How to Set Goals


Once again we find ourselves at the start of the New Year and with that it bring change for many of us. The word ?resolve or resolution? can be synonymous with determination, perseverance, tenacity; fortitude. All of those really strong words. What I have found to be better than a resolution is setting a goal for yourself. What moves you to that goal is the resolve?make sense? Here are just a 3 things that I have come to learn about goal setting.

First- Once you decide on the goal, tell your close circle of friends. Why? We all need accountability and if we keep the goal to ourselves, failure can certainly set in and then we simple persevere (or not) in silence. Things are always better when done in the group effort and having your close friends encourage you along the way is really important. A few examples, maybe you are trying to change something about your health (eat more veggies, quit smoking). If you tell your friends and ask them to touch base with you weekly on how you are doing, you will be less likely to reach for the French fries and a cigarette, knowing that you will have those conversations. Maybe you are signing up for your first 10k or Half marathon, your friends will be more supportive of you walking away from a Friday night out knowing you have committed to a longer run on that Saturday. Your friends should be willing to help you keep your eye on the prize!

Second- Make a plan and set checkpoints. In our jobs we quite often have a plan to get us to our work goals, why not do this with personal goals. Write it out, blog about it, but make sure you know what steps will get you to the goal. After this, think small steps to reach that goal, and don?t bite off more than you can chew. If you want to eat more veggies, think about adding it to 2 meals each week, then every week after that add it to one more meal. Within 2 months you are on your way to a full week of daily veggies! If you are going after an athletic event, think about the smaller points that will get you to that final goal. Have your 5k, 10k and then 10 mile goal on the calendar, knowing this will help you reach that Half marathon goal. Even professional athletes do this, so why shouldn?t we? When you reach those smaller check points, reward yourself, be your own personal cheerleader and maybe bring those friends in that are supporting you.

Third- Make a visual for yourself. This can be large or small depending on how you operate. When I signed up for my first marathon, I had 26.2 on my refrigerator, my desk at work, my dashboard in my car. I knew that 26.2 was what I was working towards. As well, it forced me to talk about it to others along the way, making your pool of accountability much larger.

The final thing I would point out is always know that no one is perfect and with setting a goal you may have a week or two of setbacks. What is important is how we choose to face those when they show up. It is easier said than done, but don?t be so hard on yourself. We are all different and if we stop and look for the strengths and not focus on the weaknesses..our lives, our jobs, our relationships and our goals would function so very differently. I love that.


  1. GREAT article and reminders that setting goals can be achieved with just a little extra work put in to making it happen.

  2. Arun Sharma says:

    Good article and a realistic one too. .

  3. Ed Hoon says:

    Colleen, Thank you for this article. I am in the recovery process from prostate cancer surgery in late December, and need this information to help me get back on my bike, and on the road. Thanks again. LiveStrong !!

  4. @kicktheball says:

    Great post, Colleen, thanks for the insight and encouragement. Now to choose a goal! :-)

  5. Scott Joy says:

    One great goal is to complete a Team LIVESTRONG event! Walk, run, ride or tri ? and help others affected by cancer.

  6. Great article! I especially like the 3rd bullet – make it visual. As they say, out of sight, out of mind. So if it is important to you, keep it front and center.

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