Creating Attainable Goals

How to Set Attainable Goals

In December of last year, I started to really evaluate where I wanted to be in life and what I wanted out of life and most importantly I started to think about how I was going to go about getting there.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times, little by little becomes a lot. Anything in life is ultimately made up of a million little pieces. Each piece builds to make a result. Small accountable actions are what get you to where you land.

Say you have a degree from a certain university it wasn’t as simple as deciding that you are going to that university 4 (or 5 years ago), it was the years of doing work in high school, filling out the application, the community service you did, the recommendation letters, the late nights once you got to college, the papers you wrote, the exams you took… all of those little actions and decisions that added up to that achievement.

That’s how you need to think of any goal.

I started my monthly goal segment last December to start setting small, yet obtainable goals to get me to where I wanted to be in my business and life.

Divide and conquer

Not everything should be on the same list, by separating the different parts of your life you can better provide attention and focus to all of them.

Instead of having on large to do list thing about the different areas and what needs to be done in them…I don’t too much worry about actively putting them in order because anything urgent or pressing you know is a priority.

  • Do you have a full-time job
  • Social responsibilities
  • Side hustle or blog
  • Kids
  • Household duties

Break these down and figure out what you want from each area in life. Do you want to spend more time with your family? Do you want to grow your email subscribers? Do you want to save $5,000?

[bctt tweet=”Figure out what you want from each area in life.” username=””]

Think of the steps.

Do you want to lose 20 pounds? Don’t just put “Lose 20 pounds” on your goal list. You should put specific steps that will get you to where you want to be.

Maybe you decide to only eat 1300 calories a day and workout 4 times a week? If you want to lose 20 pounds total what is a realistic amount to lose in a month? What are the deadlines for these different steps to the goals you are creating?

Don’t try to tackle the goal to completion in one setting.

If you want to post on your blog 10 times a month don’t think you’re going to knock that out in one writing session. Figure out how long it typically takes you to write a piece and then decide when in your schedule you can sit down and write one and then when you can write the next and the next…etc

If you want to reach 1,000 Twitter followers figure out a way to gain more popularity on Twitter. Are you going to tweet a certain amount of times per day? Are you going to follow X amount of new people? Which hashtags will get you more attention?

Figure out what you need to do to reach your goal, specifically.

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Hold yourself accountable

If you’re like most people it is easy to tell yourself you’re going to do XYZ and then not do it. It is not easy to tell other people you are going to do something and then prove yourself a liar by not doing it.

Depending on your comfort level you may want to tell your best friend or you may want to tell the entire world, but tell someone! If you have to hire a trainer or a coach to keep yourself accountable, do it! If you want to tell all your followers your E-book will be done September 23rd, you better be damn sure it’s ready on September 23rd. If you tell your career coach, you are going to apply for 3 new positions a week you better have applied for 3 jobs.

You have to find the way you will stay motivated and accountable.

3 Sources for accountability


For some people paying for a service like Weight Watchers or the 21 Day Fix holds them accountable because they put their money into it so they are more likely to stick with it.

I grew up in a household where we learned that money was hard to come by and to not waste it. Putting money into my blog helped me be accountable for it. I tried to start several blogs over the years, but it wasn’t until I spent money to buy a domain and web hosting that I had a larger sense of responsibility to stick with it and keep working.


For some people, telling someone they are doing something makes them feel like they have to do it. If you tell all your coworkers you aren’t eating red meat anymore, you might be less likely to walk into the break room with a cheeseburger.

If you are in a mastermind group and you know the other members are expecting to hear about your progress on a certain project will you be more likely to do it?

Can you partner with someone to reach this goal? Are you the type that is more likely to let yourself down than others? Does knowing someone is depending on you to do something drive you to work harder?


Will rewards keep you in line? Do you want to hire a VA? Maybe you should set the goal that if you complete and sell 5 of your e-courses then you can finally hire a VA. If you work out 4 times in one week you can buy yourself that new Michael Kors bag you wanted.

Make sure that rewards don’t take away from your goal. You see this a lot with weight loss goals… I lost 5 pounds so I deserve this bucket of ice cream…no it doesn’t work that way. Grab that 100 calorie ice cream sandwich mini instead.

To recap

In order for this to work, you have to decide what you want, what you have to do to get there in detail, how you will hold yourself accountable for those goals and how you will reward yourself or celebrate them.

So what is one goal you want to set for yourself you can follow these steps to obtain?

What accountability method works best for you?

Tell me in the comments.

Did you enjoy this post? Well, check out the free download: The Setting Attainable Goals Workbook so you can put all of the above tips into action and start seeing results!

Setting Attainable Goals Workbook cover


  1. Candy

    Dia I loved reading this. Helps me refocus and remember it is a step progress.

  2. Amy Saunders

    These are really good tips – I’ve never thought about the money one, that’s really interesting but it seems like a great idea! Thank you!

  3. Fatima

    Great tips overall. I love the one about holding yourself accountable. As much as it sucks to admit the fact that it’s all about your own personal achievements, it really is. My PR professor would always tell me that if I can’t do PR for myself, I shouldn’t be doing it for anyone else. It’s very true. Whatever you set your mind to do, you can achieve. Just remember how important it is to acquire little wins. 🙂

  4. Amy Scott

    I find others is my most effective method. I am prideful and stubborn and I won’t give that person the satisfaction of telling me I gave up so by making myself accountable to another person I trick myself like that! I’ll make excuses with money so it doesn’t work for me. I need somebody else to know!

  5. Dia

    Haha yes it is so important to find the mode that works for you.

  6. Dia

    Thank you Candy 🙂

  7. Dia

    Little wins are so important they keep you motivated thats why breaking your goals up into steps is so smart.

  8. Dia

    It won’t work for everyone but if it’s a motivator for you then I suggest trying it.

  9. Stephanie Chavez

    I must confess I am horrible at setting goals. I simply don’t to it. That said…I just subscribed to get that workbook because I can definitely use some help. Glad I found your blog! Thanks for the great tips!

  10. cori

    One thing I’m learning with having my monthly targets and goals is that I need to pair down every so often. I know I’d get bored if I just tried to focus on one of them. Some days I only want to work on one of them, but I know I have to take steps towards them all.

  11. Kaley

    It’s such great advice to break your goals down into little parts. Taking is one step at a time not only makes it seem less overwhelming, but it’s more satisfying when you complete the little goals you’ve made for yourself!!

  12. Dia

    Right you get to celebrate mini-victories along the way

  13. Dia

    Welcome Thanks so much for subscribing! Keep a look out because I will be giving out more and more content 🙂

  14. Dia

    That can be good Cori! Just focusing on one goal a day or devoting a work session to getting on thing done. lol

  15. Angela

    I am working on setting up the steps. I set the goal. But now it’s breaking it down and making it happen! Rewards are huge for me. For example. Our goal is to be debt free in three years and then in five years take a three month trip to Japan and a few other countries. We had to break that down into what we could afford and what was actually attainable. It’ll happen but it’ll be work!

  16. Mistle

    These are all great tips! I find that when it is a big goal that I want to accomplish, I do small steps to accomplish it over time. I also usually set my goals to be pretty attainable though things get in the way at times. I feel that if I am able to accomplish some of my goals that is a great thing.

  17. Liz Mays

    Breaking large projects down is key for me. I’m easily overwhelmed if I don’t do that!

  18. Dia

    It really helps me feel less intimidated by all my big goals

  19. Dia

    I am the same way!

  20. Dia

    That is a kickass reward! I hope it goes amazing!

  21. Amber Starr

    Love this post! The small steps you take and plan to teach your big goal is so important.

  22. Jessica

    I always have trouble setting realistic goals. Especially if I’m trying something new – how would I even know what’s realistic if I’ve never really done it before. It’s all about the learning curve!

  23. Dia

    That’s where the planning comes in you, you can break down the goal to figure out the steps necessary and it lets your realize if you it’s attainable in your time period.

  24. Dia

    Thanks so much Amber.

  25. Leah Herring

    This is such great advice. I’ve scaled down my goals this year and I’ve noticed that I’ve been able to accomplish so much more!

  26. Jessica Bradshaw

    Yes! These are great tips. I love goal setting, but sometimes set the bar too high or feel defeated if I don’t accomplish all of them. Thanks for this!

  27. Joyce

    I like the baby steps to a big goal! I just started blogging less than a month ago, and have a few goals in that area of my life. I’m going to try some of your tips and form attainable, smaller goals leading up to bigger goals! Thanks!

  28. Moose Studio

    I love what you shared about money. I too came from a family in which money was hard to come by. Investing money into my blog and acquiring a small debt has motivated me to stay accountable, and follow through. It’s a scary way to motivate yourself, but when you finally accomplish your goals, it is so much more rewarding!

  29. Jenn

    I really love this. I’m with you about the money thing. I started countless free blogs and once I purchased my domain name and host is when I started taking blogging seriously. Shared this on my FB page 🙂 thanks for sharing, this post will help lots of people!!

  30. yemisi femi-pius

    Thank you dia for this post. Accountability is key to achieving goals and i struggled with this for a while. I have found that getting a coach is helpful to staying accountable to one’s goals

  31. Justine Y @ Little Dove

    These are great and I totally agree, small, attainable goals are so much more realistic; and you don’t get frustrated when things aren’t going the way you want them too be, as quickly as you want them to.
    I have both blogging goals, and family goals, and I have a few, “simple” steps to achieve them.

  32. Sara

    I feel like that’s just what I needed to read. One of my goals is to get back into the gym, as I used to enjoy it a lot. I’m more willing to do something if I know someone is dependent on me, so my plan is to get a workout buddy who will hold me accountable.

  33. Debbie-jean Lemonte

    Hi Dia,

    Thank you so much for this. Sometimes, I do find myself overwhelmed and discouraged because I’ll start things and never finish them. Just recently, I’ve started with a To Do List for the day. I’ll write things down and I’ll set an alarm on my phone to keep me on point especially with time. It also keeps me a little more focused. But I think I like your list and might try a few things.

  34. Kristen from The Road to Domestication

    This is great! I was just asking someone yesterday if they could do anything, what would it be, and then telling them to break it down and make goals to achieve it! Why not, right?! Life’s too short!

  35. Cole

    My main goal right now is to get back into shape by eating under 2000 calories a day using an app to count them, and working out 4 times a week to start. I like to share my goals on my blog and with my friends to help keep myself accountable 🙂

  36. Samantha

    This is so great! I especially love your advice on planning specific steps on how you want to achieve your goals.

  37. Danielle Greco

    This post is great! I love goal setting, it totally keeps me on track. I’ve been slacking this month and last. I need to re set my goals. I love how you break them down. Makes it less stressful 🙂
    Danielle |

  38. Emily

    When it comes to my health and fitness, I am easily self-motivated. But, when it comes to my blog and social media presence, I tend to set wishy-washy goals and do things “when I can.” With my personal training and group fitness jobs, it’s easy for me to put my online presence on the back burner. I get worn out and unmotivated when I’m spread too thin. It’s hard to find that balance! Would love a blog accountability partner 🙂

  39. Shane

    It is so key to hold yourself accountable! I like making my goals.. such as my 30 day yoga challenge public so I know people are watching (rooting for me!)

  40. Alison

    This is so true, little by little is the best way to reach any goal – consistency is key!

  41. Jen

    “Think of the steps.” Yup. Love it. Not only does that help me figure out exactly how I’m going to reach a goal, but it gives me more items on my to-do list to cross off. Ha!

  42. Caroline

    I totally need to set goals. I never do that for myself. It would definitely be smart to do!

  43. Brittany Giles

    Accountability is key and these are really some amazing pointers!

  44. Jenny

    I am so rewards based haha. I am setting goals for myself to workout for next month and at the end of the month if I’ve worked out enough, I will buy myself something. These are such great tips, Dia.

    xoxo, Jenny

  45. Alicia Snow

    I think setting smaller steps is so important! To say, “I’ll run a marathon!” seems impossible. But to set some easier tasks like “Run a mile each day for a week” and “Run three miles by the end of the month”, I can see an end in sight! Not that I’ll ever run a marathon. Haha.

  46. Alison

    I get caught in trying to do too much in a goal so I really needed to hear this. Remembering that it is step by step is hard but definitely important. I realized when reading this I needed to look at my goals again with this in mind.

  47. Barely Vegan

    Love these tips! I like how you say not to just write “Lose 20 pounds”. So many of us write goals like that. Including the steps we need to take in order to accomplish our goal is very important.

  48. Amanda

    Love this! I’m so guilty of saying “I want to lose 20 pounds” and then never getting specific on what I’m going to do to get there. I also like how you give us ways to accomplish our goals like putting money into something, having someone hold us accountable and by giving ourselves deadlines. This is a great post!

  49. Cori

    If it wasn’t for goal setting I would never get anything done. These are great steps to help you reach your goals easily.

  50. Angie Scheie

    I feel like I have so many big goals in so many areas it’s hard to get them done :-(. Helpful tips Dia!

  51. Dia

    Thanks Angie. I hope you kick your goals ass!

  52. Dia

    It’s really all about breaking down your goals. Having goals means nothing without a plan.

  53. Dia

    Thank you so much Amanda.I’m also on the 20 pound plan.I’m cutting back on alcohol, bread and red meat during the week and trying to increase my steps each day. Good luck!

  54. Dia

    You have to have a plan of action!

  55. Dia

    I hope it helps. When I realized that I needed to break down my goals and really think of the path not just the end goal I started to stress less and get more done.

  56. Dia

    That’s a fun reward. I’m sure whatever you buy will be cute!

  57. Dia

    Haha I am the same way! But that’s exactly what I mean you can see smaller accomplishments on the way to your larger goals, it keeps you motivated.

  58. Dia

    Thank you Brittany!

  59. Dia

    I’m emailing you!

  60. Dia

    Please start. Think of your dreams and then think of what you actually need to do to get there. There is a huge difference between dreams and goals.

  61. Dia

    Rooting for you for sure but yes it does make you want to be sure you get it done.

  62. Dia

    Thanks Danielle! I hope you get back on track 🙂

  63. Dia

    It’s all about planning a head.

  64. Dia

    Good luck! Lucky my calorie count is 1200 lol Which app do you use? I use my fitness pal.

  65. Dia

    Right. Why not have a life you love.

  66. Dia

    That’s awesome. I’m a huge fan of to-do lists.

  67. Dia

    That’s such a great idea, I wish I enjoyed working out with others but i just like zoning out into the zone.

  68. Dia

    That’s awesome. Anytime someone has a goal and a plan it makes me happy.

  69. Dia

    Haha right. You’re like
    “I’m killing it!” even if it is all adding up to one goal.

  70. Dia

    Yes don’t get burnt out!

  71. Dia

    You rock my socks Jenn! I saw you shared on twitter! Thanks so much!

  72. Dia

    Yes, you can get your money back if you worked yourself. Between ads, freelancing and sponsorships I have already paid for my domain fees this year.

  73. Dia

    Right just focusing on certain ones at a time and being specific about the steps you need to take to get them done can take so much stress off your plate. If you want to start a podcast thing of what that means and what all you need to get it done. What a realistic time frame. That’s on my longterm to do list, for this fall.

  74. Dia

    If you can afford it, I totally recommend it!

  75. Dia

    Thanks for stopping by Joyce. Can’t wait to check out your blog.

  76. Dia

    I used to do the same, breaking them down has helped so much!

  77. Chelsea

    Loved this post! I feel like I have a ridiculous amount of goals and never take the time to figure out how to get there. This is definitely helpful!

  78. Dia

    Thanks Chelsea. It’s so true, once you sit down and really look into it you can figure out whats working and what isn’t.

  79. Agnes

    Great post! Definitely info I can use

  80. Karen

    Great inspiration! Sometimes we get so caught up in the past that we don’t set goals for the future. Thanks for the great advice!

  81. Audrey

    Your blog is so inspiring! I love reading it and feeling like I can accomplish anything!

  82. Dia

    Of course. Good luck on your goals Karen.

  83. Dia

    That is so nice to hear Audrey. Guess what you can! 🙂

  84. Aubrey

    Given how busy March and April got, I let some of my goals slide to the backburner. It’s time to get back on track.

  85. Dia

    You have to give yourself time to recover and as long as you get back to it, it’s okay.

  86. Kerry

    I find rewards work best for me when I’m trying to attain certain goals! i also like to break it down into smaller goals. Most of my goals these days are blog related. Writing them down and keeping them visible is key!

  87. Dia

    That is about how I am right now. 70% blogging goals.

  88. Emily from SGSB

    Thanks for sharing these tips – I will definitely use them in my upcoming goal-setting! When I make goals, I always try to follow the SMART rule, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Specific.

  89. Dia

    That’s great that you’ve found a method that works for your Emily.

  90. May 2016 Goals - All The Things I Do

    […] At some point just writing the goal helped me start putting things into focus. Writing down these larger goals and just figuring out what needed to be done and what could realistically be done within certain time points. I am feeling a lot less burnt out lately. I mean sure I’m always busy but it’s all about balance and setting attainable goals. […]

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