Home Guest blog Setting and achieving your goals

Setting and achieving your goals

by Ally

with Claire Skaptason

And the guest blogs are back!!

I am particularly excited about this one, because my first guest blogger for 2021 is the fabulous Claire Skaptason.

I first met Claire at a Zoom networking event during the first lockdown in March last year (proof that Zoom networking does work!) when she was talking about the power of your mindset. While I had heard of the importance of mindset before, I was really keen to find out more, so I joined Claire’s Change your Mindset and Achieve More training.

The training was a real eye opener for me, and helped me make some significant changes in the way I look at things, both in my personal life and in my business. Not only that, but Claire is quite possibly the most positive person I know, and her training sessions were a true breath of fresh air, at a time when life was perhaps a little bit overwhelming.

And when the 5 week training course finished, I asked Claire if I could work with her on a one to one basis, as my coach. My coaching sessions with Claire have been invaluable in running my business, and especially in setting goals and following them through.

Which is why, it made perfect sense to me to ask Claire to be my guest blogger for January and talk about setting and more importantly achieving your goals.

So here she is …

Introducing the fabulous Claire Skaptason from O&O Trainer Coach

Claire Skaptason is a Personal Development Trainer & Coach working with individuals and businesses to support them in their personal lives and careers. Claire has been a personal development trainer and facilitator for more than 15 years, focusing on courses including Effective Presentational Skills, Personal Impact and more recently Growth Mindset for Managers. Claire has been a personal development coach for three years working with individuals to support, motivate, challenge and essentially act as their cheerleader, helping them look forward, become unstuck and achieve both short and long term goals. Claire is accredited by the International Coaching Federation and works with her clients in a number of areas from developing positive habits, finding their purpose and developing a growth mindset. Claire is the accountability partner that will help you to succeed. 

As I type this it is getting closer to mid-January and that is relevant because it is also a time when many people who set goals at the beginning of the new year will find themselves struggling to achieve what they set out to. The main reason for this is because often they have not followed the appropriate steps when setting their goals, and without all the right steps and support in place it will be harder to achieve what you want to.

As a coach my role is to work with people to help them achieve their goals, whether that be to develop better habits, to find their purpose or to feel happy within themselves. I work with people of all ages to support them in setting the right goal in the first instance before putting in place the right plan – if you do this, and have the right support network around you, you should be able to reach your goal. So where do we start?

Smart goals

You may have heard of SMART goals, well that is a good place to start. SMART stands for:


When you are thinking about creating your goal you need to ensure it is SMART:

SPECIFIC – so what exactly do you want to achieve? Ensure your goals are focused and have a tangible outcome. Without the specifics, your goal runs the risk of being too vague! Where you can be more specific you will be able to more easily identify what it is you want to achieve.

MEASURABLE – how will you know when you reach your goal? You should have a clear definition of success to help you evaluate achievement and progress. If you know what your intended outcome is, you will have a better idea of how to measure it.

ACHIEVEABLE – is it possible to reach your goal within your timeline? Be realistic here. Consider things that might stand in your way. You may well want to achieve something quickly but if the likelihood of that happening is slim then you could do more harm than good. Many people create goals that are too far reaching. It is important to start small – achieve that goal and it will be easier to achieve a slightly bigger goal the next time. Aim too high and you may find that you are not successful which may lead to you feeling like you have failed!

RELEVANT – is this goal relevant to your life right now? Is it worth working hard to achieve this goal right now? If not you may find yourself not putting in the necessary effort to achieve what you want to achieve.

TIME-BOUND – when exactly do you want to achieve your goal? Many people will start with either three or six months but you will know what is realistic for you.

Make it inspirational

So you have considered the SMART elements of your goal but you also need to ensure your goal is inspirational because if it’s not you are not going to be inspired to achieve it. When I work with clients I ask them to visualise how they will be feeling when they have reached their goal, what time of the year it will be, even what they are wearing and what it means to them to have succeeded. This often helps them to reflect on their goal in a more motivating way. So for example, instead of having a goal of ‘losing weight’ you can change your goal into ‘feeling lighter and more content in my body’. That encapsulates how you will feel and
what it will mean to you when you get there. Once you have created your inspirational goal, a great thing to do is to visualise it every morning…reminding yourself of that feeling – this is a great self-encouragement exercise that works for many people if done consistently. Hal Elrod in his book The Miracle Morning talks about Visualisation as one of his key morning life ‘savers’ – and how, when carried out routinely, it can be incredibly effective.

Write it down!

Once you have your goal, write it down, not just once, put it on a number of different pieces of paper and put it in places where you find yourself throughout the day – it might be next to the kettle, on the bathroom mirror or even on the dashboard of your car. By writing your goal down you are agreeing to it. By putting it in different places you are constantly reminding yourself of what it is you want to achieve. I suggest to my coaching clients that they write their goal down and take a photo and use it as their screen saver on their phone – there is no getting away from it that way!

Tell others about your GOAL

It is also really important to share your goal with family and friends. Accountability is an amazing thing so telling as many people as possible will lessen your chances of ‘giving in’ and not reaching your goal. These people can also be there to support and motivate you when you might be struggling. As a coach my role is not only to encourage and motivate my clients but I am also there to challenge, especially when excuses start appearing. If you are relying on friends and family to support you, ensure you have someone who is prepared to challenge you at times when you need it most.

Small achievable steps

So, you have your inspirational SMART goal and you’re ready to go. What next? You need to break your goal down into smaller steps. What smaller sub-goals do you need to set to reach your bigger goal? Creating sub-goals will make things more manageable. In addition, understanding what might stand in the way of you achieving your goal is crucial – if you are already aware of these obstacles you will be more prepared to deal with them when they appear.

Keep going

So now you are ready to start and the first couple of days are going well but what happens when you start feeling as though you are going to ‘give in’? Do not accept one failure as a trigger to give up. Understand what prompted you to fall off the horse and make a conscious decision to get straight back on the right path. Perseverance is key here so try again, stay positive and you will get there.

Finally reward yourself. Small rewards can really help with motivation. Every day that you have edged closer to your goal is something to celebrate. Every day you achieve one of your sub-goals is something to celebrate.

Good luck!

Top tip

One book that I have loved reading around ‘goals’ is The One Thing by Gary Keller.

So, here it is. ‘I hope you feel truly inspired by Claire’s blog, and have got renewed motivation to achieve your goals you may have set yourself at the beginning of this year.

If you’d like to find out more about Claire, just click on one of the buttons below to be redirected to her website, Instagram or Facebook

Or, why not listen to Claire’s new podcast?

And if one of your goals for this year is to be more visible on social media and to have a personal branding photoshoot – let’s book a time for a chat.

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