The 5 Principles of Successful Goal Setting

Do you have a vision or a goal that you want to achieve, but have no idea how to get there? That’s where goal setting comes into play. The goals that you create are the first step toward planning for the future. We may know what we want, but sometimes, we just need a bit of help actually getting there. First, let's understand goal setting.

Goal setting is a powerful motivator and it can look very different depending on each individual's lifestyle, values and definition of success. Your goals are unique to you and don't need to look like anyone else's. It comes down to the process of identifying something you want to accomplish (e.g. achieving financial freedom, adopting a healthy diet) and then establishing measurable objectives and timeframes to help you achieve it.

Why is setting goals important?
  • Helps you focus on what's truly important to you
  • Measures progress
  • Helps overcome procrastination 
  • Helps visualize dreams 
  • Keeps you accountable 
  • Increases motivation
  • Enforces growth
  • Enhances self-efficacy and self-confidence

Now that we are aware of why it's important to set goals, let's learn how to turn those dreams into reality. Follow these 5 principles for successful goal setting: 

1. Commitment

Commitment refers to degree to which that individual is attached to their goal and their determination to reach it.

When faced with a challenging goal if we are less committed, we are more likely to give up. Whether you are setting a goal for yourself or for others, in order to be successful you must posses the desire and willingness to understand what is required to achieve it.

2. Clarity

Specific goals put you in a clear path. When a goal if vague, it has very few motivational value. Set clear, and big goals that are detailed and can be measured. When a goal is clear in your mind, you have an improved understanding of what you need to do.

3. Challenge

Goals must be challenging but achievable. Challenging goals can improve performance, it can push our skills to the limit. We are motivated by achievement and the anticipation that leads up to it. If we know a goal is challenging yet before its within our capabilities to accomplish it, we are more motivated to complete it.

4. Complexity

The timescale for your goals should be realistic. Allowing enough to work toward a goal allows the opportunity to reflect, while improving your performance. Even the most motivated of people can become overwhelmed if the tasks complexity is way above their skills.

5. Feedback

Goal setting is more effective in the presence of immediate feedback. Internal feedback helps to determine how you are progressing and external will help by having someone hold your accountable. If we aren’t up to speed with where we need to be, feedback allows us to self reflect and set new, more attainable goals. 

Here is a goal setting planner you can download that will help you organize and visualize your goals. Did you know that you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down? 

Do you have 5 minutes? Why not set you first goal right now? Happy goal-setting!

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