set and reach goal concept

Goals. Everyone has them, but without the drive to achieve them, they might as well be fever dreams. Setting goals is easy. Reaching them…not so much.  

Often times we try to put off what we want to do, waiting for that imaginary perfect time to start something and then…we do nothing. This is how to avoid doing nothing and start doing something that’s important to you.

Six steps to setting and reaching goals in your twenties:

Dream big.

Cliché? Yep, but really in all the right ways. What do you want to do? What’s that silly-but-brilliant idea that has you jumping out of the shower to write it down or clicking that night stand lamp on because you just can’t do anything but fantasize about it? Yeah, that thing? That’s what you should be working towards.

Write it out and plan it.

Write out every single thing you think you will need to reach your goals. Materials, times, talents, skills, people, space. Anything you can think of, write it all out on paper. Type it up, email it to yourself. Print it out. Tape it up and read it over every morning while you munch through that breakfast of champions.

Looking at it every day will be a reminder of what you are doing and why. As you plan, make a series of smaller accomplishments to achieve in order to complete your main objective. Reaching them will encourage you to keep moving forward.

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Set aside time specifically for what you are working towards.

And actually show up; don’t say you’ll fit it in when you can. Establish time specifically for meeting that goal. Turn off the Facebook notifications, silence your cell phone, walk away from level 1,073 of Angry Birds, and try to focus.

Even when you feel like you aren’t making headway, putting in the time investment, even when you feel like you aren’t getting anything done, will be more incentive to actually strive towards that aim. Get up, show up, try again.

Be honest.

About every detail. Think about what you need to complete your project in terms of money, time, and creativity.  Most of all, you have to be honest about how much work you are willing to put into each one of your objectives. The most pertinent fact in any project you set out to complete is your willingness to dedicate your time, brain power, and resources.

Prioritize.

Sometimes, I feel like I have 20 different projects I need to start working on right now. In those times, I find myself making lists, writing down all my ideas, and stepping back for a few days.

Coming back to my hastily scribbled ideas helps me look at them more objectively. Which ones are the most important? Which ones do I have the resources to complete now? Which ones require more money or education than I can commit to right now?

Pick one or two to focus on for the foreseeable future, but continue revisiting the list into your wrap up plans so that as you finish one thing, you are already thinking of how to begin another one.

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Most of all, you have to realize your own worth.

Nothing is more an enemy to progress that the crippling affect of self-doubt. Someone made millions of dollars off that weird dish that can only be used to cook bacon in the microwave. Why? Well they loved bacon, were motivated enough to figure out how to make it, and were brave enough to share it with others. Keep that in mind when you try and talk yourself out of your next success.

Related: Overcoming Self-Doubt

Setting and reaching goals in your twenties will never be easy, but it is something you can (and will) accomplish time and time again. Put your focus in the right direction, dream big, and push away those creeping thoughts of self-doubt and you’ll find yourself reaching your goals in no time.