to set a goal and to achieve it. Setting goals injects purpose and meaning into your life and motivates you to overcome obstacles to become a happier, healthier version of yourself.

Setting goals is simple but following through is the hard part; however, it helps if you have an exact blueprint for setting goals effectively.

Here are some actionable tips to help you to set clear, precise, manageable goals.

Goal-Setting Theory

The idea of goal setting became prominent when Dr. Edwin A. Locke published a groundbreaking article about task motivation and incentives in 1968. Locke talks about the importance of clarity, difficulty, and feedback. He stated that goals should be clearly defined, actionable, challenging, but realistic. They should also be easy to measure and monitor.

Locke and Dr. Gary Latham introduced five main ideas; they emphasized that all goals should be SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, Attainable or Achievable, Realistic, and Tangible.

Further research also sheds light on the idea of writing down your goals to motivate you to take the necessary steps to achieve the goals.

Are You Motivated?

Motivation is a critical component that determines whether you will follow through to achieve your goal or not. Studies indicate that there are three primary elements to accomplishing goals:

  • -Motivation to transform your life
  • -Enthusiasm to observe and self-evaluate
  • – Determination to carry out the necessary steps to achieve your goal
  • These elements are strongly related to SMART goals:

Specific Goals

Set specific goals. When you set vague, unspecific goals, you devalue the goal, reducing your willingness to implement strategies to achieve that goal. The goals you set should be clear, concise, and actionable.

Measurable Goals

Goals should be measurable; without a quantifiable target, it will be challenging to determine when you need to make adjustments or change tact. How will you monitor your progress if your goals are not measurable?


The goals you set should be attainable; there is nothing wrong with having big dreams; however, setting short term unattainable goals will destroy your confidence when you fail to meet your target. Set goals that challenge you, but make sure they are attainable.


Are your goals realistic? For example, you have just started an online store, and you set a goal to make 10 million dollars in the next few weeks with no marketing plan or strategy and only five items in your store. Setting a goal like this will only set you up for failure; therefore, make sure your goals are realistic and relevant to your current situation.


Your goal should have a realistic and tangible time frame. Saying you want to build a billion-dollar palace in two weeks is not tangible or timely. Therefore set concrete, timely goals that make sense.

Organize Your Goals

Setting goals can be overwhelming, especially when life has multiple facets: health, finances, career, relationship, and family.

You could set multiple goals for each area of your life. However, you don’t want to overwhelm yourself. One of the most effective ways of organizing your goals is to set one realistic goal for each area of your life.

Note: There is no harm in listing short and long-term goals in each category. However, you should aim to work on one goal from each category at a time, instead of working on three goals from the health category and five goals from the financial category, work on one goal from each category at a time.

Know Your Why

Knowing and understanding why you want to achieve specific goals will motivate you to push through and work hard to achieve your goals.

Once you have identified your why, it is time to start asking yourself difficult questions. Are the goals you have set realistic? Can you sacrifice certain things to achieve your goal? Are you emotionally ready to put in the work? Will your goals interfere with your relationships? There are many questions you could ask yourself to determine whether or not your goals are necessary at this time in your life.

Setting goals is a good thing; it pushes you to design the life you want and deserve; however, achieving your goals should not be detrimental to your emotional, mental, and physical health. Setting a realistic balance between working hard to achieve your goals and spending time with your loved ones, and taking care of yourself should be factored into the life goals you set for yourself.

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