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Goal setting

SMART goals

Goals should be S.M.A.R.T


Have a clear definition of exactly what you want to accomplish. If you want to be happier – how? If you want to get fit – how? 


Have measurable targets or checkpoints along the way that you can aim for and celebrate. This is a good way to track your progress and feel yourself moving closer to your goal.


Your goal should be reachable and realistic. Your goal should be a bit of a stretch to reach but not too much. Although realistic, make sure it’s still something that excites and motivates you.


Your goal should be something that is meaningful and important to you. This will keep you motivated to strive for it.


Identify a specific period of time for reaching that goal. Again, make sure the time period you choose is realistic and reachable.


Rather than "To get fit", a SMART goal would be "To be able to run 5kms without stopping by the time netball trials happen at school".

Rather than "To read more", a SMART goal would be "To read one new book each month for all 12 months of the year".

Other tips!

  • Start at the end and work backwards. Think long-term (e.g. in one year’s time) what you would like to achieve, and then break it down into medium-term goals (e.g. in 3 months’ time) and short-term goals (e.g. in one month’s time)

  • Keep track of progress. Each week, measure how you did and write it down, mark it on a graph or chart.

  • Reward yourself along the way. Every time you reach a checkpoint or milestone – celebrate it! Reward yourself weekly for the good choices you’ve made and steps towards your goal.

  • Visualise. Dream and visualise having achieved your goal – what it will feel like and what it will mean for your life and future. Put up a ‘vision board’ or scrapbook. This will keep you focused on the finish line.

  • Keep your doubts in check. Any time you doubt your abilities or the importance of your goal, work hard to reassure yourself. Think back to why you decided to do this and what you will gain in the long-term.

  • Be a sponge. Listen, learn, read, observe and soak up the tips, tools and advice of people that inspire you. What goals did they set? How did they feel?

  • Do it now – don’t wait. YOLO.

  • Get some inspiration. Sign up to InspireME where Youthline sends you a free daily inspirational quote sent to your phone for one month. To sign up, free text inspireme to 234