Setting Goals

Mapping out your future is a process. The first step is to have a VISION!  Visualizations are a mental picture you create in your mind.  Perhaps, like a daydream. When you were little, you may have seen yourself as a dancing princess or an action hero saving the world. When you reach your teens… your vision changes. Now you daydream about making the school basketball team, playing the lead role in a school theater production, being on the honor roll, or owning a high-tech computer system.  As you enter adulthood, you will begin to visualize yourself in a more detailed specific profession…for instance a police officer, teacher, engineer or other careers.

Once you have your vision, it is now time to set some GOALS to make your vision a reality!  The tricky part is figuring out how to do it. Just as a map shows you where you’re at when traveling on a highway, your goals are the map for the road you’re traveling in life.  Writing your goals out makes them real.  When you set a long term goal, you have to take action to achieve it.  You can create this action by developing several short-term goals.    It is the short term goals that move you forward to your long term goal….this is called an action plan.

Road to success tips…

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for directions. It is helpful to learn as much as you can about the goal you are working towards. Use your “pit crew” of encouragers and advisors to help you reach your goals.
  • Daily road test. The biggest challenge in goal achievement is staying focused and committed. Sometimes, if people do not see success right away, they are discouraged. Commitment to your goals is one of the greatest driving skills you need to have on the journey to goal achievement.

Submitted by Laurie Tarter, Program Director for Winning Futures, a goal-setting and mentoring program in Warren, MI. Learn more about Winning Futures at

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