As children we grow up with dreams and as adults it is important that we continue them as it is when we stop dreaming that we start to whither and die. Man was born to dream; he was also born to achieve. The more dreams we have the more alive we are, although we don’t always have to achieve our dreams in order to achieve happiness. The mere act of pursuing our dreams, or starting out on the road to fulfilment can bring a great sense of direction, satisfaction and joy. Remember that wonderful saying that ‘success is a journey, not a destination’.

So when does a dream become a goal? It is when it changes from an idle ‘wish’ to something you have a passion for, perhaps even an obsession. In fact show me a man who is obsessed with something and I will show you a man with a goal. If you are serious and determined about achieving various goals in your life then you must become passionate about them. However, another important thing about achieving goals is to incorporate FUN. In order to keep motivated and keep on the path it must be enjoyable – it must be something you like doing. Indulge in activities that will keep you motivated: read the right material, listen to the right cassette tapes, attend the right courses. Never regard achieving goals in the same way as hitting work deadlines. They are not the same thing at all.

If you want to win in the great game of life, if you want to achieve all that you can achieve, and be happy then setting and achieving correct goals play an integral part. It is a tragedy that many people are subject to the devastating shock of realising that the goal that they have finally reached is not what they wanted. How sad to hear someone say “I have lost the most precious and most significant relationships of my life. I have compromised my health, I have compromised my integrity, just to get to where I am now, only to realise that it is not where I want to be.” We have all seen people climbing the ladder of success, but is their ladder against the right wall?

“Ours is a world where people don’t know what they want and are willing to go through hell to get it.” Don Marquis

This misdirection commonly happens because people do not take the long-term view. Most people get into daily planning, yet all the important things in life deal with long time-spans and long time-frames, not daily. The reality is that daily planning often means that you are merely prioritising your crises, and this kind of situation will eat you up, wear you out and leave you with no energy for efficient, long term goal planning. You must avoid this rut.

Goal planning and, more importantly, achievement is a serious business and you must get serious. Having the ‘eye of the tiger’ is all very well but it is not enough. Having the ‘will’ to win is not enough. You must be prepared to work. Opposed to what many believe success is not down to luck in the generally accepted sense of the word but it is subject to Luck Under Constructive Knowledge. By this I mean that only by implementing the necessary plans, actions and mindset can you achieve a great deal. Many of us have heard the words POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE (PMA) – but do we all know how to get one? Well I have another definition for the letters PMA - PURPOSE METHOD ACTION. If you have a definite purpose in life, a method to work by to achieve that purpose, and you go out and take the appropriate action, you will immediately start to achieve personal power and, by default, a positive mental attitude.

The great difference in life between winners and losers is that winners make it happen, losers let it happen. Do not let life happen to you - take charge, take control. Make a choice now - and make that choice to win. All the ruminating, meditating and cogitating in the world will get you nowhere. Only with real goals and real action will you get the results you want.

“There is no security on this earth, there is only opportunity.” General Douglas Macarthur

Once you have correctly and carefully identified your goals – and it important that you take time doing this - it is absolutely essential that you transfer onto paper. The benefit of this was illustrated well in an experiment based on Yale University’s Class of ‘53. A survey was carried out in which all of the students were given a long questionnaire to complete. Within it was the one key question that was to provide the researchers with the answer to their debate - ‘How many of the students have written clear specific goals?’ - and the result was 3%. In 1973 they revisited all the participants that were still living and on speaking to them again discovered that the 3% who had written goals had actually accumulated more wealth than all of the other 97% added together. So here we have clear, categorical proof that the mere act of writing down goals has a power in itself. The very act of setting a goal and writing it down will immediately point you in the direction of that goal. It will empower you to know that your life is becoming self-determined, that you are taking charge, that you are taking control. It will provide you with a sense of purpose and set you on your journey towards the attainment of your ultimate aspirations.

Having spent over 15 years working in the field of developing human potential I have identified the following nine steps as not only being crucial in planning goals but, more importantly, immensely increase your ability to succeed. Be diligent in following the plan of action that you create, remain true to your ethics, morals and desires, and your dreams can become reality.

1. Write down and clearly identify exactly what it is that you want. Be very, very specific. Write down what is in it for you.
2. Determine how you will benefit from this goal. Write as many benefits as you can possibly think of.
3. Analyse where you are right now in relation to achieving this goal
4. Put a date by which you expect to accomplish the task
5. Identify the obstacles you have to overcome in order to reach this goal
6. Choose the people, organisations and groups whose help you will need to accomplish your task
7. List the skills and knowledge you will need to achieve your goal
8. Establish how you will get these skills and knowledge. Write down the books you will need to read, the courses you will have to take, the lectures and seminars you may need to attend
9. Develop a plan of action

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important than any other one thing.” Abraham Lincoln


Author's Bio: 

Gerard is the CEO of Noble Manhattan Coaching. Contact Gerard at Gerard shares his rich coaching expetise freely with you through his blog at Download free coaching books for your development at