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Plan Creatively: 3 Tips for Setting Goals

We are almost halfway through the year and it's a good chance to check in on your 2021 resolutions. Have you stuck to your nutrition plan? Are you meditating every day? Is that promotion in your sights? We all have goals we want to accomplish, but it’s easy to get distracted along the way. Without the right mindset or structure, your goals could end up the way of your resolutions—forgotten or brushed aside. Goals don’t need to be overwhelming! A few simple steps will make them achievable and manageable, helping you to create a habit or climb to the top the mountain, literally or figuratively, in no time.

1. Know the Why

This is the first step and where a lot of resolutions go wrong. It’s important to explore why you are setting this goal, how you want to shape your life and where this goal fits into it. What do you want people to say about you when you are in your 60s or 70s? Where do you want to be in 10 years? Or in 1 year? This can help you be clear about where you want to be, why this goal is important and what the timeline looks like.

2. Make it Big Picture

Why do you want to lose weight? To fit into that pair of jeans or to be healthy enough to play with your kids? Do you want to meditate every day to create a healthy habit or to find calm in your life? Do you want to be promoted to make more money for your family or is it a step on your journey to being CEO?

There’s no judgement in these answers (looking good in jeans feels amazing!), but being clear on the bigger reason (to be healthy, strong, to connect with your kids, to make more money for your family) can be a strong motivator when things get tough.

3. Make it Realistic

I smile when people tell me their goals are to go to the gym every day or to not watch TV anymore in the evenings or to always eat healthy. It’s unlikely this will happen—what happens when you get sick and you can’t go to the gym and you lay on the couch watching TV? Or after a month of eating healthy you break down and have a donut? This doesn’t mean you failed—it just means the goal wasn’t realistic enough for you to be successful.

One way I test out practicality of the goal is to plot it out on my calendar for the year. Is it really likely I will host a dinner party once a month? Looking at the holidays and (maybe) travel plans, that seemed like too much, but every other month was manageable. (This was pre-kids, of course!)

By making your goals part of a larger plan, articulating the reason behind the goal, and making it realistic, you are well on your way to making it happen!


Sara Madera is a certified executive coach, a naturally good listener and a mother of two. Her coaching practice Plan Creatively focuses on helping women redefine for themselves what it means to be a success. For more information on defining and accomplishing your goals, contact Sara.

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