Many of us came into 2017 with ambitions for how we wanted to move our lives forward. As it happens, life has a way of tripping us up and causing us to have to reassess. In that reassessment we have to create some goals to get us back on track. It helps to remember four simple truths about goal setting.

1. Clear and Specific

The goal you set for yourself should be clear and specific. It’s easy to make your goals really vague. I recently moved into a new apartment and have a lot of organizing to do. This weekend I made a commitment to making progress on getting my place in order. Simply making a goal to organize my apartment is too vague. Instead I made a goal to hang my art on the wall. It’s clear, specific, and easy to measure.

2. Measurability

When setting goals, it helps to make sure the goal is measurable. Going back to my goal to hang my art on the wall, I know that my goal is complete when I see that all of my art is hanging on the wall.

3. Not too daunting

Many of us have audacious goals that we want to achieve. Many years ago when I was overweight I had a goal of losing 40 pounds. That was a bold and somewhat daunting goal for me. Just the thought of completing this goal would freak me out. To move myself towards making progress I instead made a goal of working out three days a week. The act of showing up and putting in effort became the reward.

4. Value Added

In any goal, you want to make sure that value is being added. The whole point of making a goal is to either add value to your own life or the lives of others. Setting a goal to workout three days a week was valuable for my physical and mental health. Losing the weight gave me more confidence and energy, which impacted how I interacted with other people in a positive way.


Working towards a goal can be exciting and motivating. The journey of working towards something of value can bring its own since of reward. Keep these four truths in mind the next time you set a goal for yourself. Good luck!

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