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Reach For The Stars: Personal Goal Setting Tips

Updated on October 7, 2014
Reach Your Goals By Taking One Step At A Time
Reach Your Goals By Taking One Step At A Time | Source

Setting Goals Helps Bring Our Dreams Into Reality!

Goals give us a direction to take. They motivate us and guide us. Goals take everything from our smallest hopes and wishes to our biggest dreams, and help them become reality. In fact, the very act of goal setting takes us one step closer to achieving that goal.

This page contains tips for selecting your own goals, as well as inspiring goal setting quotes and photos!

"Everyone needs something to aim for.

You can call it a challenge,

or you can call it a goal.

It is what makes us human.

It was challenges

that took us from being cavemen

to reaching for the stars."

— Richard Branson
Reach for your goals!
Reach for your goals! | Source

"The tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach."

-Benjamin Mays

How to Start Setting Your Goals

Begin Setting Your Goals By Brainstorming!

Wondering how to start writing your goals? In January, I created a list of goals for myself for the year. I began by brainstorming. Instead of considering whether or not I could actually achieve a certain goal or judging it in any other way, I just quickly jotted some down. In other words, I wrote whatever came to me. This was, after all, a brainstorming session!

I didn't worry about perfecting the goals at first. I just got the basic aspect of the goal down on paper. I knew I wasn't stuck with anything I wrote and that I could go back later and rewrite any of my goals until they expressed exactly what I wanted them to say.

In fact, it's always a good idea to keep flexibility in mind even after you've made your goals. Part way into the year, you may decide that something you thought was important just isn't that important to you after all. If that happens, either drop that goal completely, or change it to suit your current needs! You're in no way bound for the year with the goals you select today!

So pull out a pad and a pencil, or open a document on your computer, and brainstorm your personal goals. You can make small short term goals, small long term goals, bigger long term goals, or a combination of all three! Don't worry about getting them down just perfect at first. You can work more on that later. Just get some basic ideas down!

Brainstorming your goals - Tips on creating goals

If you are having trouble brainstorming your goals, here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself. Perhaps one or more of these will help.

  • What do you really enjoy doing? List several things. Are there any of them that you could take another step with this year?
  • Is there anything about your life you'd like to change? What steps could you take to begin to change that?
  • Would you like to be more outgoing, spend more time with your family, begin a new career or supplement your current one? What small step could you take now that would lead you in that direction? Remember, you don't have to make a big leap all at once!
  • Does travel appeal to you? If so, what steps can you take now that can help that dream become a reality later?
  • Maybe you'd like to ask God or the universe for help in discovering your larger dreams as well as your next steps in life. If so, here's one way to go about that. Write the question on a piece of paper and leaving it beside your bed. Then make note of your dreams when you wake up. Also make note of anything out of the ordinary in your daily life for the next few days. Maybe the answer will come to you over the radio or tv (Yes, that does happen to people! It's happened to me before, as well as others I know!). Maybe someone standing in line in the grocery store in front of you will say something which will give you an idea. Or the answer may come to you as an article in the newspaper or a magazine. Your boss, friend, family member, or neighbor may casually say something which gives you an idea, without even being aware of it themselves. Or the answer could simply just pop into your head! When you ask the Universe or God a question, keep your eyes and ears open for an answer from just about anywhere!

The next step is to prioritize the goals you've brainstormed.

If you've come up with quite a few, consider how important each one is to you.

Once you've finished brainstorming, go back and examine your goals. Which ones are most important to you? Put a star beside them. Of those, how many can you realistically stick with? Do they compete with one another in terms of your personal resources - such as your time or money? If so, list them in order of importance to you and then decide which one or ones you'll choose to focus on now, and which you'll save for later. Keep in mind that if you try to focus on too many goals at once, especially when you're first getting started with goal setting, you might not accomplish any of them.

"If you don't take risks, you won't achieve anything." - Richard Branson

"If you don't take risks, you won't achieve anything." - Richard Branson
"If you don't take risks, you won't achieve anything." - Richard Branson | Source

But don't worry! Not every goal has to be so tall! Nor do you have to achieve it in a single day!

Take one step at a time!

The best way to achieve your goals is one small step at a time!
The best way to achieve your goals is one small step at a time! | Source

Next, break your larger goals into smaller, more manageable parts.

Then take it one step at a time!

If you have larger goals in mind, break them down into smaller steps. Don't worry about whether or not you can achieve the whole goal yet. If you just look at the big goal looming over you, lack of confidence in your ability to achieve the goal may hijack your efforts. Many times looking at the larger goal and worrying we'll never be able to accomplish it, keeps us from even starting. Just focus on one small step that you know you can do. When you've completed that one, look for the next step and make that your next goal. Remember that every journey starts with a single step.

Sometimes it's helpful to work backwards. Start with your ultimate goal - the end result - and think about the step that would come right before achieving that ultimate goal. Then think about the step that would come right before that one, and so on, until you come to your very first step for that goal. But whether you work forwards, from where you are right now to where you want to be, or your create your plan backwards from where you want to be to where you are right now, the important key is to break those larger goals down into smaller, manageable steps.

Have your goals and individual steps on paper now?

Go back and reread them! Make sure they express what you really want to accomplish!

After you have your goals listed, take another look. Ever hear the saying, "be careful what you ask for?" It's a good idea to be careful with the wording you choose for your goals. Making sure they say exactly what you want them to say. After all, you may just get what you ask for!

Got your goals the way you like them now? Don't stop there! Now you need to work towards achieving them! Bring them into reality! Remember, it all starts with a single step.

"Do something everyday that moves you at least one step closer to your most important goal."

— Brian Tracy

What's the hardest part of goal setting for you?

See results

Some people use various imaginative or other spiritual techniques to help them achieve their goals.

Have you ever tried any of the following?

See results

If you answered yes to any of the above, would you like to share your experiences in the guestbook at the bottom of the page?

Goals!: How to Get Everything You Want -- Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible - available on Kindle, or in paperback and audiobook

Goals!: How to Get Everything You Want -- Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible
Goals!: How to Get Everything You Want -- Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible

Brian Tracy's book, "Goal's: How to Get Everything You Want - Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible!" is full of instructions and helpful tips for discovering, setting and achieving our goals. Tracy tells us, "Do something everyday that moves you at least one step closer to your most important goal."

Don't worry. He also gives us some means of finding out what our most important goals are! Among many other things, Tracy asks us to ask ourselves, "What one great thing would you dare to dream if you knew you could not fail?"


"Be Realistic: Expect A Miracle" - "Looking for a Miracle" - a song by Bill Mann

When we are motivated by goals

that have deep meaning,

by dreams that need completion,

by pure love that needs expressing,

then we truly live life.

— Greg Anderson

Here are some additional goal setting resources you may find helpful as you set your goals!

Stonehenge | Source

If you don't have a dream,

how you gonna have

a dream come true?

— Lyrics in "Happy Talk" from South Pacific

© 2011 JanieceTobey

Tell us about your goals! - What goals in the past have been success stories for you?

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    • goldenrulecomics profile image


      4 years ago from New Jersey

      I agree that you need goals. It really makes life more worthwhile and meaningful...

    • kabbalah lm profile image

      kabbalah lm 

      5 years ago

      This is an area I need to work on. Thanks for the tips

    • Alan Katz profile image

      Alan Katz 

      5 years ago from Florida

      Nice lens. I've been goal setting for years. The one thing I've learned is to make your goals attainable.

    • LadyelenaUK profile image


      6 years ago

      I did a search on google for Brian Tracey quotes and your lens came up. Very inspiring. Thanks.

    • profile image

      NC Shepherd 

      6 years ago

      At least once a year I take these steps to re-evaluate my goals. It helps me stay on track.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I get constant reminders from my Angel cards to set my sights higher ... even when I already think I'm setting them high. Thanks for the nicely-done lens :)

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I need to get my goals organized and appreciate this lens.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      You need goals to have a purpose.

    • andrearicciardi profile image


      6 years ago

      i love making goals!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      6 years ago

      Writing goals down is important. I keep spiral books on my desk to organize practically every project. Perfect time of year for this lens!

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 

      6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Like most serious Squids are (I suspect), am very goal oriented, finding that I achieve the best results when I feel, believe and see the end result long before attaining it. Lovely lens. :)

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 

      6 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      I'm a very goal-oriented person. If I don't have things to work towards, both creative and physical challenges among other things--I get depressed.

    • Commandrix profile image


      6 years ago from Benson, IL

      Been working on my goals...Bit by bit...It takes time, but then, I dream big. Probably my biggest advice for anyone with a goal is to not be discouraged by setbacks because they will happen. NASA would never have reached the Moon if they gave up after "Kaputnik" or "The Four Inch Flight" or the Apollo 1 disaster and you shouldn't give up, either.

    • Close2Art LM profile image

      Close2Art LM 

      6 years ago

      it makes sense to try to make your goal come to being by working backwards from the goal, Great!!!Blessed

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 

      6 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Last year I wrote a lens listing 6 goals for the coming year for my photography and squidoo business. I felt very motivated and accomplished 5 of the 6 goals. I think taking the time to set the goals helped me in meeting them! Your lens reminded me to start to work on some more goals for the coming year. thanks and blessed by a squidangel.

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 

      6 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      I know everyone enjoying this lens will not share my experience, I personally find that bathing my goal-setting in prayer and listening for God's guidance not only gives me comfort in God's promise that if we commit our way to the Lord, our plans will succeed, but also frees me to be more imaginative in figuring out how to reach my goals.

    • nyclittleitaly profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens, Thank you

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      It's all about baby steps that get you to where you need to go!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      What a great lens!

    • benny77 profile image


      6 years ago

      Great Lens...Thank you!

    • tracy159 profile image

      Tracy Smith 

      6 years ago from Maryville, TN

      Wonderful article. I have learned to never give up.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      It's true. If you aim higher you'll reach higher!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      what a beautiful lens well done

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great ideas! That is my motto... never give up... go for what you want... and REACH FOR THE STARS!!! Blessed!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      It's true, the trip of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      some really great motivational quotes in this squidoo lens, which we all can use to help us reach the Cravings we have in the New Year.

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 

      6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Always finish what you start...."Git 'er done!" ha! Squid Angel blessed

    • Lynda Makara profile image

      Lynda Makara 

      6 years ago from California

      I like what you wrote about asking God or the universe for guidance. It really does work. One of the goals I achieved was to be a full-time artist.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Inspiring lens. 1st step is to take action, without that nothing happens :D

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      The most important part of any goal is to always make sure that it is realistically obtainable. Never set your sights too high that you lose sight of the details that will be needed to get there.

    • JohnMichael2 profile image


      6 years ago

      writing my book and holding the published version of it in my hands has been such a great milestone in my life ... several more of them on the horizon and each will have the same effect...

    • Missy Zane profile image

      Missy Zane 

      6 years ago

      Reading this was a great way to start the new year. Thank you!

    • YsisHb profile image


      6 years ago

      Already by reading the title of this lens I felt that it must be something very important for me.

      (Actually it is the first reading of the new year).

      Best wishes

    • SciTechEditorDave profile image

      David Gardner 

      6 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area, California

      Nice lens! We're also a homeschooling family ... and both of our kids (especially my daughter) have their "bucket lists" -- things they want to do... Both kids have reached their black belts in Tae Kwon Do after getting blue belts in Shaolin Kempo. Both kids now work with airplanes (my son with the USAF and my daughter at a flight training school) -- they have set their goals literally "sky-high" ... and they're attaining them. Congratulations on a Squidoo masterpiece!

    • Chocolatealchemy profile image


      6 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      Fantastic Lens - thank you and I've discovered this at exactly the right moment (synchronicity is truly awesome!) 2011 is ending and 2012 is almost here. Just in time to work on my wildest daydreams.

      May 2012 be a prosperous, creative, inspiring, exciting, joyful year with good health and happiness in abundance.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      In 2012 I would love to buy a new house...our first house. This was such a fabulous lens to read this morning!

    • Scotties-Rock profile image


      6 years ago from OREFIELD, PA

      Great lense! Thanks I needed that.

    • FunMoneyBusiness profile image

      Sharyn Read 

      6 years ago from ... either in the kitchen or at my laptop...

      To use your imagination to create a better life for yourself is so important... life, as they say, it not a dress rehearsal... if you focus on what you want to be, to do, to have or to give and work each day in that direction, you will create a far more en-JOY-able life! Great lens, thanks for the reminders! :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Brilliant lens, perfect timing!

    • PTurner56 profile image


      6 years ago

      I have a girlfriend that always says "Anyone can eat an elephant---one bite at a time".

    • profile image


      6 years ago


    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I was just reading a book that recommends having great goals to really get motivated...big dreams. So, am thinking big.

    • clemency lm profile image

      clemency lm 

      6 years ago

      Excellent lens, really useful tips.

    • Mary Crowther profile image

      Mary Crowther 

      6 years ago from Havre de Grace

      Great tips for motivating and setting goals!

    • purpleclouds profile image


      6 years ago

      This is a great lens, and it's perfect timing to set goals for next year. Thanks for sharing

    • mowug1776 profile image


      6 years ago

      thanks, it was very insightful. My problem is that my goals are too far out in the future. Very good lens.

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 

      6 years ago from UK

      I know I should be setting goals, this lens has made it so much easier and more likely to happen - thanks

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Time to sit down and set my goals for the next year!

    • BuddyBink profile image


      6 years ago

      Excellent. We all need to have goals, something to strive for, something to be passionate about. Well done an excellent lens for this time or any time of year.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Just back to bless this wonderful lens and submit it for the Squidoo Home Page Squid Angel Quest. All the best for 2012 and may you achieve all the goals you've set yourself to achieve...stay blessed! :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love this page - I do plan on achieving some challenging goals for 2012. I have a list started and I am sure it will change as the new year progresses but it feels good to get started as I also have some life changing challenges this coming year.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      wonderful lens!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      very good Janiece

    • jadehorseshoe profile image


      6 years ago

      Goals are important; ditto, hopes and wishes. Nice Lens!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I've been able to make exercise a daily goal from starting out by running once a week to running every other day and doing home exercises when I'm not running. Depending on the goal, it always helps to have someone working towards the same goal to help motivate you. If you have lofty goals, try breaking them down into smaller more accomplish-able goals from the start and then working your way upwards.

    • ashroc profile image

      Jen Wood 

      6 years ago from Australia

      making a garden happen over 4 years by doing something for 20 minutes at a time

    • curious0927 profile image


      6 years ago

      I really needed this! Thanks and great lens!

    • casquid profile image


      6 years ago

      Got it! Brilliante!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Good ideas here--something I needed! Thanks for writing this.

    • Harshitha LM profile image

      Harshitha LM 

      6 years ago

      I'm back. I have done exactly the way I had to and boy! am I happy?! I have reached halfway and this really is fun. and whenever I asked a question, universe answered it!

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 

      6 years ago

      Excellent page and perfect nudge as we wind down 2011 to move into 2012.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I have been a serious goal-setter for years - and I do believe those goals have moved me to places I would have never been -- like Squidoo! I enjoy adding pictures to my goals (love your posters here!).

    • Timewarp profile image


      7 years ago from Montreal

      Inspiring information, blessed!

    • fionajean profile image


      7 years ago from South Africa

      Almost every goal I have written down has become a reality - except for weight loss

    • fionajean profile image


      7 years ago from South Africa

      Great lens - thanks - my goal is to implement some of these steps

    • julietarot lm profile image

      julietarot lm 

      7 years ago

      Always good to be reminded to do things in steps rather than being overwhelmed by the overall goal.Good lens.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      ""If you don't take risks, you won't achieve anything." -Richard Branson " This is so true..Right now am facing so many challenges in life, there are many who are criticising me and saying that am wasting my time on things that will not benefit me etc but once I achieve my goals, the same crowd will be praising me. So I have learned not to let any one bring me down with negative and discouraging talks, no matter what others say..I will stick to my goals, work hard towards it until I achieve it..

      For. e.g. Squidoo money! Many think its waste of time, My family members also think its pointless but I can already see the benefits it will bring for my future if i stick to it and work hard and be patience.

      Thank you for sharing these wonderful encouraging ideas for others to work towards their goals. :)

    • Harshitha LM profile image

      Harshitha LM 

      7 years ago

      I'm going to try this goal setting now for a few months. I'll be back to write about it.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      These are some great tips. I have so many goals to set now... I think I may just create a Lens on it! Thank you for the idea!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I haven't made a goals lens yet. Reading ones like this, gives me lots of ideas about how to go about creating one. Its so interesting to read someone's goals. I just can't tel you how much I hope that all your dreams will come true for you. Thanks for sharing.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Valuable tips and information on setting and achieving goals. Setting goals and having a plan does take us one step closer to achieving our dreams, so it's important. As Larry Elder said "A goal without a plan is just a wish.". Excellent work!


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