• 40% of people, do not find themselves at the path in their career, they originally thought they would be
  • Goal setting helps build LONG-TERM VISION and acts as SHORT-TERM MOTIVATION
  • Clearly defined Large Goals, when broken into Smaller Goals, makes everything achievable and channelizes your resources positively.

All of us, plan our lives at some point of time or the other. While some start out early, many others take a while deciding where they are headed, and how they want their life and career to pan out. What is undisputed is that fact that most people work hard to achieve their goals.

Yet, what is surprising is that many people can’t seem to get anywhere despite doing everything they can, with regards to the paths they have chosen.

A recent nation-wide survey on perspectives of career-success attainment, conducted by Bellevue University has revealed that 40% of the people surveyed, have not found themselves at the place where they originally thought they would be.

While there may be many reasons for this, a key factor that has been found is the lack of focussed approach in formulating these goals. This is similar to embarking on a major journey, with no idea on how to go about it, or the ultimate destination you want to reach.

Setting Goals for Yourself, is a powerful way of envisioning your ideal future, which also serves as motivation to turn your perception of that future into reality.

So the question that arises, is ‘Why set Goals and what are their benefits’!

  • Goal setting helps build long-term vision and acts as motivation in the short-term.
  • The knowledge you have acquired is channelled positively.
  • It helps organize your time and also helps you avoid unnecessary time spent on unhealthy pursuits.
  • It channelizes your resources to produce results
  • Clearly defined goals can be recognized, measured and applauded when achieved.
  • Such goals give you a clear idea of where you’re headed, rather than pushing you on a pointless journey
  • It raises your self-confidence, and helps you understand your own competency and abilities.

While understanding why goals are needed is important, not many people know how to go about them. 60% of the respondents in the survey also revealed that they couldn’t put a finger on exactly what was holding them back from achieving their goal.

Goal setting can be a daunting task. It is difficult to envision where you want to be many years from now, and chalk out your career plan accordingly.

What will therefore help, is breaking down your goals into different levels;?

  • Begin by creating the ‘big picture’ of where you are headed to in life, your ultimate destination over the next few years, and zero in on the larger lifetime goal that you want to achieve.
  • When the above is done, break the larger one into smaller and ‘smaller targets’ that you must achieve to reach your ultimate goal.
  • Fixing the short and long term goals, will get you started on the plan to fulfilling them.

Setting the Larger Goal

The first step to achieving your goals, is setting a lifetime goal that needs to be achieved in the distant future. This will give you a broad perspective, that will define all the aspects of the decision making process.

To understand and cover all the varied aspects of your life, focus on these individual areas and what you want to do in them. This will give clarity on where you want to be headed eventually.

  • Career
  • Education
  • Finance
  • Family
  • Artistic
  • Attitude

Going through each of these areas individually, will help you arrive at goals in each of them, that will reflect what you want to make of your life. When this is done, you get a clear idea of the smaller goals you want to focus on.

Setting Smaller Goals

When you are done mapping your larger plan, you now need to move on to smaller goals and focus on them individually, choosing a shorter duration to complete them.

This can be done, by creating a 5 year plan, 1 year plan, 6 month plan etc. so that at every stage, you have achieved what you set out to do, and are inching closer to your lifetime goals.

When the above yearly and monthly plans get broken down to even smaller daily goals, something as miniscule as gathering up information for that managerial position you had in mind, it will ensure you are headed in the right direction.

Additional Goal Setting Tips


  • Be positive of your goal, and keep affirming it to yourself.
  • Set precise goals, right down to the type, date and time that it needs to be achieved.
  • Always prioritize your goals, to avoid confusion.
  • Writing goals down, helps give them more force and meaning
  • Keep goals small. They become achievable.
  • Setting Performance Goals, rather than Outcome Goals, helps keep them more realistic. An outcome is affected by your work, as well as factors that are out of your control. In a business set-up, having a productive year is partially in your hands and partially out of your control.

Performance goals, help keep the control in your hands, so that you are not unduly affected if outside forces decide to play havoc with your plans.

  • Achievable Goals are Realistic Goals. When they are crossed, you appreciate the destination, as well as the journey that has led to it.

Goal Setting; A Practical Perspective

As a young student about to embark on your career journey in life, you have a fair idea of where you are headed.

Your Lifetime Goals might be;

  • Career –To be the Creative Head of the Design agency you work for.
  • Artistic –To continue with painting and art, with the prospect of having your own standalone show at a local gallery.
  • Finance –To be financially stable and able to afford an independent home.

Now that the above goals have been defined, each of them can be broken down into smaller manageable goals that need to be achieved.
The Career goal of being the Creative Head can be broken down into:

5-year goal: Becoming a deputy editor.

1-year goal: Work on projects that the current Creative Head is managing.
6-month goal: Do a short-term course on Web Designing
1-month goal: Discuss with the current Creative Head on the skill sets required for the job
1-week goal: Have an appointment with the Creative Head.

About the Author


Eshna is a writer at Simplilearn. She has done Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication and is a Gold Medalist in the same. A voracious reader, she has penned several articles in leading national newspapers like TOI, HT and The Telegraph. She loves traveling and photography.

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