Now is the time to start thinking of setting your personal development goals for the next year. Setting and achieving goals for personal development and purposeful growth is very satisfying.

Setting but failing to achieve our objectives is frustrating and can be so discouraging as to cause us to turn away from goal-setting and personal development.

Before you commit yourself to goals, objectives and resolutions, here’s what you’ll want to know about setting goals that you’ll achieve.

Whose goal is it?

This may sound obvious and trivial, but it’s critically important that the goals you set are your goals, not someone’s goals for you. A major cause of goal failure is that we take on an objective because someone influential wants that for us.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with considering growth objectives suggested by someone whose opinion we value, but make sure that when you decide on a goal it is a goal that you now want for yourself.

Why do you want to achieve this goal?

Once you settle on a goal it’s very important that you clearly understand the benefits you expect to gain when you achieve it.

Most benefits ultimately translate to a feeling. A goal of losing 20 pounds is more inspiring if it is tied to feeling more attractive and confident.

Is the goal energizing?

Objectives that are too easy or too hard are recipes for failure. Shoot for challenging but doable goals. When you think of the goal and visualize yourself there you should feel a burst of energy.

If too difficult you’ll get easily discouraged by lack of progress and will probably give up. If too easy, you may be likely to put it off thinking you can start working on it later.

Can you see yourself there?

For example, let’s say your goal is to lose weight fast. Your doctor has advised that you lose fifty pounds. You realize that your health and quality of life will improve with that weight loss, so you set a goal to lose fifty pounds in the next year.

But when you try to see yourself fifty pounds lighter, the picture is hazy and you have an uncomfortable feeling.

Your goal is probably too challenging. Set your goal for something less, say twenty pounds and see if you can visualize yourself there while feeling energized.

Experiment with target weight loss goals until you find a combination that is energizing and easy to visualize. As you approach that goal, set your next goal until you ultimately reach the fifty pound target.