At some point in our lives, each of us has set a goal. Perhaps it was to have a certain job or to take a dream vacation. Setting goals for ourselves give us something that we can look forward to and it also gives us direction. If the plan to reach a goal is very general, you will likely lose interest in attaining it. However, if your plan provides you with more details, it will be easier to stay focused.
Goals can be broken down into different categories. One category could be life goals or what some people refer to as a “bucket list”, things they wish to accomplish before they die. These goals can then be arranged in a short to long term order.
Short-term goals are just that, goals that can be met within a short amount of time. For instance a goal to eat healthy for the next 30 days would be classified as short-term.
Next, would be middle-term goals. These are goals that take a bit more time and require a little detail. For instance a middle-term goal could be to lose a certain amount of weight within a year or two. A person would then have to think about how they were going to lose that weight, what lifestyle changes would they have to make, etc.
Long-term goals would be goals that could take years or a lifetime to reach. In continuing with the health/ weight loss theme, a long-term goal could be to maintain a healthy lifestyle for the rest of a person’s life. You can see how the short and middle-term goals are like stepping stones to help you reach your long-term goal.
How to start
First, write down all of the goals that you wish to reach. Ask yourself if they are realistic and attainable. It is good to have goals that are a little out of our reach because you will have to push yourself, but you don’t want to make a goal that is unrealistic. For instance, a 30 year old who has never taken a gymnastics class in their life, now sets the goal to be an Olympic gold medallist. You can see how this is not setting a realistic goal. It is not impossible but it is also very unlikely that it will be achieved. A more realistic goal could be to learn gymnastics first.
Once you have your goals written down, then break them down into groups – short, middle, and long-term. This will help you see how many smaller steps need to be made in order to reach your middle and long-term goals. If you need to do more research or add more detail this would be the time.
Lastly, stay positive. Writing out your goals and breaking them down into groups will give you a visual map. You will be aware of the actions you need to take in order to achieve your goal. When you reach your goals, congratulate and reward yourself. Embrace the feeling of accomplishment.