Many people feel as if they're adrift in
the world. They work hard, but they
don't seem to get anywhere
A key reason that they feel this way is that they
haven't spent enough time thinking about what
they want from life, and haven't set themselves
formal goals. After all, would you set out on a major
journey with no real idea of your destination?
Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking
about your ideal future, and for motivating yourself
to turn your vision of this future into reality.
The process of setting goals helps you choose
where you want to go in life. By knowing precisely
what you want to achieve, you know where you
have to concentrate your efforts. You'll also quickly
spot the distractions that can, so easily, lead you
Why Set Goals?
Top-level athletes, successful business-people and
achievers in all fields all set goals. Setting goals
gives you long-term vision and short-term
motivation . It focuses your acquisition of
knowledge, and helps you to organize your time
and your resources so that you can make the very
most of your life.
By setting sharp, clearly defined goals, you can
measure and take pride in the achievement of
those goals, and you'll see forward progress in
what might previously have seemed a long
pointless grind. You will also raise your self-
confidence , as you recognize your own ability
and competence in achieving the goals that you've
Starting to Set Personal Goals
You set your goals on a number of levels:
First you create your "big picture" of what you
want to do with your life (or over, say, the next
10 years), and identify the large-scale goals that
you want to achieve.
Then, you break these down into the smaller and
smaller targets that you must hit to reach your
Finally, once you have your plan, you start
working on it to achieve these goals.
This is why we start the process of setting goals by
looking at your lifetime goals. Then, we work down
to the things that you can do in, say, the next five
years, then next year, next month, next week, and
today, to start moving towards them.
Step 1: Setting Lifetime Goals
The first step in setting personal goals is to
consider what you want to achieve in your lifetime
(or at least, by a significant and distant age in the
future). Setting lifetime goals gives you the overall
perspective that shapes all other aspects of your
To give a broad, balanced coverage of all important
areas in your life, try to set goals in some of the
following categories (or in other categories of your
own, where these are important to you):
Career – What level do you want to reach in
your career, or what do you want to achieve?
Financial – How much do you want to earn, by
what stage? How is this related to your career
Education – Is there any knowledge you want to
acquire in particular? What information and
skills will you need to have in order to achieve
Family – Do you want to be a parent? If so, how
are you going to be a good parent? How do you
want to be seen by a partner or by members of
your extended family?
Artistic – Do you want to achieve any artistic
Attitude – Is any part of your mindset holding
you back? Is there any part of the way that you
behave that upsets you? (If so, set a goal to
improve your behavior or find a solution to the
Physical – Are there any athletic goals that you
want to achieve, or do you want good health
deep into old age? What steps are you going to
take to achieve this?
Pleasure – How do you want to enjoy yourself?
(You should ensure that some of your life is for
Public Service – Do you want to make the
world a better place? If so, how?
Spend some time brainstorming these things,
and then select one or more goals in each category
that best reflect what you want to do. Then
consider trimming again so that you have a small
number of really significant goals that you can
As you do this, make sure that the goals that you
have set are ones that you genuinely want to
achieve, not ones that your parents, family, or
employers might want. (If you have a partner, you
probably want to consider what he or she wants –
however, make sure that you also remain true to
ROLE OF AMBITION IN LIFE
This is the time when high school students
are waiting for the results of their school
leaving exams. They have finished one stage
of their life and would be beginning
university in the current year and pass on
gradually to become a professional in some
A few students have a predefined goal and
have been working in that direction. They
have a specific ambition to fulfil. For
example, these youngsters would like to
become a lawyer or doctor or engineer, e.t.c.
but many teenagers are still confused and
yet undecided as to what they want to do
later in life. Few students while away time
doing small courses, before finally deciding
on one goal.
But in this way they while away precious
times of their lives. By the time they achieve
what they have decided, they find the
students with pre-decided minds to be
ahead of them in life. It is not only the
monetary aspect, but a name, position;
everything that comes only after one has
obtained a certain goal or reached a certain
point in life.
It is to avoid such a situation that, students
are advised to have an ambition by the time
they reach high school. Ambition is a strong
desire to achieve something, whether name,
fame or money. It is a strong desire to
obtain success. The desire should be strong
enough to make an individual put in all
efforts to fulfil it.
In majority of the cases, parents and other
well meaning elders try to guide the
teenagers as to what studies they should
pursue in university, which university
would be best for that specific course and
how it shall help him or her later in life.
Even schools organize career counselling
meetings for the students. Most of the
schools also have a full time counsellor to
guide the students for their future studies
and course of life.
But the basic thing needed is for the student
is to have some ambition. Many bright
teenagers fail to succeed in life as per their
potential. On the other hand, some average
individuals excel because they are
ambitious enough when young and strive
hard to fulfil the burning desire to succeed.
Children should be made to realize the
importance of having an ambition while
growing up. They should be made to
recognize the fact that life is just not
sleeping, eating and making merry but has a
far reaching goal to reach. Having an aim or
dream in life is necessary, but more
important is to have that as an ambition, i.e.
intense desire to achieve it`
Again the temperament of children is
variable. There would be some who would
comply with the suggestion of their parents
without discussion. But some rebellious
youngsters wish, “to lead their own lives”
with absolutely no parental interference.
Even if it is only a suggestion from the
parents, they refuse to consider it. But in
this process they forget that their parents
have more experience of the world than
them. Moreover they have the best interests
of their child in mind, hence would suggest
Now in whatever way they decide, every
school leaving student should have a clear
idea as to what he wants to do in life. If he
himself is confused, suggestions of elders
around should be considered. It is not wise
to remain confused for long and waste
Once somebody develops an ambition to do
something in life, he or she should focus all
efforts in achieving it. But while attempting
to do so, one should be realistic also. If the
desired results are obtained it is fine. If no,
one should not feel depressed. When a
youngster has worked hard and in the right
direction, even if he does not reach the top,
he will still remain above average in life.
All high school students should realize the
importance of having an ambition in life, to
make their lives better. It is only when a
youngster has an ambition; he will try to
fulfil that desire. This will surely make him
a successful professional.
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