Goal Attainment: 5 Steps to Making Your Dreams a Reality
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Goal Attainment: 5 Steps to Making Your Dreams a Reality

There is no lack of amazing and creative goals that people have for themselves. Whether it's something simple like adopting a healthier diet or something complex like changing careers, people are constantly striving to make their personal world a better place. One of the most common frustrations I hear as a professional life coach is not knowing where to start. One client described it as looking up at a huge mountain and thinking it was going to be impossible to reach the top. The key is to break it down into manageable steps, so that you focus on each small piece and then realize you are already halfway up that mountain. Here are some steps you can take to begin this process.

1.   Make your goals as specific as possible. For example: travel to Greece (see above picture), lose 10 pounds, save $1000 dollars, write a novel, own my own business). You may have more than one goal, but try to start with just one or two.

2.  Identify your personal value that the goal supports. Examples of values may be health, family, financial freedom, independence, creativity. This step is important because if your goal is ultimately not in line with your value system, you will be much less likely to succeed.

3.  WRITE IT DOWN! This sounds basic, but there is something very empowering about declaring your specific goal in written form. There is now a physical component to your goal. Post your goal in a place that is easily viewable like your bathroom mirror or refrigerator.

4.  Break it down into small steps, again written down, with clear time frames no longer than one week in length for each step. For instance, to write a novel, week 1 subtask may be to create the main characters, week 2 to create the plot outline, etc.) Make the step small enough that you can accomplish it, as the key is to ensure success and make it manageable. Use this suggested format to write your steps and track your deadlines. You can make an easy form like this on your computer and print it out.

Specific Goal: _______________________

Subtasks:                                   To Be Completed By Date:

1. ____________________________                     __________

2._____________________________                    __________

3._____________________________                    __________

5.   Enlist help. Find someone who can be part cheerleader/part taskmaster for you. You need someone who can provide encouragement while also holding you accountable for your steps. You can identify obstacles together and problem-solve ways to overcome them. This person can be a supportive friend, spouse, or professional life coach. I always remind people that everyone needs help at times, and reaching out to others is a sign of strength and belief in yourself.

Remember, as the hockey great, Wayne Gretsky said, “You miss 100% of the shots not taken.”

So get out there and begin working today to turn your dreams into reality.

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Comments (1)

Thanks Dr. Helvig - agreed that this is a great way to get started in planning to meet your goals. I'm also a fan of the Getting Things Done system by David Allen. All great ways to achieve what you set out to do.