Monday, May 1, 2017

Setting Goals

"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short,

but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark." 

Michelangelo Buonarroti 

Do you set goals? I'll admit, I'm not great at setting and sticking to long term goals. My tendency is to knock out the short term projects, and then allow other pressing items to crowd out long term ones. Once upon a time, my goal plan looked like this:

1) Set goals.
2) Do them.

While these points apply to all goals, they're a tad simplistic, right? And while I've learned much since formulating that original framework, I still seek a good balance, as responsibilities are ever changing. 

So how does one manage and accomplish both kinds of goals? Short term ones are often the most noisy, as they relate to daily life maintenance, whether for work, home, or other commitmentsLong term ones often require more time and effort, a bigger investment of oneself, and perhaps a life change of some kind.

In my quest to be more intentional and get my act together, I researched setting goals and made a new list. Much I knew, but was inconsistent with application.

The New List:

1) Evaluate long and short term goals. Is it a dream? Is it a goal?  
2) Answer #1 and assess which ones are worth now pursuing. 
3) Define these pursuits, what each one is and means to life now. 
4) Make a plan with answers from #3.
5) Create a reasonable calendar to accomplish these goals. 
6) Pray about all of the above. Before, during, and after... :) 

During my research, I came across the SMART method, created by business psychologist George Duran. It offers a better breakdown to goal setting. (Visit this link for more details.) Here's a quick summary: 

1) Specific - set specific, concrete goals, avoid generalities.
2) Measurable - keep track of goals, keep a log/journal to record progress.
3) Achievable - be honest, make them realistic, stretch but don't push beyond your limits.
4) Relevant - ensure they're worth pursuing and relevant to your life.
5) Time bound - create deadlines to motivate and focus, then meet them.

More Related Links:

While this isn't a comprehensive guide, it reflects my efforts to get better focused and organized. We're always learning something, aren't we? :)  

What helps you accomplish your goals? What are your goals for 2017?

Happy writing,


Photo credit: Free Images


  1. I like to make lists when I have trouble with my short term goals and check them off my list. Right now I don't have any big long-term goals that aren't part of my short term ones so I'm okay there.

  2. Writing them down is the first step. You have to see them. Plus a goal has to be more than just a want - it has to be a burning desire, especially the long-term ones.

  3. Hard to achieve a goal that's not specific.
    I need a deadline if I hope to achieve a goal.

  4. I am very bad with long-term goals. I get too caught up in all the stuff that gets in the way. I'm trying to set short-term goals to help me get to the long-term goals. I liked and once had similar "once upon a time" goals. 😜

  5. Natalie,
    Lists are a big help, aren't they? Although sometimes I have so many on my desk for different But they do help get things done.:)

    Yes, You are right - writing them down is one of the best ways to start! A strong desire, I agree on that point too. :)

    This is true. Deadlines, even self imposed ones, help me quite a bit too.

    That's me - getting caught up with the other stuff! :) Like you, I'm working on it.

    Happy writing,

  6. Setting goals is really important. I do, but they often become a moveable feast. Good luck with yours

  7. Lee,
    Ha - I like the way you put that! Same here. Best wishes with yours too! :)

    Appreciate you stopping by. Nice to meet you! :)

    Happy writing,

  8. Good reminders as the year marches on :-) I tend to write specific goals down at the beginning of the year then divide them by month so I know what my focus is each month. Problem is, there are too many projects I want to work on at any one time and some things get lost along the way! But at least I'm chipping away a little at a time... :-)

  9. Wow, Karen, how timely for me. My short termers are Very noisy right now. LOL I don't set goals. Just write. All I can do at my age and experience. Great topic!

  10. There was a youth program I grew up with that encouraged setting and accomplishing goals. I am so grateful for that experience because it was through it that I learned how to make things happen, from small goals, to the ones leading up to larger ones. The program is still in use today and my oldest daughter has started into it. Personal Progress is the title. If we can learn to set meaningful goals while young, we're set for life, right?

  11. I've been reading more and more about SMART goals and I know that I struggle with the "A" section.
    Thanks for sharing these tips, Karen!

  12. To often I set goals that are basically a do-list with an overall goal of "get them all done". It's not a good plan.

  13. Kenda,
    I hear you. I have so many projects I'd like to do, it's crazy. I need to take some time and narrow things down too. :)

    Those short termers can be extremely noisy, can't they? Glad this was timely for you. :)

    That sounds like a good idea for setting goals for life. I think you are a success story of the program! :)

    I do too. But we can be a work in progress together! :) Glad you liked the post. :)

    Yeah, I hear you! That's kind of what mine can sound like sometimes. We're getting there, right? :)

    Happy writing,


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Have a blessed day!