How to create compelling goals for 2013


Before you begin to make any positive changes in your life, setting goals will be essential for your success.

You may have created a goal at some point in the past. New Year’s is usually a time associated with goals. Most of us may be familiar with the term, New Year’s Resolutions.

Did you make a special resolution at the beginning of 2012? If so, what was it?

Maybe it was to exercise more.

Perhaps it was to get out of debt.

If you didn’t make a resolution, think of a time when you set yourself a goal.

First question mark

 Did you succeed in achieving your goal?

Woman on scalesIf not, it might be worthwhile to consider why.

Mistakes in setting goals

There is a strong possibility that you weren’t specific enough. Goals rarely work effectively for this reason. They need to be detailed and focused.

Second question mark

 Why make them specific, you might ask?

Losing weight Well, a goal such as “Wanting to lose weight”, is a little vague…


Our brains need more details about what exactly our goal might be. So, if your goal is to lose weight, you need to be more specific, with precise details of when, where, and how do you want to lose weight.


Goals need to be stated positively. This way, you can focus on where you want to go, and not on what you are trying to get away from.


You should be in control of your goals, so that they are not dependent upon other people.


BabyGoals also need to be realistic, and broken down into baby steps that are achievable, and not over-whelming.

ClockThey also need to consider time. Say for instance your goal is to change your behaviour. Over which time frame will you work on changing your behaviour? How often do you want to display the behaviour?

Magnifying glass

You need evidence that you have achieved the goal. How will you know that you have achieved the goal?


It is good to write down your goals. Writing down your goals helps you to remember them, and helps to reinforce you to take action.

Dale’s Example

Let’s explain each of the above steps, using Dale as an example.


Dale has a goal. He wants to be less anxious when giving presentations at university.

To make this goal easier to achieve, Dale will have to create specific and precise details about it. Doing so will help him to carry his goal out successfully.

Being more specific

Dale has taken his initial goal, and made it more focused.

He specifically wants to be less anxious when presenting in his law class debating group, at university. A goal stated this way, gives Dale something he can focus on, such as exactly where, and when he wants to be more confident. He has set a context and situation to achieve his set goal.

Stating the goal positively

Dale has also made his initial goal positive. Instead of wanting to be less anxious while presenting in his law class debating group meeting, he changes his goal to becoming more confident when presenting during his law class debating group meeting. This helps Dale focus on where he wants to go, and not what he is trying to get away from.

Under Dale’s control

Dale’s goal is also under his own control. He can work on becoming less anxious himself by improving his thinking. He doesn’t need other people to do this.

Making the goal realistic

He has also made his goal realistic. He states he will give himself 1 month to work on becoming more confident before his next law class debating group meeting. This does not put Dale under pressure, as it gives him sufficient time to achieve his goal.

Time dependent

Dale’s goal is also time dependent. He wants to achieve his goal once a month, to start off with.


He states that he will know he has achieved his goal because he will feel confident and positive when presenting during during his law class debating group meeting. He will also be in an enthusiastic mood.

Written down goal

Dale writes down his goal, including the specific details that will help him to achieve them. He writes that he wants to speak confidently when presenting in his law class debating group meeting, once a month. He also writes how he will feel when he has achieved his goal, which is to feel confident and positive.

So there you have it. In summary, you have learnt about the key elements which are needed to make goals. Setting goals in this way will give you a better focus, and help you remain motivated, increasing your chances of achieving your goals in 2013!

My friends, it’s over to you:

What goals have you set for 2013?

How have you created your goals?

What would you like to achieve in the New Year?

Please share you valuable views and thoughts in the comments box.

Please also share this post on your favourite social networks.

I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I hope you make some amazing improvements in your life in 2013!

  1. Wonderfully written Hiten!

    Yes indeed, a life without any goal or purpose isn’t worthwhile I feel. But yes, most of us do make goals and have huge plans for the coming year – though few are really able to implement them – isn’t it?

    I liked the way you gave Dale’s example that said it all. For me, just as I had mentioned in my wish list and resolutions last year around the same time – I prefer taking small achievable baby steps – slow and gradually to achieve my goals. I guess each one of us is different and so are our priorities. What works for me might not work for you or for another person. For this year too I want to be able to spend more time doing the things I enjoy and want to do, more than what I need to do – there is a major difference in the two, though somehow try to make it a combination if possible. I love experimenting with changes too, so that’s what I’ll be trying out this time, hoping it works.

    Thanks for sharing, and wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year as well 🙂

    1. Hi Harleena,

      I’m so glad you liked the post! 🙂

      I do agree many people have big plans for a new year and yet many struggle to achieve them. I know personally when I’ve tried to set goals which are a long way from where my current position is and they haven’t been defined properly, then I usually don’t achieve what I set out to.

      On the hand, when I’ve made the goal very specific, written it down, experienced the state I will be in once I have achieved the goal and considered what evidence I will have, then I’ve been far more successful.

      Just like you, I’m one who prefers to set goals in small chunks. It makes achieving goals realistic and one avoids becoming overwhelmed by the goal. One can also see progress being made much more clearly when the goal is broken into small steps.

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this topic and your plans for the New Year! A goal for me for 2013 is to purchase a property.

      Wishing you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year too! 🙂

  2. Wonderful!!! I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year too!!

    1. Hi Iñaki,

      It’s great to see you here, my friend! 🙂

      Thank you so much and I wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year as well!

      I hope you have a relaxing and enjoyable holiday period.

  3. that’s a beautifully written post!! each and every point is worth its weight in gold!

    often, while addressing a large group we feel anxious or perhaps less confident because we tend to be more concerned about the reaction of people rather than focussing on the subject. we look for support or encouraging signs from the audience making ourselves dependent on others whereas the challenges actually come from within and we can control this (this is probably not related to your post on setting goals).

    again, a brilliant post and will definitely make a note of all the points while setting any goal. makes a lot of sense.

    wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy new year!!

    1. Hi Debajyoti,

      It’s wonderful to see you here, my friend! 🙂

      I’m so glad you liked the post and could resonate with the steps for creating goals.

      The way you explained what happens to us when we address a large group was absolutely brilliant and accurate.

      I loved the tip you included in your comment about the challenges coming from within us and we having the strength to control this. Indeed, true power to overcome any kind of endeavour comes from with us! Looking for external validation will over time, knock our confidence. Developing inner strength will serve us well.

      Thank you so much for adding so much more to this post, Debajyoti.

      I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year too! All the best for 2013.

  4. Hi Hiten,

    Great post brother.The presentation and explanation using examples is soul of this article.

    Yes setting up goal is very important But setting goal with how and what is also very important.People make a huge list of goals and commit themself that they gonaa achieve that.If it was possible than many of us twould be the most successful person on this plant.

    So knowing what are your goals is very important and how you will implement is very important.

    Near year resolution is the perfect time to make your goal set for the whole.I think one should make some goals in the way i do.I make bunch of small goals and give it outer layer with my final goal.I set my goal on time limitation basis that helps me and force me do it Any how.

    If the person is making some goals than he/she should stick to it any how.Writing it down and put it some where ,where your visbilty have more chance of catching it.

    Thank you for sharing such a nice article

    Shorya Bist
    From Youthofest

    1. Hi Shorya,

      I’m so glad you appreciated the post and thank you for saying so!

      Your comment was absolutely amazing! Thank you so much for sharing your views on making goals and sharing the approach you use to make goals.

      What you said makes so much sense. Having a final overriding goal as the vision of where you want to be, which then acts as an umbrella to the bunch of smaller goals, is great way to set goals. This is superb and the time limitation aspect you mentioned is so important. What you wrote reminded me a little of working to deadlines at work. We usually do whatever needs to be done to meet the deadline. In a similar way we can also approach our goals.

      Indeed as you say, not only writing the goal but then keeping it visible, so we can continuously see it is an amazing tip!

      Thank you very much for adding so much more to this post, Shorya! 🙂

      It’s great to see you here.

  5. Yes Hiten,
    Well said. A Big year ahead. Compass is set. Big picture is vivid. Let’s Go!
    be good to yourself

    1. Hi David,

      I’m going to have to quote what you said: “Well said. A Big year ahead. Compass is set. Big picture is vivid. Let’s Go!”

      I got a tingle down my spine just reading your words! Wonderfully stated!

      Let’s do it! 🙂

      Thanks mate.

  6. Hiya Hiten,

    I loved the presentation of this post. i usually set a chain of goals with a deadline, action and remarks column so that I can constantly review it. Sometimes goals that seemed in alignment at one time become redundant and I then drop them. I embrace the policy of change being a constant and that keeps me flexible, in a good mood and positive about achieving whatever I set about to achieve.

    Great example. 🙂 Thank you, and happy holidays!

    1. Hi Vidya,

      I’m really happy you liked the way I presented this post. I thought I would do something a little different and make it into a kind of tutorial.

      Many thanks for sharing the technique you use when setting goals. You included some great points. I really appreciate the point you made about having a ‘remarks column’. Indeed, having space where we can take note of how certain actions panned out helps us to learn from our mistakes so that we can keep trying out new approaches.

      Also, as you quite rightly said, goals sometimes can become old and invalid. There’s nothing wrong with that. Changes as you say are always happening all day, every day. If a goal needs to be dropped and replaced by another, then this ok. It’s important to ensure though, that the goal isn’t being dropped because of procrastination.

      Many thanks for adding some great advice to this post!

      Hugs and Happy Holidays to you and your family. 🙂

  7. I’m not at all surprised to see that not writing down goals can eventually lead to failure. It happened to me – 100s of time.

    I use Evernote and that promptly helps me accomplish my goals. I note them down immediately and I’m duly reminded if I’m not keeping up.

    With regards to the title, I really don’t have any set goals for 2013, I’m a medical student and there’s lot and lots of workload and stress. Blogging always comes secondary no matter how much I try. But I do want to write a nice ebook and hope to publish it by June next year. Let’s see.

    Nice article this one and good use of images.


    1. Hi Aditya,

      Many thanks for sharing your experiences with setting goals. I can so relate to what you say about being unsuccessful with goals due to not writing them down!

      I’ve never used Evernote but heard about in a recent post by Seth Godin. Thank you for informing us of this tool.

      I wish you the best for your studies in 2013! I have to say Aditya, you are an inspiration studying medicine. And your ebook plans sound great! I wish you great success in achieving this goal! What area is the ebook about?

      I’m glad you liked the article and thanks very much for commenting. Your support is greatly appreciated!

      1. I’m planning to write about breaking away from negativity or a motivational book maybe. The thing is I don’t want to dive right into it without proper knowledge, so I wanna research on what’s making people unhappy, make some conclusions and base my book on those facts. I hope this clicks, would love that.

        Inspiration? Me? Flattered, thank you.


        1. Brilliant, Aditya!

          When you’re ready, let me know and I will review it on my blog if you would like. You’re also welcome to write a guest post about the area on my blog.

  8. Hi Hiten,
    Setting goals is a valuable tool for getting us to where we want to be. I will site down in the next few days and plan out my goals for 2013. Both personally and professionally.

    Take Care.

    1. Hi Justin,

      Thanks for dropping by and for sharing your plans on goal setting!

      I have planned a personal goal regarding property purchase. Over the next few days I will be doing a couple of personal ones.

      I really appreciate your comment, my friend.

  9. Hi Hiten

    First time I am here on your blog and I think I really timed it by chance. This is the awesome post, as it goes into detailing of each and every aspect of Resolution.

    Year ending is the right time to plan, by saying so I will be going against “JUST DO IT NOW” cliche. This is something inbuilt in our psychology. We try to give great importance to New year, New Month, 1st, 5th, 10th, so on and so forth, these sort of dates. If ever we want to start, it has to be NOW. The day we realize our mistake, or the day we learn something new we need to inculcate that in our habits, start from there and then only.

    Having said that, sadly I also fall into the bracket of making resolutions for New year. This Year in Oct I started my blog, I am basically an Engineer and I started my Microsoft Dotnet, Android and SQL Server tutorials for one month, before while surfing I came across some nice articles and planned to switch over to some interesting topics, more interesting than my Tutorials. I will continue to write those in 2013 as well. I will continue to improve and doing and giving my best consistently, that is the biggest resolution of 2013.

    Thanks for sharing this great piece of work. I am now moving to your other posts as well.



    1. Hi Sapna,

      Welcome to the blog and it is so good to connect with you! I’m really glad you liked the post!

      I really appreciated the point you made about if ever we want to start something, it has to be NOW. I do agree that a lot of emphasis is placed on starting afresh in the New Year, specific dates and so on. Indeed, in this sense, a lot of general society and media contributes to this. What you said is true, as humans have the capacity to take stock of their current situation at any time, notice any areas, which need to be improved and then go on right ahead at doing something different.

      I think setting goals properly at New Year can help those people in particular who find it hard to get motivated throughout the year or who just get ‘caught up’ with everyday life.

      Congratulations on your blog! I wish you the very best with your blog for the New Year. I think with what you write about, you have an excellent platform to turn it into a resource that not only teaches people professional skills such as programming, but can also help those same people by sharing advice related to personal development to help them stay motivated and inspired. This is just a thought…

      You said the following:

      “I will continue to improve and doing and giving my best consistently, that is the biggest resolution of 2013.”

      This is an amazing overarching goal and thank you so much for sharing it and your other thoughts on the area of goal setting.

      Your contributions are extremely valuable and much appreciated.

      I’ll see you over at your blog shortly…

  10. Great tips here on how to set goals and stick to them. It is tempting this time of year to be an overachiever and want to set numerous goals. It is so much more doable to set just a few and then you can feel the rewards of your hard work. Thanks for sharing your suggestions. Happy New Year to you.

    1. Hi Cathy,

      I’m really glad you liked the tips and I really appreciate what you wrote in your comment. As you quite rightly said, there is the temptation to overachieve and set too many goals. Keeping a manageable number of goals is definitely the way to go.

      Many thanks for adding this important point to the post and Happy New Year to you too! 🙂

  11. Hiten – I love the way you’ve used images to make the post so easy to read and therefore to visualize. As I read your post, I could see 2013 flashing in my mind and my goals getting clearer. I’m in the process of writing them down even as I look back on 2012 to see what I’ve accomplished.

    1. Hi Corinne,

      I’m really glad the use of images in the post helped you to see your goals more clearly! I thought I would do something different with this post and see how it goes. I guess the old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is true!

      All the best with your goal setting for 2013! Indeed, reviewing what we have accomplished in the previous year is a great idea. Sometimes it’s very helpful to do this when it seems like we’re not making progress. If we properly consider where we are and where we’ve come, we can usually see we have got a lot of things done.

      Thank you for commenting and Happy New Year to you!

  12. I have become somewhat goal averse in recent years, but I very much like the way you present goals as specific, achievable objectives. One of my goals, then, in 2013 is to establish a more regular spiritual practice in the mornings. I’m going to go through your steps and see what I can come up with. Thanks for the good advice and best wishes in the new year.

    1. Hi Galen,

      Thanks for your comment! I’m really happy you liked the way I presented goals. I hope you have success with the steps I’ve laid out. Thank you also for sharing your goal of establishing a more regular spiritual practice in the mornings.

      I really appreciated the approach you use to end the year and begin a new one. I’m including the link to your post so that other people can also learn about it:

      Happy New Year Galen! I hope you have an amazing and blessed year.

  13. hey Hieten
    thanks for the post
    i wish you a great new year

    1. Hi Farouk,

      Thanks for your comment!

      A very Happy New Year to you too! 🙂

  14. Happy New Year to you too, Hiten.

    I’ve made my goals and written them down. I don’t want to share them here because they’re a bit personal. However, I can say that I’ve written down in detail the goals and the steps I have to take to achieve them.

    I also need to go back and write down WHY I want to achieve these goals. This will help me focus better because it will help me imagine how I’ll feel once the goal has been achieved. I think this is great for picturing your goals in your mind – think about how they’ll make you feel.

    1. Hi Anne,

      Happy New Year to you! 🙂 I wish you the very best for this year.

      Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with goals and the way you have created them. Writing them down makes them so much more real. I did the same with mine and they have been floating around in my mind, which is a good thing!

      The point you made about going back and asking why you want to achieve your goals is so important. This allows one to consider what achieving the goal means to a her/him, which then enables the person to consider how important the goal is to her/his life. Thank you very much for sharing this great tip!

      Thanks very much for commenting, Anne!

  15. Hello Hiten great post my friend as 2013, will bring some great opportunities for I ‘m hoping.
    There is so much to be done online that we sometimes get caught up in our projects that we loose track.

    Thanks again for the great info my friend talk to you soon

    1. Hi Robert,

      I’m really glad you liked the post, my friend.

      Absolutely, sometimes the projects we work on can get overwhelming. Having some clear goals can really help to set our priorities so that if we get caught up in too many irrelevant activities, then we can shift back to the tasks that will help us to achieve what we had set out to, initially.

      It’s great to see you here and thanks for commenting!

  16. Hi

    What a great post.

    I’ve noticed some clients give up on goals because they miss out the first step – knowing what you want. It’s hard to set good goals if you’ve not sorted out in your mind what you want. Here’s a great book that’s a real help if you struggle to know what you really want:


    1. Hi Andrew,

      Good to hear from you and thank you for your comment!

      Indeed, as you say having a clear vision in our minds of what we want, is very important. Using our creative visualisation abilities in this sense helps a lot.

  17. I haven’t set any GOALS for this year. Or maybe, I did have some but I’d prefer, not calling them, the RESOLUTIONS. I want to spend more time on my blog and produce the best content for it. I also have to get my guest posts published on some really big sites and a couple of blogs did already accept mine. So, you see, everything is related to my blog.

    Wish you all luck.


    1. Hi Koundeenya,

      It’s great to see you here!

      I love your approach, my friend. From your comment, it is very clear you are highly focused and know what you want to achieve this year. When one has clear focus and commitment like this, all one needs is the will do it and everything else, will fall into place.

      Thanks for leaving your great comment!

  18. Goals tell you where you are going, how you are going to get there, and what you will do when you get there… Thanks for sharing such valuable tips to achieve goal… 🙂
    Visit my blog–> A Happier Life

    1. Hi Asma,

      I loved your comment.

      You summarised 3 key aspects of goal making, which are ‘where’, ‘how’ and ‘what’.

      Thank you for adding so much more to this post. I’m glad you liked the tips.

  19. Hello Dr,

    Yet again another compelling post.

    S Specific
    M Measurable
    A Achievable
    R Relevant
    T Time-bound

    Yes, in 2013 I have set 3 SMART Targets and one target is to get a minimum of 30,000 visitors per month to my blog by 30 June, 2013. Currently it is at an average of 750 visitors per month. And I have got 5 more months to achieve my target..

    Your support and encouragement is needed in this regard.


    1. Hi Rafi,

      I’m really glad you liked the post and indeed, as you stated in your comment, the SMART approach really is the one to follow when creating compelling and concrete goals.

      I love your SMART target for 2013! Thank you so much for sharing it. This is an amazing goal to aspire to. I wish you all the best in reaching 30,000 visitors per month to your blog, by the end of June.

      Indeed, I will be delighted and thrilled to help you as much as I can with this.

      Take care,


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