Successful Goal Setting

Written by: 
Erin Cristales
Illustration by: 
Cliff Caster

For most of us, the COVID-induced chaos of the past year has made it harder than ever to stay on track with our goals -- just making it through, day by day, has been victory enough. But as we prepare to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off following 12 months of unprecedented upheaval, it's once again time to keep our eye on the prize … whatever that may be.

Whether your goals are health-and-fitness inspired, career- or family-focused or anything in-between, there are plenty of ways to get -- and stay -- on track, even if you've previously struggled with a particular goal.

"The most important thing for people to remember is that we set goals for where we are now, and where we wish to be in the future," says Michael Savoie, clinical professor in operations, logistics and supply chain management in the G. Brint Ryan College of Business.

Here, our UNT experts offer advice on how to tackle any goal (and don't forget, they say, to always celebrate your successes, no matter how big or small).

Michael Savoie

Michael Savoie

Clinical professor of operations, logistics and supply chain management in the G. Brint Ryan College of Business and certified trainer in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Brian Tracy's Phoenix Seminar on the Psychology of Achievement

"Setting goals that are achievable and measurable is key. Also, being honest with yourself about where you are in your life at this time is critical. People have a very difficult time being honest with themselves. Most people magnify their weaknesses and downplay their strengths."

Sarah Deemer
Sarah Deemer

Sarah Deemer

Assistant professor in UNT's Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation

"When approaching goal setting for health/fitness outcomes, it is important to make your goal "action- or behavior-

oriented" rather than "outcome-oriented" or focused. Action-oriented goals help you focus on the behavior change and actions that YOU can control and therefore help you learn sustainable behaviors/habits that help you throughout life."

Margaret Oaikena
Margaret Oaikena

Margaret Oaikena

Career coach, UNT's Career Center

"It is important to visualize and assess your goals often. A great way to do this is by writing your goals down and putting them somewhere you can see them. Reflect on them often. Ask yourself if you're on track or if you need to adjust. This will help you keep your goals at the forefront of your mind."

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