One CEO shares his favourite trick for achieving goals in your 20s

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Setting and achieving goals can feel extremely overwhelming — especially for recent college grads.

But there are ways to make the process less daunting.

Kevin E. Lofton, CEO of Catholic Health Initiatives, a nonprofit, faith-based health system, has a trick.

When Adam Bryant of The New York Times recently interviewed Lofton, he asked: “What kind of advice do you give to new college grads?”

Lofton told Bryant he gives many talks to students and almost always closes by telling them this:

“Take a blank sheet of paper and an envelope, write down a goal of something that they want to do over the coming year, then seal it. Nobody’s ever going to see this except you, I tell them — it’s not for your teachers; it’s not for your parents; it’s just for yourself.”

Then a year later, he told Bryant, “you take it out and grade yourself on whether you worked toward that goal, and then you set a new goal for the next year.”

Of course, this doesn’t guarantee that you’ll actually achieve the goal in the first year or two — but it can help keep you motivated enough to get there eventually.

Lofton told Bryant that this exercise is really just to get 20-somethings in the habit of “looking at the things they need to work on, setting a personal goal, and then seeing how they have done against that goal.”

He concluded: “I still do this myself every year.”

Read the full New York Times interview here.

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