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Setting Goals

Successful people know the importance of having goals. Without goals, and a plan detailing how they will be accomplished, you'll end up drifting through life without realizing many of your dreams. It's important, too, when setting goals, to set ones that are realistic and attainable. Think carefully about what you are trying to accomplish, then brainstorm for creative ways to get the job done. Walt Disney once said, "If you can dream it, you can do it." He had many dreams, and never let obstacles stand in his way. Despite being told once that he lacked creativity, he went on to design Disneyland and Disneyworld, two major attractions that millions of people visit each year.

If you have a large project to complete as one of your goals, and it seems like too big of a task, try breaking it down into smaller sections. Daily goals are best, so try to see what part of the project you can complete each day. And before you realize it, you will have reached your goal.

Begin setting your goals by following this step-by-step guide:

  1. Think ahead and brainstorm about your future. Where do you hope to be in the next few years? Where are you in the grand scheme of your life-plans? Make a list of realistic goals. "I want to be Bill Gates" is not realistic. "I would like to pay off some debt" or "I really want a promotion or a bonus" is more like it.

  2. Map out a plan of action to attain your goals. Once again, think realistically and try to be creative. Instead of striving for the very top, strive for your top. Consider changing the way you think about yourself and your relationships, or modify the usual way you go about getting things done. Setting goals -- and achieving them -- does not have to be a painful process. If you do this thoroughly, you can change for the better as a result.

  3. To reach a big goal, you will have to set many smaller goals along the way. Start by creating a list of what you need to do each day to keep striving. If you don't accomplish everything on your list in a given day, don't beat yourself up about it. Lists are beneficial, and there is no end to the many you can make. You don't want your life to be run by lists, but they can be good as reference points and reminders.

  4. Communicate. Communication is always essential, especially when you are trying to make a change. Talk to your boss, the people you work with, and your loved ones. Share your ideas and goals with them. You never know who will lend a helping hand, offer advice, or be your biggest supporter. Everyone has days when they lack the confidence to reach for their goals. It is during these moments that those around you can give you the boost you need to get back on track.

  5. Be sure to look at some other tips that can help you while you are setting your goals. Our Motivate, Time Management, and Habit of Success articles are sure to provide more food for thought.

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