What are your goals? Differentiate your goals from wishes.

What are your goals this year?

You got the question right?

I mean your goals, not your wishes.

Many don’t understand the difference between wishes and goals.

Lack of proper clarification of what a goal and a wish is deters many from achieving success in life.

So if you must know;

A WISH is something you hope for or desire but a GOAL is something that is clear, written and specific. It must be time bound and measured.

When a goal is achieved, it is clear and you must know.

Achieving happiness is not a goal, it’s a wish.

Making too much money in your lifetime is not a goal. We all wish to make money.

When you buy new books and decide that you must finish all within a month, that’s setting a target (goal).

You give yourself target and if you’re able to meet up with that target, you’ve achieved your goal.

Goal setting is very important in our lives. It helps us to be focused, determined and responsible.

It is pertinent we understand the importance of goal setting and build the culture of setting goals in our daily affairs if we must progress in life.

When setting goals, never limit yourself.

Remember the words of Napoleon Hill, he said “whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieved.”

That said, it is important we set realistic goals.

According to Brain Tracy, many individuals don’t set goals because of four (4) reasons;

  1. They think goals are not important. 
  2. They don’t know how to set goals. 
  3. They have a fear of failure. 
  4. They have a fear of rejection. 

First, you must understand that goal setting is as important as success.

Anyone that wishes to progress in life should imbibe the culture of setting goals for oneself.

In his book, What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School, Mark MaCormack shared a story of a Harvard study conducted between 1979 and 1989.

In 1979, the graduates of MBA program at Harvard were asked, “Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?”  

It turned out that only 3 percent of the graduates had written goals and plans. Thirteen percent had goals, but they were not in writing. Fully 84 percent had no specific goals at all, aside from getting out of school and enjoying the summer.

Ten years later, in 1989, the researchers interviewed the members of that class again. They found out that the 13 percent who had goals that were not in writing were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent of students who had no goals at all. But most surprisingly, they found that the 3 percent of graduates who had clear, written goals when they left Harvard were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97 percent of graduates all together. The only difference between the groups was the clarity of the goals they had for themselves when they graduated.

That is the big role having a clear goal can play in your life.

Any man without a goal in this life is like a wanderer.

I liken a man without a set goal to a man who arrived a new city and looking for a particular land filled with gold and other rich mineral resources and no one is aware of this as he got the information from another man who told him just the name of the city without proper direction and the man now late. When he enters the city, without an address of where he is going and nobody to ask for direction, it will take him ages and a huge luck on his side to find the gold mine.

That is where most individuals find themselves; they are waiting for luck to shine on them. Sometimes it works but most of the time it doesn’t.

You therefore need to work out your plans with clear goals from the beginning before beginning the journey of achieving success.

Let me even ask you my reader, yes you, if you don’t set a goal, how will you know you have achieved something?

How can you achieve a target you never set?

Goals give your life a sense of meaning and purpose.

That is why I think you should learn how to set goals.

Briefly, I will teach you how I set goals.

How to set goals effectively and differentiate goals from wishes

Photo: liverenewed

Step by step guide on how to set goals

  1. Go to a quiet place.


  1. Get a pen and paper.


  1. Identify your goals: What are those burning desires in your heart? Ask yourself some personal questions about your life and what you want to make out of it. Pen them down. Remember to separate your short term goals from your medium and long term goals.


  1. Make sure your goals are specific: Your goals must be specific, well written down and time bound. From what you have read above, you should be able to differentiate a goal from a wish.


  1. State your “why” and “how”: You must be clear on why you want to achieve your set goal and how you tend to do it. Your “why” should be a burning desire and not just a flimsy reason; your “how” should be your action plan. You must be clear on how you want to achieve your goals. If they are long term big goals, you can split them in bits and get at it immediately. Remember, as you cut your goals into bits, to also cut the schedule accordingly to be able to achieve the main goal within the stipulated time frame.


  1. Never relent: Setting a goal is one thing, achieving your set goal is another. We live in a world of uncertainties and therefore should expect hiccups on the way to achieving our goals but never allow any hurdle deter you from reaching your target. Remain resilient, determined, focus and responsible. Do not give room for negative thoughts from you or your friends.


  1. Time Management: To be able to reach your goal, it is important you manage your time very well. Have a plan for your daily activity and apportion your time effectively to accommodate your set goals. There are few apps that can help you manage your time effectively. Just Google “time management apps”.


  1. Record your progress: Finally, as you progress in your quest to achieve certain goals, it is important you record your progress, and if you are behind schedule or already deviating, then you need to change or adjust your approach.

Thank you for your time.

Love to read your contributions.

To your success.

Francis Nwokike

Francis Nwokike

Francis Nwokike is a Social Entrepreneur and an experienced Disaster Manager. I love discussing new business trends and marketing tips. I share ideas and tips that will help you grow your business.

6 Responses

  1. Okere Uchenna says:

    Well written brother.
    A man without a GOAL is like a passenger without a destination; any Motor Park will look like his final destination.

  2. Augustine says:

    Thank you so much. You’ve just added a virtue to my life. I pray the Lord to replenish your knowledge bank in Jesus name.

  3. Ben Bowen says:

    Great article. I also find the SMART acronym helpful for goal: specific, measurable, achievable, time specific. And of course, the reason goals are so important is that they help you grow. And when you grow you can avoid being comfortably Profitable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *