On Your Marks, Set Goals, Go!

By Stephen Gillatt

As a young child, I always had ideas in my head of what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to be an Archaeologist, just like my idol Indiana Jones. I wanted to discover rare artifacts, just for the pure satisfaction of the achievement and adventure.

I remember thinking “How can I do this?”. I never bothered to ask no one , so the conclusions that I came to were ,” I can just go┬áto University to study to be an Archaeologist when I am older and then I will be as successful as Indiana.” (Isn’t it funny how when you are younger you think formal education is the pinnacle of all success; even though you see and hear of thousands of people who failed , but are still successful in their own right e.g Richard Brandson, Alan Sugar…etc)

Obviously, as I grew up my idea of being an Archaeologist changed, because I struggled to spell the word and majorly found history boring in high school. The point of my story was my idea of what I wanted to become when I was older was a goal. (At the time my knowledge of goals was to kick a ball past the keeper into the net, which I could turn into a great analogy about goals , but I am holding back so we can get to the main aim of this article!)

A goal by my personal definition is “An aim that a person can achieve through their efforts and perseverance”. Goals can be broken down into categories according to areas of life that are of most importance to a person.


The categories I use are:

Financial, Relationship, Intellectual, Health, Career, Social

There has been a lot of research on goals assisting with success. However, how you write them has an impact on your success. The use of the SMART acronym is very popular when thinking about writing goals. This Stands for Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

Let’s use one of the most typical goals as an example of how to write smart goals:

A normal way to write a goal would be:

“I want to lose weight”

With this goal there is an outcome but no way to measure this goal, no awareness of if you need to acquire a skill or adopt an attitude to facilitate this, relevancy to your life at this moment in time and no deadline on when it will be achieved. Therefore it requires more depth such as:

“I will lose 5 lbs in weight in 3 months”

This is not it though to achieve this goal you will have to create good habits that you consistently do. There are many good habit-forming apps on all of the apps stores. Research states that it takes 21 days to form a habit and break a habit, so creating an action plan of healthy habits would be very beneficial. For example:

*Drink 3 liters of water each day instead of fizzy or calorific drinks

*Walk to work every day instead of taking the car

*I will prepare my own healthy lunch every evening to bring to work for the next day

These healthy habits could be put into your calendar on your phone to come up as a notification for when action is required. My recommendation is to set yourself up for success by creating a successful environment. If you want to drink more water carry water around with you, have water ready in your fridge to drink, don’t buy any other drinks in when you go shopping, set yourself a reminder to drink every hour…etc. My point is do everything in your power to assist your goals.

The final part and the hardest part is staying disciplined . I say this because motivation is a feeling that can come and go. If you develop discipline you won’t ever need motivation. You can create discipline through practicing it. It’s like a muscle the more you exercise it the bigger it grows. Push yourself to be better, set goal, when life happens, readjust them, keep going.

Be 1% better than you were yesterday , then in 100 days you will be 100% better off.

Hope you enjoyed reading this,

Stephen Gillatt