By Jennifer Thompson


June 29, 2021

How to Set Goals and Create a Plan to Achieve Them



Set Goals That Are Meaningful For You

We hear so much on the media about the goals we should achieve. But what about the goals we want to achieve? So, you want to complete your university degree. Is it something important to you? Or is it an expectation from your family? Set goals that are important to you! Set goals aligned with your core values.


Jennifer Thompson

Be Specific And Write Them Down

Want to write a book? What kind of book? Start an online business? What kind of online business and on which platform? The more specific you are about the goal and the outcomes you are hoping to achieve, the more likely you are to achieve them. Write it down. Psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews, of the Dominican University in California, studied goal-setting with 267 participants.

You are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down. Fill in as much detail as possible about your goal. Make it vivid with sensory-rich images. Where will you achieve the goal? With whom will you be celebrating? What would it feel like to accomplish that goal?

Do Your Research

Find out as much as you can about the goal. How long will it take? How much will it cost? Talk to people who have accomplished what you are hoping to achieve. The more research you do, the more realistic you are likely to be about planning for that goal.

Have A Written Game Plan

Have a list of steps on how to achieve the goal. Write as much as you can on all the possible ways to achieve the goal. All the steps you may need to take. Look at your goals in terms of outcomes you are hoping to achieve. It will shed light on your motivations behind the goals. Instead of just saying “I want to have an online business.” Ask yourself, what are your desired outcomes in achieving this goal?


How to Achieve What's on Your Bucket List

Photo by Glenn-Carstens-Peterssearch

Set Markers of Progress

Schedule in completion dates for significant steps listed towards achieving the goal. I call these markers of progress. Are you someone who prefers to pace yourself? Or are you most productive under pressure? I like completing projects within a short timeline. What about you? No matter what you prefer, you need to set markers signifying the completion of significant steps. Be realistic. If you have a full-time job and a family, it may be difficult to dedicate a lot of your time towards your goal.

Jennifer Thompson

Set a deadline for your goal

How will you measure success?

A goal must be measurable. Be clear about how you will measure success. If you’re hoping to complete a novel, what would need to happen for you to feel like you’ve achieved your goal? When your novel is edited? Or when it is published. If your goal is to set up a successful online business, what would need to happen for you to feel like you achieved your goal? When you are averaging an annual income of $100,000?


Goal Setting

Create Habits To Support Your Goal

Schedule elements of your goal into your daily routine. If your goal is to run a marathon, schedule running into your daily routine. Write a book? Schedule writing a chapter a day. If it is to create an online business, set aside sometime each day to build your online presence,


Jennifer Thompson Compelling 365
How can you schedule it in your daily life?

Start now

This is when the rubber hits the road. If you are serious about a goal, take three actionable steps right now towards achieving that goal. It could be as simple as making a phone call. Googling a webinar, you need to watch. Start now to get the momentum going.

In Summary

If you are serious about achieving a goal, start by uncovering the purpose behind the goal. Does it align with what is important to you? Write the goal down and the outcomes you are hoping to achieve through the goal. Be as specific as possible about the goal and the outcomes. How will you measure your success?

List the steps needed to achieve the goal, and when you hope to accomplish these steps. Design your days so that you are doing something or taking some steps towards achieving your goal.


1. List one goal you would like to achieve. Be specific. Write as much as you can about that goal.

2. Write down all the steps needed to accomplish the goal.

3. When would you like to achieve those steps?

4. How will you measure your success?

5. Schedule an activity daily or a few times a week towards getting you closer to your goal.

6. Take three actionable steps right away towards achieving that goal.


This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure here.

Through coaching, webinars and public speaking Jennifer helps people and businesses achieve success on their terms. She has written numerous self-published books on money: Women and Money: 7 Principles Every Woman Needs to Know to Be Financially Prepared in Any Economy and Growing Up With Money: Raising Financially Resilient Kids in an Age of Uncertainty.

You can reach Jennifer at jenniferthompson@compelling365.com

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