Score! The importance of setting goals

Having a goal or something you’d like to achieve in life helps motivate you and gives you direction.

It could be something small like cleaning out the spare room or something bigger like getting a university degree.

You may have one goal or several and they may be short or long-term. But whatever you’re aiming to achieve, it’s never too late to start.

Research shows that setting goals and working towards them can contribute to your happiness.

Here are our top tips to help you on your way:

1. Decide what your goals are

This may seem like a no-brainer, but the first thing you need to do is decide what your goals are. You could have one goal or several, and they could be big or small. Your goals should be something you want to do for yourself, not for someone else’s benefit.

2. Make your goals realistic

Make sure your goals are realistic. While it’s good to challenge and stretch yourself, you want to ensure your goals are realistic to avoid disappointment. You may want to start off with a small goal and small steps and then build from there.

3. Set a timeline

Once you’ve decided on your goal or goals, set a date you want to achieve them by. This will depend on the goal of course – some goals can be achieved in a day, while others may take weeks, months or even years.

4. Write your goals down

Writing your goals down helps clarify what you want to achieve and increases your chances of sticking to them. Plus, it gives you a concrete record that you can refer to. With bigger goals, it helps to break them down into smaller steps to make it easier to achieve.

5. Don’t give up

You may encounter setbacks on your journey towards achieving your goals, but the key is to not give up and keep going. If you hit a roadblock or something isn’t working, you can always try a different approach or re-adjust some of the steps needed in order to achieve your goal. You could also get some advice from friends or family who may help you see things in a different way. 

6. Give yourself a pat on the back

After all that hard work, remember to give yourself a pat on the back once you achieve your goals. You may want to celebrate openly or just acknowledge it in a low-key way. Once you’ve achieved your goal, you may want to set a new one or build on the one you’ve already accomplished.

References

  1. Have goals for the future Action for Happiness, US 
  2. The importance, benefits, and value of goal setting Positive Psychology, US
  3. The science & psychology of goal-setting 101 Positive Psychology, US