How To Set Good Goals and Stick With Them

photo credit: Ivory Mix photo credit: Ivory Mix

Sarah Skraban

Good goal setting is about more than just creating SMART (smart, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-sensitive) goals. In this post, we dive into why you should be creating goals that are rooted in what truly matter to you, break down your big goals into actionable steps, and reveal how accountability is humbling and rewarding.

There is something exciting about a New Year.

A new beginning.

A fresh start.

The chance to make right what did not go as planned last year.

But yet so many New Year’s Resolutions and goals don’t ever see completion.

Why do you think that is?

The pain of staying the same is never greater than the pain of change.

So, maybe your goal was not deeply rooted in what REALLY matters to you.

You never fully revealed your weakness and shared your goals with others who would hold you accountable.

All of these things could make a good goal go wrong.

Below we will dive into HOW to set good goals and actually stick with them this year.


The first step to setting GOOD goals is visualizing what success looks like to you.

Visualizing where you want to be in one year and your perfect day gives you something to work towards. It allows you to recognize what you want when you see it.

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”- Yogi Berra

Without goals, we lack clarity and can get stuck going through the motions without purpose.

Visualization reveals your BIG goals. It allows you to dig deep and understand WHY your goals are important to you.

A goal is useless unless you understand WHY you want to achieve it.

For example, perhaps your perfect day includes a full client schedule during the day, the ability to be home with your family in the evening, and a steady revenue stream. You currently leave the house at 6am and don’t get home until after 7pm. Your paycheck pays the bills and you constantly feel stressed about where your next client will come from and are frustrated with constant cancellations.

There will be little goals and small steps along the way, but they are all important to you because of your family.

Get clear on why you want your goals to happen and connect them to what really matters to you.

Write it down

A written goal is a powerful reminder that can keep you on track when you feel like quitting. Research has proven that writing your thoughts and goals on paper is more effective than typing. It flips a switch in our brains, so to speak, and we begin to problem-solve and make decisions.

Write your goals down in more than one place… Write them in your planner or on your calendar so you see them every day. There is power in repetition.

Break down big goals into small goals and first steps

Focusing on the big, important things in your business allows you to eliminate busy work and do things that actually move you closer to your goal.

Big big goals can feel overwhelming. And having a goal that you want to accomplish by the end of the year allows you to procrastinate.

In order to make your goals happen well, you have to take small steps forward every day.

Break each of your big goals down into three smaller, attainable goals that can be reached in the first quarter of the year.

And then decide the FIRST step you will take to reach those goals.

Let’s take the previous example.

Your goal is to have a full client schedule, end your work day by 4pm, and set up a group program to generate more money so you’re not chasing one-on-one clients all day.

Your three smaller goals are:

1. Participate in one public networking event a month to meet more people.

First step: Research local small biz groups, Facebook groups, and the Chamber of Commerce.

2. Create and launch a group program (doesn’t have to be perfect to be done!)

First step: Start writing the program content.

3. Be more active on Facebook to grow your online community and show your authority.

First step: Do a FB Live to teach my community something every week.

Focus on progress not perfection

This is such an important one.

The path to a goal can be messy. And there will be set backs.

No one is perfect and no one has the perfect plan. Let go of perfection and get comfortable with imperfection.

Focusing on progress not perfection allows you to give yourself grace and see the big picture.

Good things grow through the dirt.


Accountability is hard because it means we have to let others in and show our weaknesses. But it is also so rewarding!

Accountability allows us to bring our gifts into the open and share them with others.

Below are four places to find accountability — and the more ways you can make these happen, the more likely you will be successful in reaching your goals.

1. A buddy — Partner with someone in a similar place as you and hold each other accountable.

2. A group — Join a group of like-minded individuals (ex: a mastermind, a support group, a membership group, etc.)

3. A coach — Hire a business coach, personal trainer, teacher, etc.

4. Your home support system — Sharing your goals with your family and close friends is powerful because they truly care about your success and will check in on you when you least expect it!

In conclusion

Setting goals that truly matter to you — and letting go of ones that don’t — allows you to find clarity, stay focused, and make things happen well. Writing your goals down and finding ways to hold yourself accountable has an unbelievably powerful impact on your success. And taking small steps forward everyday is where the magic truly happens. Let go of perfection and enjoy the journey.

Looking for a way to stay focused and get BIG things done in your business in 2018? The Business Finance Tracker and Yearly Success Planner for Goals, Content, and Marketing are done-for-you worksheets that help entrepreneurs save time, organize finances and content, and create a plan for the year.

Sarah is a personal trainer, Fitness Director at a private club, mother, entrepreneur, and writer behind The Fit Niche. She helps fitness and wellness entrepreneurs work smarter, not longer. You can find Sarah in her free Facebook Group, Fitness Biz + Blog Mastermind Community, and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

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