Setting and achieving goals are among the competencies that distinguish star performers. Here are some thoughts to help you set and reach your goals.

Planning is important.  Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation. Short-term goals are achieved in a shorter amount of time, with effort. These can help  reach your long-term goals – achievements with sustained effort for an extended period. Most people have life time goals (being rich, becoming president, changing lives, etc), but without short-term planning those goals are merely dreams. Make sure you set and achieve smaller goals to get you on your way to achieving your vision, for example: I will read books/blogs, join clubs, work-out twice a week.

  1. Change is inevitable.  Consider that you may need to change your mindset in order to accomplish new goals (especially if you’ve had the same goal for the last three years). For example you want to get healthy, so you’ll need to set a goal to eat vegetables and fruits daily (even if you don’t like them or have the time); make the  time to do your own grocery shopping and cook; and working out may entail waking up earlier than you’d like.
  2. Set realistic goals.  Many people set goals that are too difficult. It is necessary that you take the time and think about setting achievable goals. Consider what obstacles may be in the way and how much skill you’ll need to achieve a particular level of performance. So if (for example) your goal is to run a half  marathon next year, make sure you have the mindset and time to practice, and the ability to run.
  3. It may take a few tries.  It’s normal to slip up now and then, but you must pick yourself up, dust off,  try, and try again. Commit to convincing your brain of the new routine. If your vision changes, adjust your goals accordingly or let them go.
  4. Set goals for your reality.  You want to be a doctor, get a PhD, be class president, loose 5 lbs… Make sure the goals you set are the ones you genuinely want to achieve, not those that your parents, friends, coaches, media, or  society want. It is harder to stay on track if you are motivated only by outside sources.