A few years ago after graduating from college, I began to feel down and dissatisfied with life. I tried multiple things to get me out of the rut. Nothing worked until I got excited about a few lofty goals to push me to achieve more and become better.
Lofty goals are highly challenging goals that require significant effort and dedication to achieve. These are the goals that get you outside of your comfort zone, beyond your current perceived limits, to reach excellence. Pursuing and achieving lofty goals gives a powerful sense of purpose and accomplishment.
It’s crucial to be careful about when and how you set lofty goals though. You have to understand your limitations and resources and adjust often to stick to them.
Let’s dive into this deeper so you can set some lofty goals to gain motivation and improve faster!
Word Math – What Are Lofty Goals?
Words are a lot like math because they’re just symbols to give meaning and help us communicate. That’s why I created this “word math” thing to help me understand words and phrases better.
All you do is define the words in a phrase individually, then replace them with that word in the phrase. You can learn more about word math here. For now, here is some word math for lofty goals:
Lofty: of imposing height, of a noble or exalted nature, proud, aloof, or self-important.
Synonyms: big, towering, soaring, ambitious, grandiose, exalted
Goal: the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.
Synonyms: ambition, intention, object, target
So lofty goals = an object of a person’s ambition or effort that is of imposing height, of a noble or exalted nature, or proud, aloof, or self-important.
That’s too wordy to be useful, so let’s simplify it. I’m going to get rid of a lot here and utilize some synonyms to help it make more sense:
A lofty goal is a challenging and especially ambitious end result that you seek from your efforts.
Another way to look at it is that lofty goals get you outside of your comfort zone and inspire you. That’s great, but what are the benefits of setting ambitious goals like this?
Why You Should Set Big Goals
The first and obvious benefit of setting lofty goals is that it provides greater motivation. It can even be powerful enough to get you out of a rut.
A few years ago I had just started my first job out of college. Things were great, I was excited to be done with school and I enjoyed the new experience.
After a while though, the novelty wore off and I felt stuck. This lasted for a few weeks until it hit me.
I hadn’t set any big goals recently!
After reviewing where I was and where I wanted to be, I set goals to run a marathon and start grad school. I quickly got out of the rut I was in, became happier, and eventually accomplished both of those things!
Motivation isn’t the only benefit of setting lofty goals though. They also:
- Increase your self-confidence and the skill of being proactive
- Improve your ability to be resilient in the face of challenges
- Grow perseverance
- Enhance innovation and creativity
Think of the last time you or someone you know set a gigantic goal. It may have seemed crazy at the time, but it was also a little exciting, right?
As you work to achieve these kinds of dreams, you have to get creative to get where you want to go. You’re going to come across roadblocks, and figuring out how to get around them is how setting lofty goals builds your resilience.
When you finally achieve big goals like this, you get a massive boost to your self-esteem because you now have more reasons to believe in how awesome you are.
Examples of Lofty Goals
If you’re not sure what a lofty goal looks like, here are some examples:
- You set a career goal to become a director or CEO or to start a business and grow it to $1 million in revenue
- When considering your educational goals, you could get your Master’s degree or PhD, or become a professor
- While working on your fitness, you may seek to run a marathon or complete an Ironman Triathlon
- In your personal life, you might set the lofty goal to get married, have kids, or buy a home
For more examples, here are some that I’ve set in my own life:
- Getting married
- Running a marathon
- Completing a master’s degree
- Buying a home
- Paying cash for a car
- Getting my website to 50,000 views per month
Another good example of a lofty goal comes from my friend Nik Goke. A few years ago he set the goal to write every day for a whole year. He writes:
“So for 2016, as my New Year’s resolution, I decided to…
- Wake up at 5 AM every day
- Write an article and don’t quit until I publish it
- Create a dedicated website to host this experiment”
365 days later he had 365 posts on that website, tens of thousands of monthly views, and a sustainable business that has continued to grow ever since. You can check it out right here.
It’s exciting to consider your own big dreams and how achieving them might change your life. But how do you go about such a gigantic task?
How to Set and Achieve Lofty Goals for Yourself
If you want to set lofty goals and take advantage of all their benefits, you really only need a few main things:
- A goal that feels so huge it almost scares you
- Excitement about achieving the goal
- A plan to work on the goal with a reasonable timeline to accomplish it
To find the goal, consider each of the four main areas of life to set goals in:
If you want to set a lofty goal in each area you can. But if you’re new to this, just pick one area and start there. You should never have more than one big goal in each area of life, or four goals total.
To learn more about these areas of life and why setting goals in each of them is so powerful, click here.
Once you have a lofty goal in mind, you need to check that it’s exciting to you. If you don’t, you won’t be able to take advantage of the motivation boost. Simply ask yourself:
- Am I excited about working on this goal? Will it be fun?
- Am I willing to grow by tackling the challenges of achieving this goal?
- What will change about my life if I achieve it and how will that feel?
Remember that you can always modify the goal after you begin, so just go with your gut and adjust from there.
The last step is to make a plan to achieve your lofty goal. Follow these steps:
- Break it down into major milestones.
- Break those down into yearly, quarterly, and weekly milestones
- Figure out what daily action steps will lead to you accomplish those milestones
It’s crucial that you give yourself enough time to work on it though. If you don’t, it’ll go from being a lofty goal to an unrealistic goal.
I wrote more about this in my post on unrealistic goals, which you can read here. It’ll show you how to set lofty goals without pushing yourself too hard.
The last steps are to act and track your progress. A good way to set this up is by chunking your actions into 12-week challenges. I wrote all about how to do this in this post.
- Lofty goals are extremely challenging goals that push you outside of your comfort zone
- You should set goals like this because it boosts motivation, confidence, resilience, creativity, and proactiveness
- Some examples include running a marathon, buying a home, or starting a business
- Set lofty goals by finding a huge goal that excites you and making a plan to achieve it with milestones along the way
I’ve done this multiple times throughout my life and it’s always a fun experience even if it is challenging. I love the growth that comes from setting lofty goals, it’s like none other that I’ve experienced.
I’m confident that as you set your own lofty goals and work hard to achieve them, you’ll start to see some amazing changes in your life that you never imagined possible.