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How to be Successful through a Goal-Oriented Mindset

Updated on April 1, 2012

Everyone has dreams and, whether it is to become a world-class athlete or a highly influential academic or just to beat your older brother at chess, they are all achievable.

Some people are more driven than others, some people are more talented, and some people have a natural gift for what they want to accomplish, but whatever type of person you are, a goal-oriented approach is arguably the best method toward achieving your dreams.

But what is a goal-oriented approach?

Often your dream is a far-fetched one. That is why they are called dreams – because they are not easily obtainable. A goal-oriented approach ensures that you achieve the little steps, and acquire the smaller skills, required to realize your bigger, more grandiose dream.

Here’s an example: Let’s say your goal was to write the best history-based essay in your middle school class. A goal-oriented approach to attaining this goal would mean forgetting about having a completed essay for the time being, and instead focusing on the first step you need to take in order to start constructing that impressive essay. So what’s first? Well your first goal should be to decide on a topic. World War Two, perhaps? Maybe the Cultural Revolution in China instead?

Give yourself a time-frame within which this goal must be completed. This will instill a sense of pressure upon you, which generally enables a person to work quicker and more effectively.

After deciding on a topic, your next goal could be to decide on what sources you will be using. Using the decision-making skill you picked up when deciding on what topic to pick for your essay should help with choosing sources. You can begin to see the cyclical nature of a goal-oriented approach. The skills you pick up accomplishing smaller goals help you with larger goals, and so on and so forth.

Returning to the example, after choosing your sources the next goal could be to come up with your thesis. Once again, give yourself a time frame within which this task must be completed. Pressure is your friend!

As you go through goal after goal after goal, you’ll realize that your ultimate goal of that champion essay will come quickly.

This approach can be relayed onto any goal you may have. The obvious advantage of choosing smaller goals in an attempt to garner the skills and confidence to approach further goals is apparent.

Mentally, a goal-oriented approach helps with breaking the barrier that halts a person’s drive to start a project because the ultimate goal seems unattainable or too far away. A goal-oriented approach allows a person to be so focused on smaller tasks and objectives that even though they are getting closer and closer to their ultimate ambition, the person doesn’t stop to think about how much further there is to go.

Think of it like a swimmer who is hell-bent on reaching the other side of the swimming pool without taking a breath. The swimmer will put their head down and just swim, stroke after stroke, faster and faster until their hand touches the end of the pool. The same logic applies to any goal you may have.

In my opinion, the point of a goal-oriented mindset is to become so engaged with the process that the grip and binding nature that comes from the desire of the ultimate dream isn’t there anymore. The reason why goal-orientation is effective is because it forces the subject to start and do something, no matter how small that first goal is, in order to build momentum. By completing small goals that, you know, have an effect toward obtaining your ultimate goal, as Adidas like’s to promote through a slogan of a similar nature, nothing is impossible.


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    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 5 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Great advice and Hub. And it's true, you have to start and do something first. Rated up and I'm a fan.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 5 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      I always fine setting short term realistic goals a good way to get to where I want to be, every journey begins with a single step. good useful hub. Voting up

    • profile image

      mours sshields 5 years ago from Elwood, Indiana

      Very true! And, some people expect to become an over-night success; and that's not usually how it works.