How to set effective goals


Want to know what will make you feel instantly better? Setting goals! Want to know what will immediately make you feel worse? Not achieving the goals you set in the first place! This just shows how setting goals can be either a motivation or a cause of distress and disappointment in yourself. That’s why it’s really important that you’re setting goals in a way that isn’t going to be a detriment to your mental health.

If you’re the kind of person who sets ridiculously high goals and doesn’t achieve them or leaves starting again until New Year, or a new month or any other excuse under the sun that you can come up with, this is for you! So let’s talk about how you can actually set goals that will help you and add value to your life.

The first important thing to do is to list down everything that is important to you, that you want to include in your goals. What is important for you to be happy? Here are some examples;

  • Spending time with family and friends

  • Working on your fitness or chosen sport

  • Education and personal development

  • Finances and savings

  • Travel and holidays

The list goes on and on and will vary so differently depending on you and your values. Once you have made this list, make sure you identify exactly what you want to achieve within those areas. Are you saving to travel the world? Finishing a personal development course?

Once you have written these down check every goal against this list, which is widely known as S.M.A.R.T. goals.

  • S = Specific: Honestly goals are SO MUCH more achievable when you are specific. Want to go travelling? Where?! Which exact countries? Which exact route? Want a new car? Amazing! What make? What model? BE specific.

  • M = Measurable: Write an amount, a number a timeline so that when you achieve that goal, you can tick it off! DONE - it also saves you making excuses like “I only said I was going to get fitter, I didn’t say HOW MUCH fitter - every little helps!” How many miles do you want to be able to run? What weight would you want to be able to squat?

  • A = Attainable: Guess what? You’re not going to save £1mil in the matter of a week or two, and you’re probably not going to get a black belt in taekwondo in a week either. But if that's your goal and you see yourself not achieving it, chances are, you won’t even attempt to start trying.

  • R = Relevant: Some people, believe it or not, set goals that they’re not actually that keen on completing - it’s so important that your goals mean something to you. WHAT IS YOUR WHY? Having a “why” behind everything you set out to do will make it so much more achievable.

  • T = Time-bound: Now you have a specific goal and you know exactly why you want to achieve it, make sure you know when you want to achieve it by! Run 5k? Easy! Run 5k in a week? Still achievable and will probably motivate you more!

Reflect on the goals you’ve set for yourself, have you made them SMART?

Hope this helps huns! Love, S x