Paul Abraham: How to set the correct goals for you

Paul Abraham, speaking at Bramley Lawn.

By Paul Abraham of

The start of a new year often brings with it a desire to make this year the one where you pursue your dreams for a better and more successful life.  

This is a time when you can evaluate what you want to achieve or have achieved by the time we get to the 31 December. One of the easiest and successful ways to approach this is by setting “goals”.

Why set goals?

Top-level athletes, successful business-people and high-achievers in all fields set goals.  Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation. It makes you focus to make your dreams and ambitions in life come true.  

By setting clearly defined goals, you can measure and take pride in the reaching of your goals, however large or small and this will also raise your self-confidence, as you recognise your own ability in achieving the goals that you’ve set.

“SMART” goals

A useful way of making goals more powerful is to use the SMART method. This is the most used technique to create achievable goals.  The SMART method is how to set your goals so

S– Specific  M– Measurable  A– Attainable  R– Relevant  T– Time-bound

For example, instead of having “I want a new job” as a goal, it’s more powerful to use the SMART goal “I will have started a new job that I enjoy doing by December 31, 2023.”  

This gives you a definite target with a date to keep you focused. To break it down further you could use smaller goals to reach your target such as “I will spend an hour per day looking at job recruitment websites” then “I will arrange an interview with a recruitment company by the end of next week”. 

Here are some examples of how to create better goals using the SMART technique.

Eat betterEat two pieces of fruit a dayHave 2 chocolate free days a week
Go to night schoolEnrol in a course to learn a new language
Meet new peopleBecome a volunteer for a local charity
TravelSpend two weeks in France by Dec 31st 2023
Be less stressedLearn how to meditate and relaxation techniques
Exercise moreJoin a health club by the end of this month
Spend time with the kidsOrganise one family “activity” per week
Lose weightJoin a local slimming club by the end of this month

Hopefully this will get you thinking, both about what you want to achieve this year and a proven way toset realistic and achievable goals.

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