Writing down your goals is the first step to achieving them.
Sure, you have goals. Everyone does. There is a big difference, however, between goals and goal setting. Without concrete goals with a plan of action, your goals are actually only dreams. If you don’t know how you will reach your goals, you simply won’t. These follow tips are designed to help you properly set goals and make almost anything attainable.
KNOW WHAT YOU WANT
It sounds simple enough, but you need to determine exactly what it is you would like. It might be that you want to lose 10 pounds, or you might desire a promotion at work. Whatever it is, you need to know what you want in order to work toward it.
To use the example of a weight loss goal, it isn’t enough to simply say that your goal is to lose weight. Be concrete and definite in how much you want to lose. If your only goal is to lose weight, you could take off an ounce and be successful in a sense, but I highly doubt that is what you really want.
SET SMALLER “MILESTONE” GOALS ALONG THE WAY
Now that you know what you want, you have to figure out how you’ll get there! Set smaller goals to work toward that take you in the direction of your larger goal. It’s like you are making a map to your success. As you reach theses milestones, you will advance to your greater goal and you will be able to track your progress. As you reach these smaller goals, you will be inspired and motivated to keep going, getting ever closer to your ultimate, greater goal!
For example, if you are trying to buy a home, saving the first $1,000 for a downpayment could be a milestone. Your next milestone could be the next $1,000 and so on.
Please note that you should keep these milestone small and realistic. Your overall goal should be the big one, and it can even seem impossible until you look at all the smaller goals along the way that can get you there. If you don’t keep these milestone goals attainable, and maybe even easy, you will hinder your progress. If you goal is to run a restaurant and you are currently a dishwasher, making your first milestone to become the assistant manager will probably discourage you very quickly,
Keep these milestone goals little, doable, and plot them out in advance.
BE ADAPTABLE IN YOUR GOAL ATTAINMENT
Sometimes your milestones need to change to keep your motivation up. If your hours are cut at work and you are only making $1,000 month, a savings of that entire amount for your downpayment on a home will seem huge, and it might make more sense, at least for the time being, to aim for a savings of $100 for each milestone.
Our lives aren’t fixed paths, things happen that take us on different courses. Your goal shouldn’t be a fixed path either. Keep heading in the direction of your goal, but if need be, change the way you are trying to get there.
BE REALISTIC IN YOUR GOAL-SETTING
While it is a shame to not dream big or set your goals high, it can be disappointing, depressing and completely unmotivating when you are reaching for something that is, frankly, unreachable. Don’t tell yourself that you can become a teen pop sensation when you are tone deaf. Don’t decide that you are going to become a professional football star when you are in your 50s.
Please aim high, but be honest with yourself and realistic about your goals.
Without goals, success is impossible. By setting goals and appropriate smaller milestones, you can give yourself a greater sense of purpose, staying more motivated along the way. You goal is a journey that you succeed in by reaching smaller goals as you strive to get to where you want to be.
Set goals that challenge you and help make your dreams a reality, but be rational and don’t set yourself up for failure. Keep yourself on the right path through milestones, and be adaptable – when life puts you off course, chart a new path.