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Accomplishing Your Goals 

Once you've done the work to identify your goals and the specific steps you can take to achieve them, there are a variety of things you can do to increase the chances you'll achieve those goals.

Take ownership.

Whether or not you achieve your goals is often largely up to what you do to make them happen. So make sure that you are actively and consistently working to achieve them, and that you don't let others determine whether you are successful or not.

However, in order for this to work, you must first make sure that your goals truly reflect what you want to achieve, and are not primarily a function of other's wishes or expectations for you.

Why is it important to take ownership of your goals?

When you have goals that are personally-driven, as opposed to motivated by some external factor (like what others may think of you), you are more likely to persevere when faced with challenges and to accomplish that goal.

Keep your goals on hand.

Think of your goals often and keep them in mind when making decisions in your life, even those that don't seem directly related to your goal. For example, making a decision about whether to move in with your girlfriend may not seem directly relevant to your goal to finish college, but if she is not very supportive of this goal, moving in with her could make it more difficult for you to do so.

Develop necessary skills.

You are much more likely to be successful in your goals if you have developed a skill set that will help you to achieve them, and if you have confidence in your ability to use those skills to achieve that goal. So, for example, if you have a relationship goal of reducing the amount of conflict and anger in your romantic relationship, it would be very helpful to learn some basic skills of effective communication. (link to effective communication content from "Love Life" section here)   

Seek out support.

Having the support of significant others in our lives -- friends, family members or romantic partners -- can significantly increase the chances that we'll achieve our goals. That support can come in the form of tangible help, like when your partner takes care of the household chores so that you can study for a midterm. But just as important is emotional support. Getting encouragement from those close to us, or even just a caring ear willing to listen to our concerns, can be really helpful, especially when trying to accomplish challenging goals.

Explore: Quizzes 'n More

Use our My Goals Activity to identify your goals and create an action plan for accomplishing them!


Why is it important to seek out support?

When a goal is supported by significant others in your life, your motivation to accomplish the goal may be higher. And, of course, the support that you receive may actually help you to achieve your goal. For example, if you reach out to your parents for support while obtaining the goal of getting a college degree.

That said, having people around us who are not supportive of our goals, or who, even worse, actively demean them or discourage us from pursuing them can be really harmful to our success. So watch out! Try to minimize their negative impact on your life.

If you are interested in learning about how to be supportive of your partner and his or her goals, check out this link that will tell you more. (link to "Supporting a Partner" page from "Love Life" Section)  

Move On!