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Goal Setting Made Easy: A Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving Your Dreams

When you start something new, the process is often full of ideals, enthusiasm, resolutions, dreams or setting goals that you’d like to achieve in life. Of course, it would be amazing if these goals weren’t limited to your imagination and turned them into a real success.

However, not many people realize that the way of how they set their goal also plays a role in succeeding. Just saying that you want to find a better job or have a better figure is not going to cut it. Setting a target is much wider. If your goal is to lose weight, gain muscle, eat healthier, get promoted at work, or change your life in any way, we’ll explore how to achieve the desired success today.

Why is it important to set a goal?

You should imagine the goal as a certain point to which you want to get. When setting a definite goal, you should consider the fact that it is often necessary to supplement it with concrete actions that will lead to its achievement. For example, if you want to be promoted at work, you can set concrete actions to achieve this career goal. Setting the target itself is critical because it will help create your action plan for achieving it. In addition, it will increase your enthusiasm and give rise to the actions taken.

The world-famous James Clear, author of the book Atomic Habits, has an interesting take on setting goals. If you are serious about achieving goals, you should not worry about the achievement itself, according to him. According to Clear, the majority of people who say they want to lose weight, make a ton of money, or gain muscle are doing this wrong. After all, who wouldn’t like that? Clear claims that the true key to success isn’t what sacrifices you’re able to make in order to achieve your target. For example, if you want to lose weight, ask yourself if you want a lifestyle that aligns with that aim. You’ll be able to see that although the necessary steps will lead to the desired result.

Benefits of goal setting

Setting a goal gives you certain advantages that you can benefit from while trying to achieve it.

The advantages of setting a goal include:

  • Guiding you to the right path
  • More focus on what’s really important and better decision making
  • Higher productivity
  • Help with staying motivated
  • Better understanding of expectations
  • Awareness of your strengths, which can be used to overcome obstacles
  • Defining reality and separating it from dreams
  • The possibility of monitoring progress

Goal vs. (non) goal

If you want to achieve success, it’s good to distinguish what is and what is not a goal. Aim is something you need to achieve in order to achieve the desired result. Goals are often divided by time-frame:

Division of goals according to time:

  1. Short-term (few days)
  2. Medium-term (several weeks)
  3. Long-term (several months)
  4. Visionary (several years)

Simply put, you can say that a goal is a kind of dream with a specific deadline. Don’t be concerned, we’ll give you some more specific definitions below.

The goal is

  • Your vision for the future, which is the result of careful consideration of what you want to achieve
  • A specific point in time that should bring the desired result, usually in a longer time frame

The goal is not

  • A plan. Although goals specify what you want to achieve, a roadmap outlines the specific steps that will lead to the result. For example, losing weight is not the intention. The idea is that you will work with a personal trainer and a nutritionist. They can help you plan your workouts, diet, and track your progress.
  • A desire. Desire itself is mainly a temporary thing that brings short-term fulfillment. In comparison to a target, which, on the other hand, is more long-term and involves a commitment to do something.

Setting goals step-by-step

1. A thriving target needs a good reason.

Even before you start to fulfil your goal, it is necessary to think and find your “WHY”.

Try asking yourself questions that are relevant to your goal:

  • Why do you want to start exercising?
  • Why do you want to lose weight?
  • Why do you want to get promoted at work?
  • Why do you want to gain muscle?
  • Why do you want to read more?
  • Why do you want to learn to play the guitar?

Try to answer these questions, ideally as comprehensively as possible, not in one sentence. You have to understand that the stronger your “why” is, the longer you can maintain your motivation. And here’s how to make the most of your goal come true. Motivation alone isn’t sufficient, and if the “why” is too complicated and distant, there is a good chance that on the way to your destination you will run into obstacles. Also, keep in mind that you can divide your “why” into several smaller reasons. If your “why” is too large, this is especially important. Dividing it will help you keep up the energy and keep you on track.

2. Have the correct attitude when setting a target.

Understanding what a goal is and finding your “why” is a great start. If you want to increase the likelihood of success, you should use something extra as a back-up plan. And that something is hidden in the right attitude. For example, try thi

  • Choose approach goals, not avoidance goals. An example of an approach goal would be a decision to switch careers, with the intention of a higher salary. On the other hand, avoidance is leaving work because you have a poor salary. The difference is that the approach creates more positive energy.
  • Choose intrinsic rather than extrinsic goals. Intrinsic goals are closely linked to your interests and aspirations. On the contrary, people choose extrinsic goals because they believe they are being coerced into them by society or someone else. Intrinsic goals bring greater satisfaction and happiness.
  • Prioritize the goals of well-being over those driven by the desire for power. Intimate goals related to a sense of well-being or spirituality lead to greater joy than those focused on buying a bigger house, buying a new car, or having more money.

3. Using the SMART technique, you can set your target.

If you have your “why”, it’s time to set your goal. In order for it to be successful, it is necessary to meet specific criteria. The SMART approach is the most effective way to do so. Let’s try to illustrate it by using an example. Peter is the author of a book. He was once a champion who loved running. He even ran several marathons, but then he fell into a sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle.

What should your goals be according to the SMART method?

Peter decided today to do something about his unhealthy life and use the SMART method. According to this strategy, his aims should b

  • Specific: Peter would like to get back into running, not only recreationally, but also competitively. “I want to run a marathon,” the author states in the sentence.
  • Measurable: Peter hires a personal trainer who sets up his training sessions and leads him to his goal – to run a marathon under 4 hours, which can be easily measured.
  • Achievable: Peter knows he can do it because he’s been in shape before and can do it again with an experienced personal trainer. Basically, he wants to repeat a triumph that he had already achieved before.
  • Relevant: Peter still loves running, even though he hasn’t worn his running shoes in a long time. He would like to relive the feelings of euphoria that running a marathon evoked in him.
  • Time-bound: Peter wants to participate in a big-name marathon in six months, when he will reach his goal.

4. Let’s get started.

Of course, it doesn’t end with setting a goal based on the SMART method. No matter what the aim is, if you do nothing to achieve it, the result will be null. In order for your first steps toward the goal to be successful, it is vital to start developing a habit. However, don’t be concerned, because it won’t take forever. According to several websites, it takes about 21 days to develop a habit for the activities you do every day. Time does not really matter here, since the habit will develop sooner or later. For example, feel free to set sub-goals that will lead to your success. For example, if you want to start exercising, try to train twice a week and try to last for a month.

Your action steps can be even smaller. For example, you can use the two-minute rule, which states that any habit can be gradually developed, 120 seconds at a time.

How to create a habit using the 2-minute rule

  • If your goal is to start excersicing, start by doing 10 squats.
  • If you want to start reading books, start by reading 1 page every day.
  • If you want to live a healthier life, start by drinking a full glass of pure water every morning.
  • If you want to start running, start by tying up your sneakers.

5. Have a contingency strategy in case of an emergency.

Imagine a situation where you are travelling by car to an urgent job interview that could land you your dream job. You are the last candidate and you have only one chance. You’re well aware of the severity of the whole thing, so you start with plenty of time to spare. However, the road on which you are driving is blocked as a result of an accident. You won’t be able to get through, but you do have to get to the point of being interviewed. What will you do if you did? Is it safe to turn the car around and go home, or will you find another way to get to your destination?

In that situation you might remember the saying “All roads lead to Rome”. One of its meanings is that there are many ways to achieve your goal, even in everyday life, you will often encounter situations that don’t develop according to plan. According to this, it is always advisable to have a backup plan. Of course, it will differ from your initial plans, but the important thing is that it will ensure you do not crash on the way to your goal. An example might be the following: If you can’t make it to the gym, a Plan B would be to work out at home.

If you don’t have enough time or energy, you can choose just a few minutes of training with your own weight. At Home, feel free to get inspired by our highly acclaimed 6-Minute Abs Workouts.

  • If exercising at home is what you prefer, you can take it to a new level using the advice from our article How to Create a Quality Training Plan for Home Workouts?

For a backup plan, try following this formula :

If (any contingency occurs), then (I’ll switch to this simple plan B, which is still time-friendly for me)

More tips to help you reach your goal

When it comes to achieving goals, it’s important to mention that motivation is often the reason you started. However, the key to going all the way and successfully achieving a goal is persistence and consistent action. You may also try one of the following tips: Here’s how to use one of the tips.

1. To establish a support system, it is necessary to have a support system.

A support system should ensure that the pursuit of your goal is as smooth as possible. Several factors may play a role in this regard. The support of those around you is certainly one of the most important. Arnold Schwarzenegger used to say that his fame was due to his work. It may be important to connect with people who can help you achieve your goals in order to succeed. That is to advise, advise, or point you in the right direction every time you go off the track.

Types of social support

Social support can take several forms :

  • Emotional, which includes expressions of empathy, love, trust and care that are related to you on a personal level
  • Instrumental, which represents tangible manifestations of support
  • Informational, consisting of suggestions, information and knowledge that can help you to move forward
  • Appraisal, which includes constructive criticism

Don’t be afraid to ask your family, friends or anyone close to you for any kind of this support.

2. Visualize your target – your goal.

Visualization techniques are often an underrated method during the journey to success, but the fact remains that they are used by many experts, including professional athletes, such as elite NBA player LeBron James or Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps.

So, if you want to succeed on the way to your goal, you should learn from the best. Visualization is the act of imagining what you want to achieve in the future. Let’s explore the benefits of visualization by using the example of Lucy, who wants to shed weight. She could be looking at it in two ways: she could be looking at it in two way

  • Scenario 1: Lucy reflects on her life. Every day, she looks in the mirror and declares that she would like to lose weight. But she can’t imagine what it would look like.
  • Scenario 2: Lucy imagines a thinner version of herself. She is happier and more active than ever. She can exercise and play outside with her children without being out of breath as before.

Can you see the difference? Which scenario will give Lucy more reason to shed weight? Of course, the answer is no. 2 in the situation. The more detailed your final product’s visual representation, the more it will inspire you to achieve your target. Let’s have a look at how we do it.

5 Steps to help you visualize your goal

  1. Write down what you want to achieve on a piece of paper and add more and more details until you feel that you are really living the experience you are writing about.
  2. Imagine the emotions associated with achieving your goal, because the more you understand what it will feel like, the more you will believe in your success.
  3. Take steps towards your goal every day and accept that you will fail occasionally. Close your eyes and visualize yourself dealing with setbacks and getting back on track.
  4. Expand your knowledge, for example, by talking to experts about your goals, taking courses, or you can delve deeper into this topic by yourself by reading books or surfing the Internet. As a result, the difference between the imagined and the true goal will be marginal.
  5. Spend some time visualizing and thinking about your goals by visualizing them twice a day for a few minutes. It turns out that the most efficient way to do this is before going to sleep and in the morning after awakening.. It will help stimulate your subconscious mind and honed in more focus on the desired outcome. In the morning and evening, feel free to view your goals. You can even make a vision board and keep it on display.

3. Congratulations!

A reward can be a great motivator. Consider how you will reward your accomplishments right from the start of your journey to your goal. When you reach each of them, it’s best to divide the goal into smaller sub-goals and treat yourself to something that pleases you. For example, if you’re trying to shed weight and you’ve been following your calorie deficit diet for the whole month, you can treat yourself with a cheat meal in the form of a dessert. Following a movie, going on a trip, or treating yourself to a new piece of clothing are all examples of what could be a good reward for someone.

4. Your goal is to achieve it.

You can approach achieving a goal in the same way as eating. You don’t pour it all into yourself, but you eat it in individual bites, when you imagine a plate with a hearty lunch. Eating is thus not only more convenient, but also more accessible. You can view your goals in the same way and then break them into several bites or smaller portions. Each of these activities will give you a sense of achievement and keep you motivated, for example, by dividing a timeline into several parts according to chronological order.

5. Connect with people like you.

One of the things that can help on the way to achieving the goal is the fact that you are not left alone. This time, it does not refer to the emotional assistance of family and friends mentioned in the first paragraph. It’s more about surrounding yourself with people who have similar or similar aspirations as you do. They will know your journey better and they will help each other. You will also have a greater sense of belonging in a situation where you don’t want to work out but have already decided with your sparring partner. In an attempt not to disappoint him, you will immediately take your sports bag and walked to the gym, where you will encourage each other during training. This can also be a great motivator to work toward the target.

6. Review your results.

Reflecting on what you have already achieved can be a great way to conquer your goals. This assessment may have different methods. On a piece of paper, write down your goals, break them into several sub-parts that are simpler to follow, and then assess what you have achieved. Any little win will propel you forward. It’s certainly worth a shot to try one of the smartphone games for achieving goals, such as Goalscape. It will help you set, visualize, and monitor your goals on your smartphone.


Behind setting a goal is a complex process of preparation. The more you dedicate yourself to it, the greater your chance of success. The main thing to think about is that a successful goal needs a strong “WHY” and, in addition, it should meet several other criteria that the SMART method can help with. You’re set to take action after you carefully planned your goal. However, make sure you take into account unpredictable situations and envision a Plan B. If you want to lose weight, gain muscle, live healthier, or get a promotion at work, make sure you keep track of your progress.

What helps you achieve your goals?