Self Improvement: Tips for Goal Setting

goal setting

When you desire to have some self improvement, then it is easier to accomplish your task, if you have a goal or set of goals.

The prize you would be getting for making the improvement should clearly be defined by the goals.

You will have motivation to achieve your goal when you have a clearly defined prize.

If there are smaller goals set up along the way, it is much easier to achieve a goal. You will build your confidence and increase your chances of achieving your ultimate goal by achieving each smaller goal.

Smaller Goals

Having smaller goals is like the rungs on a ladder, they make reaching the top easier than jumping from the ground to the top of the ladder.

Top of the Ladder: Main Goal of losing 30 lbs.

  • 5th rung: to lose 5 more pounds
  • 4th rung: to lose 5 more pounds
  • 3rd rung: to lose 5 more pounds
  • 2nd rung: To lose 5 more pounds
  • 1st rung: to lose 5 pounds

You reward yourself when you achieve each 5 lb. Goal. The reward makes you feel good about your attainment and motivates you on to the next rung in the ladder. You will get closer and closer to realizing your main goal of losing 30 lbs with each motivational reward.

Each of the smaller goals to not seem so far from the rung before and the next rung seems reachable from the rung below it. The top of the ladder from the ground seem far away, but the 1st rung seems within your grasp.

Whatever may be your self improvement goals, the basics of setting goals remains the same. You can make your main goal easier to achieve by setting smaller goals.

The rungs of the ladder make it easy for your to measure your progress towards your main goal and you can look down and see how far you have come and look up to see how far you have yet to go before reaching the next rung and also the top of the ladder.


A handy tool that can be used to manage those rungs is calendars. Keeping a daily and weekly calendar will let you know when to expect to reach each rung on the ladder, how fast to climb.

To know what date you want to achieve your goal by is a part of managing your goal. Microsoft Outlook has a wonderful setup in regards to calendars. The program is easy to use and can keep you organized as it reminds you of events on your daily, weekly and monthly calendars.

Good Attitude

You will also need to have a good attitude about your goal and your ability to achieve it. You also need to have the ability to go from planning to take action along with good attitude. Sometimes, this is the toughest part of making self-improvements for some people.

For some people, it is much easier for them to talk about and planning self-improvements than taking the steps to attain their goals. You must be willing to take that initial step, and the next step and the one after that.

Taking action can be like taking a risk. Good things come with some measure of risk and if you are to gain the prize you have to be willing to take that risk.

Goals should be Simple

You should not complicate your goal by making it wordy. Your goal should be a simple sentence that describes the behavior, situation or problem that needs attention.


Complicated Goals:

I intend to lose 30 pounds so that I will be able to look good in a bikini on the beach next summer and Dan will finally notice me and I will be happy.

I will do research on colleges early this year so that I can start going to college by next fall and be graduating by the time I am 25, in order that I can earn a good income before I am 30.

Simple Goals:

Lose 30 pounds by June 1st.
Apply to 5 colleges by July 30th.

The complicated goals are wordy and leave you wondering what exactly it is that you are shooting for. The simple goals are just a few words that are to the point; tell what you want to do and when you want to do it by.

Goals should be Specific

Make sure that your goal is not in general terms, since general terms will give you too much room for open interpretation about exactly what it is you intend to do. Details about who, what, where, how, when should be included in your goals.

Examples of specific goals are:

I will be cigarette free by March 31st 2007

  • The who in this goal is: I
  • The what in this goal is: cigarette free
  • The when in this goal is: March 31st 2007

There is no where or how as these particulars can be discussed in the plan that you will set up. In order that it is clear what exactly you intend to improve, the goal needs to be specific.

Goals should be shared

You can share your self improvement goals with those you trust. It is a good thing to have someone else knowing your goal, because they can help motivate you to achieve your goal.

They can hold you accountable for following through with your plan to achieve your goal. Sharing your goal will give you a source of support and understanding for those times when it becomes tough to stick to your goal.

Goals should be written

You can easily forget a goal which is not written down. You may forget the specifics about the goal if you do not write down your goal; when you intend to accomplish the goal, or even what the goal is all about. It is easier to motivate yourself to accomplish your goals when it is starring you in the face everyday.

Goals should be Achievable

This is not the time to set the sky as the limit. A goal to make a million dollars in one year is not as achievable as setting a goal to increase your income by 50% in one year. You have to be able to feel that you have a chance of reaching your goal, or else you will feel defeated even before you start.

Goals should have a “face”

When you can see your goals, they are easier to visualize and therefore easier to reach. As an example:

Goal: I will lose the weight I gained during my pregnancy (30 lbs).
Face: A pre-pregnancy picture of you. Hopefully one that is figure flattering.

Goal: I will qualify for my first home loan by December 31, 2007
Face: A picture of your dream home that you cut out from Home and Garden Magazine.

To set smaller goals, know your prize, and reward yourself upon achieving your smaller goals is the best way to motivate yourself.



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