How to Set Attainable Goals For Success

When establishing your intentions to accomplish a specific objective, you must first define your significant goal or goals. Select one to three important goals on which you intend to focus. If you have too many goals, you will not be able to dedicate enough energy to each. The result may be failure to achieve some – or any – of them. If you limit the number of goals and are specific in defining them, you will be more successful. The more often you experience success, the more committed you will become to achieving success in every area of your life.

It is also helpful to separate personal goals from professional goals. Again, this allows you to maintain your focus. Just as you separate work time from personal time, it is important to have goals for each area of your life. However, there is a risk of over-committing if you have too many goals that demand your attention at any one time. The maximum number of goals should be 6-8 divided between personal and professional.

  • All of your goals should focus on what you want to achieve. If you don’t know what success looks like, you won’t know when you have arrived!
  • Your defined goals should make you stretch to achieve them. If the outcome is easily within your reach, it is more of a task or action step to complete rather than a goal.
  • The goals you define should create a desire to go beyond your everyday routine.
  • The goals should inspire you to make an improvement or attain something that seems out of your reach.

You want goals that will drive you to take the necessary actions to reach the desired outcome.bulls eye w arrow

For example: If you want to run a marathon, you have to train, schedule realistic milestones to measure progress against, qualify and register for the event, etc. This requires planning on your part. There are a number of actions and behaviors you will take to reach the ultimate goal: running the marathon. You can’t do it overnight. It requires planning and preparation, as well as dedication to the desired outcome.

To assure you have the correct parameters for your goals, use the SMART goal process:

  •  S: Specific – Have you clearly defined your goal(s) in specific terms so anyone can understand what you are trying to achieve?
  • M: Measurable – How will you know that you have successfully reached your goal? You will need some standards against which to measure your progress.
  • A: Attainable – How likely is it that you can accomplish your goal? If it is too lofty, it might be out of reach for a variety of reasons.
  • R: Realistic – How likely is it that the desired outcome will become a reality? This one relates to Attainable as well. Based on your current reality and future possibilities, will you be able to get the resources you need to make it happen?
  • T: Timed – When will you achieve the desired outcome? What are the milestones or check points along the way? You must take “someday” out of the goal and give it a defined time frame for completion. It can be short (3 -6 months) or longer (5 years); it is your choice. You have to plan to make it happen within that time frame.

For example: Your goal is to go to the moon. It is possible – as long as you can meet the requirements, endure the training, etc. If these things are not within your reach, then the goal is probably not realistic for you. That is not to discourage you from establishing stretch goals, but rather to guide you to setting goals that are realistically attainable for you. As you prepare your next goals, measure them against the SMART goals model. The focus on executing the action steps and tasks to make them a reality.