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OL Set Goals

How to set realistic goals and stick to them


How successful we are at sticking with our resolutions depends largely on how good we are at goal setting.

Life can be hectic and we often set goals for ourselves that seem like a great idea at the time but prove to be near on impossible to achieve.

Here are some tips for setting realistic goals:


Think S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-based) 

Goals should be specific and have a time limit attached to them - the more specific the goal, the easier it is to achieve and stick to. For example, “I want to lose weight this year” will be much more difficult to stick to than “I want to lose 5 kilogrammes by the end of July and fit into my favourite pair of jeans”.


Make it even more specific by breaking this goal down further - "I aim to lose half a kilogramme a week for the next 20 weeks". 


Write your goal down and think about it every day

Write it on a sticky note perhaps and put it up somewhere very visible such as your bathroom mirror or the refrigerator door. Try to keep the wording as positive as possible. 


“A goal without a plan is just a wish” - Antoine de Saint-Exupery  

Come up with a clear plan of how you are going to achieve your goal. This also needs to be specific and time-led. Write this down too so that you can revisit this plan from time to time to keep you on track. It helps to have short-term as well as long-term action plans, this way you are breaking your goals down into manageable and achievable chunks.  


Tell others about your goal or get them to join you

Being accountable but also feeling like someone else is “on your side” can serve as extra motivation. 


Believe you can achieve it

This is more important than you may think as this self-belief goes a long way in keeping you motivated and focused on the end result when things get tough. 


Don’t be too hard on yourself

If it is a bad habit you are trying to break or a new good habit you are trying to start - remember it takes time to change behaviour. It would’ve taken you some time to get to where you are now and it will take some time to get to where you want to be. Your goals should therefore be attainable and realistic. If things don’t go to plan one day, don’t be tempted to give up. Instead, pick yourself up and start over the next day. 


Struggling with motivation? 


Affirmations are a great and powerful way to empower us to feel motivated. These are positive statements that we can write down and say to ourselves that spark positive thinking and lead us away from negative thought patterns.


Visualization can be a great tool to help you stay on track. Remind yourself why you are doing something and what the end result is that you are aiming for. Really imagine what it will feel like when you have achieved it and visualize that sense of pride and accomplishment. Remember these feelings and use them as fuel to keep pushing you closer to reaching your goals. 

Disclaimer: The content of this page is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.