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How to set realistic goals for 2021 and make them happen

Updated: Jan 10, 2021

Don't rush with sealing your goals; especially this year! If needed, take even an extra week to rethink and rewrite your goals. With this level of uncertainty, a different approach is certainly needed. Hear me out here.

Last week I did my first masterclass on my own personal approach to setting goals and ensuring I make them achievable.

You can watch the 1st 30min of the masterclass here (click on the link below):

The second part started with the statement that; "A goal without a plan is just a wish" .

We may have a very strong WHAT & WHY for what we want to achieve but if we fail to specify it by framing it verbally in a way that is easy to picture and remember. With goals; if we do not consider the complexities and the possible obstacles, if we don't break them into milestones and assign a timeline, it's very unlikely we will end up a year celebrating our wins. Instead, we will be down in the dumps wondering why everyone else seems you make it and you don't. The fault is not in you but in your approach!

I asked my masterclass participants how many of them used SMART goals strategy in their professional settings. Some of them were familiar with it. Next, I asked to give me one reason why they would not use it for their personal goals. We couldn't find any.

How to devise a plan for achieving your goals? Use the SMART model. Take each area of your life and specify either 1 or 2/3 goals as per the below framework:

S. - specific

You have to be able to specify and ideally narrow down your goal to a sentence determining the desired outcome and the benefit.

M. -measurable

A smart goal will have its own way of understanding if it has been achieved (it can be a specific outcome, a scale, a scoring system, an amount etc). Measurable also means it should be divided into digestible chunks of mini goals which will help us get to the end by taking small steps

A. - agreed & attainable

Some goals need to be agreed on with third parties e.g. a doctor, your partner, your family, your boss etc. Make sure you do have a go ahead before you set off. Smart goal will also be attainable and it is your job to understand what conditions you need to create to make it happen.

R. - realistic

Time to ask the difficult yet crucial questions; is this realistic for me? what obstacles do I foresee and what can I do to mitigate them? should I tweak my goals to ensure I achieve them given my availability, budget, day to day responsibilities?

T. - time bound

I think deadlines work miracles for goals; they motivate us and push us to hit that end line. Otherwise it is very easy to find excuses as we feel "we have time!. Decide on one general deadline for each goal and also set specific or approximate timelines for the mini goals. I recommend putting it all in a digital calendar and setting reminders.

An example of a goal set within the Image area

How to stick to the plan?

  • Tap into "the reward" - that feeling you know of how good it will feel once you do what needs to be done even though you don't feel like doing it as that very moment.

  • Revisit the process and tweak it - don't change the goal, but also monitor and assess if what you set out for yourself is working and is bringing you closer to where you want to be.

  • Allow yourself to "take a break" - don't give up when you have those "down days", take a break, allow yourself to rest. Reset and start again with a fresh energy and motivation!

Additional tricks & tips

  • Create a schedule on a calendar

  • Set reminders/ prompts

  • Create a vision board

  • Visualise the completion of your goal daily for 5/10min (how you will feel, look, etc)

  • Find an accountability partner

  • Journal about the process

  • Hire a coach to help you with the process

Good luck!

If you feel you need support in setting your goals, creating a masterplan and then having monthly check to ensure you are supported; get in touch! I offer 1-1 coaching to help you achieve what you set out for yourself for this year!

You can schedule your free 30min consultation HERE

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