Before we set out to accomplish anything at all, we must begin with a clear picture in our minds of already having achieved our goal. We wouldn’t even imagine trying to glue broken pieces of pottery back together without any idea of what it’s supposed to look like. So, why should we go through life without a clear purpose? Once we begin to visualize something, we can begin to figure out how to make it happen.

Following are steps to consider in setting goals:

A Clear Purpose

The first step is to have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish. Consider the lifestyle you want to live, your motives, and your priorities. Recall what others have confirmed as your gifts and talents. Think about what you are passionate about. Create a clear picture in your mind and see yourself having reached your goal. Imagine what you would be doing and what life would be like for you. Think about what it means to you to fulfill your goals.

A Course of Action

Once you have a clear purpose, it is time to take action in setting goals and in achieving them. The best way to begin is to make your goals measurable, and organize your objectives by writing them down. Before any building is ever built, a blueprint is drawn. Without it there would be no plan or direction in what do, how to do it, or what materials to use. In the same way, life goals need a clear course of action.

Think of the first steps you must take to achieve your goals. Now write down at least 3 short-term goals and 3 long-term goals. Some short-term goals can be daily or weekly. Record deadlines for each goal, and be sure to check them off when they are reached. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and help you stay motivated. Each new goal you set will give you hope and anticipation for its fulfillment. And with each step you take, you will grow and accomplish new things.

Creating S.M.A.R.T. Goals

S = Specific [answer the questions - Who? What? Where? When? How?]


General goal = Lose Weight

Specific goal = My goal is to join Jake's Fitness Center next week on Monday, February 18th and begin working out 3 days a week [Mon, Tues, Sat].

M = Measurable [How much? How many?]

Example- My goal is to lose 10 lbs (2 lbs a week).

A = Achievable [you can attain most any goal you set if you plan wisely, persist and stay motivated]

R = Realistic [answer the questions - Can I accomplish this? Do I have the ability and skills needed?]

T = Timely [set time frames for each goal]

Example- My goal is to lose a total of 10 lbs starting March 1st for 5 weeks ending April 5th.

Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action. ~Bebhanub Disraeli

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. ~Mark Twain

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. ~Chinese proverb

Copyright © 2007 Krystal Kuehn. All Rights Reserved.
Taken from The 9 Habits of Happy People by Krystal Kuehn, Activity 2 of: Habit #7 What are You Living For? Practice Happiness by Living with Purpose.

Author's Bio: 

Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC is a psychotherapist, author, teacher & musician. She is the cofounder of New Day Counseling, a family ,marriage counseling, child ,teenage counseling center,, an award-winning, self-help and inspirational site where you can find hundreds of free resources, insights & words of inspiration to change your life, and where you can find beautiful baby poems, baby quotes, cute sayings & baby videos that will touch your heart & increase your joy & gratitude for the children you love & enjoy! Krystal is also author of several blogs: Be Your Best, Give Thanks Journal, Baby Poems & Words of Inspiration blog and The 10 Keys to Happy and Loving Relationships (available at