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How to Set Goals and Achieve Them

Updated March 5, 2022 . AmFam Team

Regardless of whether your dreams are up in the clouds or firmly grounded in reality, the task of managing your day-to-day life can take its toll on accomplishing these goals. Things come up that need your attention, small things seem to fill all your free time and the next thing you know, that once firm idea you had about your future can seem like a distant memory. But don’t give up on setting and achieving your goals just yet! You just need to take a step back and focus on those priorities once more.

That’s why it’s so important to slow down and think about where you’re going and how you plan to get there. It’s called a “dream checkup.” And it’s a great way to get down to business and create a pathway to accomplishing your goals. For tips on how to set goals for yourself that are attainable and manageable, keep reading.

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How to Make Goals Attainable with Smart Goal Setting

To get started with effectively creating goals, think back to those dreams and goals you set and ask yourself how they’re coming along. It’s OK if your answer is “not as planned.” We’ve all been there. The stats say that 45% of us start the year with new commitments — but only 8% achieve them. Here’s the great news: you still have plenty of time to revisit, revive and realize those dreams. This time around, consider these seven goal-setting tips that can help you successfully accomplish your objectives. You’ll be smarter about setting your life goals in no time.

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Acknowledge Your Awesomeness

Before you begin setting your goals, think about all the great things you’ve already done. Your list of achievements is probably longer than you think! So don’t get down on yourself for what hasn’t happened. Give yourself a pat on the back for what has.

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Try and Try Again

Next step: Keep trying. It’s OK if you don’t get it 100% right the first time. Or second. Or third. Dust yourself off and have another go at it. Use what you have learned and keep going — because you can’t fail if you keep trying to achieve your biggest life goals.

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Be Realistic About Your Goal

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a dream and bite off more than you can chew. Challenging yourself is important, but trying to do the impossible can bring you down. Is what you’re trying to accomplish realistic? Be honest with yourself, and you’ll do great things. You might just need to regroup and try a new strategy.

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Write It Down

When setting your life goals, figure out what goals are really worth pursuing, write them down in order of importance and stay realistic, too. Your likelihood of accomplishing anything improves by the simple act of just writing it down. Keep that list in front of you, maybe post it on the fridge or on the bathroom mirror. And get in the habit of starting off each day by writing up a list of small things you want to accomplish, knocking them out one at a time. You’ll be surprised at how well it works.

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Break Down Your Goal

If a dream feels intimidating, you’ll get discouraged. Break your bigger ideas down and set smaller, more manageable goals. Take a look at that short list once in a while and fold new ideas into your daily routine that will help you accomplish your goals. As you reach the small targets, the big target will get closer and closer.

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Celebrate Small Wins

Small wins are huge motivators. Go ahead and treat yourself every time you reach another goal along the way. High fives, fist bumps, parties, chocolate — whatever it takes, take time to celebrate you. Becoming the best version of yourself is hard work. You deserve it!

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Seek Support

Reminder: You’re not expected to set and achieve every goal on your own. Build a support team to keep you focused and help you push through challenges. That’s why personal trainers are such important agents of change for getting in shape. So don’t be afraid to reach out when you’re trying to move — perhaps in unfamiliar ways — towards your dreams. Focus, work hard and stay open to the idea that others really can help you when you need them most. Check in with family and friends when you need to. Sometimes you just have to ask.

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Begin Setting Goals Effectively with SMART Goals

Having a process to plan your goals, track your progress and bring them to fruition is one of the most important steps when working your way towards success. And SMART goal setting is a great methodology to follow. Here’s what you need to know:

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What are SMART goals?

SMART goals are:






SMART goals are meant to help you clarify your purpose, focus your efforts and be more productive. By using the SMART goals listed above, you can set yourself up for success.


Dream Home Worksheet

Download this free worksheet to easily capture your home needs and wants.
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Join the Dream Movement and Start Achieving Today

Having a solid idea of what you want to accomplish and how you intend to get there are both crucial when creating goals. But don’t be afraid to up the ante if you succeed quickly, set the bar a little higher and lean into the next round with your new skills. Apply the goal setting tips above and fill up your calendar with new intentions and aspirations. Setting goals will soon become such a great habit, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it.

Want more tips and motivation? Join the dream movement today — we’ve got just the resources to help support and guide you and your family along any dream pursuit.

This article is for informational purposes only and based on information that is widely available. We do not make any guarantees or promise any results based on this information.

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