Do you find yourself dipping out of your New Year’s resolutions about halfway through the year? Do you have a ton of goals you want to achieve, but feel like you never make any traction on them? The problem could be back at the first step – setting them! Without taking the proper considerations when you establish your goals, you could be setting yourself up for failure right out of the gates. Follow our tips for setting – and achieving – your goals!

Make them specific.

Too often, we find ourselves unable to officially cross a goal off our lists because we made it too vague from the start. Saying “I want to lose weight” or “I want to excel in my career” doesn’t carry any clear definition. How do you want to excel in your career? Do you want a raise? Do you want a promotion? Make sure you give yourself clear-cut expectations to strive for.

Make them realistic.

Even the most specific goals can be doomed from the start if they are unattainable. Make sure you are setting realistic goals that are actually possible to achieve. A goal stating, “I want to be promoted to an executive and earn a 20% raise by the end of the quarter” might not be possible, no matter how hard you try, if your company is in a down season, or if your corporate structure doesn’t make you eligible for a promotion for another year. Take all things into consideration when setting your goals; it is great to set your sights high, but make sure to keep them realistic.

Set benchmarks.

It’s easy to lose momentum, especially on lofty or long-term goals, if you do not have benchmarks. If your goal is to obtain a job in your field by the end of the year, don’t just think of the end result; think of the steps it will take to achieve that goal, and map those out along the way. “I will have x amount of applications submitted by this date.” “I will set x amount of interviews by this date.” Not only will this help you map out the steps that will make you successful in attaining your main goal at the end, it will also provide you mini goals that will give you a morale boost along the way.

Have others hold you accountable.

When setting your goals, it is a wise idea to write them down and let others around you know what you are trying to achieve. Instead of just having them in your head, this gives your goals roots, and it is not as easy to blow them off or forget about them. Also, if those close to you know your goals, they can help you stay on track to achieve them. Not only can they hold you accountable, but they can provide you advice and support along the way.

Once you have the foundation down for solid, realistic goals, and you follow the benchmarks you set, you will find that nothing is out of reach! Happy goal setting!