5 Tips For Successful Goal Setting

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” –– Tony Robbins

Whether you are dreaming big or small, setting goals helps you achieve those dreams. Without goals, one is like a sailor on a boat with no compass or maps, easily vulnerable to getting lost and missing the destination; whereas with goals, one’s unconscious mind suddenly has a target to go after and the future seems to be clearer. Setting goals is undoubtedly important, yet finding an effective way to set goals is the key. One of the most effective ways to set goals is to use S.M.A.R.T. criteria which consist of the 5 tips that we are going to introduce.


Setting a specific goal is a cornerstone of your journey. Consider what you want to attain, either in short term or long term. Ask yourself following questions to specify your goal:

  • What exactly do I want to achieve?
  • When do I plan to achieve?
  • Whom do I want to achieve with?
  • How can I achieve?
  • What are some limitations and obstacles I may encounter?
  • How can I overcome them?

For example, “I want to find a job” is not a specific goal; whereas “I will apply for 10 positions in the next two days”, “I will practice answering one typical interview question with my friend per day”, and “I plan to land a job by the end of this month” are all specific goals.


How do you know you are making progress or staying on the right track while trying to accomplish your goal? Well, making your goal measurable is the key. Breaking down your goal into measurable elements which you can evaluate with concrete evidence. Studying harder is not measurable; setting aside 1 hour per day to solve quizzes in a new study guide you got is.


Your goal should be attainable. After you weigh the efforts, time, energy, and other costs that your goal will take, you should believe that you can achieve it while taking care of other obligations and priorities in your life. If a goal is too difficult, it will only exhaust you and bring you down. An attainable goal should be the one that excites you and motivates you to take efforts to achieve it. In other words, an attainable goal is the one which you can jump to achieve, but not the one which you need to launch a rocket to reach.


The standards for a relevant goal are somewhat similar to that for an attainable goal. A relevant goal means that it matches your personality and that you are equipped with the necessary skills and resources to reach; putting it a different way, it is a goal worth pursuing. For instance, if you want to open a clinic and you have sufficient capital, required skills, and profound knowledge of business operations, then the goal for you will be relevant. Otherwise, you may consider another goal that is more directly connected and consistent with your dreams and disposition in life.


A timely goal is one with a flexible and realistic deadline. Setting such a deadline for your goal will dramatically enhance your focus and efficiency. Deadlines give you a sense of pressure and duty, and satisfaction when you finally reach your goal. Also, you can use deadlines to challenge yourself and stimulate your potential by setting them a little tighter than the previous time. Start chasing your dream by setting SMART goals –– specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals. And every time after you finish a goal, reflect your progress and use the experience to improve your next SMART goal. Setting goals, achieve them, and enjoy the ride we called life.

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