What Are Goals, and Why do I Set Them?

October 10, 2020

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Do you know what goals are? Understand the difference between goal and objective, find out how to define them and start getting your plans off the ground. Understand how to set goals and achieve them successfully.

Many people still have difficulty understanding what goals really are. Would you know how to differentiate goals from objectives, for example? Even if you consider yourself a dreamy person, full of goals, you may still not have well-defined goals.

As Mary Kay Ash, the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, rightly said, “a dream is just a wish, until the moment you start acting on it, and you propose to turn it into a goal”.

Shall We Better Understand all This? We will talk more about the concept of goals, their characteristics, and how to define and classify them in the short, medium and long term.

What Are Goals?


Goals are specific tasks with set deadlines, with which you commit to achieving your goals. Practically, if you plan to take a trip, your goal may be to collect X amount of money by that date.

We can say, then, that the goals are nothing more than objectives in a quantified way, the specification of what you want to do or achieve quantitatively.

Setting Goals and Achieve them Successfully

set smart goals

It is not enough to understand what goals are; the concept is only the first step. George Doran in his article “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives ”(There is a smart way to write the objectives and goals of the administration), proposed a handy tool for those who want to set goals.

The acronym SMART is formed by the initials of the English words Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based, translated as specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and temporal, respectively.

For the author, your goals must have each of these characteristics:

  • Specific: they must be simple and easily understood.
  • Measurable: it must be possible to monitor its evolution.
  • Attainable: must be realistic.
  • Relevant: they must reveal a valid objective and not just a passing wish.
  • Temporal: they must have a well-defined term, which will influence their motivation.

With that in mind, take the first step, write your goals on paper. Remember, be specific and realistic. You need to know what you want, or you will wander and get nowhere.

👉 Click here to get some help about finding your purpose.

Sort Your Goals

After setting your goals, it’s time to plan actions, to start preparing to get those goals off the ground. For that, we will need to go beyond what are goals; it is necessary to classify them in different types according to the period determined for their fulfilment.

Short term
Short-term goals are designed for a close period; that is, they must be realized soon. Because of this, they usually require a little more determination and effort. Some factors will help you to identify a short-term goal. Two deserve emphasis, urgency and planning, that is, you really need this as soon as possible, and it is possible to accomplish this in the allotted time.

Mid-term
The medium-term goals do not have an emergency character, and they happen in about five years. However, they also require focus, determination and resilience, so that you don’t end up getting lost along the way. In any case, they need to be thought out and structured correctly.

Long term
Long-term goals can take decades, which requires great consistency from those who intend to achieve them. Discouragement is the biggest challenge, so it is essential to maintain motivation and develop shorter goals so that you also enjoy the small steps.

Assess Available Resources

Identifying and evaluating your resources will help you find out if your goals are realistic or not. We are talking about different factors that may be necessary for you to be able to execute what you have proposed, such as time, money, energy, skills, among others.

What to do when you don’t have what it takes to get started, you may be wondering.

  • This means that you may have to achieve the first goal before moving on to what you want, and that’s okay.
  • Who do you still want to be?
  • What have you always wanted to accomplish and haven’t yet accomplished?

Create goals. Have direction, and you will be able to get there.

I would love to know about you. Do you have goals? 🤷💛

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