Goals give us something to strive for and work toward. Without them, it’s easy to just let the status quo stand and do nothing to improve our lots in life.

Whether goals are related to health, fitness, education, work or something entirely different, setting them is important. Just writing them down, however, isn’t enough ensure they’ll be achieved. It’s also important to set deadlines along the way to push yourself to do what it takes to smash your goals.

So, how should you go about setting deadlines for the goals you want to achieve? Here are some tips that can help you create solid deadlines while promoting your ability to enjoy success:

  • Set your goals in reverse – Yes, that’s right! Begin at the end, the end date that is. For every short and long-term goal you have, examine the realistic time frame involved in seeing realization of the goal and set a date to match. This turns the quest to achieve your goals into a doable prospect that has real deadlines attached.
  • Set mini-deadlines along the way – Let’s say you have it down that you want to lose 50 pounds in a year. While that’s a lofty goal, it’s totally doable and it’s a healthy choice to make. That year-long goal, however, can present some hurdles. After all, you might try to “slack” during the first six months and then make unhealthy choices to tackle the goal during the last six months. Instead of just setting the single deadline, set several. Have a weight loss goal in mind for each month along the way. The mini-deadlines will help you focus on smaller, more achievable goals while ensuring you don’t lose sight of the big picture.
  • Have a reward system in place – Meeting a goal is a very big deal. That in and of itself is a reward, but having other incentives attached to the process can be quite useful, too. Going with the weight loss scenario, consider attaching small rewards that kick in for every mini-deadline milestone set. Maybe it’s buying those pants you’ve been eyeing up. Whatever motivates you, use it!  Try to avoid using food as a reward though!

Get help along the way (Get Fit Maryville!) – If goals were easy to achieve, they wouldn’t be goals. Sometimes, in fact, it’s necessary to get a little help along the way. If weight loss and/or fitness are on your goal sheet, consult with an expert. A trainer can help you set goals that make sense for you while giving you the right formula to follow to kick start the process.