Want To Get Ahead? Set Some Goals

There’s definitely something to be said for the laid-back approach. And there are definitely times when accepting things as they are, riding the waves of life, and adopting an “it is what it is” attitude is definitely the move. 

But when you have Big Things you want to achieve in your life, the “let’s see where life takes me” approach just doesn’t cut it. The truth is it’s extremely rare to achieve your life’s dreams without a plan. Sure, Rosario Dawson was sitting on her front steps when a director approached to ask if she wanted to be in a movie. The majority of us? We need more than just luck. 

That’s where goals come in. 

Why Goals Are Important 

A goal is essentially a thing you want to achieve along with the steps you’ll take to get there. They’re slightly different from visions and from dreams. For example, maybe you want to own a catering business. That’s the dream. Seeing yourself catering the most unforgettable events is the vision. Your goal is how you’re going to bring both of those into real life. 

One of the most genuinely amazing things about goals is that the minute you set one, your brain automatically starts taking steps to move you in the right direction

How To Set Goals 

It would be great if setting goals was as easy as just leaving it up to your brain to figure it out. Unfortunately, it takes a little more than that. 

We’ve all heard of SMART goals, right? SMART goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant 
  • Time-Bound

But what exactly does that look like in practice? 

Let’s start with the ‘S’ in SMART. Instead of setting a goal like “I want to exercise more” try “I want to lift weights every week.” 

Now let’s make it measurable. “I want to lift weights for 20 minutes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.” To make sure it’s achievable, look at your schedule for those days. Can you find 20 minutes and block it off? If so, maybe your goal looks like “I want to lift weights for 20 minutes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I will set a reminder for 7:40am on those days.” 

Is the goal relevant to your life? Goals have a much better chance of succeeding when they actually matter to you. WHY do you want to lift weights? Is it because you want to remain independent as you get older? You want to rock a sleeveless dress with confidence? Remembering why it matters keeps you focused. 

Finally, make sure your goal is time-bound. Build in regular intervals – say every 3 months –  to check your progress and tweak your goals. 

If you’re a pen and paper type, go for it. If you prefer tracking on your phone, there are a number of goal-tracking apps that let you check your progress. 

How To Crush Your Goals 

Simply setting goals and making sure they’re SMART takes you a long way. Just not all the way. To achieve your goals, be sure you’re not taking on too many at once. Break your larger goal into smaller, less overwhelming tasks. Then build those tasks into your calendar. Becoming a person who flosses nightly is a nice idea. Setting a reminder that says “GO FLOSS YOUR TEETH” and having it go off every night at 10:30 is how you actually become that person. 

If you’re still reading, it likely means you’re someone with big dreams. Making those dreams come true is a matter of setting and achieving your goals. You got this! 

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