Six Questions to Ask When Setting a Goal


What Makes a Good Goal? 

Some people seem to achieve goals regularly and are continually climbing their way toward a better life. Still, others fail repeatedly and seem stuck in a rut.

A good goal is structured and planned in a way to be more likely achieved.

Achieving goals isn’t a matter of chance, there is a methodology anyone can apply to get better results.

Here Are Six Questions to Ask Yourself When Setting Goals:

1. Can I measure it?

Your goals need to be precise and positively worded. You goals need to be set just above your comfort level and just below your frustration level.  Don’t set a goal like, “I want to lose weight.”  Be specific, “I want to lose five pounds by Steve’s wedding.” Your precision has something to measure and a due date. Focus on what you want, and use words to compel you toward the desired result.

It may be obvious, but a good goal is something you cannot currently do. You might dismiss a goal because you think it is too easy, but if you can’t do it, then it is a good goal.

2. Is it the correct size?

You goal needs to be big enough to matter, but small enough to be completed in a reasonable time.  It’s better to set three five pound weight loss goals than to set one goal of fifteen pounds. By losing the first five and meeting your goal you set off emotions and brain chemistry like dominos.  You begin programming your brain for success.  Think bite-sized goals and bust them out. Big goals are resolutions; they’re the meals. Goals are the individual bites of that big meal.

You cannot measure your goal against someone else’s goal.  If you want to run a 5K in under 30 minutes and your friend is training for a marathon, you still need to be proud of your goal.

3. When will I finish?

You need to set a deadline for your goal.  I use a countdown time app on my iPhone or type it into my calendar.  I can see how many days, hours, and minutes until my next 5K or word count on my book.  Goals need deadlines.  Without them, they will remain dreams.  Set a target completion date.

4. How will I keep myself accountable?

Goals need to be written.  I would start by keeping a journal and check back often. You need to lineup what resources you have at your disposal and that includes people that can keep you accountable.  Some people I know have found success ‘checking in’ on social media sites like twitter and Facebook.  Posting pictures and short entires of their progress.  Find creative ways to keep yourself accountable.

5. Does it interest me?

You aren’t going to finish anything unless you feel strongly about it.  Create some leverage and ask yourself what would happen if you don’t complete it, and what would happen if you did.  Inspire yourself. Remind yourself why you want this. Get into it.

6. What will it cost?

A good goal is one that will improve your life and those around you.

When setting a goal you must look ahead and see how it will impact those around you. All goals cost something whether it be time or money.

Will this goal help your family? Will it negatively impact your finances? Will it improve or hinder your relationship with your family?

This is, after all, your goal. You cannot rely on the actions of others to achieve your goal. You cannot rely on your finances. (I know some who allow themselves to buy things and call it a goal.  That’s not a goal, that’s a want.)  Be prepared to invest time in achieving your goal, but know what the costs are and use good judgement.

What questions do you believe are important to ask when setting goals? Leave a comment.