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During one of the classes in my final year at the university, a lecturer who was the Head of Department at that time asked us to give our individual definitions of success. Quite a number of smart guys in my class were able to come up with interesting answers, most of which I cannot remember. But there at the second row, on the chair closest to the side wall, I sat, ruminating on my definition of success. Though I ended up not giving mine, I gained some insight on what I felt success should be. Success to me is relative, as everyone’s definition of success will much depend on the position and the circumstances they find themselves in. For example, success to a professional will be getting to the peak of his or her career, to a young graduate it might be getting a job and to a parent it might be raising their kids.

Success according to Wikipedia is the achievement of a laid down goals. Thus, prior to attaining success, there must be some laid down goals a person wants to achieve. This can be securing a job, gaining admission, growing one’s business or attaining a promotion. Proper goal setting has been said to be the sole foundation to attaining great success. After goals have been set, a plan should be drawn and then action should follow. I will be taking you through the journey of attaining success through setting goals, drawing plans and following up with action.

Setting Goals Goal-setting is an important technique to help individuals achieve their desired goals and set targets. It helps an individual to determine where and what to concentrate and improve on. Goals can be long-term or short-term. According to John Carter, an individual should establish a long-term goal before a short-term goal is developed. But, prior to describing setting long-term goals, I will like to give a brief summary on the purpose of setting goals.

Purpose of Setting Goals

  • Goals help keep us in focus with the end vision. According to Zig-Ziglar, if you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.
  • Goals provide a standard for measuring progress.
  • Goals help us to discover who we truly are.
  • Goals propel us to the peak of our career.
  • Goals make action easy.

Setting Long-term Goals

Long term goals are concrete achievements that we aspire to over a long period of time, which can be gaining an employment or establishing a business. Setting long-term goals is essential for achieving success.

Steps to Setting Long-term Goals

  • Be precise.
  • Set priorities.
  • Write goals down.
  • Develop self-discipline.
  • Recognize progress.

Action Planning Action planning is a process which helps to keep our ideas in focus and to decide what steps you need to take to achieve a particular goal that you have. It is a statement of what you want to achieve and the requirement to achieve them over a period of time. Here is a list of what to do.

  • Identify your objectives.
  • Prioritise your work task effectively.
  • Identify what you need to achieve your goals.
  • Being able to work under pressure.
  • Completing work before a deadline.
  • Having a consistency plan.

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This article was first published on 18th July 2016


Oladepo Abiola is trained as a Biochemist and is currently an intern at ConnectNigeria.

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