I did it! How to Set Goals so You Achieve Them


Do you remember in April I said I was taking up running even though I couldn’t make it around the block? Well, I persisted and yesterday I completed a half marathon…and didn’t go into cardiac arrest! Hooray!  

There were two things that got me over the line. Listening to Miami Horror’s new album and pretending I was sipping on a Lychee Martini at Ku De Ta rather than sweating it out! And setting and writing down my goal. It seems like such a small thing to do, but writing a goal is a powerful statement in comparison with half-formulated thoughts at the back of your mind. It’s a conscious promise to yourself.

When writing down a goal, I’ve learnt it’s not what you write, it’s how you write it. Writing out an action plan and timeline makes your goal even more powerful. A friend gave me a few brilliant goal writing tips and I believe they made all the difference – so I thought I’d share them with you.

Step One:
  • Always write your goal in the present tense.
  • Define a timeframe by which you will have achieved your goal.
  • Paint a vivid picture of achieving your goal. The more detail the better!
  • Attach an emotion(s) to achieving your goal.
For example: It’s now…….and I have just……….and I feel…..

What I wrote: It’s now 10 October 2010, and I have just run the Melbourne Half Marathon in two hours and without stopping, and I feel elated, strong and fit.

Step Two:

Establish a plan for the first step you will take towards achieving your goal and when you will do this by.

For example: The first step I must take is………and I will do this by…….

What I wrote: The first step I must take is to start the first day of the Couch to 5km running program and I will do this by 1 April 2010.

Step Three:
It’s so important to celebrate, reward and recognise the achievement of all goals – even the small ones!

For example: I will celebrate by….

What I wrote: I will celebrate by going out for dinner with my two boys.

Once you have written your goal out, share it with people who are important to you as this will make you even more accountable. Also make sure you review it daily. Don’t hide it in the back of a notebook, put your goal somewhere that is visible to you as the disciple of daily review is another powerful goal accomplishment tool.

Now, over to you…what are your tips for setting and achieving goals? What’s worked for you? What hasn’t worked?
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