Why Setting Goals Doesn’t Have to Be Scary

One of the things I hear so often from the women in my life is that one of the reasons they don’t dream big is because the actual act of goal setting scares them. Now, I am not saying in any way that I haven’t had goals that scared me. But I also have a hard time with this idea because goal setting has always been such a productive thing for me, and has always pushed me harder towards what I want to accomplish.

Having said that, I understand that everyone is different, as are their respective fears, and any fear that you may have is 100% valid. So I am here to help you know that setting goals doesn’t have to be scary, and that by setting them effectively, you are closer to accomplishing them and getting to live out your dreams.

1. Set SMART goals

SMART goals refer to an acronym S for specific, M for measurable, A for attainable, R for realistic, and T for time bound. SMART goals is a method used to set goals and ensure that they are achieved easier, and with less stress.

Being as specific as possible when setting goals helps to actually accomplish them easier. Giving yourself specific guidelines and parameters means you know exactly what you have to do and how.

A measurable goal is something like saying you want to lose 25 pounds. By ensuring that your goal is measurable, it is more likely that you will accomplish it.

Attainable goals are things that can actually be achieved given the circumstances. For example, saying you want to be an astronaut is attainable, but saying you want to be an astronaut tomorrow is not. 

Similar to attainable goals are realistic goals. For example, winning the lottery isn’t exactly realistic, but saving money is.

The last piece of setting SMART goals is to ensure that they are time bound. What I mean by this is that you give yourself a timeframe in which to accomplish the goal. For instance, saying you want to do something in six months is timebound, and will hold you more accountable. An example of a SMART goal would be something like wanting to lose 25 pounds of fat in one year.

2. Start small

I cannot stress this point enough: if setting goals is something that scares you, stresses you out, or makes you anxious then start small in your goals. It makes them more attainable and less scary because you have broken them down into easy-to-digest pieces. So instead of thinking of your goal as something large and difficult to accomplish, like saving $50 a month , think about how much you would need to save per week.

3. Plan

Another thing I highly recommend is to actually plan out your goals. Don’t just say I want to accomplish x. Actually plan out the how, when, why, etc. of how you will go about achieving your goal. This will help you hold yourself accountable to achieving your goal, and give you guidelines of how to actually get done whatever it is you want to get done.

4. Write things out

Not unlike planning things out, writing things out is a great way to ensure that you succeed at your goals. Writing things out again not only holds you accountable, but it gives you a visual representation of your goals, which makes them seem more achievable and approachable.

5. Hold yourself accountable

Because goal setting can often seem lofty and out of our control, having a way to hold yourself accountable to them is crucial. Some great examples are writing things out, planning out your goals, or even asking a friend to be your accountability partner who can help ensure that you stay on track and succeed at your goals.

Goal setting can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. The key is setting yourself up with a plan. Set your goals in a SMART way, start small, plan and write things out, and hold yourself accountable, and you will soon find yourself right on track to accomplishing your goals and on the way to living your dreams.

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