We all want to achieve something at some point in life. Whether it’s buying a car, owning a house, or losing some weight, setting goals allows individuals to focus and control their direction in life.

However, setting goals does not mean you will automatically achieve them. You have to think carefully about what you want to achieve, why you want it, and, more importantly, how you will work towards that.

Here are four tips to help you accomplish the goals you set.

1. Set goals that motivate you 

Motivation is vital when it comes to setting goals for yourself. You have to make sure the goals you set are important to you and that there is some sense of value and urgency in achieving them.

If you are not sure what will motivate you, try setting goals that closely relate to your high priorities in life and make sure you have a high interest in the outcome. That way, you will end up with just a few specific goals and enough time to devote to each, thus avoiding the disappointment and frustration of setting too many goals that you never achieve. 

2. Focus on the finishing line or the outcome

Whether your goals are short-term or long-term, it is essential to stick with them and focus on the outcome. If you have to, set reminders to help you stay on track without losing the goal’s value, necessity, and relevance.

If, for instance, your goal is to become a published author, keep in mind that the key to finishing a book is sticking with it to the very end. No matter how challenging things get along the way, keep going and don’t stop in the middle. Nonetheless, don’t forget that it is okay to make a few changes in your actions along the way as long as the outcome remains quite similar over the long term.

3. Set SMART goals

SMART is a common acronym that is widely used for goal-setting. It simply means the goals you set should be:

Specific – target a particular area or task.

Measurable – involve definite, quantifiable measurements of success

Attainable – you must have the necessary resources and skills

Relevant – the goal should be within your personal limits in terms of abilities, time, etc.

Time-bound – there should be a clear timeline or deadline.

Although there may be other variations of SMART, using this principle to set goals will help you make your dreams a reality much more quickly.

4. Put your goals down on paper

Studies have shown that writing down goals increases the likelihood of achieving them by 1.2 to1.4 times. 

So, it is a good idea to write down your goal’s action plan or individual steps. You will also want to ensure that you frame the goal statement properly and place your goal(s) at the top of your to-do list or post them in a visible place. Cross each one off as you achieve it. 

That way, you will have confidence in your ability to actually make your dreams come true and hold yourself accountable every time things go as planned.

The bottom line

Setting goals is an excellent way of motivating yourself to turn your dreams into reality. However, even for businesses, goal setting is more than just saying you want to achieve something. You have to clearly define what you want and why you want it to increase your odds of success. 

Whether you want to quit smoking, cut back on alcohol, or pay off bad debt, the above four handy tips will help you achieve whatever you set out to do.