Setting Sustainable Goals

by | 2 Feb 2023

Setting Sustainable Goals

Who doesn’t love setting a goal?! Thinking about whether or not we can ever really achieve the goal isn’t nearly as much fun as setting it, or as much fun as buying all the new stuff supposedly needed for it.

The new year always brings so much possibility and hopefulness. I imagine many of you reading this will have thought about being a bit greener or making some positive environmental changes this year?

But with January now over I wonder how many of the new year resolutions and goals we set have been achieved, or are even still on track…?

It is so easy to overreach when it comes to goal setting, we can often end up setting big generic goals that don’t really identify what needs to be done, like ‘Being Greener’ for example… what does this actually mean? How do you measure it? How do you achieve it? How do you complete it?

So if you have set yourself some big green goals for 2023 and are already feeling a bit disheartened about not achieving them, then let’s get you back on track with some Sustainable Goals Setting Tips.

Starting with the


We always need to look at the Why behind any goal, because if you aren’t clear on why you are setting a goal, you are less likely to be motivated to achieve it. The why will be different for every goal, but I’d like to think that anyone reading this and setting green goals for themselves, or for their business, will have pretty similar reasons why.

If you’ve set yourself some green goals, take the time to have a think about the real benefits of these goals. Think about the impact on yourself and others, as well as the wider planetary impact and benefits.

If you can’t really think of a definitive why then you probably need to give some more thought to your goal…

Once you have established the why, let’s move onto the


You need to be as specific as you can about the what when setting any goal. An overall main goal is fine, but it needs to be broken down into smaller specific chunks when goal setting, so try think about it in terms of the main goal you’d like to achieve, and then think about the steps you’ll need to take to achieve it.

If as a business, for example, your have set yourself a main goal to remove all single use plastic used, to actually have any chance of achieving this goal you’ll need to break it down to the actual what, and be specific. You’ll need to start thinking about the different types of plastic waste currently used, about how to tackle the reduction of each type of plastic, and start to start thinking about the timelines for the reduction and removal of each type of plastic. Your goal requires some specific what’s.

The goal of removing single use plastic is generic. This could be your main statement with a more specific goal of cutting your overall plastic usage in half within 6 months, and removing all single use plastic items within a year.

Once you’ve nailed the why and the what, let’s look at


In order for us to achieve goals they need to be realistic, obtainable, and achievable, otherwise they become overwhelming.

All goals are just that, goals, until you define them in terms of Achievability. By setting yourself huge green goals that require a lot of time, energy, people power, process change, money, and planning, you will probably fail to achieve them.

There is a reason why gyms rub their hands together each new year as we all sign up for a years membership, go for the first month, then pay for the next 11 months without going! We set ourselves an unachievable target of ‘losing weight’, then become overwhelmed and stop.

By setting yourself smaller, realistic, and obtainable green goals, it becomes much easier to achieve them.

When the why, what, and achievability is sorted you can look at


Having some way of measuring your progress is so important, otherwise how will you really know whether you are succeeding?

There are ways to measure any goal, and no real excuses why not to measure them. Once you have spent the time and energy deciding the why, what and achievability, spend some time thinking about what success might look like and how you might measure that success.

And finally, when you’ve thought through and defined all of the above, you’ll need to give your goals some


Deadlines will have already formed a main part of the what, the achievability, and the measurement of your goals.

Deadlines give us something to aim for, a reason to stay focused, and help to stop procrastination, I know I’m not alone in this artform!

By setting realistic and achievable deadlines in line with the goals themselves, it provides enough urgency to help avoid procrastination, while allowing enough time to realistically get the job done.

So if you set yourself some big green goals for 2023 but have been feeling disheartened about not really achieving them, the Sustainable Goals Setting Tips above should get you back on track!

For more green tips and inspiration take a look at our other blog posts, or pop over to Instagram and LinkedIn and check out @achievinggreenness where we provide you with the motivation, evidence, and tools you may need to become greener.

If you are a business looking for help to take action, get organized, and get Green then get in touch, we offer bespoke Green packages for all your requirements.

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