How to Set Goals that Lead to Real Results

By Jinny S.Ditzler

Now that September’s here, two-thirds of 2017 is already gone. Yikes! Time to consider how you’re doing on your New Year’s Resolutions ~ or whatever you really meant to accomplish this year. Read more

What if my goals conflict with each other?

Almost all goals require some of your resources: time, money, effort, attention, and so on. Because these resources are limited, goals can often appear to be at odds with one another—working on one can mean slipping on the other.

Good management of your goals as a group is important for avoiding frustration:

  • Stay focused. Don’t set too many goals to come due at the same time. A large number of goals (7+) is okay if the goals are small or simple (such as a goal to shampoo the carpet) but be realistic and don’t expect to build a business while getting a law degreewhile training for a triathlon while raising a family.
  • Always have at least one simple goal and one difficult goal at any given time.The simple goals motivate you as you accomplish them rapidly. The difficult goals keep you challenged and growing.
  • Always have at least one short-term and one long-term goal at any given time. As with simple goals, short-term goals help assure that you’ll have frequent victories. Long-term goals (two years or longer) keep you headed in the right direction.
  • Prioritize but be flexible. Decide which of your goals (and tasks) are most important and assign your due dates accordingly. Be willing to change due dates or even put a goal on hold for a while if necessary.
  • Spread out your due dates. Avoid setting a large number of difficult goals with tasks due at the same time.
  • Look for ways to combine goals and tasks. For instance, if you have a goal to take a vacation and a goal to get better at photography, consider taking a travel photography class that spends a week in the wilderness snapping pics.
  • Most of all, strive for balance. Make sure to set goals (whether easy or hard) across different areas of your life: health, finance, family, relations, learning, experiencing, career, etc. For instance, don’t set ten career goals but then neglect your health, friends, and family.