Some of you may know that every January I publish a list of goals and resolutions. These are things that I want to accomplish in the year at hand. The goals/resolutions can be anything from wearing more lipstick to writing a book. Big or small they make the list. In the past couple of years I have set out to use my New Years Resolutions to pursue my passion. Today I am going to share with you how to set goals to achieve your dreams.

A few years ago my best friend was telling me her resolutions for that year and as she went through her list, I couldn’t believe how many she had. She explained that she always has the same number of resolutions as her age. What a fun idea! Of course the older you get the smaller the resolutions may need to be, but ever since then I have been doing the same thing. This year I did 30. Yes, I am 30 years old, it sounds weird to admit. However, I am determined. I am determined to achieve my 30 resolutions and make the most of this year. Even if I come up short I know there will be a lesson to learn.

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WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO SET GOALS

Let’s first establish why it is important to set goals. The reason you should be setting goals is to get closer to what you really want out of life. To pursue your passion you have to make steps towards whatever it is that you want. If you want to play in the NBA are you going to join a football team? If you want to travel the world are you going to avoid buying that plane ticket? NO! To play in the NBA you need to practice and do things that make you a better basketball player. To travel and see the world you have to purchase that plane ticket.

In order to get closer to what you desire you have to take steps. To know if you are stepping in the right directions you need to set goals. Goals help you achieve your dreams.

Now that we have established why goals are important, let’s talk about how to set the right goals.

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HOW TO SET THE RIGHT GOALS

FIRST

First thing you need to do is establish what it is you want out of life and or career. If you do not know the end result, setting goals becomes more difficult. You do not need to have an ultra specific target like film a documentary of the Amazon rainforest because you want to bring awareness to its preservation. Instead it could be a little broader like bring awareness to the preservation of the Amazon rainforest. Once you know which direction you want to go the easier it will be to set up goals to getting there.

SECOND

Work backwards. Once you know where you are going, you can begin to fill in the blanks. Look for jobs or internships, if you are still in college, that gain you experience to getting closer to your goal. For all you college students you are very lucky, especially if you attend a larger university. There are so many opportunities at your fingertips. Don’t waste them! For those of you not in school don’t be afraid to take a job or volunteer in your free time for something that will give you life experience. The position may not be directly related to your end result but the one thing you can learn in almost ANY job/volunteer position is people skills.

I am sitting here not able to think of one job that does not deal with people in any way. You might be thinking, “I want to work with animals.” From veterinarian to handling wild animals you still deal with people. People own the pets and people give you money so you can go out into the jungles and save the animals. “What about I.T.?” Guess who owns the machines…people. No matter what you want to do, you will still deal with people. Therefore, learning people skills is ALWAYS a good thing.

Back to setting goals. Set out a timeline. One month from now. Six months from now. One year from now. All the way to ten to even fifteen years from now. What will you seek out to accomplish within that timeline? Look for internships or volunteer positions not only on the internet but also in person. Get out from behind that computer, put on your big girl/boy undies and get some face to face time. Let’s say the place you really want to volunteer doesn’t have anything available, that person you spoke to may have a connection to something else. Remember you can always respectfully decline BUT you can’t say yes to nothing.

Now that you have your timeline, fill in your bigger items with internships, jobs, or volunteering. Next fill in your timeline with smaller items like reading/studying. Learn all you can about the field you want to pursue. You may find something else better suited for you along the way. It can also have the opposite effect and you may find that that field is not what you thought it was. Read up. Do not wait for information to fall into you lap, go out and get it!

THIRD

Stay focused. It seems like an easy thing to do but in fact it can be the hardest. We live in a world right now where people do what feels good or live in the moment. These ideas are not necessarily bad but if this is your life mantra, where is your life really going? Are you heading down the right path or are you heading down everyone else’s path all because your thoughts and desires are not your own. People who succeed in life are people who have their own thoughts, minds, and passions. They do not jump onto some one else’s bandwagon and go with the flow. Successful people are driven. They know what they want and they set out to achieve it. Again I repeat, stay focused. As the Gold Five character in A New Hope said, “Stay on target.”

I hope this has inspired you to not only set goals but to follow through and stay the course. Do you set goals? What methods do you use to stay on target?

SAVE FOR LATER!

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