Monday, October 11, 2010

I did it! How to Set Goals so You Achieve Them

Do you remember in April I said I was taking up running even though I couldn't make it around the block? Well, I persisted and yesterday I completed a half marathon...and didn't go into cardiac arrest! Hooray!

There were two things that got me over the line. Listening to Miami Horror's new album and pretending I was sipping on a Lychee Martini at Ku De Ta rather than sweating it out! And setting and writing down my goal. It seems like such a small thing to do, but writing a goal is a powerful statement in comparison with half-formulated thoughts at the back of your mind. It's a conscious promise to yourself.

When writing down a goal, I've learnt it's not what you write, it's how you write it. Writing out an action plan and timeline makes your goal even more powerful. A friend gave me a few brilliant goal writing tips and I believe they made all the difference - so I thought I'd share them with you.

Step One:
  • Always write your goal in the present tense.
  • Define a timeframe by which you will have achieved your goal.
  • Paint a vivid picture of achieving your goal. The more detail the better!
  • Attach an emotion(s) to achieving your goal.
For example: It's now.......and I have just..........and I feel.....

What I wrote: It's now 10 October 2010, and I have just run the Melbourne Half Marathon in two hours and without stopping, and I feel elated, strong and fit.

Step Two:

Establish a plan for the first step you will take towards achieving your goal and when you will do this by.

For example: The first step I must take is.........and I will do this by.......

What I wrote: The first step I must take is to start the first day of the Couch to 5km running program and I will do this by 1 April 2010.

Step Three:
It's so important to celebrate, reward and recognise the achievement of all goals - even the small ones!

For example: I will celebrate by....

What I wrote: I will celebrate by going out for dinner with my two boys.

Once you have written your goal out, share it with people who are important to you as this will make you even more accountable. Also make sure you review it daily. Don't hide it in the back of a notebook, put your goal somewhere that is visible to you as the disciple of daily review is another powerful goal accomplishment tool.

Now, over to you...what are your tips for setting and achieving goals? What's worked for you? What hasn't worked?


  1. Fantastic! Well done on achieving ONE of your (I'm certain there are more) goals.
    I totally agree with what you are saying.
    I sport my vision board in my bedroom... its funny how when I haven't looked at it for sometime, and it catches my eye, I seem to have achieved many of the goals I posted on it.
    It's such an amazing tool.

  2. Completely on the mark girl!! And I thought I was just rambling that day - gee yr a fabulous listener (and action taker!).
    Well done on this massive achievement...very inspirational x

  3. good on you clareby x

  4. wow!! i'm so impressed! a half marathon! you are amazing! hmm.. time for me to think about & set some goals i think :)

  5. Well done you, what an amazing achievement.. I think you have just motivated me!

  6. Congratulations!!! I was thinking of you and thought this must have been the one you were working towards. So proud of you. Well done!!! You are amazing and motivating. Thanks for sharing how you went about setting this goal. I think I have a bad habit of setting too many and then fail at all of them. My goal is now to be more focused and concentrate on a single goal that is most important to me. And I am going to follow your suggestion here to help clarify and achieve it. YAY!! See you soon xx

  7. congrats - you should be so proud of yourself! also thanks for the tips about the goal. i have something in the pipeline and this is just what i needed to get my mind in the right state to make it happen!

  8. Fabulous work!! Well done!! A half marathon is a wonderful race to do, what an achievement! You should be very proud :)

  9. congrulations. You must have been running along side my sister - she came in just under 1:50 (her first as well). I've just re-started couch-5km. Week five this week - getting there, slowly.

  10. So inspiring! I'm going to use your tips to help myself take the steps needed to get into nursing school.

  11. thanks for all the pats on the back!

    clare - how funny to think that your sister and i might have been running side by side and we didn't even know it!


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