9 Tips to Setting Your Goals and Keeping Them!

Chart a course and then revise

Take some time to think about the goals that you would like to accomplish. Be clear and make sure they are really the ones that you desire. If possible, research and learn as much about them as you can. Change or revise your goals as needed. Three months from now your goals may look very different then they did from the beginning. Being flexible so that you can alter and rearrange goals that no longer work for you, will leave you open to create new ones.

Pen to paper

When you have came up with your list of goals, write them down. Studies show that goals are better realized when you actually set a pen to paper. You breathe life into your ideas and make them more tangible when they are written down. Being able to review a list is helpful in deciding what we really want to pursue.

Scale the goal

When setting a new goal make sure it is something that you are genuinely interested in. If you are unsure about a goal then scale the goal from 1-10, 1 being “I really have no interest in this” and 10 being “Let’s rock this”. If the goal falls anywhere below an 8 then I suggest you do one of two things: decide how you can make it closer to a 10, or look at the goal you have set and think about whether it’s really worth pursuing.

Be realistic

Taking on goals that you know you simply cannot succeed at will only prevent you from accomplishing the ones you can. Keep your list manageable; don’t make it unreasonably large or daunting. Start with goals that you can more easily accomplish; this will get you energized and feeling positive for other goals on the list that may take more time or patience. Having a long list of things you want to accomplish may look impressive but can start to feel so daunting that none of the goals get completed.

Timing is everything

When looking at your goals, consider when they will start and when they will finish. If you merely set goals with no timeline then chances are they may never happen. I encourage clients to use their calendars and fill out several days, weeks or months at a time. It is amazing when you have an idea of what you are doing and when, how much easier the task can seem to accomplish.

Assume the position

To succeed at something, you have to commit to it entirely and “assume the position”. As children, we could easily become anything we desired by simply visualizing it with few restrictions. As adults, we have to exercise our inner child more and be open to possibility. For instance, I tell clients if you want to be a great cook, then you must act, talk and channel cooking as if you are a great cook! Your body and mind, when working as one can accomplish much more then when they work separately.

Divide and conquer

If the list you made is realistic and you want to succeed at all the items you have written down, then prioritize. It is best to start with smaller things that will help build momentum. For instance if your list includes “clean desk top” as one of the items, and “clean bedroom” as another, then build momentum by doing your smaller task first, and moving to the larger task second. You will build a sense of accomplishment, which help you carry on with larger tasks.

Get a different perspective

When setting goals that seem daunting, try taking on a new perspective. Looking at your goal in a different way, seeing where you can enhance what you are trying to accomplish, can be a great service. Ask others how they have accomplished similar goals or how they are working toward accomplishing them. Being open to opinions can save you loads of time and actually give you insight into faster completion of your own goals.


When you have accomplished a goal, before setting off on the next one, make sure to celebrate what you have done. It may be as simple as a coffee break or as elaborate as a dinner out. Completing a goal and being rewarded for it will establish positive reinforcement, which makes it more likely for you to continue working down your list. Hard work should always be rewarded with play!

About the Author: Brad Hardie

MCC, ECPC, PNLP, MPNLP. Trauma Informed Coach, Families & Couples Coach, Stress & Chaos Management, Facilitator. Co-Founder of Moving the Human Spirit.