Dream Smart - Develop a plan to achieve your dreams

+ Why Set Goals

Success and satisfaction are personally defined. In other words, only you know what equates success to YOU. Goals should reflect the person you are and what is most important to you.

Think of setting goals as determining the destination for your future and the action plan to achieve those goals is your road map to get there.

Goals help you focus your limited energy, time and financial resources. Goals make decisions clearer when the inevitable, unexpected crossroads arise.

Additional Benefits of Goal Setting

  1. You are focused on what YOU want to achieve.
  2. Your self-confidence increases with each step taken towards your goal.
  3. You can conquer procrastination.
  4. You are able to prioritize your time.
  5. You are no longer confused about what action to take.
  6. You have a clear vision for your future.
  7. You are able to concentrate your energy towards your desired result.
  8. You can see hope for better things.
  9. You will maintain inspiration and motivation.
  10. You can see possibilities you never saw before!

+ Types of Goals

A goal is defined as a target or destination. Goals are very personal - they are about who you are and what you want out of life. You may set goals for each area of your life - school, career, family or fitness.

Goals generally fall into one of these two broad categories:

Long-Term Goals (Milestone Goals) - are the end destination or 'big picture' goals. Long term goals may take 6 months to years to to complete.

Short-Term Goals (Mini Goals) - are the series of smaller goals needed to reach your destination. Short term goals are things you plan to accomplish this week, this month or this year.

Short and long term goals complement each other. It's important to separate short and long term goals because the completion of short term goals will give you the momentum and motivation to accomplish your long term goals.

Examples of Long and Short Term Goals

Long-Term Goal is to get an electrical engineering degree

Short-Term Goals may look something like this:

  1. Attend classes
  2. Participate in professional development and internship opportunities
  3. Maintain a certain grade point average
  4. Stay up-to-date in your readings and assignments

Each point along the path to the end result is a milestone or check point. You can't achieve the ultimate goal or reach the final destination without completing each step before it.

Set your goals, both big and small, and watch your life change!

+ Set SMART Goals

A goal should provide guidance and direction. Use the S.M.A.R.T. criteria to help put more detail into your goal. Spending some time creating effective goals will be a huge help later on.

? Using the S.M.A.R.T criteria listed above, write your goals down:

"I will [ your goal here ] by [ how you will do the goal ]. I will know I am making progress because [ how you will measure the goal ] [ time goes here ]."

Evaluate your own goal - is it Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Based?

Developing an Action Plan to reach your goal.

+ Writing Vision Statements

Your personal vision statement guides your life. It provides the necessary direction to guide the course of your days and the choices you make. It describes how you see yourself in the future, your hopes and dreams and evokes a sense of success and satisfaction.

Writing Your Vision Statement

A vision statement mixes various features of your life and what you know about yourself.

On a piece of paper list:

After completing your list, put your ideas about your future into one or more paragraphs. Make sure to write your vision statement in present tense, imagining yourself already attaining what you want.

Examples of Vision Statements

"I walk up to the podium and am awarded the Olympic Gold Medal for the 100 meter dash. The huge crowd cheers. I watch proudly as my national anthem is played and my country's flag rises slowly above me."

"I am physically empowered; have graduated from college; have satisfying interpersonal relationships that bring me joy, lots of friends, am having fun everyday and making at least $75,000 a year doing work that helps other people."

+ Developing an Action Plan

Action Planning is a process which will help you to focus your ideas and decide what steps you need to achieve your goals. It is a statement of what you want to acheive in a given period of time.

Main Steps In Preparing an Action Plan

Examples of Action Plans

Goal: Have a career in Montana as a civil engineer

Action Plan:

  1. Attend a college with a strong engineering program.
  2. Be positioned for an internship by maintaining high grades.
  3. Connect with a Helena firm while in college for summer internship opportunities.
  4. Finish college and complete engineering certifications.
  5. Meet qualifications and be successful in the interview process.

Goal: Purchasing a home with land

Action Plan

  1. Have good credit and savings for a 20% down payment.
  2. Establish good credit by staying current on all bills.
  3. Minimize debt while in college.

Goal: Buy a new truck and boat.

Action Plan:

  1. Minimize debt while in college.
  2. Establish good credit by staying current on all bills.
  3. Finish college, complete engineering certifications, get job.
  4. Have good credit.

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