Career Lifestyle

Simple Goal-Setting Steps to Get What You Want in Life

We all have a list of things we want in life: a profitable career, a healthy body, a fun social life, and many other things that make us look and feel good. Year after year, we make a New Year’s resolution to lose 10 pounds, go for that promotion, or finally ask out that cute girl or guy. But as the year drags on, our goals slip right through our fingers, and we’re suddenly back where we started.

One of the main reasons it’s hard to achieve our goals is because we’re inundated with distractions and have a hard time putting together an effective plan to get where we want to go. And the more complicated a plan is, the less likely we are to follow through.

Luckily, there are some simple goal-setting steps that can make it easier to achieve everything you’ve ever dreamed of.

Simple Goal Setting Steps – O.S.T.

Simple Goal Setting steps
Photo: iStock

The “objective, strategy, tactic” (OST) goal-setting approach focuses on helping you create a simple plan to reach your desired outcomes. It works by asking you to:

  • Identify your ultimate mission (objective)
  • Determine how you’re going to make it happen (strategy)
  • The specific actions you’ll take (tactics).

OST is ideal for people who have a lot of projects to complete at home, work, or school. Just use a whiteboard to record each goal so you can keep the necessary strategies and tactics in sight. This easy process also works for those of you who aren’t used to goal setting because it provides a straightforward structure for your goals — whether they’re related to personal fitness, love, finance, or your career.

Let’s say, for instance, that you want to have a more active and vibrant social life. A good strategy could be to make more friends and spend more time with family. Specific tactics could be to go to local networking events throughout the week, invite friends to hang out on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, and have lunch with your parents on the weekends.

If your objective is to lose weight, a good strategy could be to exercise more and eat less unhealthy food. Tactics that follow this strategy could be to jog for half an hour on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and to eat a salad in place of a regular entree for dinner on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The best part about the OST method is that it makes it easy to go back and change tactics if your plan isn’t working as well as you’d like. If you’re not making enough friends through networking events, perhaps you could join a club instead. If you’re not losing enough weight through jogging, try swimming.

OST works because it gives you a clear blueprint for success. Even if you’re someone who’s extremely busy or chronically distracted, you don’t have to let your dreams fall by the wayside. Just create a simple plan for achieving your goals, make it highly visible, and get to work. You’ll start seeing results in no time.


Matthew Arrington is the executive director and co-founder of Forte Strong.