Goal setting

We are getting close to the end of the first month of the New Year and all that excitement of our resolutions has started to fade. They say that more than half of the population fail to keep their new year’s resolutions. So how do you stay on track with reaching your goal? When setting a goal you need to think SMART. If you are concentrating on a specific number on the scale or a distance you want to be able to run, without a plan, your target will be harder to reach. This can leave you feeling unmotivated, confused on where to start and a bit overwhelmed. With a plan in action your path will be clearer and your goals will be easier to reach. I will use fitness as an example but you can definitely use this for any goal you might have.


When you are setting a goal, start by breaking it down. What is really your goal? Have it clear visualised in your mind. You will need something to focus on, a target. It can be a dress/suit that you want to wear or maybe run X km. This clarity will also help you when to know when you’ve actually reached your goal, and enjoy the feeling of success. Your target should be somewhere between achievable and a bit outside your comfort zone. You want your goal to be challenging enough to keep you motivated without creating doubt before you even start. For example: setting yourself a goal to be able to run 10km in 4 weeks might put you off and at the same time setting 5km as your goal before Christmas will most likely make you lose interest. Be realistic with yourself and remember to think about your health. Losing 5 kg in 4 weeks might lead you to starving yourself and create guilt/doubt when you give in to hunger and didn’t reach your goal in the end. Challenging but realistic is the key.

After you have set a target, set a time frame. When do you want to reach your goal? Mark it up in your calendar or write it down somewhere you will see it. Without a date your path won’t be as clear. The next step is to break down your goal and your timeframe into short, medium, and long-term goals. This is a great tool for evaluating your progress and also give you closer targets to tick off during your journey. These mile stones needs to have their own date and specific target. When you reach one, you will then be able to evaluate your progress and the path you have ahead of you. When you reach your short term goal, sit down and really think about it. If you reached what you set up for yourself: is your goal challenging enough? What did you do to get there? This will give you clarity about whether or not you’re going about your goals the right way; whether you should continue on this path. If you didn’t reach your target: is your goal realistic, what do you need to change to reach the next target, do you need to change your dates to succeed with your final mark? Breaking it down will give you the opportunity to control your journey and regulate anything on the way so when your goal date is coming up, you will be more ready for it.

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