No matter the size or scope of your goal, it’s important to solidify it and stick to a plan to fulfill it. Setting goals, and then setting the wheels in motion to achieve them, may seem daunting at first. Yet, with the tactics put forth here, you’ll be fulfilling goals left and right in no time.
We’ve all had goals that we wanted to accomplish at one point or another. They might be something big, like going to graduate school or buying a house, or something adventurous, like spending a month traveling the globe. They can be long term goals like saving a certain amount of money to retire on, or short term goals, like losing ten pounds before swimsuit season arrives. Regardless of size, they’re meaningless without a plan to achieve them.
So just what turns something from an idea or vague future plan into a specific goal to work toward? First and foremost, you can’t just say “someday I’d like to learn a foreign language.” Instead, you have to put a timeline on it. That means deciding that you want to learn to speak Spanish within the next five years, and then figuring out when you need to start taking lessons in order to fulfill your goal within that time frame.
The key to setting goals is being as specific as possible, from setting a start and end date, to defining exactly what you want to do. Don’t just decide you want to move to a new city eventually; flesh the idea out and decide that you want to move to a specific location, like Portland, Oregon, within the next two years. Then write down your goal and come up with a plan to achieve it.
In order to achieve your main goal, you need to set up a plan containing mini-goals. For instance, if you want to lose twenty pounds within the next six months, set sub-goals along the way to lose four or five pounds per month. Then set a goal to research diet and workout plans over the next week.
After you’ve finished your research, set mini-goals to workout at least four times a week, to eat more vegetables and less red meat, etc.
Of course, this works for pretty much any kind of goal you’re working toward. Once you’ve settled on a big goal, the initial stage should always involve setting smaller goals (or milestones) and doing research to help figure out how best to reach your goal.
Are you trying to save enough money to travel to Europe two summers from now? Research various savings accounts’ interest rates so that you can pick the highest-yielding option. Read travel guides and websites to get an idea of which cities you’ll want to visit and what hotels or hostels you want to stay in, how much airline tickets and rail fares will cost, etc. Then you can estimate the amount of money you’ll need to save to reach your goal. After the research is done, you can set mini goals to set aside a certain amount of your earnings every pay period in the savings account.
Ask For Help
Finally, never be afraid to ask for help and advice. Do you have a friend or relative who has achieved a goal similar to yours? Ask them for tips! This is especially worthwhile if your goal is life changing and involves something financial, like saving to retire or buy a house, or something related to career advancement or education, like learning a language, going back to grad school, or working toward a promotion or new job.
People who have been there before can give you helpful strategies for realizing your specific goal. So utilize all the information sources you can get your hands on, from your successful coworker or thrifty parents to the internet and your local library. Then draft up a plan and stick to it—you’ll be celebrating your achievements in no time.