Not Just In Your Wildest Dreams

by tinareale on January 10, 2012

This time of year means goals for many people. Lots of them. I’m one of them. I shared my goals to complete a full marathon this year. To likely pursue another certification in fitness nutrition. To find more balance. I love having goals. More than having goals, however, I love reaching and achieving my goals.

Over time, I have found ways to help ensure that happens. Here are three steps I take to help me make my goals a success….and not another washed away dream or “what if”. Your goals don’t have to just be in your wildest dreams. You CAN make them a reality.


Step One: Establish The Goal. Create your vision. What is your goal? Think about your goal. What does the big picture of your goal look like? Running a half marathon? Writing a book? Doing ten push-ups on your toes? Holding a challenging yoga position a full minute? Developing your blog? Achieving a healthy weight? Saving money? Reading more books? Picking your nose less? (checking you’re paying attention) What IS your goal?


Step Two: WHY? Before you set out on a goal, figure out WHY you want to achieve it. You should have some form of strong internal motivation for the goal. Make note of your motivation for this goal, so you can easily access it when things get more challenging down the line. You need to always know WHY it matters to you.

Step Three: Determine Action Steps. Once you determine your goal, sit down and list out everything you can actively do to work towards that goal. Be specific. List out the many actions you can take that can help you achieve your goals. Obviously, if you hope to write a book you will need to set aside time to develop your writing and get some words on paper. Or if you hope to get in control of your money, you know you need to set up a budget. Get detailed on the actions that will bring you to your goal. I would also suggest taking the time to assess whether the steps to achieve the goal at this time are realistic for you. You may have a goal to lead an organization you feel passionate about…but going after that may not be smartest when you’re finishing up graduate school, working full time, and training for a triathlon for example.


Step Four: Focus On What You CAN Control. If you have a weight loss goal, you may find yourself frustrated when the scale doesn’t reflect your efforts. If you have a blogging related you goal, you may get discouraged should the growth you anticipated did not happen. However, those numbers relate to outside sources (hormones and water weight or people clicking your site). You can’t fully control them.

Go back to that list of things you can do to work towards your goals. Those are where your focus should lie. You want to get stronger? Make your focus getting in adequate workouts. Want to reach a healthy weight? Focus on the number of nutritious meals you eat in a day/week/month and the number of workouts you accomplish. Want to increase blog readership? Focus on producing quality content, getting involved in the community, seeking guest post opportunities, etc.

Checking off what you CAN control and putting effort into those practices regularly WILL lead to results with time. Consider every small act you take towards achieving your goals an accomplishment and don’t forget them along the way. Setbacks will undoubtedly happen at times – but you have to stay focused on the positive and believe in yourself to continue moving forward.

Step Five: Re-evaluate Often. Step back and look at your progress and ask yourself tons of questions to make sure you are still on a healthy path.

  1. Have your goals changed? How do you need to adapt your actions for them?
  2. Have you achieved your original goal but it doesn’t feel good enough? Why do you feel the need to do more?
  3. Have you tried everything but aren’t seeing results? What ways can you alter your current choices to kick start things again? Seek advice if necessary.
  4. Are you feeling unmotivated suddenly? Remember why you originally pursued the goal and determine if you still feel as strongly. If you do, focus on the why of your goal. If you don’t, consider adjusting your goal or finding new inspirational tools.
  5. Are you going crazy? Do you feel overwhelmed or stressed? Take a close look at what triggers those emotions and resolve those issues. Perhaps you will need to give up counting calories or reading particular blogs or using certain tracking tools.

Stay aware of your needs and your happiness. It will make achieving your goals that much more possible.


There’s the gist of my main points for this topic. I do have about ten million more things I could delve into and talk about. Obviously I feel quite strongly about this topic. I want people to achieve their goals. I want people to dream BIG. I want everyone out there to do exactly the things they hope to do and achieve their wildest hopes and dreams. I think we all have the potential to do so…and to do so in a healthy and happy way.

  • Which of the points above stick out to you or do you try to focus on in your own personal progress?


1 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey January 10, 2012 at 7:10 am

Great tips for anyone in the new year! My kids and I just talked about new year’s resolutions yesterday and we talked about how before you can achieve anything, you need to have a plan!

2 Amy January 10, 2012 at 7:24 am

Great tips! Every time I talk to my patients I try to get them to be really clear about the goals that they are setting for their health, physical activity and eating habits. It cannot be stressed enough that through belief in yourself, proper planning and appropriate action we can achieve whatever our ultimate goals are. Thank you for a wonderful post!

3 Lauren @ What Lauren Likes January 10, 2012 at 7:45 am

Great post for 2012! I have thought about a few personal goals, little things I want to accomplish day by day :D

4 Tara Burner January 10, 2012 at 8:22 am

awesome tips Tina!

5 Claire @ Live and Love to Eat January 10, 2012 at 8:41 am

I like to have my clients list out potential barriers to meeting their goals and brainstorm how to get past them – this helps to make sure the goal is reasonable.

6 Mellissa January 10, 2012 at 9:02 am

I have to focus on what I can control, I get so wrapped up it in at all and sometimes I just need to let it go and just go workout and no worry about the program, the time, the calories, the weight lifted. It is supposed to be fun too.

7 Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food January 10, 2012 at 9:07 am

I think goals are so important to have! They give you something to strive for and give you such a sense of success when you achieve them! Great post! :-)

8 Paula @ lipstick and lunges January 10, 2012 at 9:08 am

Great goals Tina! There is nothing like the feeling of reaching a goal. I try to set mini goals at the gym to keep myself motivated and keep that feeling of achievement going strong.
To me step 2 is one of the most important step. Sometimes when we set a goal (especially body/fitness related) our motivation behind it is actually negative. The reason behind the goal should always make you feel as good as getting to the goal itself, make it positive!

9 [email protected] January 10, 2012 at 9:43 am

You’ve no idea how applicable this is to me at the moment! Much appreciated tips! :)

10 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats January 10, 2012 at 9:47 am

my favorite tip that you have is to focus on what you CAN control! That’s something I really need to do!

11 [email protected] January 10, 2012 at 9:57 am

Great tips!! I have a goal of making it to my goal by October 1st which is the one year anniversary of me joining weight watchers. I have specific plans in place for me to make that happen, but even if I don’t 100% make it and I stick to my plans, I’ll be one happy mama!

12 Angie @ Losing It and Loving It January 10, 2012 at 10:22 am

Great tips! I like to keep my goals to a minimum because if I have too many, I get stressed and never achieve them. I think my 6 goals for 2012 are doable, a bit of a reach but something to work real hard for you know?

13 Cat @Breakfast to Bed January 10, 2012 at 10:57 am

Exactly spot on. Great tips.

14 Parita @ myinnershakti January 10, 2012 at 11:07 am

Step 4 really made me stop and think. I think by looking at the factors that are in MY control, it’s easier to take things one day at a time. I think that mentatlity is what’s helping me stick to my goals so far. Great post!

15 Kat January 10, 2012 at 11:07 am

these are great tips – and re-evaluating is SO important… at the beginning of last year, I was really getting into running and races and wanted to do a marathon, but then I found out I was pregnant, and training for a full marathon was not in the cards for me! (but a half was – I did the Disney Wine & Dine at 5 months pregnant!)

16 Amberly January 10, 2012 at 11:17 am

Am I the only one who gets freaked out by goal setting?! For some reason, the thought of setting a goal gives me anxiety. This intense feeling of fear comes over me, probably stemming from past failures. I’m a recovering binge-eater and exercise addict, so I guess the idea of sticking to a plan makes me nervous. Yet, I completely understand the ideas behind it. Maybe I just need to stick to #5, “Are You Going Crazy?”, where it says to let go of some things. The sad part of it all is that I haven’t started anything that I could let go of! Okay, I hope I’m not being a “Debbie-downer”… thanks for the encouragement everyday Tina. I thank God for you. :)

17 Rebecca @ Naturally Healthy and Gorgeous January 10, 2012 at 11:33 am

I try to re-establish and evaluate my goals on a monthly or weekly basis to make sure I stay on track!

18 Lindsay @ Lindsay's List January 10, 2012 at 11:46 am

LOVE these! I might have to incorporate them into my talk next Monday! (giving you credit, of course!) :)

19 Heather January 10, 2012 at 11:49 am

great post! I love setting goals, esp mini goals for a month at a time. it really helps when I feel accomplished from something small, makes me want to work towards the bigger things.

20 @PavementRunner January 10, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Great list of steps… sometimes we need the constant reminder, and satisfaction of what we are trying to achieve. Thanks for the share.

21 misszippy January 10, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Love the idea of focusing on what you can control. This is so big when you are feeling like you’ll never get where you want to be.

Great motivating list here! And which marathon are you thinking of?

22 Katie January 10, 2012 at 1:18 pm

This post is awesome. I think I am going to create a post where I evaluate some of my bigger goals using these steps. Thanks!

23 Carol @ Lucky Zucca January 10, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Focusing on the things you can control is one of the hardest of those things for me. It is such a great reminder. This is such a helpful list to find success! Thanks for posting it. I also recently have had trouble deciding what specific goals are right for me to reach toward. Those “big dreams” that so many people have aren’t really a huge part of my life right now for whatever reason. So, I’ve decided to focus on smaller things until I do figure out what exactly I want in the bigger picture. I figure sometimes it is OK to wait instead of pushing something that you aren’t 100% committed to.

24 Kris | January 10, 2012 at 4:05 pm

I LOVE you girl!!! Goal setting is a passion of mine…could be an obsession, but seriously, I’m in love with them! I love pushing myself {with love and easy of course} towards getting out of my comfort zone and feeling what’s its like to step beyond my boundaries and achieving something!!



25 Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile January 10, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Great post!!! I definitely agree with action steps and what you can control. It makes the goal much more attainable!

26 Sophie @ LoveLiveAndLearn January 11, 2012 at 7:09 am

I’m bookmarking this :-)
This year I’m determined to complete all of my goals and this post will be a brilliant way of reminding me that I can as well as giving me tips!
Thank you for writing this Tina, it is really very well written and everything just makes SENSE to me :-)
Number 2 in particular sticks out to me because I need to remind myself why I have my goals and why they are important – I find it very motivational!

27 [email protected] EnjoyYourHealthyLife January 11, 2012 at 12:24 pm

love the tips!!

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