The skill of setting goals is not that easy for everybody but by following these few simple steps you can make it more achievable. Why not give it a go? Lets look here at how to set goals, or in other words, the art of making your dreams come true!
Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.
― Paulo Coelho “The Devil and Miss Prym”
1. Decide what it is you really want
What are your dreams? What would you like to achieve?
Deciding what you want is the first and the most important step. Finding your direction and aim is essential for your success. You will not get too far if you don’t know where you going!
Think of a ship leaving harbor. Think of it with the complete voyage mapped out and planned. The captain and crew know exactly where the ship is going and how long it will take—it has a definite goal. And 9,999 times out of 10,000 it will get to where it started out to get. Now let’s take another ship, just like the first, only let’s not put a crew on it, or a captain at the helm. Let’s give it no aiming point, no goal, and no destination. We just start the engines and let it go. I think you’ll all agree with me that if it gets out of the harbor at all, it will either sink or wind up on some deserted beach—a derelict. It can’t go any place because it has no destination and no guidance. It’s the same with a human being.” -Earl Nightingale in “The Strangest Secret”
2. Write down your goals
Writing down your goals helps to make them more real and clear for you. You should keep the piece of paper with your written goals somewhere close so you can revisit it often, ideally re-read every day to remind yourself where you are aiming. That way you will have something to work towards every day.
3. Tell someone about your commitment
Tell your friends what you are planning and share your dreams. Confiding in someone you know your goals seems to increase the likelihood that you will stick at them. By doing that you really commit yourself to give your best until you get what you want.
4. Break your goals down
Everybody has big dreams and it is good thing but to achieve them you will need to take some more time. To avoid discouragement, you should break your big goals into few small ones that are easier to fulfill. Smaller goals can be achieved quicker and keep you motivated to continue your path. Write them down and set up due dates.
Breaking those big goals down helps you to be more specific. Instead of setting up very general goal, it makes you to be more precise and direct when thinking about your aims. Having few smaller goals makes each of them easier to achieve and therefore puts you a great mood and gives you a feeling of success after every small achievement. It also makes it more likely that you will stay on track towards your bigger goal.
5. Plan your first step, then the next one
Thinking about your goal and planning the first step will really help you to get started. Planning is very useful skill and very important for success. You need to start somewhere. Plan the first step, do it, check if it feels right. Maybe you need some adjustment to your goal, do in in the next step. Then plan the next one, then next … until you done with it.
6. Keep going, don’t get discouraged
Every failure is a success in making! Embrace your every failure and learn your lessons for future (check my post Embrace your failures). Keep your motivation high, use discipline and strong desire to drive you forward (check my post Discipline vs motivation- what is more important for your success) . Everybody failed in something in their life. The difference between a winner and a looser is that a winner didn’t stop, didn’t get discouraged by it, but used it as a lesson to be learned.
If the first plan which you adopt does not work successfully, replace it with a new plan; if this new plan fails to work, replace it in turn with still another, and so on, until you find a plan which does work. Right here is the point at which the majority of men meet with failure, because of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those which fail.” -Napoleon Hill “Think and Grow Rich”
7. Celebrate even small successes
Celebrating even smallest successes gives you satisfaction from your achievements and gives you that necessary fuel to continue. Learn from your victories, adjust your way and look for the new challenges, next goals or projects 🙂
30 day test
Try this 30 day test described by Earl Nightingale in his great book “The Strangest Secret”
For the next 30 days, follow each of these steps every day until you have achieved your first goal.
First, write on a card what it is you want more than anything else… Write down on a card specifically what it is you want. Make sure it’s a single goal and clearly defined…
Carry the card with you so that you can look at it several times a day. Think about your goals in a cheerful, relaxed, positive way each morning when you get up, and immediately you have something to work for—something to get out of bed for, something to live for…
Second, stop thinking about what it is you fear. Each time a fearful or negative thought comes into your conscious mind, replace it with a mental picture of your positive and worthwhile goal…
In addition to maintaining a cheerful, positive outlook, give of yourself more than you have ever done before. Do this knowing that your returns in life must be in direct proportion to what you give.
The moment you decide on a goal to work towards you immediately are a successful person. You are then in that rare and successful category of people who know where they are going.”
I hope you enjoyed my tips for setting goals. Please let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
Thanks for visiting my blog!
23 thoughts on “How to set goals- The art of making your dreams come true!”
Very good information.
Having worked for several large companies, I understand the value of establishing business goals and a business plan to achieve them.
Being somewhat of a career-driven person, I’d not put so much focus on my personal goals as I have with business goals. Sure, I’ve set and met goals throughout my life but I imagine I could have achieved much more along the way if I had more clearly expressed them.
I think the 30 Day Test is a great idea that I’ll be putting it to use right away.
I highly recommend the 30 day test- give it a go! You’re right- many people use business plan and goals planning in their workplace but don’t think about applying it to their personal life. Why not? The principles are the same. Thanks for your comment, Dave
Very nice step by step explanation, how to build a goal and dream to become reality. I believed in this phrase if there’s a will there’s a way. Anything you will achieved if you will not discourage your self for sure you will fulfill your dream.
Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Eric! It is true- if you set your goals and persevere to achieve them, nothing will stop you!
Great Article! I lived by setting and hitting goals for more then past 10 years of my life. I used to run a marketing company, so when i was moving an office in 2013 i found a goal folder with the goals i set in 2005. It was a page of short term, medium term and long term goals written down and then photos of a car i want, a house and few other things. And when i read those goals, there was tears in my eyes as i hit 80 percent of what was written down, some of the things i wanted at that stage i was not interested anymore. As when we grow older we our goals change!
The Biggest surprise was the car i was driving, as my car in reality was newer and better then ‘my dream car’ back in 2005…:) so i over exceeded my goals in some ways.
But yes writing stuff down is powerful, i do not know why but it really works…:)
Appreciate your comment! Thanks for sharing your story Joana! Very inspiring! It also shows the power of writing down your goals. I encourage everybody to try!
I have read Nightingale and listened to some of his stuff online. This all good information. Setting a goal was easy for me. But sticking to the steps to get there has been the challenge for me. Good post. Nice place to come to get information get inspired and find resources. Very informative. Good work.
Appreciate your kind comment! I agree- setting goals is easier then sticking to them 🙂 But setting goals is also a very important step, first step to success. If this step is not done, then nothing follows. If you succeed in setting your goal, you are half way there. By setting your goal you decided to do something, achieve something. Then motivation and discipline needs to kick off 🙂
For some people, programmed live the typical life in their childhood or the education system, finding their goal or destination seems to be the hardest part. I used to have that problem, with numerous mental blocks subconsciously affecting my decision, mistakenly thinking the destination is where I wanted to travel. As it turns out, if we are living someone else’s dream by illusion, we will not go far, as our spirit will eventually succumb to the obstacles that only grow tougher.
Setting goals should be conscious decision of what YOU want for yourself, what you want to achieve. It is hard sometimes, but if you do it, you are half way to your success. Good luck with yours! Thanks for your comment!
Hi, and thanks for this super post. I have always struggled with goals and I have often felt discouraged when pursuing my dreams. Today I feel different and I know more about how to strive for what I want. But I always love to visit pages like yours because it’s important to be reminded of what I need in life to be happy and fulfilled. So thanks for motivating and inspiring me.
Thanks for your kind comment Tove! I’m really happy that you felt motivated and inspired after reading this post. It was my goal 🙂
I consider it to be really important to set goals for most endeavours in life. If you don’t your direction can become somewhat aimless. I think our brains are designed to focus upon things we desire to achieve, and are very good at getting us there as long as we are telling it clearly what we want.
I couldn’t agree more that breaking goals down into smaller, achievable short term goals motivates you toward your end goal. It builds confidence as each small goal is a success in itself, and it therefore propels you forward.
Thanks for your comment Ray! As Tony Robbins said once “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” Good luck with setting yours :
I have written my goals down in the past, but the problem with me is that I stop reading them on a daily basis. I do it for a about a week or two and then I stop. However, that’s not to say that I don’t work on the goals, I simply just forget saying them out loud.
I really enjoyed this article. It reminded me to get back doing the things that will make my goals more achievable. Thanks.
And by the way I have heard the strangest secret on audio and it’s fantastic.
I agree, the Strangest Secret audio is awesome,I love his voice and the message. Good luck with your goals!
One of my biggest goals right now is to be self-sufficient through creating my own online business. This is my third year running and it has been a very steep learning process so far, having to juggle a day job at the same time.
I’ve done most of what you have mentioned to keep me motivated, except for sharing my commitment with someone. I found that the people around me are not receptive of change, even my family members included.
So it has been a pretty solo journey so far, but I am far from giving up. I see the prospect of an online career as a trade in for achieving more time freedom in life.
Appreciate your comment Cathy! It is hard sometimes to keep motivation when not everything goes our way. Don’t give up Cathy! Wishing you all the best in your online business journey! Good luck!
These are some great tips, I really like number 3 about sharing your goals with other people. I also find sharing my goals with my wife or friends encourages me to stick with it.
Probably because I want to live up to their expectations.
Sometimes number 6 is the hardest, to keep going when you get discouraged.
I’m going to try your 30 day challenge and see if I can’t produce some results!
I’m glad you found it useful Jeremy!
Good luck with your 30 day challenge, please let me know how you go 🙂
I love that you mentioned that if you tell someone else your goals, you are more likely to stick by them. Although I know a lot of people that mention they are going to do something but never follow through on it such as starting a business. Have you ran into that?
I think it depends on circumstances. It could be that motivation was still not strong enough, but maybe the situation changed and the goal needed to be changed or postponed as well.
I found telling others my goals working for me 🙂
Have you tried it yourself?