Any goal that you set has a timeframe. The further out your “goal” is (basically how long it will take you to get there) determines how “realistically” you can actually achieve that goal. If a goal should not be achieved, then it should be abandoned and another goal set instead.
Say for example I have a goal of having a cup of coffee this morning. That’s an almost 100% achievable goal. But say I want to become the mayor of my home city. That goal is pretty much more difficult to achieve, since the number of intermediate steps (time) to get to that result is large.
How to achieve a goal (no matter how large)
Let’s take the example of becoming the mayor of a city called Pickering. That goal is pursued in a series of small steps. The steps might be like
- graduating from school for political science (unfortunately there are no schools for “mayoring”)
- doing volunteer work here and there to better know the city you want to be the mayor of
- doing an internship in a city office
ITERATE ON YOUR GOALS IN SMALL STEPS. Take into consideration CURRENT STATE of the system at each step to determine if you should CANCEL the GOAL or continue pursuing it. The higher the cost of the step, the more costly cancelling is, which is why you iterate in small steps.
I’ll use the Warcraft 3 video game as an example. If you haven’t played it, go and try it! It’s a great game.
The main goal of Warcraft 3 is to dominate the map by destroying all your opponents. You want a maximum number of resources also. So, say for example, you plan an early expansion in order to win the game. That may or may not be a good goal, depending on what your opponent is doing.
Say for example, you scout early and notice they are planning a rush. Your goal of expanding out to the nearby goldmine must be cancelled, or you’ll lose.
DON’T CHOOSE SOME ARBITRARILY DIFFICULT FINAL GOAL STATE FOR YOURSELF (for example, I want to marry “Josephine” (whoever that is)) and run for it despite “Josphine” not even possibly being an ideal mate for you. Your initial goal may be wrong for you. You make selections of what your goals are based on your current state. If your current state changes (for example, you lose a leg), then the goals you set for yourself may be wrong for you at that changed state.
Say Josephine is an athlete, and you are one also. Is Josephine still a good choice for you (will both you and her be happy together with you in the “leg lost” state?) Could be, if she doesn’t mind her husband having 1 leg!
You always have to re-evaluate your long-term goals as you are pursuing them. If they are the wrong goals for you, then change them!