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6 ways to set goals you will actually complete.
Do you find yourself struggling to complete the things you want in life? Here are a few ways to help you better achieve your goals. - photo by Megan Shauri
Goal setting is something I have been doing since I was a child. It is one of the things I remember most from what my dad taught me. He made it very clear that one way to be successful in life is to make and keep goals. Your goals do not have to be super lofty; even the littlest goal can help us move forward in life. Goal setting is a way to map out your life, and goals are a great way to take charge of your situation. Here are some ways to be more successful in your goal setting.

1. Set achievable goals

One of the biggest downfalls people face when setting goals is setting a goal that is not really achievable. It is easy to say your goal is to run a marathon, but then you realize your body just can't do it and you end up failing at your goal. Instead, start with something a bit more realistic, like a 5K. If you completed that with ease, then work your way up to a half marathon. Know yourself and what you are capable of. If it is realistic for you to set your aim on something higher than anything you've ever tried, then go for it. But be careful. Failing at your goal can be more devastating than easily completing one and moving on to another in a short amount of time.

2. Finish what you started

It is important to finish your goals. Even if it may seem like you made a mistake, do your best to finish it and move on. If you give up on your goal it can set a trend where you allow yourself to give up easily. You may be seen as someone who never finishes what they started and that can result in people not being very supportive of you when you say you will do something. Once in a while if you simply cannot finish a goal it may be OK to move on, but do not make it a habit. Complete more goals than you quit.

3. Start small

Starting with a small goal can give you motivation to move on to a bigger one. When I graduated high school I was not sure if I wanted to get my bachelors degree or not. It seemed difficult and daunting, and I did not want to commit to four years of college. Instead, I decided to get my associate degree. It was only two years; it was not as big of a commitment and it gave me an opportunity to try and figure out what I really wanted to do with my life. Those two years flew by, and shortly after I walked across the stage to receive my diploma, I decided to go on to receive my bachelor's degree. And shortly after achieving that goal, I went on to get my masters degree. The key was setting and reaching small goals in order to achieve larger ones.

4. Celebrate your achievements

It is important to acknowledge when you have completed something, no matter how small or how big. Take a moment to reflect on your journey, see how far you've come, see what you've learned, what experiences you had and remember the good and bad times. No matter what happened along the way, you finished, and that deserves celebration.

5. Plan ahead

Whether you have just completed a goal or are in the middle of one, it is important to keep looking ahead. What is next? What else do you think you can do or want to do? Will your current goals get you there? This is where tweaking your goals comes into play. If something changes your direction in life, your goal may also change. If your current goal is veering you off the course you want, then see how your goal may need to change to get you back on track. This is not giving up on your goal, but rather doing what you need to become who it is you want to be.

6. Become a master goal-setter

It is important to not only set a goal, but also to know how to implement a plan of how to achieve it. Whether it is creating a calendar for yourself mapping out the things you need to do to reach your goal, or just setting a specific date to be done by, make sure you have a plan of attack and stick to it. Once you have completed a few goals you will get the hang of it. You will know how much you can handle and how to challenge yourself. You will soon find yourself setting goals for things you never imagined you could do.

Goal setting is one of the best ways to help yourself go after your dreams. Keep these simple steps in mind when starting on your path. With a little determination, achieving our goals is closer than we think.
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