The Ultimate Guide to Setting and Achieving Your Goals


“You need a plan to build a house. To build a life, it is even more important to have a plan or goal.” – Zig Ziglar

It is the last quarter of 2016 and in a couple months, we will be welcoming a brand new year! Speaking of New Years, how was your goals for 2016? Did you achieve all of them? Were there things that you were not able to work on? What areas of your life can you say was left behind when it comes to creating the change you wanted for last year?

Now, it is the time to set and start new goals. You heard me right, it’s time to set new goals! It’s just few days before we start welcoming the New Year! Maybe you are worried and feeling kind of guilty and regretting all those days you spent procrastinating on your goals. Well, guess what? Me too! And probably a lot of other people out there.

But then, there’s really no other way to do it, but to do it again. Even if it means writing down the same things again. Don’t let anybody else’s opinion matter, it shouldn’t because it is your list. You should know better about what you want to be setting yourself for in the coming year.

On a personal note, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed, mixed emotions, really. I feel somewhat disappointed not being able to fully achieve every thing that I listed in my 2016 goals and all that. Well, it could be only because I did not do my part to fulfill it, that I failed to set up concrete steps to successfully achieve whatever goal I have, and mostly because I procrastinated a lot. Yes, I am super guilty of procrastinating. Not proud of it though.

Goal setting is not merely writing down what you want to achieve at a specific time, but also the steps that you need to make, the details on how you can make these goals achievable. Not having a concrete or solid plan on how to go about with your goals is just like writing down things on a piece of paper without any intention of doing it. That is 100% likely to fail!

Setting Up Your Goals

Goal setting and achieving them are favorite topics of almost every disciplined person I know. It is probably the one thing that most successful people do that contributed a lot to their personal or entrepreneurial success.

Most people, including me, spend countless hours and many, many sleepless nights trying to figure out our present life and what the future holds for us. We all want to change whatever it is that isn’t working in our lives and the first step to changing lives is to set goals.

Goal setting may sound easy, as portrayed by many successful people, but there is a lot going on behind the scenes. It takes a lot of self-discipline, motivation and drive to consistently, patiently follow the action plan that is needed for you to achieve your goals. Remember that it took a lot of determination, and focus from these successful people to be able to achieve their dreams. So be kind to yourself, if you don’t get it the first time.

Setting goals and consistently doing the action plan is what separates the successful from the ordinary people.

Whatever position you are in life right now, I believe that goal setting is very important to give you a clear idea of what you want in life,a plan to follow for turning your dreams into reality and to being successful all the way.

Goal setting in general is easier said than done. As you and I would agree, the problem is, we don’t know where to start.

Where Do I Begin?

How many times have you really set goals and succeeded? Or failed? You may have tried this a couple of times and yet not really achieving anything positive. Like the majority of us did, I know you would agree, because I also did fail a few times in the past.

Why? Because we don’t really know ourselves. Yes! It all begins with knowing WHO WE REALLY ARE!
Do you know who you really are?

Putting in the effort would be a waste of time if you do not really have an inkling of who you really are, or of what you want in life, to say the least! How would you know what you want if you don’t understand what you are living for?

So let’s make a quick introduction to ourselves today. It is high time that you get introduced to your most valuable resource, YOURSELF. Let us discover more about yourself, let’s dig deep.

Ask yourself these questions:

1. What kind of changes do you want to see in your life?
The only thing that is constant in this life is change. I know this is a super challenging question for you to answer. It could be something big that you’re looking for this time, or small shifts that you need to make for certain things to happen. But whatever it is, write it down. Take down some notes.

After you’ve outlined all the change(s) that you’re wanting to make, the next important thing to do is to determine the proper application. How are you going to apply those changes in yourself to have a more meaningful life. I believe that this is one of everybody’s favorite goal.

Remember: You cannot change a lot of things at the same time, so start by changing simple things that will cause epic changes in your life.

2. How do you define “meaningful life”?

Let’s dig deeper.

What is your idea of a meaningful life?

Don’t force yourself to envisioning of doing something big or monumental in your life. A meaningful life does not necessarily mean that your life has to be grand or epic. It takes time to achieve that. But if you start right, by knowing who you are, what you love, then you will be able to get what it means to live a meaningful life.

3. What Are Your Gifts and Strengths?

Going back to Question #3, how did you define “meaningful life”? What aspects of your life did you take into consideration when you answered the question? What was the basis of your answer?

Having a meaningful life means living with your core gifts. These are our God-given talents. Each one of us have something unique to bring to the table. Our gifts are the source of our strengths. When we use these gifts to help others in their journey, that in turn becomes our life’s purpose.

Remember that God equipped us with our core gifts, with our strengths, not just for our own consumption, but more so to help others. When we start doing this, life becomes more meaningful.

Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of what gifts they have. Some people have to dig deeper to uncover what these are.

Asking yourself these questions can help reveal your gifts.

What activities will make you shine?
What do you love to do for yourself?
What do you love to do for others?

Now that you know what your gifts are, use them.

4. What are your values?
There are two types of values: Operational values and Aspirational values.

Operational values are how you spend your time and money.

Aspirational values are what you are aspiring for, or thinking about when you are determining your operational values.

Without knowing your operational values, you won’t be able to determine your aspirational values. It represents something that you want to be, how you want to live your life.

5. Are you using your core gifts to help others? In what ways?

Now that you know what your core gifts are, strengths and values, it is now time to determine how you are using your gifts to help others. Look at them one by one and figure out how you can help others by using your gifts. This would define your purpose.

My dear friends, passing on to people your core gifts is the only way to truly living this life. Then and only then will you be able to say that indeed you found your purpose in life.

Now that you have been introduced to your true self, start setting goals that are tailored or in reference to what your true self would want to achieve.

Download the free ebook  Do It Anyway – How to Finish 2016 Strong

Written by

MaryAnne is a writer and entrepreneur. A mom of 4 young adults, she loves watching movies during her downtime and bonds with her children. Her advocacy include domestic violence, women empowerment, self-care and mental health. Through her blogs, she hopes to empower women through education and help them live their best lives.

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