Tips for Creating Goals

Feb 15, 2024

Contributed by Eleanor Stoa | University of Wisconsin - Madison DECA, WI

Setting and achieving goals can be difficult and requires consistency, determination and a willingness to return from failure. Whether you want to learn to cook or start a business, creating goals is necessary. Below, I have detailed a few important tips for creating and sticking with your goals.

1. Be Specific

While you may have lofty goals, they become unattainable when they are too broad. Make your goals measurable and time-bound, with clear action steps that can be taken to achieve them. For instance, rather than “read more,” a goal could be “read two books per month this year.” This provides a baseline for your expectations and gives you a specific idea to hit. This will allow you to track your progress over time.

2. Prioritize

By nature, some goals are more important to you than others. Limiting the number of goals you create is okay if you can prioritize them and accomplish them to the best of your ability rather than spreading yourself too thin. This will prevent the likelihood of burning out or feeling too overwhelmed. It will also increase your ability to achieve your goals because you put more effort into the ones you care about.

3. View Setbacks as Learning Opportunities

Understand that mistakes and setbacks will happen. Rather than viewing a mistake as a failure, view it as a way to grow. Analyze what went wrong and how you can adjust to make sure it doesn’t happen again. You may need to adjust your strategy in approaching the goal, whether it be the timeline, getting help from others or planning more specifically. Failure is not shameful if you stay determined and push through adversity.


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