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Want to learn how to set goals and crush them? Want to be a generally more motivated and productive person? Try these 5 goal setting activities that'll have you 88% more likely to set goals and crush them on the first try! #goals #hustle #dollarsproutReady to start crushing some goals?

Good. It’s about time! You’ve now completed step one in the goal-setting process:

You recognized an area for improvement and you’re acknowledging that you need to take responsibility for doing something about it.

It doesn’t matter if your aspirations lay in fitness, finance, or anywhere else, self-improvement is a hugely popular industry. People are constantly looking for ways to better themselves.

But, the truth is, not many of us are actually any good at rising to the occasion and actually accomplishing set goals (think New Year’s resolutions). We lack clarity and focus, and we are generally poor at setting objective, achievable goals.

Nonetheless, it doesn’t stop some quarter million people each month from Googling something related to “goal setting activities”:

Hundreds of thousands of people are searching for goal setting activities targeted at self improvement

So if you are reading this, you are not alone.

Really…the numbers don’t lie.

Thousands of people are looking for ways to finally lose that weight, make more money, have better relationships, get promoted, etc. Basically, we all just want to be just a little bit better. And fortunately, there’s nothing wrong with that.

See also: 15+ Honest Ways to Earn Money from Home

To make it happen, it helps to stack the deck in your favor.

Here are 5 goal setting activities you may not have heard before but could end up being the difference between failure and success:

1. Write it down – the easiest of goal setting activities

And don’t just write down what you think you can achieve. Write down what you would love to accomplish, no matter how crazy it may seem.


According to a study done by Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at the Dominican University of California, the simple act of writing down your goals makes you 42% more likely to achieve them.

Don’t just write it down once. Write it down several times, and put notes in places where you will see them throughout the day (bathroom mirror, anyone?).

Completely soak your mind with reminders of what you want to achieve.

2. Tell a friend what you are going to do

Take note of how that is worded.

“What you are going to do.”

Self-belief, maybe even delusion, is a huge part of goal setting. You have to believe in your own mind that you are going to get it done.

Add in the accountability of sharing your goals with a friend and you’ll be even more unstoppable. Make sure your friend is the type who will actually call you out if you flake, though.

3. Be specific about what you want

Instead of saying “I want to save more”…

Set a goal for saving $2,100 in 21 days and work out a plan to get there.

Instead of “I want to lose some weight”…

Turn it into “I want to lose 10 pounds in 5 weeks, and here is how I’m going to do it.

Instead of “I want to make more money”…

Challenge yourself to make an extra $100 this week or complete 5 paid online surveys per day.

This is not the time to be vague and cryptic. Get it out there and make your goals clear as day.

4. Reverse engineer how you will get there

As annoying as some of those cheesy phrases are, the saying “a goal without a plan is just a dream” is spot on.

If you have a goal in mind that you want to reach, research what goal setting activities you’ll need to complete to get there…and then research some more!

Here are some things you’ll need to consider:

When setting a goal start by asking yourself these 4 questions

5. Use technology to your advantage

No matter what your goal is, there’s an app for that

Apps are handy because they can help you track and monitor your progress towards your goal, which is a great way to keep you motivated. Think of them as your own accountability partner and coach, right in your pocket.

Pro tip: I usually am not a fan of push notifications, but these apps are the exception. I recommend enabling them so you are regularly reminded of your goals.

Here are some of our favorite goal setting apps:

Money Personal Capital Stash (iPhone) Digit Mint
Fitness Healthy Wage MyFitnessPal MapMyRun Charity Miles
General  GoalsOnTrack Strides Habit List Way of Life

Shift the odds in your favor

Hard work and extreme discipline are irreplaceable in setting, achieving and reaching your goals.  Any goal worth having probably isn’t going to be easy. But by employing one (or all) of the goal setting activities listed here you can hack your brain and increase the chances you’ll actually follow through in accomplishing the goal you set.

What goal setting activities have you tried? Let us know in the comments below!

Like this article? Pin it!Want to learn how to set goals and crush them? Want to be a generally more motivated and productive person? Try these 5 goal setting activities that'll have you 88% more likely to set goals and crush them on the first try! #goals #hustle #dollarsprout

Want to learn how to set goals and crush them? Want to be a generally more motivated and productive person? Try these 5 goal setting activities that'll have you 88% more likely to set goals and crush them on the first try! #goals #hustle #dollarsprout
Jeff Proctor

Hi! I'm Jeff. A personal finance nerd and entrepreneur at heart, I'm here to bring you all the latest cool ways to make and save extra money. I've been quoted in several online publications, including Entrepreneur, GoBankingRates, Student Loan Hero,, Credit Karma, The Simple Dollar, US News & World Report, Lifehacker, MSN Money, Moneyish, Zumper, IdeaMensch, Discover Bank, PrimeRates,, Yahoo! Finance, Club Thrifty, Guru Focus, Rent Track, Fit Small Business, Coupon Chief, and more.

Amy @ Salt and Skillet 11 months, 23 days ago

This is such a great article! I can totally relate to goal setting when it comes to losing weight – both from a personal perspective (been there, done that, will do it again) and helping others achieve their goals. It is SO important to write this information down, share it with someone you trust, and take small steps!

Very motivational, thanks!!

Ben Huber
Ben Huber 11 months, 22 days ago

For sure! In a strange way losing weight (well fitness in general for me), has really changed my life. The discipline I learned in that medium is starting to carry over into to many other areas of life and its super confidence boosting to see it happening!

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