Are you having a hard time achieving your goals? It can be easy to lose sight of the bigger picture when you’re wrapped up in the busy day-to-day of life. I often get asked about my goal setting process. Here are my 8 tips on how to set goals and actually meet them.

Aside from sharing how to set good goals, I’ll also share my favorite goal tracking apps that will help you with accountability.

Remember, without goals, it’s tough to really achieve anything of value.


Here’s your simple, yet powerful, guide to setting great goals and achieving them.

1. Set Goals YOU Care About

Don’t go after a goal just because you think you “should” – or because someone else wants you to. Your mom might want you to become a doctor, your best friend might want to work on a business together … but those aren’t necessarily the goals you truly care about.

Only set yourself a goal if it really matters to you because that’s only way you’ll actually follow through.

2. Don’t Take on Too Many Goals

There are only so many goals you can chase at once.

Look at it this way, would you rather make a half-hearted effort at ten goals, only to give up on all of them, or put everything into two life-changing goals — and achieve them?

At any given point, you should have a maximum of five to seven.

If you’re new to goal setting, or if you’ve not had the success you wanted in the past, then try sticking to just three to begin with.

You might want to pick one top goal in three key areas of your life – perhaps career, health, and family.

3. Write Down and Review Your Goals

Like your to-do list, you need to write your goals down. It helps you to commit to them (and to simply remember them, if you have several).

Now some people write down their goals in their diary, and never look at them again. Don’t do that – it isn’t very helpful.

You need to write your goals somewhere prominent such as a whiteboard, a poster near your desk, or even your refrigerator.

4. Create Short-Term Goals that Lead to Long-Term Goals

Setting a bunch of individual goals may help you make some improvements in your life, but if they’re not joined-up, it won’t lead you to anything great.

It’s often helpful to start by thinking about your long-term goals.

For instance, if you want to build a six-figure business, that will take some time. In order to keep yourself motivated and celebrate small victories, you need to break the goal down into sub-goals such as:

… and so on. Depending on how far you drill down, your sub-goals would be an action plan for reaching your goals.

5. Decide What You’re NOT Going to Do


Having your long-term goals in mind lets you weed out ideas or tasks that aren’t in line with your highest priorities right now.

Write a list of what you’re not going to do. For instance:

This might mean getting better at saying “no” to other people’s requests – whether reasonable or unreasonable.

By having clear boundaries, it’s easier for you to say, “Sorry, I can’t take that on right now.”

6. Make Your Goals S.M.A.R.T.

You’ve probably come across the S.M.A.R.T. framework before, but in case not, here’s how it works.

Your goals should be:

Take a look at your current list of goals, and see whether any of them need a tweak to bring them into line with the S.M.A.R.T. framework.

7. Track What You’ve Achieved

Keeping track of how far you’ve come is crucial for both motivation and organization.

If you realize you’re going off-course, then you can easily get back on track quickly – before you lose momentum.

You could simply track your progress using pen and paper, but if you’d prefer a more high-tech solution, there are several great apps available. You might try:

8. Get Accountable to Other People

Knowing that someone else is watching you succeed (or fail) can be a powerful motivator. Use this to your advantage and build some level of accountability into your goal tracking.

That could mean:

What’s your most important goal right now? Turn it into a S.M.A.R.T. goal, then share it in the comments to start making accountability work for you.


This post originally appeared on, and is re-published with permission.

Image Credits

Featured Image: Image by Syed Balkhi
In-post Photo #1: JrCasas/
In-post Photo #2: Piotr Marcinski/
In-post Photo #3: Falara/