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Published on February 19, 2020

How Setting Lofty Goals Can Lead You To Unbelievable Success

How Setting Lofty Goals Can Lead You To Unbelievable Success

With the power of imagination, there is nothing you set out to do in your life that you won’t be able to achieve. Setting lofty goals leverages your imaginative abilities and pushes you to accomplish something great.

Success begins in your mind, and if you are not limited in your thinking, you’ll always love setting big goals.

“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” – William Arthur Ward [1]

Many are too scared to set big goals. Perhaps because they don’t want to be disappointed or they feel the bigger things are not meant for them.

In this article, I have highlighted how you can achieve unprecedented success in your life by setting lofty goals.

What Are Lofty Goals?

A lofty goal is a goal that reaches for something big, of a high standard, and often requires great or even overwhelming efforts to accomplish.

Lofty goals are beneficial as they can help you raise your standards and change your status. Lofty goals may sometimes sound beyond reach for the fainthearted, but to the brave, they are the kind of goals that help people to accelerate their success.

When you set lofty goals, your creative juices begin to pump, and your whole being is set in motion to generate ideas on how to accomplish your goals. Accomplishing these goals will give you a feeling of success and a better life than you have ever imagined.

Lofty goals have their own peculiarity. For example, while it is a general rule in goal setting to only set goals that are realistic, lofty goals do not necessarily obey this rule.

This is because lofty goals are based mainly on your imaginative power and your will to accomplish them. Once you can capture these goals in your imagination and have the courage to pursue them, you can achieve them.

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Here are some examples of lofty goals:

  • Lose 180 pounds in 10 months
  • Achieve financial freedom at 40
  • Publish an international bestseller
  • Climb Mount Everest
  • Break an Olympic record
  • Reunite with an ex-spouse
  • Achieve family harmony
  • Beat terminal disease
  • Travel to all the countries of the world before you turn 55
  • Buy the house of your dreams without debt
  • Feed two million homeless people before you die

Dare to Dream Big With Lofty Goals

You can attain unprecedented success in your life if you break out of your cocoon and begin to dream big. Making it a habit to set lofty goals will lead you to dream bigger and bigger.

Never be content with mediocre achievements; you can always reach for something higher, bigger, and better!

To dream big, practice keeping your latest achievements as the benchmarks for the next goals you are aiming to achieve. Move up from one level of success to the next.

3 Steps to Dreaming Big

Get Motivated

Spend time around people with bigger dreams – those who are also succeeding in their own dreams. By being around these kinds of people, your mindset will change and you will see the possibilities in dreaming big dreams too.

Make Dreaming Part of Your To-Do List

Create a specific time and place to dream. Take a pen and a writing pad.

Release yourself into the world of imagination and look broadly at your life: where you are currently, where you ought to be, and how far you really can go if there are no limitations.

Avoid Negative People

It goes without saying that you should also avoid people with a negative attitude. Your motivation can disappear quickly by just having a conversation with a negative person.

Once you have taken these three steps and have written down your dreams (hopefully they are big), begin to set lofty goals towards actualizing them.

10 Important Factors to Achieving Lofty Goals

For your lofty goals to become actualized, you have to really treat them as goals and not just mere wishful thinking. You must have a willingness to pursue them with everything you’ve got.

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Here are 10 factors that will give you a clearer picture of your lofty goals and also ensure that you can actualize them:

1. Connect Your Goals to a Bigger Purpose

In order to succeed, let your lofty goals fall in line with the bigger purpose of your life.

Your life should always be directed towards a broader purpose. When your goals connect with this bigger purpose, your approach to reaching these goals will make more sense to you.

2. Make Goals Your Top Priority

If you really want to accomplish your goals, they should become your top priority.

Once you have prioritized them, you will be able to give them the kind of attention they require. Failure to prioritize might lead to focusing more on the “easy” things while you keep procrastinating on actions related to your lofty goals.

What happens in the case of clashing interests, you may ask. There will always be conflicts of interest in life, but when you have made your goal a top priority, you will be able to give it the attention that it deserves.

3. Make Plans That Will Get You There

You have to figure out what it takes to achieve your lofty goals and then put a plan together to achieve them. Planning shows that you believe in your goals, and that you are creating a pathway towards achieving them.

Even if you do not currently have the required resources, you’ve got to plan as if you do. You will be surprised how doing this will allow you to gain fresh energy to pursue your goals.

Besides, you might also begin to see the required resources springing up from unknown places.

“When you want something, the whole universe conspires to make it happen.” – Paulo Coelho [2]

4. Make Goals Scalable and Reachable

In your planning, break down the bigger goals into milestones. Instead of working towards achieving the big goal, your mind will be aiming for one milestone at a time.

This makes your goals feel much more within reach and much less less overwhelming.

Accomplishing each milestone will give you the motivation to do more, and you will find that you have accomplished your big goal in no time.

5. Keep It Under Your Hat

Be careful who you tell about your lofty goals. Unless they are trusted accountability partners in achieving your goals, it is advisable not to tell anyone at all, especially when you’re just getting started.

People’s skepticism, pessimism, and discouragement can kill your dream even before it starts.

6. Acknowledge Fears and Confront Them

Accept the challenge of fear and come to terms with it.

Fears are the thoughts about possibilities of failure or the anxieties about not being sure how things are going to turn out. If possible, write down your fears one by one and look for alternative facts for each of them.

Read more about conquering fears: How to Overcome Your Fear and Achieve Greatness

7. Think Only in Terms of Success

Look for more reasons why you will succeed than why you might fail.

While it is useful to consider what can make your goals fail, it’s much better to focus on how you want them to succeed. This requires that you focus only on achieving the goal, and that you become “deaf and dumb” to other voices.

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8. Prepare for Opposition

People might tell you that your goals are not feasible. Others might even try to block you from succeeding.

You have to prepare for this ahead of time and be tactical with your goals to defeat opposition. Many successful people have had to prove the skeptics wrong.

You have to be able to silence your opposition and show them that your goal is truly worth pursuing.

9. Plan for Contingencies

There will be unavoidable obstacles along the path to achieving your goals. They do not necessarily mean to stop you, but they arise anyway.

In your planning, be sure to make room for contingencies. Most importantly, decide in advance never to give up on your lofty goals, no matter what challenges you come across.

10. Get Help if Necessary

Learn to ask for help when you need it. Someone out there might be willing to help or to offer a crucial idea that can propel you forwards toward your goal.

You may have seen the viral video depicting a scenario in which a huge tree fell across a major road, causing serious traffic gridlock. A very little boy approached the fallen tree and was trying to push it.

At first, people didn’t take him seriously. But when they saw that he was determined, they joined him in pushing the tree and the road became clear again for everyone. [3]

The lesson in this video is that one way or another, when you take the required actions, you will always find someone will support your dream.

Final Thoughts

Lofty goals are essential, and anyone who is determined to have a better life can accomplish them. Do not be content with small- or medium-level achievements.

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Make a habit of giving yourself a daunting goal to achieve every time, and you will see yourself stretch towards unprecedented success.

More About Reaching Your Dreams

Featured photo credit: Clark Tibbs via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Brainy Quotes: William Arthur Ward Quotes
[2] Paulo Coelho: My 25 Important Points
[3] YouTube: Lead India – The Tree

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Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Set Ambitious Career Goals (With Examples)

How to Set Ambitious Career Goals (With Examples)

Taking your work to the next level means setting and keeping career goals. A career goal is a targeted objective that explains what you want your ultimate profession to be.

Defining career goals is a critical step to achieving success. You need to know where you’re going in order to get there. Knowing what your career goals are isn’t just important for you–it’s important for potential employers too. The relationship between an employer and an employee works best when your goals for the future and their goals align. Saying, “Oh, I don’t know. I’ll do anything,” makes you seem indecisive, and opens you up to taking on ill-fitting tasks that won’t lead you to your dream life.

Career goal templates’ one-size-fits-all approach won’t consider your unique goals and experiences. They won’t help you stand out, and they may not reflect your full potential.

In this article, I’ll help you to define your career goals with SMART goal framework, and will provide you with a list of examples goals for work and career.

How to Define Your Career Goal with SMART

Instead of relying on a generalized framework to explain your vision, use a tried-and-true goal-setting model. SMART is an acronym for “Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic with Timelines.”[1] The SMART framework demystifies goals by breaking them into smaller steps.

Helpful hints when setting SMART career goals:

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  • Start with short-term goals first. Work on your short-term goals, and then progress the long-term interests.[2] Short-term goals are those things which take 1-3 years to complete. Long-term goals take 3-5 years to do. As you succeed in your short-term goals, that success should feed into accomplishing your long-term goals.
  • Be specific, but don’t overdo it. You need to define your career goals, but if you make them too specific, then they become unattainable. Instead of saying, “I want to be the next CEO of Apple, where I’ll create a billion-dollar product,” try something like, “My goal is to be the CEO of a successful company.”
  • Get clear on how you’re going to reach your goals. You should be able to explain the actions you’ll take to advance your career. If you can’t explain the steps, then you need to break your goal down into more manageable chunks.
  • Don’t be self-centered. Your work should not only help you advance, but it should also support the goals of your employer. If your goals differ too much, then it might be a sign that the job you’ve taken isn’t a good fit.

If you want to learn more about setting SMART Goals, watch the video below to learn how you can set SMART career goals.

After you’re clear on how to set SMART goals, you can use this framework to tackle other aspects of your work. For instance, you might set SMART goals to improve your performance review, look for a new job, or shift your focus to a different career.

We’ll cover examples of ways to use SMART goals to meet short-term career goals in the next section.

Why You Need an Individual Development Plan

Setting goals is one part of the larger formula for success. You may know what you want to do, but you also have to figure out what skills you have, what you lack, and where your greatest strengths and weaknesses are.

One of the best ways to understand your capabilities is by using the Science Careers Individual Development Plan skills assessment. It’s free, and all you need to do is register an account and take a few assessments.

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These assessments will help you determine if your career goals are realistic. You’ll come away with a better understanding of your unique talents and skill-sets. You may decide to change some of your career goals or alter your timeline based on what you learn.

40 Examples of Goals for Work & Career

All this talk of goal-setting and self-assessment may sound great in theory, but perhaps you need some inspiration to figure out what your goals should be.

For Changing a Job

  1. Attend more networking events and make new contacts.
  2. Achieve a promotion to __________ position.
  3. Get a raise.
  4. Plan and take a vacation this year.
  5. Agree to take on new responsibilities.
  6. Develop meaningful relationships with your coworkers and clients.
  7. Ask for feedback on a regular basis.
  8. Learn how to say, “No,” when you are asked to take on too much.
  9. Delegate tasks that you no longer need to be responsible for.
  10. Strive to be in a leadership role in __ number of years.

For Switching Career Path

  1. Pick up and learn a new skill.
  2. Find a mentor.
  3. Become a volunteer in the field that interests you.
  4. Commit to getting training or going back to school.
  5. Read the most recent books related to your field.
  6. Decide whether you are happy with your work-life balance and make changes if necessary. [3]
  7. Plan what steps you need to take to change careers.[4]
  8. Compile a list of people who could be character references or submit recommendations.
  9. Commit to making __ number of new contacts in the field this year.
  10. Create a financial plan.

For Getting a Promotion

  1. Reduce business expenses by a certain percentage.
  2. Stop micromanaging your team members.
  3. Become a mentor.
  4. Brainstorm ways that you could improve your productivity and efficiency at work
  5. Seek a new training opportunity to address a weakness.[5]
  6. Find a way to organize your work space.[6]
  7. Seek feedback from a boss or trusted coworker every week/ month/ quarter.
  8. Become a better communicator.
  9. Find new ways to be a team player.
  10. Learn how to reduce work hours without compromising productivity.

For Acing a Job Interview

  1. Identify personal boundaries at work and know what you should do to make your day more productive and manageable.
  2. Identify steps to create a professional image for yourself.
  3. Go after the career of your dreams to find work that does not feel like a job.
  4. Look for a place to pursue your interest and apply your knowledge and skills.
  5. Find a new way to collaborate with experts in your field.
  6. Identify opportunities to observe others working in the career you want.
  7. Become more creative and break out of your comfort zone.
  8. Ask to be trained more relevant skills for your work.
  9. Ask for opportunities to explore the field and widen your horizon
  10. Set your eye on a specific award at work and go for it.

Career Goal Setting FAQs

I’m sure you still have some questions about setting your own career goals, so here I’m listing out the most commonly asked questions about career goals.

1. What if I’m not sure what I want my career to be?

If you’re uncertain, be honest about it. Let the employer know as much as you know about what you want to do. Express your willingness to use your strengths to contribute to the company. When you take this approach, back up your claim with some examples.

If you’re not even sure where to begin with your career, check out this guide:

How to Find Your Ideal Career Path Without Wasting Time on Jobs Not Suitable for You

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2. Is it okay to lie about my career goals?

Lying to potential employers is bound to end in disaster. In the interview, a lie can make you look foolish because you won’t know how to answer follow up questions.

Even if you think your career goal may not precisely align with the employer’s expectations for a long-term hire, be open and honest. There’s probably more common ground than they realize, and it’s up to you to bridge any gaps in expectations.

Being honest and explaining these connections shows your employer that you’ve put a lot of thought into this application. You aren’t just telling them what they want to hear.

3. Is it better to have an ambitious goal, or should I play it safe?

You should have a goal that challenges you, but SMART goals are always reasonable. If you put forth a goal that is way beyond your capabilities, you will seem naive. Making your goals too easy shows a lack of motivation.

Employers want new hires who are able to self-reflect and are willing to take on challenges.

4. Can I have several career goals?

It’s best to have one clearly-defined career goal and stick with it. (Of course, you can still have goals in other areas of your life.) Having a single career goal shows that you’re capable of focusing, and it shows that you like to accomplish what you set out to do.

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On the other hand, you might have multiple related career goals. This could mean that you have short-term goals that dovetail into your ultimate long-term career goal. You might also have several smaller goals that feed into a single purpose.

For example, if you want to become a lawyer, you might become a paralegal and attend law school at the same time. If you want to be a school administrator, you might have initial goals of being a classroom teacher and studying education policy. In both cases, these temporary jobs and the extra education help you reach your ultimate goal.

Summary

You’ll have to devote some time to setting career goals, but you’ll be so much more successful with some direction. Remember to:

  • Set SMART goals. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, and Realistic with Timelines. When you set goals with these things in mind, you are likely to achieve the outcomes you want.
  • Have short-term and long-term goals. Short-term career goals can be completed in 1-3 years, while long-term goals will take 3-5 years to finish. Your short-term goals should set you up to accomplish your long-term goals.
  • Assess your capabilities by coming up with an Individual Development Plan. Knowing how to set goals won’t help you if you don’t know yourself. Understand what your strengths and weaknesses are by taking some self-assessments.
  • Choose goals that are appropriate to your ultimate aims. Your career goals should be relevant to one another. If they aren’t, then you may need to narrow your focus. Your goals should match the type of job that you want and the quality of life that you want to lead.
  • Be clear about your goals with potential employers. Always be honest with potential employers about what you want to do with your life. If your goals differ from the company’s objectives, find a way bridge the gap between what you want for yourself and what your employer expects.

By doing goal-setting work now, you’ll be able to make conscious choices on your career path. You can always adjust your plan if things change for you, but the key is to give yourself a road map for success.

More Tips About Setting Work Goals

Featured photo credit: Tyler Franta via unsplash.com

Reference

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