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smart goal setting

We all have goals – whether you want to lose 10 pounds or get that promotion. It becomes frustrating when you have all these goals, yet you aren’t making progress towards them. I’ve been there. In my experience, I don’t reach goals when I don’t create a strategy to do so.

So, if you aren’t reaching your goals, perhaps you’re just lacking a little strategy. Let’s walk through the steps of how to reach your goals.

How to Reach Your Goals

With some planning, determination and accountability, you can achieve every single one of your goals. But, don’t look at your goal as one massive thing to accomplish. Break it down into less overwhelming, manageable tasks. Here’s a four-step process for how to reach your goals:

1.  Write down goals.

Studies show that you are 42 percent more likely to achieve goals when you write them down. I can attest to this. When I write down a goal where I can see it, I’m reminded that I need to take action towards it. But, when I keep a goal in my head, it gets mixed around with all the other goals floating around up there. When I keep goals in my head, they’re not organized, so there’s no plan to reach them.

Write down your goal – or goals – and make sure you have easy access to them. Whether it’s a sticky note on your mirror or a page in a journal, seeing your goals will motivate you to work on them.

2.  Prioritize your goals.

After you’ve written down your goals, you must prioritize them. You can’t accomplish all goals at once, and you likely can’t achieve one goal overnight. You also can’t give 100 percent if you’re spreading your efforts thinly across too many items. So, if you do strive to reach all your goals simultaneously, you risk burning out or reaching them at a slower pace.

Prioritize your goals based on what’s most important to you. It’s possible some goals may need to be completed first in order to accomplish the next one.

3.  Create stepping stones to achieve goals.

Once your goals are prioritized, it’s time to plan how you’ll reach each one. To begin this strategic process, write down all the steps needed to meet one goal. Let’s say one goal of your goals is to go on an elaborate vacation. You’d need to decide on a budget, select your destination, save money for the trip and book the trip. These items act as your “stepping stones” towards the goal. Put stepping stones in an order you think is most efficient for reaching your goal.

You may need to accomplish a few small tasks in order to meet a stepping stone. If that’s the case, write those tasks under the accompanying stepping stone. Ta-da – you now have a step by step plan for achieving each of your goals.

4.  Set deadlines for goals, when applicable.

Setting deadlines helps you remain accountable for your goals. You created a goal, a plan to achieve it and a date to achieve it by. You don’t want to let yourself down, so you do your best to work towards that date.

However, it’s essential you are realistic with your deadlines so you don’t set yourself up for failure. Don’t be too hard on yourself, and don’t forget that you’re living life while also accomplishing a goal. Set achievable deadlines, so you’re excited – not stressed – about reaching the goal.

Having goals is fantastic, but you must have a plan for how to reach your goals. Otherwise, it’s possible those ambitions may never come to fruition. So, be strategic and chase those dreams – you can do this!

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Lauren Hamilton

Lauren Hamilton is the founder of, a lifestyle and relationship blog offering relationship advice and encouraging women to be the happiest, most confident version of themselves through positivity and self-love. She's also a freelance writer and communications strategist. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, and check out some of her accomplishments on her portfolio.

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