How To Set And Achieve Goals That Work For You

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How To Achieve Goals

Did you set personal and business goals this year? If not, you know you need to! If you have, how are you doing so far? Do you need help in achieving them?

Why People Fail To Achieve Goals

Sometimes we set goals that are just plain unrealistic, but most of the time we just lose track of what we’re doing. Have you found yourself getting sidetracked or overwhelmed? Don’t beat yourself up about it: view this as a sign that you are moving in the right direction.

Yes, I know it sounds strange, but your failure to meet your goals is not entirely your fault. When you set the goals, you didn’t know that “x” was going to happen, or that “y” would be far more time-consuming than you expected. So you got sidetracked – welcome to the human race!

Understand that we all get sidetracked, we all fail to meet our goals sometimes, and we all become overwhelmed by unexpected circumstances. You don’t actually fail until you give up. Let me repeat that: you don’t fail until you give up.

Look on failing to meet your goal as a lesson in how to set and meet goals. If you never fail to meet your goal, your goal wasn’t really worth setting in the first place, but if you fail all the time it can be very discouraging. That’s when you need to reassess your priorities – something is holding you back.

How To Improve The Odds

So will you always fail to meet some of your goals? If you have set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Risky and Timely), the answer is “Yes”. If you meet all of your goals on time, they were too easy – not “Risky”.

Your aim should be to set goals that you WILL complete, even if they take a little longer than expected. For one goal, you set a time limit of, say, March 31st., and on April 1st. you realize you still haven’t completed it. Don’t abandon the goal – just change the end date to one that now looks achievable.

Revisit your goals regularly, preferably daily, and make sure that you’re staying on track. Periodically, say once a week or once a month, review them to see if they all still fit your purpose. Often, when you do this, you’ll find better ways to achieve your intention with some of the goals using knowledge that you gained since you set them.

Learn From Others

Read and study what you can about Time ManagementGoal Setting and Improving Productivity. Spend an hour or so a day on self-improvement. Above all, don’t become discouraged – everybody has days when they feel as though they have achieved nothing: it’s not just you!

I find that reading twenty pages or so of a personal development book just before I go to sleep has a huge effect on my motivation the next day. Tasks that normally seem daunting are exciting, stimulating and interesting, and I tackle them with ease and pleasure. The result is a feeling of achievement at the end of the day – what has happened is that my subconscious has been working out my day for me while I was asleep!


If your goal setting and achievement are not working for you, the chances are you’re just not doing it right. Our tendency when this happens is to blame ourselves for our failure. The problem is not with you, it’s with the process you are using, so learn how to do it right and see how easy and enjoyable it can be.

Learn 3 ways to avoid those pesky time-killing distractions that used to cut your productivity off at the knees! To power up your productivity, take the free e-course at Dynamic Productivity Institute.

When you finish that course, you’ll be well on your way to reaching your goals and creating the dream life you’ve always wanted! Do it now, because you deserve it.

Dynamic ProductivityH

Dynamic Productivity Institute

(This article appeared previously in Ezine Articles.)

Alan Jenkin

Alan Jenkin has posted to several blogs for a number of years. His subjects include health and fitness, running, personal development and internet marketing. He lives in Texas and has a vacation home in the Caribbean, where his hobbies include boating and scuba diving. He is married to best-selling author Billie Willmon Jenkin.

16 thoughts on “How To Set And Achieve Goals That Work For You

  1. David Merrill 101

    Staying on track with your goals is an ongoing process, as you point out Alan. As long as you are sure that you have the correct process in place, you can rest assured that your consistent, daily action steps are taking you steadily toward success.

    I particularly like the technique of reading personal development articles before bed. This is a great way to ensure that you will get the uninterrupted rest you need to tackle the next day’s chores, and that you will have ample motivation derived from it to carry them out.
    David Merrill 101 recently posted..Lead Magnet Creation | Audio DownloadsMy Profile

    1. Alan Jenkin Post author

      Thanks David.
      As you say, staying on track is a continuing process! I have found that when I get off track, due to unexpected (or even planned) events, it is important to recognize that this is only a temporary interruption and move on. Just like a winning team only thinks about the next game, rather than dwelling on the one they just lost.

  2. Holly

    A subject I’ve read a lot about but still haven’t become great at doing!! I keep working on a system that works for me! I like your idea of reading before bed, you find it helps your motivation for the next day.. I think I will give that one a go.. Still working on a process for me!!

    1. Alan Jenkin Post author

      Enjoy the process of “working on the process”, Holly! I find this is a never-ending task, because even when you find one that works you can keep tweaking it. I believe it’s in our nature, as entrepreneurs, to get bored if we repeat the same tasks over and over without some changes.
      Thanks for your input.

  3. Sarupa Shah

    I so agree with you and find that people set such unrealistic goals which make life so difficult and making achieving goals an unfulfilled task – it is a shame – as stretching is necessary but not to the point of failure – which becomes a whole other issue to deal with…great advice here, thanks!

  4. Lydia Brown

    Alan this year I was more disciplined regarding setting goals. There was time if I did not meet my target date I beat myself up and judged. This time I analyze what happened is it me getting off track or did something come into play that was actually a good thing. I revisit and don’t resist evidence that I need to change my goals and that it does not mean failure. Great tips thanks. Glad to see I am on the right track

    1. Alan Jenkin Post author

      Super! I find it fun that there is always more to learn and new experiences to gain, Lydia. And you’re absolutely right – it’s so easy to slip into the trap of dwelling on our failures rather than recognizing our achievements.

  5. Rosemary O'Shaughnessy

    Hi Alan,

    So true it is very important to have goals of what you want to achieve , the trick is to make them difficult but achievable. I really like your point about checking your goals often to keep on track. Rosemary

  6. Yorinda

    Hi Alan,
    thank you for the great suggestion.
    Somehow we seem to be programmed through school for putting other people’s goals into action.
    To be self motivated (or better even inspired) it is good to have a strategy that works for us.

    Much appreciated!
    Yorinda recently posted..Social Media Tatoo or Shadow?My Profile

    1. Alan Jenkin Post author

      Hi Yorinda,

      How true that is! It’s tough to break that programming and recognize the benefit of living up to our own hopes and expectations rather than what we are told we should do. That means stopping to think what we really want, rather than what we think we should want.

      Thanks for your support, Yorinda 🙂


  7. Chery Schmidt

    HI Alan, You have hit on some great points with this post I love how you stated that if you set those goals and didn’t hit them as quickly s you wanted not to beat yourself up. Been There Done That 🙂 We do need to take this all as a learning experince HUH?? I am also going to start reading a personal development book before bed each night, I try to do this in the morning but with my grandson here now I haven’t been doing this. I do think reading at night will help motivate me as well. Great Post Thanks for sharing.. Chery 🙂
    Chery Schmidt recently posted..How Can We Reach Those Goals?My Profile

    1. Alan Jenkin Post author

      Hi Chery,

      Thanks for the good words! I seem to have had a lot of learning experiences lately (;)) … we have been traveling and it has not been possible for me to keep up with my normal schedule. However, I’m working on getting back to it now.


  8. Jupiter Jim@Thesis Tutorial, Thesis Theme, WordPress Tutorial


    Great Post on Goal Setting. Like the idea of setting SMART goals. Also reviewing your goals daily is very important! Brian Tracy says to actually write out your goals everyday!!! That sounds like good advice. I live how to tell us NOT to get discouraged because we all have our days when we are. Great article and I’m going to proudly share this with my friend and followers!

    Great Job!

    ~ Jupiter Jim
    Jupiter Jim@Thesis Tutorial, Thesis Theme, WordPress Tutorial recently posted..How to Create a new user in WordPressMy Profile

    1. Alan Jenkin Post author

      Thanks Jim!

      I hadn’t heard about writing the goals every day: that sounds like a great idea because it will help identify when a goal no longer serves you. As you say, we all get discouraged sometimes, but when I find I’m in resistance to a goal it’s a pretty good indicator that it’s time to rethink it and substitute something more appropriate.

      Thanks for sharing 🙂



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