How to set and achieve your goals

Whether the goal you want to achieve is big or small, these tips will help you succeed.

how to achieve your goals

Goals help give us a sense of direction or motivation in life. When you set a goal, you give yourself a clear target. So how can you put goals in place that you’ll actually achieve? By setting SMART goals!


Learn to set SMART goals

Learning to set goals that are SMART (specific, meaningful, achievable, realistic and time-bound) will help you focus your efforts and improve your chances of succeeding.

When you set a goal, make sure it’s SMART:

  • Specific
    Be specific. When it comes to setting a money goal, for example, define the amount of money you’d like to save: if it’s R20 000 over the next 12 months, you’ll need to put away R1 666 every month. 
  • Meaningful
    Sure, we’d all like to have R1 million in our bank accounts. But if your motivation for having that amount of money is status, then the likelihood that you'll succeed decreases. Your goal has to be meaningful: is the money to buy a house, send your children to university or save for retirement?
  • Achievable
    Set goals that are achievable. You probably won’t be able to save R1 million in a year, but you could save R20 000 over the next 12 months. Smaller, short-term goals can act as milestones for your bigger, long-term goals.
  • Realistic
    Be realistic about the goals you set, based on the resources and time you have available. Ask yourself:
    - Is the goal within reach?
    - Is it reachable given the time and resources I have?
    - Can I commit to achieving my goal?
  • Time-bound
    What is the time frame for reaching your goal? To be achievable, goals need to be time-bound. When planning your goal, choose a date by when you’d like to achieve it. If it’s a year from now, then break down your goal into smaller monthly ones. By keeping track of your progress, you’ll feel more motivated and have more success.


Always be SMART about the goals you set

Be mindful of the goals you set; there’s a difference between setting SMART and non-SMART goals. A non-SMART goal would be wanting to exercise more and eat healthy.

Turning that into a SMART goal, however, could be, “I’m going to run 30 minutes every day and stick to a nutrition plan over the next month to improve my health”. It’s specific, meaningful, achievable, realistic and time-bound.


Another way to create SMART goals

Break your large goals into smaller steps. Simon Rego, director of psychology training at the Montefiore Medical Center and associate professor of clinical psychiatry and behavioural sciences at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, says that by setting smaller targets, the goal is within reach, and yet it’s still a challenge.

Achieving smaller goals can help push you forward to the next step. “If you can set a goal and achieve it, you get a boost in your motivation, and a general good feeling about yourself and the world you’re living in,” he says. “If you set a goal and you blow it, it saps your strength.”

You can break your bigger goal into smaller actionable ones by creating a:

  • Daily to-do list
  • Weekly plan
  • 1-month plan
  • 6-month plan
  • 1-year plan
  • 5-year plan


Let an access facility help you achieve your goals

Applying for an access facility can help you achieve those big and expensive goals or plans, such as home improvements. Just remember to make sure your goals are always SMART! For example, don’t tackle it all in one go; rather break it into smaller projects and work from one room to the next.

Our access facility is available to anyone who qualifies, you don't have to bank with us to apply. Simply visit a Capitec branch with your valid SA ID document or smart ID (new clients only) and your latest 3 consecutive salary slips (you need to be permanently employed). You’ll also need to bring a bank statement that shows your last 3 consecutive salary deposits (only if your salary is not paid into your Capitec account).

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