A Key Secret to Success? Goal-Setting

goal setting, set goals for successWhy, when, and how to set goals and reach them

If you are looking for a secret to success, you may find that it’s not that big a secret! One of the great tips for finding success in life is quite simple: to set goals for yourself. Goal-setting is a way of identifying what you want out of life and planning a pathway to get there.

If you are ready to try goal-setting to find success in your life, try these pointers to get started:

1. Start with the big goal in mind: Where do you want to be in 5 or 10 years?
To achieve what you want, you first need to know what you want. How do you envision yourself in 5 or 10 years? Do you want to have a stable job and start a family? Do you want to reach the top of your career field? Do you want to live in a different part of the country? Do you want to run your own business? Do you aspire to own a house? You will need to set your sights on a BIG goal so that you know what you’re working toward.

2. Set smaller goals to inch your way to success
Big life goals are easy to dream about, but it can take many baby steps to get there. To map out your way to your big goals, you can set smaller goals using the SMART system of goal-setting. For instance, if your 5-year big goal is to have a stable career and own a car, you will need to set smaller goals along the way—everything from choosing a career field and getting an education to setting up a savings plan to save for that car.

3. Make an action plan for each goal
To keep yourself on target, you will need to make an action plan for each goal. Give yourself a timeline for achieving each activity that is necessary to meet the goal. Use technology to your advantage by setting reminders in your phone, using a to-do list app to keep track of your tasks, and using an electronic calendar to keep organized.

4. Encouragement and accountability
Reaching a goal often requires hard work! Give yourself small rewards along the way to encourage yourself to keep going. Another strategy is to post reminders around your house or apartment to keep up your momentum. Also, if you really want to get serious, tell others about your goals. Making it public gives you accountability—you feel more motivated when you know others are watching!

5. Don’t give up!
Once you start a goal-setting strategy, you will probably find that you win some and you lose some. That’s okay. Sometimes you will need to re-adjust your expectations and modify your goals. But whatever you do, don’t give up! Keep striving to reach your dreams!


The Harris School of Business provides tips and advice in its weekly blog. To learn more about getting career-focused training at the Harris School, visit us online. We hope you reach your goals with us!