The Art of Setting Goals


The new year often symbolizes a reset and new beginnings so as we enter 2021, many of us, like other years before, will set goals for ourselves to achieve. However, more often than not, we often break these resolutions. In today’s article, we will discuss the art of goal setting and how to succeed in achieving the goals you’ve set for yourself. 


The first thing we should consider is what a goal is. A “goal” is defined as “the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.” You can and should set to seek goals in both your professional and personal life. A good way to start goal setting is by imagining yourself and where you’d like to be in 2-5 years. You may see yourself taking on a manager role, in grad school or starting your own company. You may also see yourself being more fit, playing a new instrument or fluent in a new language. The next step in achieving these long-term goals is to break them down into smaller goals. If you set your sights on a goal to be in 5 years, what should you have completed by year 4? Year 2? Year 1? Then break it down even further – what milestones should you have hit within 6 months to keep you on track for your long term goal? In 3 months? In 1 month? It doesn’t stop there – now, what can you do in the next week? In the next 24 hours? Breaking large goals down into smaller goals is a key step to achieving our goals, however, you must keep track of them. Achieving a goal includes preparing for your goal and part of that includes checking in to make sure you are on track. To do so, you might consider investing in a physical calendar or simply downloading an app, like Google Calendars, to schedule out your milestones. During the set up period of goal setting, you should also look into getting together the tools that will help you achieve your goals. If your goal is to learn to program, make sure your preparation includes finding access to a computer if you don’t have one, finding an online class that matches the timeline you set forth for your goal, downloading a shell if appropriate. If your goal is to run a marathon, make sure your setup process includes investing in the best shoes you can or headphones to help you focus while you run. Having all the tools necessary to achieve your goals ready and waiting for you to use means that you cannot push off or miss your milestones due to not having the appropriate materials on hand. So you’ve set your long-term goal, broken that goal down into smaller, more manageable milestones, and have all the necessary materials on hand to achieve your goal – what’s next? The next step is to begin working on your goal! Start working on that first goal that is achievable in 24 hours and keep going until you’ve achieved your one week milestone. Continue to check in with your calendar and set reminders for upcoming goals and you are sure to set yourself up to succeed in your endeavors. 


If setting and sticking to resolutions hasn’t been a success in the past for you, we hope that these tips will help you achieve your goals in 2021! To conclude this article, here is a list of the most commonly set New Year’s resolutions: 

  1. Exercise more
  2. Lose weight
  3. Get organized
  4. Learn a new skill or hobby 
  5. Live life to the fullest
  6. Save more money / spend less money
  7. Quit smoking
  8. Spend more time with family and friends
  9. Travel more
  10. Read more