3 Tips for Effective Goal Setting | Virginia Benefits Group

There is never a better time to look towards the future than right now. Goal setting does not need to be constrained to the start of a new year. So, let’s look at three helpful tips for effective goal setting.

First, what is a goal? A goal is defined as “the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.” Goals can be for the short-term or long-term. And, many times, short-term goals can be used to achieve your long-term ones. Goals are not a one-and-done activity, too. They are an active undertaking that require dedication and work.


1. Set goals with high value.

We all dream big dreams for our life. In order to make those dreams a reality, you have to put in some work. This is where goals come in. Make a list of the dreams you have and rank them by priority and feasibility. When you have made your ranked dream list, you can now set goals that relate to the things that have the highest priority in your life. When you do so, you give the goals high value. High-value goals motivate you to put in the hard work to achieve them.

2. Follow the SMART method of goal setting.

When you work on your goal setting, make sure you follow the SMART method. By doing so, you ensure that your goals are ones that are clear and well thought out. Here’s the breakdown of the SMART method:

  • Specific—Make sure your goals are clear and well-defined. Don’t be vague and say “I’d like to learn how to play the guitar.” Instead, say “I will take a weekly guitar lesson.”
  • Measurable—Use specific amounts, dates, etc. As you craft your goals, assign specifics to them that can be measured like “I will take weekly guitar lessons for three months.”
  • Attainable—Create goals that are possible to achieve. Don’t set goals for yourself that you have no way to accomplish or you will feel defeated and reluctant to set goals in the future.
  • Relevant—Set goals that line up with your life and career. In other words, set goals that align with the things that matter in your life.
  • Time-bound—Your goals must have a deadline. Open-ended goals lead to unachieved goals because there is no urgency to them. Give your goals an end date so you have something to work towards.

3. Be accountable.

Find an accountability partner to keep you on track. When you have someone that is regularly checking in on you to see how you are doing with accomplishing your goals, you will work harder to stay on pace to achieve them!


You can track your progress on accomplishing your goals through goal tracker apps. Check out these three: Strides, Repeat Habit Tracker, and Way of Life.

Setting goals not only gives you focus for the future, but it also allows you to see just how much you are capable of.  When you look at where you are now compared to where you were at the initial time of your goal setting, you’ll be amazed at what you have achieved. Take the time to set SMART goals and, as Success.com says, “Make sure that the greatest pull in your life is the pull of the future.”