Smart Goal Setting Ideas

Setting GoalsIt’s that time again, when everyone is thinking about setting goals for the upcoming year. Hopefully you have yours in place already, but in case you don’t, here are some smart goal setting ideas from some people that are much brighter than I am:

J.C. Penney said that, “Long- range goals keep you from being frustrated by short-term failures”. I know what it is like to experience short-term failures, and you probably are familiar with them too.

Brian Tracey says that “Goals allow you to control the direction of Change in your favor”. I like the sound of that!

Or how about this quote by an American Novelist named Robert Heinlein; “In the absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until we become enslaved by it!” Wow, is that true! I am afraid that much of America fits into the category of being enslaved by daily trivia.

So if you are struggling with the idea of setting goals, or if you would like some smart ideas about where to start, here you go:

  • Imagine your life at the end of 2013. What does it look like? Is it the same as today? If you are like me, you definitely want it to look different in several ways. Your goals should declare the reality that you want to exist at the time you specify. For example, you could have a goal that says, “In December I will weigh 200 lbs.” This means that in the area of physical fitness you want a 200 lb. body weight to be a reality on December 31st.
  • Your goals should have a time component.  A goal is a dream with a deadline. It says that you want something to be a reality at a certain time. Just wanting an improvement is not enough. You need to put a timeframe on your goal to give you a ticking clock or a reference point. For myself, I enjoy the process of setting the goal because I like to envision my life in a certain way. It is the next step where I need to work a little harder…
  • Goals need to be broken down into parts. If you want to get to 200lbs in the next 12 months and you currently weigh 224, then you know you need to lose 2lbs a month from now through December. This may be a more manageable goal to work toward if you only need to focus on the two pounds, not all 24. For some this is difficult because they want immediate success. Others like this approach because it breaks the large goal down into smaller pieces and it seems more realistic.
  • Set big goals. If you always reach your goals, you are likely not challenging yourself.  Set a goal that creates some excitement as you begin to achieve success. Perhaps an income goal that is beyond anything you have ever made before. Break it down into parts and work your plan. When you begin to see success, it will be very exciting when the dollars hit your bank account.
  • Write your goals down. This isn’t just a mental exercise; this is a project that needs something more concrete. For example you could download this goal setting form from It will help you think through your goals in several areas of your life and it is very helpful.
  • Finally, set time aside to review your goals and check your progress. Once in a while you need to step on a scale and see how your weight loss process is working. If you are beating your goal, great! Let that success motivate you to higher levels of achievement.  If you are missing your benchmarks, maybe you need to get refocused. All of this can be done if you just take time to review your goals. This is the key to making progress, and it is the area where most people fail. That doesn’t have to be your story, however. Plan your year and set aside time each month to review your goals.

Take some time to reflect on what it is that God has planned for you. Use some of these smart goal setting ideas to write your own for this year. Schedule time to review them and make plans for 2013 to be your best year ever!

About The Author

Duane Rockensock

Duane (Rocky) Rockensock is a husband, a dad, and the National Reconditioning Manager for AmeriGas Propane. Since he was a teenager, Duane has loved hearing the stories of how people have started creative businesses or found ways to use their talents to accomplish amazing things. For that reason he started this blog to encourage teens and adults to find their purpose and to provide the tools and resources to make that happen!