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Don't set vague goals. Have touch points and actionable steps in order to achieve your goals. (Image: Rebecca Mongrain/Seattle Refined)

Making exceptional goals in 2017

*New Year's is all about resolutions - a topic that is pretty controversial to most. This year we present two sides from two experts in the life coach game: arguments for and against why resolutions do and don't work. Here is the *pro* article, check out the *con* article here.

With 2017 just days away, many of us are turning our minds to setting our goals for the coming year. Seattle Refined recently sat down with Jen Briggs, executive coach and speaker to discuss how to best set achievable goals and reach your full bad*ss potential. Briggs is known for her ability to help people manage chaos and achieve their goals while being ruthless at adding value.

Goal-setting may not be everyone’s joie de vivre. For those who want to be motivated or stay motivated in the long and short-term, setting a few goals is vital for a successful outcome. “Goal-planning is especially useful if you’re in career transition, job hunting, growing a business, self-employed or freelancing,” said Briggs. ”Also, anyone going through a period of change in life would benefit from goals.”

Goals are especially helpful to a productive life by helping to focus one’s energy and cultivate resources. “They also help us to break our bigger long-term vision into smaller, short-term tasks that we can accomplish more easily. In turn, we keep our motivation high,” added Briggs.

Goals, “provide the motivation to get our butts in gear,” says Briggs. “Motivation is the fire within us to go after that which we most want; goals help to fuel that fire.”

Basically if you want to achieve something in the long-term, then you must first define and articulate your goals to boost your short-term motivation toward achieving your larger vision. Additionally, studies have shown that making and tracking significant progress towards our goals makes us happier and more fulfilled. That along with joy can reduce stress, increase pleasure and lead to a feeling of accomplishment.

Having a vision is the first step to making awesome goals. Once you have that, take time to write it down.

“There are many studies that prove writing down our goals increases the likelihood of achieving of those goals,” shared Briggs. “When we write down what we want, we start the momentum. Even if we do nothing else, we’ve put it out there as an intention and studies prove that makes a difference.”

To make your goals attainable, Briggs suggests using SMART methodology - Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Timebound. This will also help identify if your goal is too vague or even unattainable.

“If our goals are too big or 'unrealistic' we can set ourselves up for failure,” said Briggs. “A general rule I use with clients is 1 or 2 main goals with clearly defined timelines and a workback plan for each. If the workback plan doesn’t seem pleasurable, doable or at least realistic, something (the timeline or the goal) needs to change.”

Briggs suggests working back from your big goal with actionable steps and writing the tasks down with action words. For instance, if you want to write a book, you want to create actionable steps toward that goals, such as 1) Decide on a concept for your book by January 10th 2) Create an outline for your book by January 15th 3) Define your book’s characters by January 20th, etc.


Goals are achievable but often people stumble when goal setting because they have too many goals or goals that aren’t specific enough, noted Briggs.

“Creating bite-sized, achievable, smaller tasks is the recipe for getting stuff done,” she added. “When the tasks seem too big to tackle, resistance, avoidance, and procrastination creep up.”

Briggs suggests following up and tracking your progress by putting a reminder in your calendar to check in on your goals and tasks related to them. Also remember to celebrate your progress as your work your way to achieving your goal.

For a daily shot of inspiration follow Jen on Instagram @heyjenbriggs or find her online at