Many of us do some form of goal setting just prior to or at the beginning of a new year. We review what has happened in the last 12 months and decide what to do next. However, for goal setting for success, it should go beyond making short term targets or aims with a one-year time frame. In fact, goal setting should be based on the vision of what you want to achieve in life.

A vision helps you know what directions to take. You make major decisions based on your vision. Without a vision to guide you, you can get lost and confused or find yourself going in circles. With a vision to help in goal setting, you will feel motivated to make your dreams a reality.

In my own experience, although I had a general idea of where I would like to go, I did not put much thought into the vision that would drive my goals. I had found myself losing interest in some of my plans, getting side tracked with the many distractions that came along and even changing my goals often to suit the fancy of the day. Not having a vision has meant that I lost much time and made many costly mistakes.

Since then, I had found out more about the importance of goal setting and how to go about them from the numerous books that I have read and personal development workshops that I have attended.

Goal setting is a "what" statement; that is, what to do. It is not a "why". Hence, if you do not know "why" you are doing something, you can easily lose motivation. On the other hand, if you know the purpose or the "why" you are doing something, your "whats" begin to have a force on their own. You can have several hundred goals but there should really be a single purpose that you work for. The purpose forms your all empowering vision. You can then break down your goals into action-oriented daily, monthly or yearly tasks (which form the "hows" to get there).

Elements of a vision statement should include the following:

· Clarity and lack of ambiguity.
· Painting a vivid and clear picture.
· Memorable and engaging.
· Describing a bright future.

Here are some examples of vision. Disney's vision is "To make people happy." For some people who are involved in charity work, their purpose is simply "To serve". As for myself, my vision is to "educate and empower in the area of self healing and self fulfilment". I have been amazed by the transformation that I see, after I have set a clear vision for myself.

It is important to internalize your vision by writing it down and putting this piece of paper where you can clearly see it everyday. Next write down your daily, monthly or yearly goals, and the steps that you need to take in order to achieve this vision.

It does not matter if you think that your vision appears like an impossible dream at this point in time. Things need not be perfect when you first start out on the path of achieving it. Heard of the saying "Don't catch the paralysis of perfection?" At this time, you may not have the answers on how to get there. But you can start by making a commitment to your vision and take a step each day towards it. Have the trust that everything will work out.

Start opening up your mind to the possibilities of what may be possible. "To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe" -- Anatole Franc.

Make a plan to interact with like-minded friends who are on the same journey as you. Create a mastermind group. You can help bounce ideas off each other, or motivate each other when challenges come along the way. Just think about the joy when you finally realise your dreams and being able to share with everyone with the same vision.

Your journey may be strewn with difficulties. At times, you may feel disheartened by the obstacles that are thrown onto your path or feel daunted by your apparent lack of progress. Hence it is important that you do not lose sight of your vision. If others can succeed in spite of all difficulties, so can you.

It is better to create a future you love than to endure the one that you do not. You have to look beyond just goal setting. Create a vision to make goal setting a success. It may be hard to think about what your purpose for this life is. You need one that you can clearly connect with. Hence, careful thought, personal insights, and perhaps even engaging your subconscious mind for some answers, are needed. Then, when you have decided on a vision for yourself, put your heart and soul into it.

You will be surprised to find that as you start your journey with belief, opportunities will open up to make your dreams a reality. Success usually does not happen by chance, but it has to start with a vision.

Author's Bio: 

Evelyn Lim writes inspirational articles based on her personal insights and experiences. She also shares about using mind control techniques for making dreams a reality. For more articles or to get a download report on "How To Manifest What You Want", visit