Whether you have small dreams or high expectations, you will plan what you want to do in your life by setting goals.
You will have to make efforts for the rest of your life to reach some of them, while you can achieve some in one day. It may seem daunting to get started, but you will see that you can achieve even your most ambitious dreams.
Determine what your life goals are
Ask yourself some important questions to know what you want to do with your life. What do you want to accomplish today, in a year, in your life? The answers to these questions can be as general as “I want to be happy” or “I want to help others .” Think about what you want to accomplish in 10, 15 or 20 years.
- A career goal in your life could be to open your own business. A sporting goal might be to be in better physical shape. A personal goal might be to start a family someday. The goals you set for yourself can be incredibly varied.
Break the big picture down into smaller, easier-to-reach goals
Think about areas of your life that you want to change or want to develop over time. For example, you might consider areas such as your career, finances, education or health. Start by asking yourself questions about what you would like to accomplish in each area and how you would like to approach this area in the next five years.
- If you want to focus on being physically fit, you could break it down into smaller goals: “eat healthier” and “run a marathon”.
- If you want to set yourself the goal of opening your own business, your smaller goals might be “I want to learn how to manage my business effectively” and “I want to open an independent bookstore”.
Write your goals in the short term
Now that you know more or less what you want to accomplish in the next few years, ask yourself concrete goals that you can start working on right now.
Set a deadline for a reasonable period of time (no more than one year for short-term goals ).
- It will be harder to ignore your goals if you write them and you will feel more responsible for their fulfillment.
- To be in better physical shape, your first goal might be to eat more vegetables and run 5 km.
- To open your own business, your first goal might be to take courses in accounting and find the perfect location for your bookstore.
Prepare the necessary steps to achieve your goals
Basically, you have to decide why you set these goals and what you will get out of them.
Here are some good questions to ask you to help you find the answer: “Is this the right time for this? “And” does it corresponds to my needs? “
- For example, if you have a short-term sporting goal of training in a new sport for 6 months, ask yourself if it really helps you reach your bigger goal of running a marathon. If this is not the case, consider changing the goal in the short term to find something that will help you reach your higher goal.
Regularly adjust your goals
You might have a fixed idea of your life goals, but you should take the time to re-evaluate your smaller goals. Do you respect the time that you have set to accomplish them? Do they always help you stay on the path to your higher goals? Allow yourself some flexibility to adjust your goals.
- To be in better physical shape, you may have run for 5 km. Once you have run this distance several times, each time improving your personal best, you could adjust the distance to 10 km. Eventually, you could get to run a half marathon before running a marathon.
- To open your own business, having achieved the first objectives by taking accounting courses and finding the right place, you could set new goals, such as applying for credit to buy the place you found or apply for authorization for your type of business.
Make your goals specific
When setting goals, they must answer very specific questions about who, what, where, when, and how. For each goal you set for yourself, you need to ask yourself why it is a goal and how it can help you achieve your life goals.
- To be in better physical shape (which is very general), you have created a more specific goal of “running a marathon”, which starts with the short-term goal of “running 5 km”. When you set up each objective in the short term, for example, running 5 km, you can ask yourself the following questions: “who? ” Me. “What? »Run 5 km. “Or? In the park next to the house. “When? In 6 weeks. “Why? To reach my goal of running a marathon.
- To open your own business, you have created a short-term goal to “take courses in accounting”. This can answer the following questions: “who? ” Me. “What? »Take courses in accounting. “Or? ” At the library. “When? Every Saturday for 5 weeks. “Why? To learn how to manage the budget of my business.
Create measurable goals
To be able to monitor your progress, you need to set quantifiable goals. It is much more difficult to quantify “I will run more” than “I will run 5 km”. Basically, you have to give yourself the means to determine if you have achieved your goal.
- “Running 5 km” is a measurable goal. You can be sure of having done it or not. You may need to set a goal for a shorter term, such as “run 3 km 3 times a week” to reach your goal of 5 km. Once you have reached a 5 km run once, you can set another quantifiable goal, for example, “run again 5 km, but bring down the stopwatch by 4 minutes”.
- In the same way, “taking accounting courses” is a quantifiable goal, because it is a course in which you will have to register and participate several times a week. “Learning Accounting” is a less measurable goal, it’s too vague because it’s hard to know when you’re done learning about accounting.
Stay realistic about your goals
It is important to evaluate your situation honestly and to recognize what are the realistic goals and objectives that are not. Ask yourself if you have everything you need to accomplish your goal (skills, resources, time and knowledge).
- To be in better physical shape and run a marathon, you will have to spend time running. If you do not have enough time or interest to spend several hours a week, this goal may not work for you. If you find yourself in this case, you can adjust your goals. There are other ways to be in a better physical shape that do not involve a lot of hours to run.
- If you want to open your own bookstore, but if you do not have experience in running a business, if you have no capital to invest in opening your business, if you have no idea of the how bookstores work, if you do not like reading, chances are you will not reach your goals.
At all times, you must have different goals that are at different stages of accomplishment. It is crucial to decide which goals are more important or require more time than others. If you find yourself with too many objectives to manage, you will feel overwhelmed and you will have fewer chances to accomplish.
- It might be useful to choose your priority objectives. This will help you refocus when a conflict of goals appears. If you have the choice between completing one or two minor goals or a major goal, you know that you have to accomplish the major goal.
- If you are trying to be physically fit and have smaller goals such as “eat healthier”, “run 5 km” and “swim 1 km, 3 times a week”, you may be aware that you do not have enough energy to do all these things at the same time. You can set priorities. If you want to run a marathon, it may seem more important to run 5 km rather than swim every week. You could continue to eat healthier because, in addition to helping you run faster, it’s good for your health.
- If you want to open a bookstore, you may need a license and you need to make sure you can get a business credit (if you need it) before choosing the type of books you want to sell.
Keep track of your progress
You could better track your personal and professional progress by keeping a journal. You will come to stay motivated by checking where you are and the progress you have made. It might even encourage you to work more.
- Ask a friend to help you stay focused. For example, if you’re training for a big race, you might be able to better track your progress by having a friend with whom you can train regularly.
- If you are training to run a marathon, keep a journal in which you write your speed and distance records and how you feel.
- It may be difficult to track your progress if you want to open a business, but you could follow the work you have already done by noting your major and minor goals and ticking them each time you complete one.
Evaluate your goals
Know when you have achieved your goals and celebrate it as it should. Take the time to assess the progress of accomplishing your goals from start to finish. Ask yourself if you are happy with the time it took you, with your skills or if the goal is really reasonable.
- For example, once you have run for the first time 5 km, recognize this accomplishment, even if it is smaller compared to your major goal of running a marathon.
- Of course, when you open the doors of your bookstore and make your first sale to a customer, you will celebrate this event by remembering all the efforts you have made to get there.
Continue to set goals
Once you have achieved some of your goals, even major ones, you must continue to evolve and set new goals for yourself.
- Once you have run a marathon, you have to think about what you want to do next. Do you want to run another marathon, but improve your time? Do you want to diversify and try running a triathlon? Do you want to return running shorter distances of 5 or 10 km?
- If you have opened your own independent bookstore, would you like to organize local events, such as reading clubs or literature classes? Do you want to make more money? Would you like to open other bookstores and expand your business by setting up a café in your bookstore or next door?
- There are many ways to set goals and achieve them, such as the SMART method, which you can find by searching the Internet.