girl doing floor exercises

Set Your Goals and Take Control of Your Life

girl doing floor exercises

Set Your Goals & Take Control of Your Life

May 11, 2022

Have you ever set a goal and imagined how amazing your life would be after you achieved it? However somewhere along the way you lost interest and even forget why you started it in the first place. 

"A goal without a plan is just a wish"

- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

To give it your best shot - start with a plan. The more detailed your plan is the better your chances are of reaching your goal. Keep reading for 7 steps on how to plan for your success and use the free Step-by-Step Goal Planner at the end of this article to help you.


Follow These 7 Steps to Help Keep You on Track and Smash Your Goals

1. What's Your Goal?

Write down at least one thing you really want to achieve this year. Writing down your goal is the first step in getting clear in what you want and committing to it. *Research has shown that people are 42% more likely to reach their goals if they're written down.

For example:

  • Journal for 10 minutes every night for a year
  • Get an "A" in French class this semester
  • Run a mile in 10 minutes by July
2. When do you want to start?

Monday can be a great day to start your new goal. It's the beginning of a new week and symbolises a fresh start. Level up your motivation by choosing the day after a national holiday or an important event like your birthday or New Years - even better if the day after happens to be a Monday.

brown skin girl writing in her planner
3. When do you want to reach your goal by?

Setting a goal deadline allows you to organise your thoughts and turn them into action steps. Mark down the date in your planner or on a calendar and decorate it with a colored highlighter.

4. Why do you really want this goal?

Finding your 'why' will remind you why you started in the first place and keep you motivated when you're struggling to keep going.

For example:

  • Journaling every night will help me express my thoughts and reduce my anxiety
  • Learning French will give me better grades and boost my self-esteem
  • Running a mile in 10 minutes will be good for my P.E. evaluation and maintain my health

teen girls talking after yoga
5. How will you know when you've reached your goal?

This will involve a number of some sort - think "how many" or "how much". If your goal is to get better grades, what do “better grades” means to you. Does it mean getting all "A's" or getting a higher GPA level? 

For example: Success will mean...

  • My journal will show my daily entries for a year
  • Getting an "A-" or above in my French class this semester
  • The stop watch will record my run of 10 minutes or less by July
6. Possible challenges to overcome

You've got to be willing to put in the work to reach your goal, but you must also be able to achieve your goal. Look at your current schedule and decide where you can dedicate time to complete your action steps. Do you need to do something first to prepare yourself for success before starting your goal? 

For example:

  • I have time every night between 8pm - 9pm for journaling
  • Get a French tutor to help me progress quicker
  • Improve my eating habits 1 month before starting my training

goal helper
7. Goal helpers

Choose one or more goal helpers that you can do your weekly check-ins with, like a friend or family member, to help support you and keep you accountable.

Putting it all together

Before you start take a moment and imagine yourself in the future completing your goal. Imagine yourself doing and completing the tasks and arriving at the day that you achieve your goal. All your hard work has paid off and you are feeling triumphant. Let these wonderful buzzy feelings wash over you as you fill out your goal plan. 

Use this free Step-by-Step Goal Planner to help you!

Step-by-Step Goal Planner

goal planner template

This PDF guide will help you plan your goal. Just download, print out and fill in. To help you get started I've included a sample goal plan with action steps.

Setting a goal gives you a fresh start and helps you to become a better version of yourself. Creating a goal plan lets you clarify your ideas, focus your efforts and use your time wisely, and will help you with your future life goals.

*Psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews, at the Dominican University in California, led a study on goal-setting with nearly 270 participants. Source: Gardner, Sarah and Albee, Dave, "Study focuses on strategies for achieving goals, resolutions" (2015). Press Releases. 266. Link to study.


If you enjoy setting goals, guided journaling and fun creative activities you might also like my Self Love Journal.

self love journal for young teens

Demo of the Goal Planner Butterfly - color & cut activity from the Self Love Journal.

set your goals infographic