Goal Setting Success

2020 is bringing all of the new opportunities to make new goals and achieve them.

"Goals. Do you make them? Are you any good at them? Do you keep them?"

Chances are, you answered yes to making goals and no to the latter two. But believe it or not, making, or setting goals is where many of us fail. Often, we set unrealistic, unspecific goals without planning for the inevitable problems that lie ahead. In other words, we fail before we’ve even begun.

So much of what we do is on “auto-pilot” mode; if we don’t plan our goals, as soon as we hit a problem, we sail off course or throw the towel in altogether. But being specific about how we’re going to achieve something and planning for problems ensures that our go-to action when hit with a problem is one we’ve already mapped out and NOT failure. Here’s how it works:

Be specific about your goal: 

Swap vague intentions like “I want to exercise more” for goals that specify the where, when and how. Instead of “I want to exercise more”, try:

  • At 3 pm every Saturday, I’ll go for a 30-minute gym session with my favourite podcast.
  • Two nights per week, I will go straight from work to a spinning class.
  • On the days that I don’t go to the gym, I will get off the bus two stops early and walk home.

Consider how you will benefit when you achieve your goal: 

Keeping focused on why reaching this goal is important helps to change your internal dialogue from “I have to go to the gym” (hello negativity) to “going to the gym is going to make me feel energised and improve my mood.”


  • I’ll feel more energised
  • I’ll have more focus at work
  • I will feel fit, strong and healthy
  • My mood will improve

Think about every possible obstacle: 

Problems will come up, make yourself aware of them before you even start.


  • I feel tired after work and want to go straight home
  • The weather is bad
  • I’ve got too much work

Plan how you will overcome those obstacles:




I feel tired

I will do a 20-minute routine at home using an exercise app

The weather is too bad to exercise

I will pack waterproof clothing in my gym bag

I have too much work to do

I will add exercise to my day and walk home or walk at lunch time instead.

If you plan with solutions in mind, when you hit a problem your automatic response will be to act on your calculated solution. The key is to be realistic about your solutions. The ones set out above don’t rely purely on willpower to stick to a rigid routine, but instead allow for leeway that still results in staying on track.

Good luck!

Read more articles on goals: