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How to Set Goals and Achieve Them

How to Set Goals and Achieve Them

Goals are awesome; they really are. Goals help you visualize the future. Goals help you get moving towards something. Goals keep you from being at a standstill; they stop you from becoming stagnant. I was so ignorant of these facts in the past. I look back over my life sometimes and think: ‘What was I even thinking?’ In fact, I wasn’t thinking. I was just coasting on through without a care in the world.

But then in 2005, I got made redundant from a job I had been headhunted for. The owner wound down the business and moved on to something else. Without any sense of a plan in case of emergencies like this one, let alone any other kind of goals or plans, I went back home with all my stuff crammed in the back of my tiny car.

Over the next three months, I decided to go back into education, apply to university, and completely change my career path, i.e. GET ONE!


But what got me started on this track of actually setting goals? The redundancy was only part of the prompting. Before I got made redundant, I was working in a sales job, and we had loads of personal and team targets. I was really successful at hitting these targets, not because I was amazing, but because I was totally laid back. I got a salary whether or not I sold anything. Commission was a bonus, so I just relaxed and was really friendly and down-to-earth at work. The customers didn’t sense any pressure, so they always bought from me!

One day, I was chatting with a co-worker. We loved to have a good natter about work mostly, but also other stuff. He said: ‘M, you don’t actually have any personal goals do you?’ I thought that was a bit of a weird thing to say suddenly in the midst of an otherwise ordinary conversation. But he was right. I had never actually thought about what I wanted to achieve in life, and all the while, the both of us were thinking about our work targets and how to hit them. I never thought to make some targets or goals for myself, outside of work.

These thoughts just stayed in the back of my mind, I didn’t even act on them. But as they say, there is nothing more powerful than an idea. The idea of changing my life’s direction developed in my mind without me hardly even thinking about it.

After being made redundant, the idea came back to the forefront again… so that is when I had to think about what I might like to achieve in life.

How to Set Goals -And Achieve Them

  • Start Now! Don’t wait until you lose your job! Start writing some ideas down about what you would like to achieve in life e.g. travel to a certain country, get married, run a marathon, whatever. The choice is yours and should fit your own dreams and desires.
  • Write it Down! Write a major goal at the top of a piece of paper. Allow yourself to dream about it and visualise yourself doing it. For example, one of my goals is to visit Japan, so I imagine what it might be like; I imagine the plane journey, what food we eat on the plane, arriving in the country, and so on.
  • Break it down! Having smaller chunks of action makes it easier to think about working towards something big e.g. I will break down saving for my trip to Japan into: saving for flights, saving for hotels, and saving for spending money.
  • Review Often! Going over your goals often will help keep your mind thinking about them. Your mind is your most powerful asset and works for you even whilst you’re asleep. You will begin to come up with solutions and answers to obstacles in life and attain each stage towards your bigger goals if you review them before you sleep.

It is as simple as that. And, once you get going, your goals seem to get nearer and nearer without even having to work that hard to achieve them. The key is breaking things down and doing those small steps regularly.

I’ve just reviewed my deposit statements for the year into my NISA, and I have already achieved my goal of paying in at least £100 per month. I didn’t think I’d even managed it, because money has been tight this year, especially over the Summer. But lo and behold, my small, regular deposits have already mounted up past what I had even hoped to achieve!

What goals are you working towards, and how are you doing on your journey?

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