Having big dreams can be overwhelming, but taking small, manageable steps towards it makes it much easier. This can be done by setting goals.
The first step is identifying your major goal. For example, is your goal to gain a higher position in your career, or is it to change your career completely? How do you determine whether or not you reached your goal? Specifying your goal and making it measurable is crucial in eventually meeting it. It helps give you direction and focus rather than a vague goal like “being successful,” or “becoming rich.”
Knowing exactly what you want in life can be hard at first, but it is possible. If you have a vague goal and want to specify it, try to list some of the words that come to mind when you think of your goal. If you want to be successful for example, do you imagine yourself being your own boss, maybe owning a restaurant, or working a high-paying job like a doctor? This should help you narrow your goal down.
You could also try to experiment with different volunteer events that give you a taste of what different environments are like. You could try volunteering in a hospital, for example, to gain medical experience and see if that field is right for you.
The next step is figuring out how to accomplish your goal. List the specific things that you need in order to meet your goal. If you want to raise your position at work, think about what steps you need to take. You might need to take more of a leadership position whenever you can or try to take on more assignments to showcase your ability. Be specific with these steps; if you need to show more leadership, how would you do so?
Afterwards, set one goal at a time to get yourself to that bigger goal. Use the specific steps you need and make a timeline. An example is setting the goal of taking a leadership position in at least three projects by the end of the month. Giving yourself a timeline pushes you to do what you need to without procrastinating. Give yourself small rewards every time you complete a goal to motivate you even more. Maybe every time you work on an extra credit assignment, you will treat yourself to a nice dinner with friends. Give yourself something to look forward to.
An important thing to remember about setting these goals is making them manageable and giving yourself a reasonable amount of time. If you have to do a five page research paper, don’t expect yourself to get it done in two hours. Give yourself enough time and maybe split up the assignment. Set mini goals like doing research one day, outlining the next, etc. This may seem like too much organizing, but figure out what works for you. If setting small, daily goals works, then do so. Other people may be fine with setting bigger goals with bigger time frames. It all depends on your work habits and what you are comfortable with. Ultimately, setting multiple goals will help you achieve your long-term goal.