What Does It Mean To Achieve A Goal?


Pursuing goals is what life is about, it boosts our confidence, promotes growth, makes us feel accomplished, gives us something to look forward to, something to get excited about, and increases happiness and overall well-being. Sounds fantastic, right? Who wouldn’t want to set goals now?

While this sounds amazing, statistics show only 8% of people achieve their goals. This means the rest of the people at 92% don’t achieve their goals. So what’s the secret, what does it mean to achieve a goal?

Achieving a goal means to succeed in accomplishing something, typically after a lot of effort or difficulty. Staying focused on your ambitions and pushing through the barriers and hardships when they arise.

Continue reading to find out the importance of setting goals, how you achieve a goal according to research, and how it can help fulfill your life.

What Are Goals?

A goal is a desired ambition or result that is followed by a plan of action and commitment to achieve. Sounds easy enough, right? Have an idea that you believe will improve your life, make a plan, take action, and commit and you’ll get it! So where is the problem?

The word goal can be confusing to some because most people only understand it as a desired result, but they forget about the plan, the action, and the commitment.

A goal without a plan is simply just a wish or a dream. Stating, “My goal is to go to law school” without any other objective, can leave you disappointed.

If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail

Benjamin Franklin

Envisioning yourself on vacation or having a great idea is good for a mental vacation, but the only way to turn them into a reality is to go through the entire process of making it a goal. Anyone can have a great idea, but the only people who succeed are the ones with a plan, the ones who take action, and the ones who don’t give up.

Why Is It Important to Set Goals?

It is important to set goals because goals give us direction and purpose in life. Feeling accomplished gives us the confidence to move through life, knowing we are valuable. Purpose is one of the most important feelings for us to achieve, it gives us a sense of belonging.

Setting the right goals also gives us something to look forward to and be proud of. Being excited, and putting all your focus and energy into something important to you is going to help fulfill you.

Creating a plan and having something to do is how you move through life. It draws your attention to the present moment because what might happen when you don’t have a plan for your day is you do nothing, and you either start to reflect on the past and get sad or think about the future and get anxious.

Goals challenge you and give you something to work on, and most importantly, it’s working on yourself, to be a better version and to live the life you want.

How Do You Achieve Your Goals?

You don’t rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems.

James Clear

An important part of achieving your goals is to write them down. This study showed that those who wrote down their goals significantly accomplished more than those who did not. Write down your goals and have them visible and easily accessible to you, visit them daily to remind you what you are working on.

The other aspect of the study also showed that those who had an accountability partner and updated that partner with their progress accomplished more. Find someone who is trustworthy in your life that you respect and have that person hold you accountable. The added pressure that someone is counting on you will motivate you, especially when you don’t want to let that person down. It’s also a good way to track your progress as you update this person.

Your habits and your system will be huge factors in how you achieve your goal. Work in a non-distractive environment, create a plan with good habits, find a way to track your habits and commit, and you can’t fail.

What you put all your time and energy into is what you are, your habits are your identity. What you do every day, what you spend your money on, what you eat, etc. all add up to the person you become. So what is your goal? Do your habits reflect the kind of person that will achieve those goals?

Finally, Start today. No more waiting until Monday, no more waiting until next month, no more waiting until next year. Time is the most precious thing we have, don’t waste any more of it.

If you are concerned about setting unrealistic goals, check out the consequences of setting unrealistic goals.

How To Be Happy With Goal Setting

Think of goal setting as opening a door, you don’t know what’s behind the door, but you open it anyways and it leads you to better results or more opportunities, all the amazing things you didn’t even know you could dream of, and all it took was the goal of opening the door.

This is what it means when goals give us direction, sometimes your goal is one thing, but as you embark on the journey, it leads you to another, maybe bigger and better.

Let’s say you want to lose weight so you find a gym and start taking group exercise classes and fall in love with it, then one day there was an opening for a new instructor so you applied and now you’re teaching group classes. You’re getting paid to do something you genuinely enjoy.

The point is that having goals can help lead us into bigger and greater things that we didn’t even know about. Opportunities don’t just come if we don’t get out there and do something.

The other point is that goals change, different opportunities mean changing your goals to meet your new opportunities. Just because you changed your goal and didn’t complete the other goal doesn’t mean you fail, it means you are growing and living life. You are already an example of what goal setting truly means.

Pursuing the goal itself is already the goal.

If you believe other reasons are stopping you from achieving your goals, check out the 12 common obstacles and how to overcome.

Hong Singer

I'm the creator of Ambition Forward. I keep things simple by focusing on the goal and being consistent in my actions to get the results I want, and I'm here to help you do the same. I encourage you to look for the things that bring you joy and go for it!

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