What are your goals? I have always been a very goal driven person. I come from a family of roofers, going back to my great grandfather who immigrated to America to give his family a better life. Roofing is hard, backbreaking work but I’ve also taken pride in the end result. I have a strong philosophy rooted in under-promising and overdelivering that has served me well throughout my professional life.

   Goals have great importance in shaping one’s life. Without a goal, we roam about listless without direction. With goals, we achieve milestones toward greater happiness, gain appreciation for the blessings that surround us, and find meaning in our lives. Goals can come in many shapes and sizes. Short term goals help to keep us on track from day-to-day. Long term goals, help shape entire sections of our lives. They serve as the underpinning and foundation for maintaining proper perspective even when life throws you the unexpected.

   Some people confuse goals with plans. Plans are important as well, but they are merely tools for achieving one’s goals. Plans must also be flexible because, as the old adage goes, “man plans and God laughs.” We must be prepared to enact contingencies in our plans to achieve our goals as we encounter obstacles. Much like Thomas Edison, we must be prepared to figure out 1,000 ways how not to make the light bulb before we discover the one way that creates success. Each setback is nothing less than an opportunity to learn and

   Goals themselves are not etched in stone. Some we may achieve outright and others are aspirational. It’s important to keep them in proper perspective. For those we hope to attain, it’s important to make them viable. I always dreamed of owning my own business. I developed an expertise and learned the family trade for many years before deciding to go out on my own. Proper preparation is critical for attaining one’s goals. I can’t expect to go out and run a marathon tomorrow, if I haven’t spent months training to do so. Make your goals realistic, prepare and stay focused, and there’s little you cannot accomplish.

   So, as I asked at the outset, what are your goals? Write them down and make them real. Think about what you need to do to achieve them and how to best prepare for success. Take measured steps toward realizing the goal, make them incremental and celebrate each critical milestone. Envision what the final result will be, put yourself in that moment and feel that feeling. Use it as motivation as you reach setbacks along the way. Overcome those setbacks, stay on track, and reaching your goals become nothing less than an inevitable outcome on the path of reaching your goal.