Are you part of the 59 percent of people ages 18 to 34 who planned to do some goal setting in 2021? We’re well into the year now, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to set your sights on 2021 goals. 

Research shows that setting goals can improve your mental health, provide focus, and help you lead a better life. Not sure where to get started with your goal setting? Here are some tips for better goal setting. 

Be Specific in Goal Setting

It’s hard to be accountable when you set a vague goal like “be healthier.” What does that mean? Eat more veggies? Cut out soda? Exercise more days or more minutes? When you set a goal, you need to be clear about it, and you should include a specific outcome. If your goal is to be healthier in general, try setting an exercise goal like “run three days per week.” If your goal involves reading more, be clear about how many books you want to read during the year. 

If you’re not specific when you set a goal, how will you know when you’ve accomplished it? Having a clear goal makes it easier to figure out how to achieve it.

Write It Down

When you write down your goal or even make a note of it on your computer or phone, it becomes more real. You can see it, and it’s harder to forget about it. When you write it down, make sure to think about the language you’re using. If you write down “I would like to learn French,” you might be giving yourself an out by using the conditional tense. Instead, write down “I will learn French.”

Make a Clear Plan

Now that you’ve set a specific goal and written it down, it’s time to set a clear plan to make it happen. If your goal is to learn to speak French, decide how you’re going to do it. Are you interested in taking a class at a local community college? Will you buy a membership to an online language-learning program? Once you’ve made a plan to achieve your goal, set some steps between starting and accomplishing the goal. Having a thought-out action plan gives you a map to achieving your goal and the satisfaction of ticking off the steps as you achieve them.

Goal setting can improve your life, and it’s not difficult to get started. Be specific about your goals, write them down, and set a clear plan for accomplishing your goals.