10 Tips for Setting Reasonable Goals

Goals are more effective than resolutions, as they are specific and measurable. As the new year approaches, consider setting reasonable goals rather than resolutions.

Here is a list of ten tips for setting reasonable goals.

  1. Express your goal positively: I will accomplish “x” by “this date.”
  2. Be precise – set SMART goals.
  3. Set priorities – tackle goals in order of importance.
  4. Write your goals down.
  5. Find someone to keep you accountable.
  6. Keep your operational goals small – break bigger goals into smaller steps.
  7. Set performance goals, not outcome goals - there are things beyond your control. Set goals that you can control: I will run in a 5K on March 10th versus I will come in first place at a 5K on March 10th.
  8. Set realistic goals - making one goal reality will give you the success you need to work on the next goal on your list.
  9. Keep the big picture in mind.
  10. Be flexible – be willing to alter your intended goals if necessary.

Do you have any tips for setting reasonable goals?

Photo by Jamiesrabbits on Flickr.com


  • Joywriter

    Hi, Ashley! Great minds think alike: for the past few years I have been setting goals instead of making resolutions. Your other tips will be useful in helping me track and achieve my goals. Thank you for posting this!

  • Becky

    As a way of setting goals, I think about my top roles in my life like "wife", "mother" etc and think about how I'd like to grow or improve in those areas.

    I love setting goals, and I like to look back at my previous year's goals to see how far I've come (or if I've made any improvement!).

  • penguinelk

    Great list! My only addition would be to make the goals measurable. I definitely like the idea of goals over resolutions. I also bite off more than I can chew or more than what is achievable after life happens! Oh – completely random other thought – I posted a new button on my blog today and updated the grab code.

  • Becky

    I actually wrote a post last night outlining my goals for 2011. I invite you to check it out, 'cause they are numerous! Lol!

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  • AprilFBR

    I don’t do “goals.” They just don’t work for my personality. I like to “lean towards” things I want to accomplish. I do short-term challenges that help me lean in. In fact, I’m about to start four in a couple of days. They aren’t four completely new things, just four things I want to do better.

    • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

      Finding what works for YOU is so important… I love that you’ve identified and have claimed that goals don’t work well for you. Working WITH your personality instead of against it is the first step to “improvement”.