It’s frequently said that “you gotta have goals;” and I firmly believe that. Through my upbringing in 4-H and FFA activities setting goals was a mantra that was regularly preached.

I think many people do have goals, but they make a common mistake of failing to follow through. The first step is to write those goals on a piece of paper and then keep that in a place where you’ll see it daily (or several times a day.) Studies have shown that we do become or achieve that which we tend to focus on. Or, as business guru Peter Drucker is quoted as saying: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” When you have goals that you focus on, you can create your future.

A few years ago I came across an acronym that is useful in setting goals: SMART – meaning goals should be:

S = specific,

M = measurable,

A = attainable,

R = realistic,

T = trackable over a specific time period.

I use this technique all the time – whether I set a goal for how many articles I’m going to write in a week (or even a day) to specific timelines over several months for large scale projects that I want to complete.

I also like the fact that the first two letters in the word goal spell “go.” It’s a reminder that you won’t accomplish anything unless you get ready, set and go!