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You’ve seen it before (perhaps it’s even written on your living room pillow): “A goal without a plan is just a dream.” The Sage Corps Team’s translation: It’s time you hold your dreams accountable. To step away from 2015’s “I should have’s” and mark 2016 as a platform for what you can accomplish over the next 5 years.

In this free downloadable goal-sheet we’ve created, you’ll find a place to write down 2 personal and 2 career goals you have for yourself, with an “accomplishment date” for 1, 3 and 5 years from now. Here are some tips that our team at Sage Corps put together to get you started:

1.    Think big.

Whether you consider yourself the next Sheryl Sandberg/Elon Musk or not, adopt “an entrepreneurial mindset” and think big when creating your personal and career goals. Transform “launch my own startup in 2021” into “grow my startup to over 10 people and to over a million dollars in revenue by November 2021.”

  • Get detailed (imagine money and time are just numbers).
  • Create a Google Calendar alert for each “goal deadline.”
  • And remember, you are the risks you take so why not go big?

2. Each goal should inform the next.

Give yourself the permission to think big BUT do so strategically. When you create a career goal 5 years from now, create a goal for next year and in three years that will support it. For example, if one of your personal goals in 5 years is to “become fluent in Spanish by December 2021” than your 1st year goal could be “enroll in Spanish courses at Instituto Cervantes in Chicago by February 2017” and your 3rd year goal could be “book a plane ticket to live abroad in Buenos Aires for 2-5 months by June 2019.”

3. Use active language.

Write this down. [Action verb] + [what/where] + [when] = Goal

Your goals will become more concise and powerful when you start each one with an active verb and end it with a concrete “due date.” Become a surgeon with your words and cut the fat, like “I want to” or “I am going to.” Command your own future.

4. Share. Share. SHARE.

This is probably the most important tip of them all. Share your goals with your micro and macro communities – parents, friends, co-workers, baristas, Facebook friends, Mark Zuckerberg, The Muse! (Seriously, don’t be afraid to tweet at your role-models/favorite publications – you might get a tweet back). By sharing your goals, you are giving each one a breathing pulse and this will make you feel more accountable to achieve them. Lastly, inspire others to do the same. Get vulnerable and share one/two goals or (hell) the entire goal sheet! Also, feel free to share this post on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/email/your blog, tag others and use the hashtag #SageCorpsGoals. Ready to get started? Download your free goal-sheet below!

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Share your goals using #SageCorpsGoals!