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“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” -Henry David Thoreau, American author and philosopher

Simple Definition of a goal :

something that you are trying to do or achieve

Full Definition of a goal :

the end toward which effort is directed (Merriam-Webster)

So, it’s a New Year and with New Year’s oftentimes come new goals. Read on to learn how to set actionable and measurable goals to prioritize your life.

Goal setting is a way to prioritize your life. What is important to you? What do you want to achieve? You have to be able to answer these questions first. 

What’s important to you?

Research shows that 90 percent of the time, specific and challenging goals lead to higher performance than the easier, “do your best,” goals (Locke and Latham).

So let’s dive into what that looks like…

SMART Goal Setting

This concept is not new.  It is easy to adapt and carry out. SMART goal setting is an acronym for the following:

The more specific you are in your goal setting, the better chance at success. To make your goal(s) as specific as you can, ask the 6 W’s:

  • Who – is involved?
  • What – do I want to accomplish?
  • Where – identify a location
  • When – establish a time frame
  • Which – identify requirements
  • Why – specific reasons, purposes, benefits of accomplishing the goal

EXAMPLE: A general goal would be, “Get in shape.” But a specific goal would say, “Join a health club and workout 3 days a week.”

You can establish measurable goals by asking yourself how much, how many and how will I know when it is accomplished?


Is your goal attainable? If your goal answers the first question asked – is it important to you – then it’s a reasonable goal and the likelihood of you attaining it is greater.

Ask yourself, is my goal realistic? Avoid discouragement. Every goal should represent progress. If you believe it can be accomplished, then it’s likely a reasonable goal.

“A high goal is frequently easier to reach than a low one because a low goal exerts low motivational force”.  

Think about that for a minute. Some of the most difficult things you’ve done may have seemed easy simply because they were a “labor of love.”

Have you given yourself a time frame? You say you want to lose 10 lbs? Great. You want to lose 10 lbs by May 1st?  Better!  Anchor your goal(s) with a time frame.

There are many other things you can practice to help you achieve success. Here are just a few to consider:

  • Write down your goal(s) and post them in a place where you will see them every day. This will remind you to focus on what you are doing and why.
    them every day. This will remind you to focus on what you’re doing and why.
  • Read your goal(s) to yourself
  • Be honest with yourself and ask, is it challenging enough to spark your interest? If not, maybe you need to do some tweaking or reassess what’s important to you.
  • Identify healthy rewards to reinforce progress
  • Create a personal mantra
  • Assemble your tribe – publicly announce your goal and include others in your goal setting. Research shows you’re 70% more likely to succeed if you publicly announce your goals.
  • Solicit feedback from a friend or family member – someone who knows you.
  • Use technology to help you track – there’s likely an app for that!
  • If you start to feel stressed, take a step back and reassess.

The practice of goal setting should be challenging but fun. At the end of the day, think about how your goal makes you feel. Are you excited? Does it challenge you? Good. You’re on the path to success.

Happy hunting, my friends. And cheers to a New Year!


Mind Tools: Lock’s Goal Setting Theory

TOP Achievement: SMART Goals

 Christine is a Women’s Physique Competitor of 6 years. She has roots in Wisconsin and currently resides in Colorado where you can find her hard at work in the Orthopedics Department at UCHealth. 

She is an avid “14er” summiting the peaks of the Southern Rocky Mountain Front Range in her spare time.  She has her sights on completing all of Colorado’s 14ers (the mountain peaks above 14,000 feet of which there are 58) in the next two years.  A strong advocate for women’s health, she is also a personal trainer with special interest in pediatric and women’s fitness, nutrition and bodybuilding.  Christine attributes much of her success to having built a strong foundation of knowledge from her peers, mentors and experts; as well as her fellow athletes.

Her supplement routine is what helps round out her competitive athleticism. 

Christine loves participating in the success of others and does everything she can to help them smash their goals!

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