Set. Strategize. Shoot

Having an idea or a dream is all well and good but what do you do when you want to take it to the next step? What do you do when you’re ready to make it a reality and achieve your goals?

We’ve all been learning about goal setting and long-term/short-term goals since grade school but for most people, that lesson never really sank in. Maybe it’s because we weren’t listening or maybe as adolescents, we’re just not ready to wait that long or think that far ahead.

The exceptional few that do get it down early are generally very successful.

So here it goes! Here’s how you can make your dreams reality! Here’s how you can achieve your goals.

3 Simple Steps to Achieve Your Goals

1. Set

Set your goal. That seems pretty cut and dry, right? But it actually requires a lot of thought. If you’re going to give something your all, you’d better be pretty confident that’s what you want to do. Ask yourself what you want to be doing in 5 or 10 years and if this goal will help you get there.

Don’t rush into setting a goal but don’t let it sit on the back burner and become forgotten either. Give yourself a timeline to decide and write a reminder on your calendar.

2. Strategize

So, now that you’ve got your goals all ready to go, you need to develop a plan. And to do that you need to learn to prioritize and organize.

A.   Prioritize

Which steps are the most important and urgent? If you’re interested in becoming a doctor, what’s more important in the beginning: putting together a study plan or writing your college application letters? Ask yourself this kind of question when prioritizing the steps you need to take.

B.   Organize

Now that you’ve set your priorities, you need to separate your goals into long-term and short-term goals. A short-term goal is generally defined as something you want to achieve in 12 months or less, so even a so-called short-term goal may need to be split into several smaller tasks. Using the previous example, obviously one of your short-term goals is to become accepted into a medical school. The smaller tasks you’d need to do this would be to write an outstanding allocation letter, choose your top picks for college, and decide if you need to take out a loan, apply for scholarships, etc. The long-term goal in this example is to become a doctor. Focusing on a long-term goal alone can seem overwhelming. If you give yourself manageable tasks and put them on your calendar or to-do list you’ll feel less stressed and you’ll know that you’re on track as you tick off your list.

3 Steps to Achieve Your Goal Infographic

3.   Shoot

Once you have your goal and your basic strategy, it’s time to go for it! Don’t hesitate at this point. Give your goal all of the energy it needs to become reality. Don’t stop when things get tough, or slow, or boring. You’ll only end up regretting that you quit.

If your strategy starts to fail, don’t panic! Take a step back and re-evaluate your situation. Things change in life all the time and you MUST be flexible. If you can’t learn to do this, you’ll never reach your destination

The hardest point at this point will be to stay motivated. As external motivations wear off, the temptation to quit may become unbearable. Internal motivation will be your guiding star at this point, and that’s fine! Most psychologists believe that internal motivation is much more effective in helping to achieve long-term goals than external.

For those of you who don’t know, external motivation refers to the motivation to achieve that comes from things like financial stress, parental pressure, and desire for admiration. Internal motivation usually comes from your own desire for self-improvement or the love for what you’re doing.

Final Thoughts

Too many people fall short of their dreams and desires, opting to make excuses rather than make try and risk failing. Don’t be afraid to fail. Failure isn’t permanent unless you decide it is. So, sure, you could avoid trying; you wouldn’t risk failure that way. But you certainly wouldn’t risk success, either. The only way to achieve your goals is to take risks and put yourself out there.