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Frances Masters • Tools & Techniques • No Comments

Here’s a Sticky SMART Goals Cheat Sheet to Create Goals that Work


If you want to stick to your New Year’s resolutions this year, you need to get organised.

If you were planning a road trip, you wouldn’t think of setting off without having a clear idea of your destination, would you?

If you are going in to new territory, you will certainly need a roadmap to plan the route. Or perhaps you’ll have a SATNAV, in which case you’ll need to program it and give it clear coordinates for where you want to go.

You will pass landmarks along the way. You might break the journey down and plan several stops en route, so you can take a break, rest up, catch your breath and plan the rest of the journey.

You will make sure your car has enough fuel, oil and water and know where you can stop and top up if necessary.

You are also likely to have an idea about when you will reach your destination. In other words, you will have a goal, a plan, a strategy and a time frame.

The key to ultimate success lies in how organised and committed you are prepared to be. Take the time to do the ground work. Sharpen your axe before you try to fell this metaphorical tree. Time spent preparing is definitely time well spent.

Use this 4 step formula to add wings to your goals and make 2016 the year you truly fly.

The four steps to ultimate success

  1. Summarize

In true SMART goals style, your resolutions, goals and promises to yourself, need to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed. Ask yourself:
What do I want?

Why do I want that?

How will I know when I have got it?

What will that feel like?

What will others notice?


  1. Strategize

What can I do to take this forward?

What else?

What else?

What else?

What could stop me or get in the way?

When do I want to achieve this by?

When will I take the first/next step?


  1. Systemize

How will I fit this into my life?

What will my day/week look like when I begin to make these changes?

  1. Visualize

Finally, even when you have willpower, motivation, a plan and a strategy, they are still unlikely to be enough.

Yes, they are wonderful tools. But you need to also harness the extraordinary power of your unconscious mind to bridge the gap between where you are now and where you want to be, by bringing your goals, your beliefs, your values and your actions all into line.

How to Harness the Dopamine Effect to Stick to your Goals

The final piece of the jigsaw lies in visualising success.

Close your eyes, breathe, relax and time travel in your imagination to a point in the future when you have achieved your goal. Notice what that feels like. What does your life look like? Look at yourself in the mirror. What do you see?

Now allow yourself to look back along the time line and notice what you had to do to get you to this point. What was the first step you took?

And, as you drift back to the present moment, notice a single golden thread that attaches you to that future you and will gently draw you in that direction.

So you finally have the secret of creating goals that stick.

Now go spread your wings…… and see how high you can fly!

Frances Masters

Frances Masters is a BACP accredited psychotherapist with over 30,000 client hours of experience. Follow her @fusioncoachuk, or visit The Integrated Coaching Academy for details about up coming training.

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