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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
Individual, Couple and Family Therapy
Resolving issues from your past that block your future

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May 2004


Goals are a very important part of a healthy lifestyle. But we can often be confused about how to set goals, especially goals that actually help us to get to where we are going.


Many people, when they set goals, set vast, lofty goals. I want to be a millionaire and retire by the time I am 40. Wonderful. But how? If all you set up is this huge goal, you will never achieve it. It is important to break this goal into small achievable goals. First, I will graduate college. Then I will get a job in my field. Then I will begin to invest my money, etc.


It is often necessary to break goals into even smaller piece. In order to graduate college, I need to speak to my school counselor to see what classes I need to take. In order to complete this class, I need to write this paper. In order to write this paper, I need to do the research. Every goal can be broken into smaller goals.


It is also important to set an achievable goal. I am going to become a prima ballerina. Of course, I cannot dance, I am too tall and I am 70 years old and a little bit on the heavy side. If your goals are unrealistic, you will get depressed and lose your motivation. On the other hand, if you have set small, realistic goals, then you will achieve them, feel good about yourself and have the energy to achieve the next goal.


So, write down your goals. Your big lofty ones, broken into smaller pieces. Set up a 10-year plan, a 5-year plan, a 1-year plan, a 1-month plan and a 1-day plan. And, before you know it, you will find yourself a retired millionaire at the age of 40!


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