What do you want to be when you grow up? This question from childhood frames what needs to be done at some point in every life. Most people are in awe of those who reach great heights and achieve great things in life. Those people do not simply wake up one day surprised to learn how far life has carried them upward. Setting goals and attaching them to a plan is the best way to get to where you want to end up in life.
Start setting goals as soon as you can figure out where you want to go.
You need a target in order to hit it. Every hunter knows that you need to aim at something in order to improve your chances of hitting it. The problem with most people is that they do not have a clear picture of where they want to go. It is like leaving for a trip and hoping that you end up someplace that you will like without a destination in mind. You need a destination, and you need a map to help you arrive there.
It requires that you give a realistic evaluation to your life.
If you are 80 and not a nationally known elected official or billionaire, planning to president of the United States is not realistic. Find a new direction. However, if you are 25, college educated, and reasonably motivated, not many possibilities will need to taken off of the table. In between these two extremes are hundreds of scenarios that may fit you. Decide what you can reach given your personal assets and liabilities.
In order to reach significant goals in life, they must first be defined and then steps put in place to attain those goals.
Whether your goal is fame, power, fortune, or all three, you have to decide what choice of profession or effort that you will use to make the journey. Once you have finalized your choice, the next step is to formulate what you need to reach it that you do not already have. It might be education, contacts, an agent, or any number of other items. Organize these needs into a sensible sequence. If several them seem to need to be done at once, prioritize them regarding which one to work on the hardest. It is best to knock out any needed education near the beginning of the process.
Make a list of your goals.
It is alright to have more than one goal. They just need to be compatible. Being a chaplain and dancing in adult clubs would not be considered choices that fit together. Under each major goal, create a list of small goals that you can achieve along the way. These will serve as incentive to keep you moving forward. They will also be markers to let you know that you are still on track. Make these initial steps small so that you can move through the quickly as you learn to work with goals and goal setting.
Ask for help.
If you are heading toward a profession or lifestyle that is somewhat unfamiliar to you, seek out people who have already made it or are making significant progress along the route. Even if building a fortune is your goal, there are people who have learned to make skilled investments and live on small amounts of money to have more to invest that can teach you the process.
Keep moving forward.
The reason that most people do not reach their life goals is that they allow other things to sidetrack them, and they never return to finish the trip. Even in the worst of times, you can usually make some progress toward long-term goals. If you stop, it is very difficult to get motivated to resume. If you want to write a novel, discipline yourself to write a certain number of words every week. Even if not everything you write makes it into your novel, you should schedule time to write. You will need to put 50,000 to 100,000 words into print to produce a novel. If you become lazy about writing, it will never happen.