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The Power of Goal Setting: Ten Steps You Can Follow to Achieve Success.

June 29, 20236 min read

It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?" - Henry David Thoreau


The turn of a new year often marks the time when individuals and businesses set goals. However, as the University of Scranton points out, a staggering 92% of people fail to achieve their New Year's resolutions.

Goal setting is the missing link that can elevate success rates, and the mid-year provides the perfect opportunity to check our progress against our goals.  

This article delves into goal setting, the SMART criteria, and the top ten tips you can follow to reach your goals this year.  

The Science of Goal Setting

Mounting research supports that goal setting paves the way for achievement. Edwin Locke's goal-setting theory argues that setting specific and challenging goals leads to higher performance. This is because goals provide a sense of direction and serve as a yardstick for measuring achievement. Yearly goals, in particular, offer a long-term perspective that can lead to transformative changes. 

Individuals with written goals are 50% more successful in achieving them.

A study at Dominican University examined the effectiveness of goal achievement techniques, including writing goals, committing to actions, and being accountable. Participants who wrote their goals achieved 50% more success compared to those with unwritten goals. The findings highlight the importance of writing down goals for increased success in goal attainment.  

If you are motivated to goal set, read on for ten tips to do it more effectively. 

Ten Tips to Achieve Your Goals This Year

1. Create Effective Yearly Goals with SMART Criteria

To ensure that your yearly goals are robust and attainable, it's essential to write them out using the SMART criteria: 

  • Specific: Clearly define what you want to achieve.

  • Measurable: Quantify your goals so you can track progress. 

  • Achievable: Make sure your goals are realistic and within your reach. 

  • Relevant: Ensure your goals align with your values and long-term objectives. 

  • Time-bound: Set deadlines to maintain focus and motivation.

For example, instead of a vague goal like "increase revenue," an effective SMART goal would be "increase revenue by 20% by the end of the fiscal year through expanding the customer base and optimizing operational efficiencies."  

2. The Magic of Breaking It Down

Now that you've got your SMART goals, it's time to chop them into bite-sized pieces. 

Break your goal into tasks and spread them across the months, weeks, and days. It's like following a treasure map where X marks the spot.

3. Track and Adjust

Keep your eyes on your progress. Tracking keeps you accountable. But here's the twist - don't be afraid to change course. If something isn't working or new opportunities pop up, tweak your plan. Stay flexible.

4. Embracing Technology to Stay on Course

Technology can support you in tracking and achieving your goals. Here are some tools to check out:

  • Trello/Asana: Manage your tasks and deadlines with these versatile apps (pick one.) You can create lists, cards, and boards to organize your goals.

  • Google Calendar: Schedule your milestones, set reminders, and block time for focused work.

  • Todoist: This is my favorite way to track tasks. I connected it to my calendar, so it schedules time on the calendar for me to complete tasks - because I run my work time by my calendar.

5. Creating a Positive Environment

Your environment can either supercharge or stall your progress. Here are some tips for building a goal-friendly habitat:

  • Declutter: Keep your workspace clean. A cluttered space can lead to a cluttered mind. 

  • Inspirational Inputs: Surround yourself with books, podcasts, and videos that inspire you.

  • Healthy Habits: Self-care and getting adequate sleep.

6. The Power of Micro Rewards

Who doesn't love rewards? But don't just wait for the big prize. Celebrate the small wins. Buy that latte, take that evening walk, or binge on your favorite show when you tick off tasks.

7. Overcoming the Obstacles

Hurdles are a part of the game. The key is to stay prepared.

  • Identify Potential Roadblocks: List down obstacles you might face and have a plan to tackle them.

  • Develop Resilience: Learn to bounce back. Resilience is not just a buzzword; it's a superpower in the goal-setting universe.

  • Seek Help When Needed: Don't be shy to ask for help. Sometimes, a helping hand or advice can clear the fog.

8. Finding Your People and Building a Support System

Let's chat about the superpower of community. No successful person ever said, "I did it all by myself." Finding a group of like-minded people can be the booster you need.

  • Accountability Partners: Having someone to report to can be incredibly motivating. Knowing that someone else knows your goals and might ask you about them can spur you into action. I meet with my accountability partner every Monday; I often work harder on Monday mornings because I want to complete things before our meeting to get the satisfaction of checking them off.

  • Mastermind Groups: Get together with people as ambitious and driven as you are. Share ideas, strategies, and motivate each other.

  • Mentorship/Coaching: A mentor who's been there and done that can offer invaluable guidance and advice. A coach can help you see any areas you’re not aware of and reach your goals faster with fewer roadblocks.

9. Embracing the Power of Reflection

Stop. Take a deep breath. Reflect. 

What have you accomplished so far? What hurdles did you face? What can you do better?

Reflection is an undervalued treasure. It helps you learn from your actions and shape a better strategy. Set aside time daily, weekly, or monthly to reflect on your goals and journey.

10. Remember the Why

Amidst it all, always keep sight of your 'why.' Why did you set these goals? What will achieving them mean to you and those around you? Your 'why' is the fuel that keeps your engine roaring.


Effective goal planning, especially annually, can significantly elevate success rates in achieving targets. By understanding the psychology of goal setting, employing the SMART criteria, and devising an action plan, you can create the success you want this year.  

Now that you have a robust strategy and the tools at your disposal, keep your goals from falling by the wayside. I am rooting for you. 

Additional Resources To Help You Achieve Your Goals

This time of the year is perfect for reviewing your goals, assessing, and refocusing. To help you with that, I have two resources for you.   

Mid-Year Reset VIP Day

If you want personalized support to achieve your revenue goals by the end of the year, consider my Mid-Year Reset VIP Day. It's you and me over Zoom, working on your goals, and getting you the clarity you need to know exactly what to focus on (and what to say no to) to achieve your goals this year.

 After a few hours together, you'll get the following:

  • Clarity: Review of what's working and what's dragging you down and decide what goals to prioritize.

  • Focus: Zero in on how to achieve your goals.

  • Efficiency: Pinpoint the essential actions that deliver the income goals and the balance you crave.

You'll go from feeling like you're failing this year to having the confidence and peace of mind of knowing exactly how to reach your income goals- all in four hours.  



The Mid-Year Goals Review Guide

I also created a free guide to help you achieve your goals. The Mid-Year Goals Review Guide will walk you through 4 steps to get you clear on your goals and what you need to focus on to achieve success this year.

I know it can help you, and I'd love you to grab it as my gift to you. Just click the link below. 



goal settinggoalsgoal planningleading selfself leadership
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Jean Ali Muhlbauer

Jean Ali Muhlbauer is a Leadership Coach for Business Owners and Corporate Executives. She helps her clients grow their businesses and careers via one-on-one coaching, group coaching, VIP days, and online classes. You can find more information by visiting

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