An effective goal is one that motivates you to push beyond what you believe is the limit of your capacity to achieve something new. In order to do that, your goals need to motivate and inspire you. The goals also need to be specific, realistic, and within a defined timeframe so that it will be clear when you achieve them. It is also important that your goals clearly reflect your values, passions, and purpose.
It is imperative to write down your goals because the process of writing, visualizing, and committing to a goal creates new neuro-pathways that will help you take the necessary steps to attain your goal. In fact, people who have written their goals down are more likely to outperform and out earn their counterparts who do not. Check out the article, "Why You Should Be Writing Down Your Goals," to learn more about how goal setting can impact you.
In order to make your goals obtainable, develop action plans and strategies for dealing with internal and external obstacles.
Internal obstacles are mindsets or assumptions that can sabotage your efforts. These can often be overcome with the help of a mentor, parent, friend, or other trusted advisor. Be open to testing your assumptions about the task or resources you require. Reflect on the mindsets you have that might block your progress. On the other hand, external obstacles may be known or unknown issues or problems that you encounter outside of yourself. Identifying potential roadblocks to your progress can help you identify the right support for removing or mitigating them.
Take the time now to explore and define your goals and the critical action steps needed to achieve them. Your answers can be key ideas or bullets as long as you are able to clearly recall your intent when you go back to them. Break down larger goals into increasingly smaller tasks that can be done in a reasonable amount of time given your schedule. Be realistic and you will find yourself well positioned to consistently achieve your goals.