You're In This For The Long Term
The Fact That You Have The Rest Of Your Life
To Complete A Task Means You Must Work Toward It
For The Rest Of Your Life

(Author Unknown)

Accomplishing Your Goals

Accomplishing your goals is frequently a long-term process. Unfortunately, in today's society we have a tendency to want everything immediately. If you are seeking large amounts of instant gratification, you may find my articles and those on my blog ( a little frustrating.

If you are seeking long-term improvement that will give you positive benefits for the rest of your life, then you have come to the right place.

How Long Does It Take To Achieve Your Goals?

The amount of time it will take us to achieve a goal is less important than the fact that we are working toward achieving it.

Other than self-imposed deadlines, or deadlines created out of necessity, there is usually no set timetable as to how long we have to achieve our goals. The important thing is not how long it will take us to accomplish the goal, but that we will ultimately accomplish it.

Open-Ended Goals

Examples of goals for which there is no set timetable, would be losing weight, quitting smoking or quitting drinking. For ease of reference, we will call these "open-ended goals".

Close-Ended Goals

Goals such as buying a new house or graduating from college, are the type of goal that, once it has been achieved, no further action is necessary. We will refer to these as "close-ended goals".

How Do We Go About Achieving These Goals

For open-ended goals, accomplishing them will probably require a permanent lifestyle change. Some goals, such as losing weight, quitting smoking or quitting drinking, require one to permanently change bad habits that were built up over a long period of time. If one decides to increase their amount of exercise and reduce their food intake, they will lose weight, but if they later go off that program it is quite probable that they will put the weight back on.

When one quits smoking or drinking, they must continue to do it for the rest of their life. They can't decide that in the future they will only smoke one cigarette or have one drink per day. If they do this, it may push them right back onto the path from which they escaped. The change must be permanent.

On the other hand, with close-ended goals, you must decide what you want to do and what it will take to do it. Then, you simply need to do it. Once you've completed all the steps in the process of doing it, the task is done and it is over. This makes them very different from open-ended goals. Examples of a close-ended goal would be finishing college or getting married. Once you've done it, your goal has been accomplished and the task is over.

Evaluating Your Current Goals

At this point, reexamine your goals. If you have not already done so, write them down on a piece of paper. Next to each goal, label them as either open-ended or close-ended.

Once done, evaluate the things you are willing to do to accomplish those goals. If your goal is open-ended, make sure that the things you are willing to do are permanent in nature. If your goal is close-ended, make sure the things you are willing to do have a set time frame.

Author's Bio: 

Stanley Bronstein is an attorney, CPA, author and professional motivational speaker.

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