Sonia always got hopeful and excited as the New Year approached. She loved making New Year resolutions, and every year she added several ambitious plans to her list.

Her list typically included items like mastering an instrument, reading a book a day, going on a strict diet and taking four relaxing vacations.

However, by the time March came around, she had either given up on most of her resolutions or hadn’t even begun working on them.

Do you know why Sonia failed in keeping her New Year’s resolutions?

The answer lies in her inability to set realistic personal goals and resolutions.

How To Set Goals And Achieve Them

Our success in life depends upon our personal goals in life. In the absence of goals, we can’t focus on growth or direct our efforts towards success. Setting goals indicates whether a person is moving in the right direction or not.

Do you know how to set goals?

Everyone has dreams and fantasies but not everyone can realize them. Many goals end up as unfulfilled wishes.

Read on to learn how to set goals and achieve a goal successfully.

Setting Achievable Personal Goals

Let’s look at four golden rules of setting personal goals:

  1. Your goals should drive you forward

When you set personal goals, make sure you choose goals you are motivated to work towards. Many of us set long-term goals that require consistent work. But if you don’t have the drive to work towards them, you are likely to fail.

If you are wondering how to achieve goals, motivation is the answer.

Goals like learning a new language, mastering an instrument or even getting a promotion cannot be attained overnight. A goal that inspires you will keep you focused through setbacks.

If your goal is not attractive enough, you will not be able to sustain it over a longer time. One way of doing so is to attach the goals to your desires and priorities.

For instance, if your long-term dream is to save for a management degree, you start with a smaller goal of Rs 5,000 rupees a month. Every rupee you save will take you closer to your overall goal. This will encourage you to keep saving more until you reach your target.

To set personal goals in life that inspire you, don’t copy other people’s goals. Reflect on your desires and priorities. What do you truly want to achieve?

  1. Your goals should be SMART

Have you heard of SMART goals? The term refers to setting personal goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. By focusing on goals that conform to these five guidelines, you can avoid setting unrealistic and vague goals.

For instance, your goal might be to get rich. But this is not a SMART goal. Even if you begin working towards it, you will not know how close you are to achieving your goal because it isn’t measurable and has no timeframe.

In the absence of a clear definition of rich, you are unlikely to achieve this goal. However, if you set a SMART goal of investing in a house five in five years, it is easier to achieve it. Setting a SMART goal will enable you to create a plan and measure progress.

  1. Your goals should be in writing

It’s easy to lose sight of your goals, but one way of ensuring you don’t forget them is to write them down and put them up somewhere you can see them all the time. For instance, if your goal is to gain admission to a prestigious college, write it down or put up a picture of the college near your desk. Every time you see it, it will remind you to work towards your goal. Writing down your goals will increase the chances of achieving them.

The act of writing a goal on paper represents a commitment we make to ourselves. Many people write down detailed plans for achieving their long-term goals. They reread their plans to get confidence and motivation when their motivation levels drop or they face a setback.

You can also use a journal or planner, habit tracking app, or vision board to depict your goal and record your progress. This will inspire you to achieve your personal goals in life.

  1. Chart your course 

Simply setting a goal is not enough. You also need to create a solid plan to achieve that goal. Whether it is a goal related to your education, career, health, finances or personality development, you need a plan.

This will help you identify what you need to do to achieve your goal. Sometimes goals that seem impossible can be broken down into smaller attainable steps over a period of time.

For instance, aiming to run a half-marathon in two years is a SMART goal. You then need a structured training plan that focuses on the ultimate goal.

Some factors to consider are:

  • The cost of achieving that goal: you need to check if you need to invest in any equipment.
  • Habits you need to change: you may need to start waking up early to train or cut junk food from your diet.
  • People with knowledge who can guide you: you can hire a trainer or watch interviews of marathon runners to improve your technique.
  • Your support system: you could join a group of running enthusiasts who will inspire you even on days when you feel low.

Deciding your goals and creating an action plan is easy. The real challenge comes when you have to consistently stick to your goals.

There will be times when you get physically exhausted or mentally weary of consistent effort. Your body might ask for a break from training or your mind might wander. That’s when you need to remind yourself of the ultimate objectives.


It is important to know how to set goals in life. If we don’t set goals correctly, we can feel directionless, confused and anxious. Setting unattainable goals can make us feel dejected when we fail to achieve them.

Harappa Education understands the importance of setting goals in a result-oriented way. Our Discovering Purpose course has a section on the art of setting goals that will help. You can enroll in the course online and learn the best practices and techniques to achieve your life’s goals faster.

Explore topics such as the Purpose of LifeIkigai MeaningHow to Find Your PassionHow to Deal With FailureMeaning of Embracing Change from our Harappa Diaries section and lead towards a path of self-development.

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