Boss Lady

How to set goals for success – and actually reach them


As business owners we set a lot of goals. These might be financial goals, or content goals, or growth and development goals, or work/life goals… no matter the focus, the goals are there. And no matter how much we may want to reach them, for some (most) that’s just a pipe dream.

We lose our focus. We get stuck. We procrastinate. We get distracted by something shiny. We lose our enthusiasm. There are so many reasons to stop working towards the things we want, but this articles is here to help you get going again.

Whether you’re straight out of education, battling a 9 to 5, or a fully-fledged freelancer, you will have come across the ubiquitous SMART goal. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound.

It’s the acronym we hear bandied about an awful lot, but it doesn’t exactly inspire you to take action, does it? Those overwhelmingly sensible and realistic goals don’t quite give us the tingles, I’ve found.

A while back, I came across a fab alternative to SMART goals – CREATIVE goals. (Read the original post here).


The goal stretches you in some way – you won’t simply fall into reaching your target.

Example – someone that fears all things video, might create a daily live streaming habit. It doesn’t feel comfy, but it makes an impact.


You’ve written down this goal, and review it (and any sub-goals) regularly.

Asana is a great tool for mapping out your goals. It’s pretty, and it allows you to set reminders to review your stuff. What more could you ask for?


Your goal is well-defined. If you are vague about what you want to achieve, how will you know when you’ve achieved it?

Example – Instead of aiming to “create more content”, aim to “publish one blog post, and send one email, every week”.


Frame your goals in a positive way. If you’re focusing all your energy on what you don’t want, that’s exactly what you’ll be inviting in. Sod’s law.

Example – Rather saying you want to “stop slacking”, say you want to “spend one hour each day, writing with no interruptions”.


Those SMART goals had something right! Deadlines are a huge motivating factor, even when they’re self-imposed. Locking in a time to review and analyse your progress make it significantly easier to measure your success.

Example – Don’t aim to “sell 20 copies of your e-course”, aim to “sell 20 copies of your e-course by the end of May”.


Make sure each of your goals is aligned with your bigger dreams. Take some time to really connect with what you want from your life and business, and shape your goals accordingly.


Your goal should have an actual impact in your life – it should be something you genuinely care about.

Don’t create your goals based on something that someone else is doing, think about what makes sense for you, your tastes, and your style.


You should like doing the work. That’s the single most important factor here, and yet the single most ignored. If you actively enjoy an activity, you’re so much more likely to see it through. It’s common sense.

A word of warning – goal-setting itself can become another form of procrastination, so try to keep the golden rules in mind:

  • Restrict yourself. 2-3 big juicy goals over a 90 day period is more than enough.
  • Break your goals into simpler tasks so you don’t feel so overwhelmed.
  • Check in with yourself regularly. I like to review my progress on a Sunday evening, and plan my steps for the following week.
  • Don’t be afraid to pivot. If you’ve been working on something that no longer feels in line with what you want to achieve, sack it off and start again, with something that feels good.

About Daire Paddy

Daire Paddy (pronounced Dara) is a creator of online content and all round ideas girl. She helps businesses create killer content and stay on the ball in the hectic world of digital media. She is a true word weaving genius and knows just how to takes her clients' thoughts and turn them into brilliant stories.

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