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How to achieve your dreams, one day at a time

By Zahra 03 Oct 2019
Female student in denim jacket looks at book in a library.
The first thing you should know about me is that I love to take advice and ask for help from those I look up to or who can help me achieve my goals. When I arrived in Australia, I had so many plans and I wanted to achieve them all as soon as possible. But then I met someone who told me that I needed to learn how to be patient, and then I could learn how to achieve my long-term goals step-by-step.
Achieving big goals involves lots of small steps.

It is true that you cannot achieve all your goals at the same time. Achieving big goals involves lots of small steps. For example, the first step for me to achieve my long-term goal of being a Humanitarian lawyer who travels around the world and stands up for the rights of other people, was to learn English. I spent one year learning English to achieve my next dream, which was getting into USQ and studying law. This was my dream and to keep myself motivated throughout the time it would take me to achieve my goal, I had to have a plan.

Here are the top tips that helped me stay motivated and achieve my long-term goals:

  • Write down all of the long-term goals you want to achieve. Be as specific as possible.
  • Don’t forget to make your goals SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-based).
  • Acknowledge how long it could take to achieve your long-term goals. When you have finished listing your goals, go through your list and next to each item, write down the number of years you want it to take (or believe it will take). It could be 1 year, 2–3 years, 5 years, 10 years or 20 years.
  • Reflect on the things you thought were going to be impossible but that you have already achieved. Write down what you did to achieve those goals and how long it took.
  • Write down your WHY; it is important to know where you want to go, who you really want to be, and why you have to study in order to get where you want to be. Know the reason why you need to achieve your goals, no matter what. From your list of long-term goals, identify the two or three goals you want to achieve most. Which tasks would get you up early and keep you up late with excitement?
  • Be aware of some of the less than pleasant things you may need to do to achieve your goals. Know what may stand in the road, what roadblocks you may have to overcome. The best thought out plan will always require adaptation and change to complete the mission. I remember I spent one month just on one assignment and that made me feel exhausted. By the end of the semester, I got the results and I passed the course! At uni, not all courses you study will be your favourite or easy, but remember, they all teach you something important.
  • Decide how you will keep yourself on track. I look at my plan every week to remind myself of everything I have to do, and that reminder that I’m working towards something big that I will be of proud gives me the motivation I need to keep going.
  • Celebrate your successes every day.
  • People around you can have a significant impact on your future, so make sure you surround yourself with positive and successful people.

Every day I dream about my goals, even if for just 10 seconds. I believe your passion is just as important as your IQ and that you can achieve your goals if you keep dreaming about achieving them and take action. This is why, every night before I fall asleep I celebrate my graduation day. I think about how it will feel to be appointed to my dream job and I feel all my future success. This helps me overcome any negative feelings I might experience about my goals and keeps me motivated.

Celebrate your successes every day.

Never give up on your dreams. You can do anything and achieve all your long-term goals if you work towards them step-by-step.

Want more goal-setting tips? Check out Jodie’s blog on how to make your long-term goals a reality and download this free, printable goals planner.

Setting goals may feel like quite an overwhelming task. If you are lacking self-motivation, here are three strategies to help motivate yourself and achieve your goals.

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