An Expert Goal Setter Shares Her Tips For Making Goals You Can Actually Achieve

Every year, I set resolutions for the year ahead with the best intentions. Sadly, my follow-through isn’t as good as it should be and I tend to forget about my January aspirations come June. If you are in the same boat as me, which I imagine many of you are, we have found the secret to making resolutions you will actually commit to. Bridget Paddon – goals, growth and fulfillment coach from Goal Diggers New Zealand – shares her tips to help you tick off your goals faster than you ever thought possible.


1. What are your top tips for setting goals?

My top tips for setting goals are to dream big, hustle hard and make sure you celebrate. When creating your goals, be inspired by thinking about life with no obstacles or barriers. Ideally, how do you want your daily life to look? What do you want to be doing? Who do you want to be doing it with? Where do you want to be doing it? Who do you want to be? Once you have your kick-ass goals written out, ensure you hustle hard and take control of your journey to success. That means completing something every single day to bring you closer to smashing your goals. You have to wake up every morning with determination, passion and hustle to be able to fulfil your potential, so go out and get it, girl. Celebrating is one of the key ingredients and it’s neglected 9 out of 10 times. This is because we are hungry for more success and are straight onto checking our to-do list to see what’s next. Save the world… tick! Okay, what’s next? I’ll even put my hand up and say I don’t celebrate enough! As a coach, I see a large majority of my coaching clients being hard on themselves when, in all reality, they have achieved a whole lot since the last time we spoke. Recently I’ve created a reflection ritual where I prioritise an hour every Sunday to look back at the week and write a list of everything I have achieved. I see writing my successes down from the week as a mini celebration, but I love to back it up with something else too, which could be a conversation with a loved one, sharing how amazing I am, a dinner date with my partner Dyl or taking a couple of hours out for myself. My clients and I also create bigger celebrations for each of our individual hustle-hard goals. One of my clients is jetting off to Japan when she smashes one of her financial goals! Konichiwa!


2. What are the biggest mistakes you see people make?

They expect too much too soon. I witness so many people feeling disheartened and defeated after a month, sometimes only after a couple of weeks of working towards achieving a goal. This comes back to being our own worst critics and placing those unrealistic expectations on ourselves.
Would you expect your best friend to go from recovering from an injury to being back to the same level of strength and stamina they had before the injury, just within a couple of weeks? Hell no you wouldn’t! So don’t place those expectations on yourself; you may like to think you’re Wonder Woman, but you’re also human!


3. What should they do instead?

Focus on realistic goals and be kind to yourself. For me and my coaching clients, we have three steps to creating and achieving our goals. We start by creating a dream-big goal, which is then broken down into smaller and more realistic hustle-hard goals. Then each hustle-hard goal is broken down into delicious bite-size steps that can easily be achieved and are essentially bringing us closer to our dream-big goal. The key is to make your goals realistic, attainable and achievable and at the same time be kind to yourself when things don’t quite go to plan, because quite simply, they won’t. The struggle is real.


4. How do people decide what goals to set themselves?

The very first coaching session I work through with my clients is a Dream-big session. In this session I question, prompt and help illuminate exactly what my client’s ideal life and lifestyle looks like and feels like, for example: Chris Hemsworth, Bali, financial freedom, 100kg, back squat PB, and the list goes on. This is a great place to start if you are creating your own goals.
First of all, break your ideal life or lifestyle down into five to eight different aspects. For example, you might have holistic health (fitness, nutrition, mental health, spiritual health), career/business, relationships, finances, passion projects, adventures/holidays, personal development and anything else that is important to you. Once you’ve identified what each aspect of your life ideally looks and feels like, then you can start writing out a goal for each one. Don’t forget to think about why these are your ideals and why you’re turning them into goals!


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