Home » How can we refine our goals?

How can we refine our goals?

woman on the top of a mountain - refine goals to achieve them

Most of us started a new year with resolutions and goal-setting. However, all good intentions are wearing off in less than a month. And we tend to slip back into our old ways in the blink of an eye. Be honest. Can you still remember what your new exciting goals for this year were? If you cannot point them out immediately, it is time to review, refine and reinforce your goals so you can go for them. 

Is it a goal or a dream?

That is an important question to ask ourselves. What is the difference? Well, a dream is your vision. Or a direction. It does not need to be measured or achieved in a defined time frame.

A goal, on the other hand, can and must be measured. Furthermore, it should be clear and time-specific. So, to transition from a vague and abstract dream to specific steps to move towards that dream, we need to set and refine our goals. 

Goal specificity

All goals have to be specific. That means clear and defined without room for ambiguity. You should be tremendously clear about what you want to achieve and have clear criteria for success.

The Why

When setting goals, it is crucial to know your “why”. It will help refine goals. On top of that, it will allow you to push through when things get tough. So give yourself time to reflect and clarify your Why. Why is it important to you?

a planner for yearly goals to refine and write down

How do we refine our goals?

First of all, goals have to be specific and measurable. We know that. But we often set goals that are too general or vague. For example, “read more” or “spend more time in nature”. That is a fast track for failure. 

A measurable goal for reading more books could be reading a book every month or reading 20 pages daily. The same goes for the other example. Spend one hour in nature every week or spend one weekend a month in a country house, etc. Now that we can measure. 

Professor H Halvorson puts it in a simple question: “When will you know that you’ve succeeded?”. What has to happen so you know you achieved the pre-set goal? And it simply boils down to it. What is the desired outcome that would allow you to determine that you have achieved that goal?

When creating goals, it’s important to avoid setting objectives that are too broad. Instead, it’s helpful to break them down into smaller, more manageable ones. Sometimes, our goals are too big and, as a result, too grinding or overwhelming. Sizing them down can significantly improve our performance and confidence.

vintage typing machine with word "goals" typed on a piece of paper

Goal reassessment and adjustment

Another thing to consider is changing or readjusting your goals. They might evolve or change completely over time. Goals are not always static. Situations change, we change, our priorities change, and life happens. And there is nothing wrong with changing our goals if that’s what we want to do. Sometimes, though, it might be necessary to adjust our existing goals. Why? Because they should always align with our values and life vision.

Setting realistic expectations

Any goal we set should be achievable. Challenging but achievable based on our circumstances, capabilities and resources. If we set a goal that we lack the skills or resources to achieve, it may not be a realistic goal to pursue. In that case, it could be more reasonable to set a goal of learning that skill or acquiring the resources needed first. 

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can”.

Arthur Ashe

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Skip to content