This article was originally written for, now a part of

What does it take to accomplish your goals? Does it take superhuman strength? Or maybe X-ray vision? If you have difficulty reaching a goal, there is no need to don a leotard and a cape. Instead, it may be time for a goal makeover.

Give your goal details

Is one of your goals to make more money? If so, the next time you find a quarter on the sidewalk, you should celebrate the fact that you have met your goal! Before you say, “Hey, that’s not what I meant,” remember that any goal you want to accomplish should be detailed and specific.

The more specific you are when communicating your goals, the easier it will be to see the path to reaching your goal. For example, if you want to earn a college degree, write down the type of the degree. Then, write down the college or university at which you want to get your specific degree. See the difference between “I want to earn a degree” to “I want to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Northwest State University?” The details give you direction and make it easier to see your goal clearly.

Give your goal a timeline

An important detail that you will want to include in your goal is a timeline. It is great to have a goal of earning a nursing degree from the university, but it is missing one thing: When? Do you want to earn the degree within five years? By the time you are 50 years old?

Answering the question of when will give you a better sense of what you should be doing each day or week to meet your goal. In other words, giving your goal a timeline will provide you with a pace for accomplishing it.

Without a timeline, your goal will just hang out there without any sense of urgency. And, without a timeline, it will be even more difficult to determine if you have met your goal. Revise your goal by adding a timeline to it: “I want to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Northwest State University by May 2017.” Now, you have an idea of how quickly you need to work to reach your goal.

Make sure you can measure your goal

One way to make sure that you reach your goal is to ensure that it is measurable. The goal of earning a nursing degree and the corresponding timeline includes a means to gauge your accomplishment. If you earn your degree in December 2016 instead of your goal of May 2017, you can measure your actual accomplishment against your goal—and celebrate the fact that you reached your goal earlier than you had planned.

Make sure you can reach your goal

Only you know if your goal is reasonable for you, but you may also want to consult others to make sure that what you want to accomplish is indeed realistic. To use the example above, if you are not familiar with the requirements for graduating with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, speak with an advisor first to learn about the program’s prerequisites and determine a realistic time frame for earning a degree. Do a little research before you commit to the details and timeline of your goal.

Reapply the makeover as needed

Goals don’t have to be created and then put away, never to be touched again. A good goal is a goal that is reviewed and revised regularly. Sometimes life happens and you may need to revisit your details or your timeline. What was once realistic may not be as reasonable without a few adjustments. If your goal is long term, review it every few months and make changes as needed.

The next time you have difficulty reaching a goal, rather than giving up, give it a makeover and reapply as needed.