Chart Goals to Create a Road Map to Your Success

Many people suffer from being rational dreamers. They want to achieve
a big dream but hold themselves back by being risk averse. They don’t
want to disrupt the status quo and play things safe.

To coax themselves out of their comfort zones, people learn to set goals.
I consider the process of goal setting to be like arranging checkpoints
along the way to a desired end. Setting and meeting small goals can
serve as a thermometer check on progress, measuring advancement
and indicating an overall plan’s viability.

Approach goal setting like creating a customized road map to chart
your success. Think about when you take a really long road trip with
your friends. Most often, you start off knowing the destination, but
since road trips can be fairly long, making pit stops along the way is

Before venturing out, you might decide to stop a quarter of the way
along for food, then at the halfway point for gas, at the two-thirds
mark to stretch and perhaps 100 miles beyond that for more gas.

You’re meeting smaller, more immediate goals that build on your efforts to reach the final destination.

Create a personalized road map for arriving at your desired
destination by setting the following types of goals: immediate,
intermediate and stretch goals.

Chart Goals to Create a Road Map to Your Success

1. Set a stretch goal.

Start by developing a stretch goals, a long-term objective that will
take years to accomplish. Determine your stretch goal first because this
choice will influence the selection of intermediate and immediate

A stretch goal should be big. Some stretch goals are more specific
than others. One person’s specific goal might be “to become the CEO of
Google.” Another individual’s vaguer stretch goal would be “to produce a
national television show.” An extremely vague goal would be “to work in
the fashion industry.”

It’s OK, though, to leave room for interpretation.

Be as specific as possible and allow yourself to adjust a goal. Once
you establish a stretch goal, you can sketch out checkpoints along the

2. Set immediate goals.

I like to create immediate goals that are small and assign a deadline
that’s very soon. I suggest setting up these goals as activities that
can be accomplished in a week.

Ask yourself, What do I need to get done this week that will
contribute to and move me along my desired trajectory? What small thing
can I do this week that will move me an inch closer to my goal?

For writers, an immediate goal might to write six pages of a script
or participate in a weekly writing class. It could also be to start
reading a book about a field you’d like to enter. Be realistic.
Accomplishing immediate goals should be like taking small baby steps:
They contribute to your overall development and growth and set you up to
complete intermediate goals.

3. Pick intermediate goals.

Intermediate goals are broader than immediate goals and can have monthly or yearly time frames for their accomplishment.

Perhaps an intermediate goal might be to apply to an apprenticeship
or training program. If a desired outcome requires your relocation, more
schooling or quitting a job, set a timeline for taking one of these
intermediate steps.

Meeting intermediate goals can help propel you forward along your
trajectory. Achieving them might push you outside your comfort zone more
than completing immediate goals and that’s great. It’s through
discomfort that people grow and become who they want to be.