How To Set Personal Goals

Every January we tend to reflect on the past year and begin to think about what we want to change in the next year.

But exactly how do you start setting personal goals?

In How To Set Personal Goals, a quote about change the plan and not the goal

I’ve listed ways you can begin goal-setting below:

The Goal Setting Process

  1. Write down the goals.
  2. Determine how to measure goal achievement.
  3. Establish a deadline for achieving the goal.
  4. Identify obstacles to achieving the goals.
  5. Identify how to overcome obstacles.
  6. Review the list.
  7. Monitor progress and continue to set goals.

What Are S.M.A.R.T Goals?

S.M.A.R.T. goals are goals written to conform to the following criteria:

  • Specific: Target a specific area for improvement.
  • Measurable: Quantify or suggest an indicator of progress for measurable goals.
  • Achievable: Specify who will do it and how.
  • Realistic: State what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
  • Time-related: Specify the target date or general time frame when the result(s) can be achieved.
Graphic for goal setting: visions. goals, action

Set 5 Goals & Make Them Happen:

  1. Decide. Think of something you want to do or work towards.
  2. Write it down.
  3. Tell someone. Telling someone we know about our goals also seems to increase the likelihood that we will stick to them.
  4. Break your goal down.
  5. Plan your first step.

7 Personal Goals

  1. Plan to learn new skills
  2. Be present and learn to be a great listener
  3. Let go of the past & the negative feelings associated with it
  4. Take care of your health
  5. Practice compassion
  6. Learn from your experiences
  7. Be grateful where you are

Let’s break those personal goals down.


Think of new skills you’ve always wanted to learn, but always put on the back burner. Maybe it’s learning to crochet, or learning a new language.

Take it off the back burner and decide the skills you want to learn in 2022. Plan to have the skill firmly in mind by the end of January. You must set timelines for goal-setting if you are to finish them.

Don’t plan more than 3 new skills to work toward so as not to burn out before you begin.

In How To Set Personal Goals, a graphic that says a plan without a goal is just a wish


I have a tendency to interrupt people when they’re talking. It’s a bad habit and I want to break it.

I plan to wait until they’ve finished speaking before thinking of my response.


I promise myself that I will not dwell on unpleasant things from the past. I’ll let it enter my mind and pass on through without stopping. In this way, I will not allow myself to pick it apart and feel those old bad feelings again.

My plan is to visualize a broom to sweep those negative feelings out the door.


This is something I start to do and then let it lapse. I plan to make better food choices. I’ll find a way of getting exercise that will not cause undue pain from old injuries.

My plan is to discuss this with my doctor to set achievable goals.


First, I will practice self-compassion. Learning self-compassion is an important first step. That way we can recognize what compassion really is.

My plan is to relax my judgments of others.


If I am thinking of the past, I will not dwell on it, but let it go as soon as the thought has formed in my mind. I will think about how I could have handled a difficult situation in a better manner.

Mistakes teach us what doesn’t work and encourage us to create new ways of thinking and doing.

My plan is to first acknowledge the experience, then work to create a different reaction to it.


I will be grateful right where I am. And accept that I am lucky to have what I have. I will recognize that there are so, so many who are far less fortunate.

My plan is to look around me and always be grateful for my surroundings.

We’ve all had a very difficult couple of years. We need to learn relaxation and how better to react to stress so that we can focus on our goals.

Do you have any goals you want to set for 2022?



  1. This is a great post, Brenda. I like the quote that a plan without a goal is just a wish.
    I do have a few personal goals set, and one in particular, to break an old response habit.
    And here’s on that just came to me the other day: I now spend winters in Florida, and our place is across the street from the beach. Days can go by, and I don’t see the ocean. My goal is to walk over to the beach every single day, no matter what the weather. I find the powers of the ocean to be enormously calming and restorative. It’s a place to think clearly, and just to stand in awe of its power and beauty. Even it’s just for a few minutes, seeing the ocean is has always been a form of meditation for me. I need to take advantage of it, while I’m here.

  2. Thank you Brenda. That was a wonderful post.
    I have a great many goals in my heart, but rarely out out on paper for fear of it never happening. Yes, I know that it won’t if I don’t make the effort. And might I say I have tried and didn’t reach my goal.
    But when I have tried and failed and tried again and maybe had to try again I found I would reach my goal.
    Maybe I had to go a different route, or even try something different, or maybe even stretch my imagination, but finally I would reach the goal, because I kept at it. I didn’t give up.
    Thanks again. Think I’ll try a goal I gave up on last year.
    Have a great week.

  3. I’ve been journaling about the new year…I don’t know if you’d call them goals, but I’m doing a lot of thinking and writing about things in my life I want to work on.

    Every year I sign up for Susannah Conway’s free download of journal prompts/a workbook for not only the new year, but reflections about the past year, too. Here’s the link in case anyone is interested:

  4. So often the most difficult is where to start re promises, or any life improvements!
    Sad,, but I haven’t made any new year’s resolutions for at least 2 decades! It’s okay!!
    For sure, not out loud anyway.
    Some things will be easier than others. So, maybe just do our best. More realistic.
    As we get older, and these years sure go by quickly, we are less inclined to make any sort of promises to resolutions.
    Just happens that way. For most of us I think.
    Hope everyone is enjoying Sunday evening!
    So cold here in Illinois.
    Freezing. 🥶

  5. Love this post, I wrote one very similar last week. The last few years have been difficult and sometimes it is just hard to know where to start. As they say, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step!” Have a great day Brenda, you are one day closer to a new home and life.

Comments are closed.