Goals: How to Make Them and Stick to Them

Last week, I attended a class with The Chattery on setting smart goals and sticking to them. Amy Donahue let us in on several secrets about goal setting and what she did to accomplish her “30 before 30” list. So now I am here to share those secrets with you all!

Without further adieu…

Build goals around things you already enjoy. 

What better goals to have than ones you already love and are passionate about? Your goals should be tailored to you and only you. If you love painting, make it a goal to attend a painting class. If you love wine, make it a goal to visit more wineries.

Be specific. Make a clear path.

Your goals should be clear, concise, and specific. Don’t just settle for “get healthy” (eat better? lose weight? lower blood pressure?) or “read more” (read more what? read how often?). If your goal is to get healthy by losing weight, then it should be more specific like “Get healthy by losing 7% of my body fat by May 21, 2018”. When setting goals, you should always have a deadline. People accomplish more when they have a clock to work against.

Create goals that challenge/scare you.

Different things scare different people. For instance, creating a blog and hitting publish for the very first time scared me. Others might be afraid of running a marathon or flying for the first time. Logan’s goal is to eliminate soda from his diet and, to him, that’s pretty frightening. But if your goals don’t scare you just a little bit, then what’s the point?

Try things you’ve failed.

The example Amy gave was about a peanut butter roll recipe that failed every time she tried in the past, so she set a goal to acheive peanut butter roll perfection. Whatever your failure may be, consider taking another whack at it this year.


Just for fun, set a goal that lets you indulge a little. Whether its ordering one of every dessert on the menu of your favorite restaurant or finally saving up enough money to remodel your bathroom into something “pinterest-perfect”. Treat yourself!

Revisit old goals.

Maybe there’s a goal out there that you wanted to accomplish but it wasn’t the right time or the right place. You should reconsider those goals and see how possible they are with where you are now.

Allow for life.

Don’t get discouraged if it rains on your fully-mapped-out, weekend-trip to Charleston or if you’re too sick to see your favorite band. Being a planner, one lesson I’ve learned over the last year is that some things just aren’t in the cards and you have to allow for life to go on as usual. Just go with the flow and it will all work out in the end.

Share with others.

The main reason Amy recommends this is for accountability… But life is just so much more fascinating and fun when you share it with others. You need people that are going to keep you on track, whether that’s starting a blog or telling your nosy neighbor about your goals.

Leverage exisiting resources.

When I first started my blog, I had an okay camera that was just a simple point-and-shoot. For some posts, I wanted pictures with better quality, so Logan and I would constantly take turns renting a DSLR camera from our university’s library.  Sometimes you need to make do with what you have in order to get what you want. Another example is if you’re a student that wants to lose weight/get in better shape, what better time to do it than in college when your tuition covers the cost of a gym membership?  Take advantage of your exisiting resources.

Research and plan.

This one is pretty simple. Some goals need more planning than others of course, but not all things get done with spontaneity. It’s always important to do some pre-planning and research before you just jump into something.

I hope this all helps you just as much as it is me! I thoroughly enjoyed taking that class with The Chattery and have already bought my ticket for the next one.