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How to Set Attainable Personal Goals

by DC Editor

June 1, 2013

Setting goals is an important part of anyone’s personal development system. Without goals, how are you supposed to map your progress? One big problem that a lot of people make when setting goals is that the goals are not attainable. That is, the goals are set so high that there is really no way they will be reached. And actually reaching your goals is also an important step in any personal development system.

Accomplishing goals builds confidence and self-esteem to chase and accomplish bigger goals. Falling short of your goals can leave you feeling dejected and like a failure.
So how do you keep those personal goals attainable?


The SMART concept of goal setting has been around a while, but it is an effective way to make sure the goals you set are attainable. SMART stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

If a goal is to be attainable, it must first be specific. ‘Losing a few pounds’ isn’t really saying much, but ‘Losing 32 lbs so I can fit into my old jeans’ says plenty. By making it specific, you will set your nervous system in motion to help get it accomplished.
It’s also important that you establish some criteria for measuring your progress toward completion of the goal.

Measuring your progress helps to keep you focused throughout the process, and this improves your chances of reaching the goal.

Making the goal attainable – meaning you can actually achieve it – is an integral part of the process. Setting a goal of making $250,000 by the end of the year if you don’t have an existing business or a concrete plan is a good example of a goal that is unattainable.

Keeping the goal realistic means that what you want to accomplish fits into your overall strategy and belief system, and that you have the necessary skills to accomplish it at your disposal. In this step, you should create a realistic plan to meet your goal with the tools you have at the moment.

Making your overall goal achievable also means making it time-sensitive. If you don’t set a time limit, you’ll never be able to gauge your progress and you won’t know if the goal has been reached. Creating time-sensitive goals is the key to motivating yourself to achieve them.

Write It Down

Naturally, all that planning and preparation isn’t going to take you very far if you don’t write it all down. By writing each element of your goal, it will give you a visual reference anytime you need it. It will also solidify your commitment to making your goal a reality. And when you write it out, keep your phrasing positive and use ‘will’ statements rather than ‘should’ statements.

Stick to It

All of the different steps you take to make your goals attainable will help you stay with the program, but in the end you just have to do it. You just have to summon up the discipline and follow your plan. If you’ve followed all the steps, the goal you’ve set should be well within reach, and you should have everything you need to get there.

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