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How to Set Goals Successfully

Setting and achieving goals is something that can be difficult even for the best of us. This is especially true when you find your life interrupted by an unexpected situation. One unforeseen circumstance that can threaten to throw your life goals off balance is an unplanned pregnancy. How do you go about setting goals successfully when things aren’t going as planned?

Avenue Women’s Center is a women’s limited medical clinic specializing in unplanned pregnancy. We have assisted many women over the past 37 years who were concerned about how a pregnancy might impact their life goals. Our expert client advocates are able to assist you as you navigate a pregnancy decision and determine which option is the best for you. Contact us today for an appointment at one of our six DuPage County locations: Darien, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn / Lombard, Naperville, West Chicago, or Wood Dale, Illinois.

So, how do you go about setting goals successfully, regardless of your life’s circumstances?

Mind Tools recommends taking the following steps in setting personal goals:

First you create your “big picture” of what you want to do with your life (or over, say, the next 10 years), and identify the large-scale goals that you want to achieve.

Then, you break these down into the smaller and smaller targets that you must hit to reach your lifetime goals.

Finally, once you have your plan, you start working on it to achieve these goals.

You can begin my asking yourself some questions such as: “What kind of steps do you think need to happen to make your life healthier? What has brought you a sense of fulfillment in the past? What are your passions?”

After you’ve assessed the direction you’d like to head in, start setting SMART goals—specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

Start with smaller goals and create a list of steps you can take to work towards the goal. Also, make lists of things that you already have done or are now doing that can help you along the way. For example, if you’d like to get a job or change your career, begin by making a list of jobs that interest you. You can then narrow that list by listing the jobs into a category of where your skills sets are. Then, start recording SMART goals that will help you get there.

In all of this, there are numerous resources available to help. From online tools, community support and your own friends and family, there are avenues you can take advantage of to ensure your success. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Are there people in your life who have achieved goals for themselves? Typically, most people love to share how they worked toward reaching their goals and help you with ideas for yourself.

As you work to achieve your goals, remember Avenue Women’s Center is here to help. An unplanned pregnancy is just that—unplanned. However, it doesn’t mean your life goals are out of reach. Take time to think through all of your options—abortion, adoption, and parenting—and see what is the right fit for you. Our caring staff is able to provide you with information and resources as you determine your next steps. Call, chat, email, or text for an appointment at one of our six Chicagoland locations today.


  • Mind Tools. Personal Goal Setting. Retrieved from:

The information provided here is general in nature.  It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center.  If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention.  Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.