Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination. – Fitzhugh Dodson

Have you ever thought about where you will be five, ten or even twenty years from now? Though it might sound silly to you to set goals you are not sure you can achieve, however, if you do not do that, you will find yourself wandering on the open sea, left at the mercy of the harsh winds.

A goal is much more than a dream that cannot come true. It is a destination for which you have to have a plan and a map. To prevent your life goal from becoming a distant dream, you will have to think carefully about defining it.

Make a List

This may be oddly similar to New Year’s resolutions, but it is something that will make the process of defining and achieving your goals much easier. Think about what you really want in life and what you can achieve if you put some effort into it.

What is the main ambition you have? What would be your biggest regret if left undone?

All of these things are goal destinations. Define them in one sentence and think about what should be done to get there.

Set a Timeframe

Some of these destinations will have a certain “shelf-life” which will depend on your age, finance, health and other circumstances. Because of that, it is crucial to set a timeframe for each of them, so you would not lose sight of what is important and when they can take place. One will have to happen the very next year, for instance, while some others can wait for five years or cannot even be implemented for the next ten years.

Know Your Stepping Stones

Stepping stones are the small sub-goals which will help you achieve a major one. They can be some sort of certificate, education, acquiring a new skill, moving to another city, etc. Define all the small actions that need to be done in order to make your ambitions achievable, write down each and every one of them, so you could keep track of your progress.

Reward Yourself

Keeping track of your progress is important because you need to be aware of every success – no matter how small and insignificant it may seem – it matters because it is telling you that you can do it. Every subgoal deserves an appropriate award, while every major goal should be appreciated even more and celebrated accordingly.

Living in the Present

Sometimes even the smallest daily problems and causes of stress can be sufficient for you to lose track of what really matters. Do not allow such interferences disturb your compass. Instead, find an efficient way of dealing with them.

That can be some hobby, sport, music or a spiritual retreat which will give you the opportunity to find a deeper meaning of life and focus on achieving your goals. If you feel the need, you can even attend a personal counseling session to regain your inner balance.

Be Willing to Redefine

Once you set a goal (regardless of whether we are talking about short-term or long-term goals) you should stick to it and do your best to achieve it.

Still, if you find that, for some reason, there is no real chance to do things exactly as you have planned, then change the rules a bit. That does not mean you should entirely give up on your plans, but to change your perspective and search for different solutions. The important thing is to realize that it is not the end of the world when that happens.

Having goals and plans to achieve them is what separates successful people from the ones who are not. Do not allow your ambitions to remain unattainable dreams, because you did not have the courage to see where you stand and fight for where you want to be.

The inspiration for this post is a product of creative exchange of ideas with the professionals from Living Valley Health Retreat.

About The Author

This is a guest post by Marie Nieves – a student and a blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets, creative ideas, photography, interior and exterior design and more. You can find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.