5 Easy Steps To Successful Goal Setting and Resolutions

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Catherine Hughes

Director of the 8 Women Dream Project at 8 Women Dream
Catherine’s dream is to make 8 Women Dream the premier online publication for women looking to pursue their dreams. She is a published author, a freelance writer, and a guide for those who want their dreams to come true online. Catherine would someday like to be invited to speak at TED about her observations about her 8WD project inviting women to take a chance on their dreams. Wine was required... Catherine posts on Sunday evenings and fills in dream stories as needed. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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5 Steps To Setting Goals Over Resolutions
Every 6 months we should evaluate the goals (or resolutions) we’ve made to support our dreams for the year.

Sometimes bad habits creep in, or we’ve set the goal list aside and forgot about it.

To prevent my dream goals  from collecting dust, I like to evaluate them on December 30th and June 30th to make sure certain things continue to move me forward towards success.

In the following video, Vic Johnson explains an easy 5 step goal setting process that will make your habits far more effective, so that you can make your dreams come true.

This video is about learning how to set your goals, and then I’ll give you the tools and techniques you need to achieve them. Today we are talking about goal achieving as a process. Like any process it has a beginning and an end.

You need to look at goal setting as a road map, something that takes your from point A to point B. You need to be flexible and remember that goal setting is not a wish list.

I also break Vic Johnson’s goal setting process down below the video.


5 Easy Steps To Successful Goal Setting

Step 1 – Recollection, reflection and evaluation.

Where are you at right now? Where have you been? This is where you take a reality check where you are at – not where you hoped you’d be. This is so that you understand going forward where you’re going from.

Steve Siebold has a great program called the Fat Losers Program. In the fat Losers program they have a exercise called The Bag Test. You go to the bathroom in your home, disrobe, take a paper bag, poke holes in it for your eyes, nose and mouth and place it over your head.

Then, look in the mirror at yourself. What you see is a reality check.

It shows you really where you are at in terms of your body and what your body looks like. And that’s what Steve want you to understand before you start the Fat Losers program.

It’s very revealing. It’s very scary. It’s honest. It’s frank. It’s blunt.

It gives you a base line to work from.

Because normally everyday you don’t spend a lot of time paying attention to the details that need to be corrected. You never really deal with it. The same thing happens in your life when it comes to goal setting. There are things that we have overlooked for years that we haven’t really dealt with and they have become major obstacles, subconsciously or consciously, in us reaching our goals.

Ask yourself –

  • How am I doing physically?
  • How am I doing financially?
  • How am I doing spiritually?
  • How am I doing in my relationships?
  • You should ask yourself – how am I doing with my dream?

This is the most important step to successful achievement of your goals. If you skip this step, then your dreams will probably not come true.

Identify the past and present limiting factors in your life –

  • Limiting thoughts — For example, “You have to have a college degree to be successful.” Your thoughts create feelings, your feelings create behaviors, the behaviors create actions and the actions create results.
  • Limiting words — Think about what you say to yourself. Would you ever let anyone speak to a child that way?
  • Limiting people — The people who tell us that we can’t achieve something, or don’t believe in us, or express limiting thoughts.

Step 2 – Dream big dreams.

Make goals meaningful. Goal setting for the sake of goal setting almost always ends in disappointment. Goal setting is simply a tool to use in achieving a favorable outcome — what some people call a “dream.”

Set a big, meaningful dream goal.

Step 3 – Create S.M.A.R.T. goals.

S – Specific: Do you know exactly what you want to accomplish with all the details?

  • Who: Who is involved?
  • What: What do I want to accomplish?
  • Where: Identify a location.
  • When: Establish a time frame.
  • Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
  • Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.

M – Measurable: Are you able to assess your progress?

  • Establish a criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. Think of Weight Watchers and how they have you weigh in each week.

A – Attainable: Is your goal within your reach given your current situation?

  • Do you need to develop any new attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach your desired outcome? If so, list them.

R – Relevant: Is your goal relevant towards your purpose in life?

  • Does your dream represent an objective toward which you are willing and able to work to achieve? No matter what obstacles come up?

T – Time-Sensitive: What is the deadline for completing your goal?

  • Your dream goal should be anchored within a time frame to create a sense of urgency. Put a completion date to your goals.

Step 4 – Implementation, accountability and follow up.

  • Surround yourself with everything that reminds you of your goals, like a vision board.
  • Make sure you do the things necessary on a daily basis that helps you achieve the goal.
  • Prioritize your time and money.
  • Are you prioritizing your time so that you are focused on completing those daily activities that will produce results?
  • Are you investing the right amount of money in resources, training or education needed?
  • Find a mentor or coach, or group that will help you stay focused and hold you accountable by reminding you of your dream goals.

Step 5 – Repeat recollection, reflection and evaluation.

Repeat step 1 –

  • Where are you at right now?
  • Where have you been?
  • How are you doing physically?
  • How are you doing financially?
  • How are you doing spiritually?
  • How are you doing in your relationships?
  • How are you doing with your dream?
  • Are there any limiting thoughts, words or people getting in your way?
  • Was the dream goal too easy to achieve?
  • Do you need to set bigger goals?
  • Do you need to set smaller goals so that you accomplish more in a shorter amount of time?
  • What would you like to accomplish next?

When you have achieved a dream, take the time to enjoy the satisfaction of having completed something you set out to do. Absorb the implications of living your dream, and observe the progress you have made. If your dream was a difficult journey, be sure to reward yourself and recognize the achievement you have just made.

If you fail to meet your goals stop and take a look at any self-sabotaging behaviors you might have. Feed what you learned back into setting a new goal and beginning again.

Remember too that your goals can change with time. You may start out in one direction and find the process takes you to a better place than you imagined. Allow the process to lead you and adjust your plans regularly to reflect changes in your knowledge and experience.

But don’t give up.

You may find that you need to take a break from your dream goals to help you reflect and gain a new perspective. This is okay as long as you get back to working on your dream and you don’t allow more than a week to pass.

A dream worth having is worth staying in the game for. You have the ability to create your big dream!

Go forth — follow these 5 steps for successful goal setting and make your big dreams happen.


  • Heather Montgomery, CEO & serial entrepreneur

    I have to dream… and be S.M.A.R.T. about it? That may be a reach…

    Thanks for the great post! – H

  • Catherine Hughes, Editor & Chief

    Yes, and you know it’s your dream when you are sicker than a dog and you are sitting here working on a website . . .

    I think I will create a little worksheet based on this to have on our products page.


  • Remy, Photographer & CEO of Cornerstone Creative

    ah, the bag with the holes cut out trick! Yea, nothing harsher than seeing yourself naked!
    Thanks for such a great post, knowing what it took to make it happen! xox feel better. Rem