What’s a goal?
In life, we all have dreams, those dreams that drive us to reach more in life than what we have already. Perhaps your dream is having for once the chance to be with your platonic love, getting a million dollars as a lottery price, having your very own house, visiting a specific city, getting the perfect job for you, having your own family,… whichever your dream is, you can make it if you put your mind on it.
Dreams stop being just dreams when we decide to do something to achieve them. Once you propose yourself to get it, then that dream becomes a goal.
To make it clearer, goals are those exact points you want to reach in your life.
How to draw a goal.
It is part of life setting goals. Goals help us not only to get what we want and need, but also to grow up and mature as individuals. Therefore, it is essential that we learn to draw our goals or objectives in life and plan how to get them, so we can do it that way with everything we set out on our path in a more natural way everytime.
Here I present 3 key steps to succeed when meeting your goals.
Step 1: Define your goal.
Let’s say that your dream is opening your own business and you decide to do it. So now your goal is: taking your own business. The next step will be clearly define your goal. You’ll have to answer for yourself a couple of questions to help you clarify what is it exactly you hope to accomplish and how long will this take. In this imaginary case, those questions would be: what kind of business is the one you want? and, how soon do you expect setting it will take you?
In our hypothetical case, suppose you decide next that your business will be a snack to sale a huge variety of products, with tables where people can sit and eat, and you want to have four branches distributed around the city and some employees who will attend your customers. Now, you have to set a time limit for fulfilling all that: 15 years. The time will vary depending on your goal, the difficulty of achieving this according to your current conditions and your environment, the time you will take (making realistic calculations), and so on.
It is very important that we don’t get carried away by fantasy altogether. And keep in mind that everything takes time and effort to accomplish something that is needed. Therefore, you will need to rest, eat, sleep, entertain,… What I mean is that not absolutely all your time or the energy you got will be dedicated to meet your goal. So you should realistically think, how soon do you expect to achieve your goal?
Step 2: Make a plan to achieve your goal.
Once you’ve defined your goal, now you can start to set a plan to reach that.
It exists a classification for goal types according to the time it is expected this will take you to accomplish them. According to that classification, there are long, medium and short term goals.
The long-term goals are like arrival destinations you have planned for a trip, and the path between one and another is the route you have to cross to reach them. That’s the plan you have to make.
Going back to the imaginary case in which you want to set up a own business, in this case, we already have defined our long-term goal: open four branches of our own snack (for the sale of a huge variety of products), they’d be distributed around the city, with tables where people can sit to eat and employees who will serve your customers. We’re planning on achieving this within 15 years.
Now it’s time to set our path to cross for reaching our goal in the planned time. This will be done through both kind of goals, short and medium term .
Now it’s time to draw our path for reaching our desired goal in the planned time. This will be done through both goals short and medium term .
Since we already have set our long-term goal, we must decide now what is it we have to do to get there on time, and how long we hope it’ll take us to reach each of our medium-term goals. For example, if we want to have our snack’s four franchises within 15 years, we should have at least one installed and operating snack within four years perhaps. Then we’d make it progress, so we make sure we’ll get enough profit to start opening other branches in the next few years.
This classification includes goals that we plan to achieve the next day, next week or next month, for example. And if we already have planned an installed and operating snack within four years, what do we need to make that happen? Well, first we must get information about what it takes to open a snack: money, location, decoration, immovables, suppliers, advertising … This is how we will be putting together our short-term goals:
- For this week: look for a job till I get one that pays me enough to allow me to start saving money.
- Within a month: having a job to get the money I need to start my business. Start saving.
- Within three months: I will have written down the project.
- In about six months: having saved enough to start. I have already found a place to rent, rent it for a month. Buy merchandise to start offering. Buy at least a immovable where I display products. Make posters with the list of products, so that customers can see them on a list.
All the above are examples of how to keep developing our plan to start up a business, assuming that this was our goal. Each person must adapt their goals to short and medium terms according to their long-term goal.
Step 3: Stick to your plan or adjust it when necessary.
Since we have our plan developed, is of paramount importance we stick ourselves to it, we’ll try to fulfill it avoiding any delays at all. Of course things are not the same in theory than in practice, so we have to adjust the plan according to the new circumstances and learning we have acquired in the subject, always keeping in sight our long-term goal to maintain motivation alive.
Once you’ve embarked yourself on the road, enjoy! Do not get obsessed with only comply with the process hoping to enjoy until you’ve reached the ultimate goal, but enjoy this all the way long, always having faith and making efforts to accomplish it. This is how the goals are achieved.