Goal Setting Tips and Tricks

Goal Setting Tips and Tricks 

If you have not done so already you know that this is the time of year that many people make resolutions and set goals for the rest of the year. If you are late in goal setting do not worry, there is no better time than the present to start working on your goals. If you do a search on goal setting, I can almost guarantee you that the first few listings will deal with SMART goals.  

 SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound 

Developing SMART goals is the tried-and-true personal development tool used when helping someone develop their goals. I do think that the SMART goal process has its place, but I do not suggest that my clients start out trying to set SMART goals. In my opinion, SMART goals are much more appropriate after a client has clarified WHY they want to achieve their goals and How achieving those goals will make them feel. Understanding WHY you want to achieve something can help to bring clarity needed to truly set and achieve your goals. 

Developing Your Goals Exercise 

1.  Identify your overall goals 

Take some time and give some thought to developing goals for your life, career and if applicable your business. If you have not done so already you may want to spend some time writing out the vision that you have for your life, career and/or business. What is the future that you want? At this point the goals do not need to be SMART, they just need to “be”. Write them down, no matter how crazy they may be. You will have time to clarity as you move forward. 

2.  Categorize Your Goal List  

Review your list and categorize your goals into broader topic areas. Some suggested categories: 

  • Spiritual 
  • Health/Wellness 
  • Career 
  • Relationships 
  • Finances 
  • Career 
  • Business 

You may produce your own set of categories and do not be concerned if you do not have something in each of the above listed categories. 

 Now prioritize your categories, not your goals, just the broad categories that you just separated your goals into. Is there one category of goals that if you successfully carry them out, that will make achieving the other goal categories on the list easier. You will circle back to the other categories, but for the rest of this process just focus on one category 

3.  Identify Your WHY 

For the Category that you selected spend some time thinking through your goals and consider the following questions: (these are for the individual goals that are in your selected category) 

Why do you want to achieve this goal? 

What does achieving this goal give you? 

How will achieving this goal make you feel? 

How will achieving your goal energize your life, career, health (whichever category you selected to start with)? 

4.  Requirements and Resources 

The goals that you just clarified through better understanding your why may require your personal growth to achieve them. This step requires that you take an honest look at your strengths and weaknesses to figure out those areas where you need the most support for your journey. This is part of what we call in our practice as a “Mirror Moment,” where we teach our clients to see, accept and love themselves for who they are and not who they project themselves to be. 

Where do your strengths and weaknesses lie? 

What skills do you need to develop? 

What experience, training, or coaching will help you advance? 

5.  Develop and Prioritize Your Action List 

From your assessment is step 4 develop a list of actions that you want to take to achieve your goals. The next step is to prioritize your action list. Make sure that your action aligns with your core values. You need to be true to who you are while you are transforming into who you want to be. This is why it is important to understand the requirements needed for you to achieve your goals. The requirements play a role in the habits that you will cultivate in the future. 

6.  Develop SMART Goals 

Now you have finally arrived at the place where it is appropriate to develop SMART goals! You now have clarity on your WHY, and you have a much better understanding of the resources and other requirements that you need to pursue each goal. You are in a much better position to develop Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-Bound Goals. 


None of these things will be useful to you if you do not act. Your smart goals have some clues into the actions that you want to take now it is time to put those actions on your calendar. No action, No transformation 

8.  Other useful tips 

It is Ok for you to fully accept yourself for who you are right now, even while you are working to improve. Lack of self-acceptance can be a major roadblock robbing you of the inspiration, and energy to set and achieve your goals. 

Consider developing positive affirmations in your own words that can help provide you encouragement along the way by affirming the journey and the results that you are looking for. 

Find Your TRIBE – If you are not already surrounded by people who support, encourage, and inspire you to achieve your goals then my advice is to surround yourself with like-minded people that are actively working toward achieving their own goals. 

Check out my 2021 Goal Getters Group if you are looking for surround yourself with people that not simply setting goals but are determined to go achieve their goals and transform their lives.