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How to set goals that stick

Happy New Year everyone!

This time of year it is great to set goals and think about what we want in the year ahead. We can leave last year behind and start again with how we want to be. How many times though have we set a goal and it has not been achieved or a curve ball has come up and we have been left despondent? I know I have.

For a goal to stick and for a goal that you can achieve there are some questions that you can ask yourself that you may not have through about when setting the goal.

Below is my process for when setting out goals.

What is it you really want?

State the goal in the position - i.e. I want to be promoted, not I don't want to get the sack. 

Be specific with the goal  - I want to be promoted to a Senior Manager

Put a date on the goal - I want to be promoted to a senior manager by 1/6/19

If you could have this goal now, would you take it?

This is testing you to think is this what you really want and testing if you think it is achievable.

What would you have to give up to achieve this goal?

To achieve what you want, you might have to change something about yourself or your habits

Why do you want this goal? What would it mean for you?

Push yourself to get specific with the answer, saying everything does not mean anything. What is your driving force behind this goal?

Are you in total control of this goal?

If you are relying on someone else to do something forget it. You cannot control when or what someone else does.

What is stopping you achieving this goal?

Think about your beliefs or anything stopping you so you can put a plan in place to work on the goal


Now think about achieving this goal - What do you see, hear and feel? Aim to be as specific as you can

When you imagine yourself achieving something, it tells our unconscious that this is happening and lays down the pathways for it to happen.

Now reverse engineer the goal. Work backwards and put in the steps of what you need to do to achieve the goal

This is making the dream become real. When you break down your larger goal into smaller steps, it becomes easier to achieve and you have something to aim for each day and week and it helps you to keep focussed.

What other ways can you achieve this goal.

Life always throws us curve balls, so thinking more flexibly can help us to circumnavigate when something comes up.

What is the first step you need to take and by when?

This is you taking action and driving momentum. 

The goal setting process is meant to be fun, meant to stretch you and excite you. If you are not excited by your goal, change it. Keep changing until you know in your gut that this is what you really want.

If you want help setting your goals, or help in the steps to keep you accountable to achieving your goals, then drop me a line to see in what way I can help.


Vanessa is an Executive Coach, Recruitment Trainer and a Professional Speaker. 

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