The Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting

  • Hannah Aylward
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The Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting

by Hannah Aylward


It is that time of year when the seasons are shifting, school is back in session, and things are back on track after a summer filled with trips, fun adventures, and late nights. Many of us are likely moving towards a more routine lifestyle and establishing new goals for the remainder of the year.


With new goals being set, the question always remains: How do we do accomplish our goals successfully? Let’s discuss the process I lead ALL of my coaching clients through to help them achieve (and even blow past) their goals.


A Quick Breakdown - Qualitative vs Quantitative

We can set two different types of goals: qualitative and quantitative.

Quantitative goals are outcomes based on numbers which include things like: show up on my mat four days a week, meditate for 20 minutes every day, lose 10 pounds, down points in cholesterol, increase minutes spent at the gym, etc.

Qualitative goals are outcomes based on emotion which include things like: new daily habits, behavioral changes, successes reached, mental thought towards goals/dreams, etc.

Let’s get clear here. What kind of goals are you interested in setting? The more clarity, the better.



Find your WHY.

Identify motivation and intentions. Get clear about it.

WHY is this goal so important to me? How will I feel when I achieve this goal?


Write it down.

Write down what you want to accomplish, why it is so important to you, and how you will feel once you have reached your goal.

Write down common obstacles that you expect to face while on this path to achievement and how you will overcome these obstacles. When we see these obstacles beforehand and think them through, we set ourselves up to be better prepared when they inevitably happen. Depending on your specific lifestyle and goals, these obstacles may include things like not having enough time, working late, and traveling.


Journal it out.

Daily journaling can be incredibly helpful when on a mission. This helps hold you accountable while letting you express how you are feeling throughout the process. It can be so therapeutic to get our thoughts out of our heads and onto paper. You can review your journal at the end of every day or week and see your progress — where you are killing it and where you may need to refocus. This will also allow you to see which lifestyle actions are helping move you towards your goal, and which ones are not serving you anymore.


Focus on small, daily actions, not the length and deadline.

I will never tell you not to dream big. However, so often we can set such huge goals for ourselves that we can feel overwhelmed and bogged down when we do not accomplish them immediately. This goes for everything. You cannot build a business in a day, lose 10 pounds in a week, or master a handstand in an hour. Instead, try breaking the overarching goals into smaller, daily actions that will result in achieving the big overall goal.


Daily actions can be having a smoothie for breakfast each morning, meditating for 10 minutes first thing in the morning, or drinking eight glasses of water per day.

Length and deadline actions would be losing five pounds in six weeks.

Simple, daily goals will have you accomplishing something every day and feeling good about it. When you stay consistent and focused, your desired outcome will naturally happen! If you “slip up” one day, shake it off, and get back up the next day. We are human. Humans make mistakes. These are huge opportunities to learn and grow! It is all about progress, not perfection.



Take a moment to sit down and really see yourself attaining your goals. Yes, I am so serious. I want you to do it now. See exactly what you desire — how you want it to look and what daily practices you wish to do. Feel how it feels to be there. You have made it. Sit in this space and really feel yourself living the life that you want to live. Give yourself a few moments here. This IS important and worth your time.

As humans, we are deeply connected to how things make us feel. Maya Angelou said it best, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Feelings are powerful and we attach to them. Take this moment to feel the success of reaching your goals.


Prioritize and plan.

So you have seen it, and you have felt it. Now let’s prioritize and plan HOW we are going to get there. You are doing all of this for a reason. So let’s make it happen. Prioritize your desired goal and plan to make it happen. Right now in your life, this takes front and center as much as possible. Plan out your day to day, once again focusing on the small daily steps that will accumulate into something amazing. This can then develop into a week to week plan, giving you a map to your goal.


Now that you have a plan, LET’S DO IT

Life will always happen. Things will get in the way. What you thought would work ends up not fitting correctly. That is OK! Stay positive and reassess. Maybe waking up at 6:00 a.m. every morning to get on your mat is too much. So try switching two of these mornings a week to the evening. Allow yourself to go with the ebbs and flows of life while staying true to your goal.


Follow these steps and before you know it, you will experience success toward reaching your goal.


Hannah Aylward

Hannah Aylward is a Certified Health Coach, nutrition consultant, fitness instructor, healthy living expert, and founder of HAN. She helps both men and women around the world lose weight, heal skin disturbances, balance hormones, heal gut imbalances and feel at home in their bodies through healthy eating, movement, mindfulness and positive self-talk. Her goal is to help others “learn the tools that they need to live the lives they deserve”. Get to know her by visiting her website and following her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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