Setting some intentions for your future will help to maintain your ambition. After all, it’s easy to lose focus and feel defeated when we don’t hit those important milestones. In order to keep you on the right course to success, you can start by crafting a plan. This plan doesn’t have to be as plain and simple as ‘become Managing Director by 2025’; it can be far more complex and specific than that. What counts as a ‘goal’ or ‘ambition’ differs from person to person.
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Set a timer
If you’re a bad procrastinator, you may struggle to set yourself helpful goals. Procrastination is often formed out of anxiety, not laziness, which means that we often delay getting round to taking action out of a fear of failure. The best way to force yourself out of this unhelpful thought-process is to set yourself a timer. You might even want to estimate the time it will take to reach that goal, so for example “in two weeks, apply for a senior management role.” Or, by the time you hit 30, you might want to have finally enrolled on a part-time university course. If you want to count down the days and minutes then you can easily calculate the time duration using online calculators.
Jump out of your comfort zone
We very rarely make big changes in our life without stretching ourselves somewhat. By jumping outside of your comfort zone, you can prove it to yourself that you are more than capable of pushing yourself into something that you find intimidating. If you’ve always been terrified of applying for a senior position at work or taking up a class in public speaking, then now is the time to jump in the deep end.
If your long-term goal is to be able to cook something without burning it, then will you ever learn without some form of practice and education? If you wanted to become a teacher in the next five years, will you ever meet that milestone without enrolling on a teaching course? If you have some major goals to meet, but don’t know how to do it, the first step should always be education.
You might actually have quite a wide variety of goals, each fulfilling a different purpose in your broader life. For example, you might have some specific career goals and some other more personal ones that relate to your health and family. Write down a list and break your objectives down into categories.
Take advice patiently
You may have some friends and family members that attempt to set your goals for you. Take their advice patiently, but know that only you can really set your personal goals. Know that their advice probably comes from a kind place, but pay attention to what you really want and need.
Goal-setting is all about measuring your expectations and celebrating those small wins. It’s important to remember, too, that other people’s successes do not equate to your personal failures.