Setting and pursuing goals is a major part of life. When it comes to planning your future and reaching for higher accomplishments, narrowing down your passions and priorities is key. Setting concrete goals can help give your life direction and meaning, and through the development of life goals, you can live a more engaged, productive, and satisfying life. Whatever you are aiming to achieve, enacting a plan to realize your goals will help keep you focused and engaged.

Take Time to Assess Your Values

How you choose to reflect on your personal values is up to you. Some individuals may take up meditation in an effort to promote clear thought, while others may find that journaling is an effective way to explore their thoughts. Identifying what matters to you in terms of personal, professional, spiritual or other aspects of your life can help you then determine what you want to accomplish in that same vein. Keep in mind that you should not feel the need to limit yourself to a single life goal; you may find that you are passionate about many things and can construct plans to reach several difficult goals over the course of your life.

Evaluate Your Skills

Before setting a goal, you should take time to consider your existing skill set and what you enjoy doing. In tandem with your value assessment, you may find connections between your skills and what you value, providing a pathway toward the development of your goal. If there is not a clear connection, that is normal; spend time reflecting on what you have learned and accomplished in your life, as well as what has brought you the most joy and satisfaction, and you may get a better grasp on what skills helped you achieve those things.

Set Realistic Goals

When it comes to establishing your life goals, you should not pressure yourself into naming only large, life-changing goals. Doing so will likely result in feelings of stress and anxiety, and you will have a lower chance of accomplishing them due to the pressure. Instead, if you are setting multiple goals, feel free to set goals of all sizes. There may be things you can tackle immediately as well as goals that are more long-term and require commitment as well as time. The important thing is to be realistic about your goals. Take into account your circumstances as well as your physical and mental capabilities. Setting goals that are unrealistic will be unproductive and detrimental to your well-being.

Reaching your life goals often takes time, especially when considering the large-scale goals many people set. However, taking time to properly assess your values and skills prior to setting goals (and taking care to be realistic when you do) can help promote a healthy, productive lifestyle that guides you in the direction of personal success.