The most accomplished people in the world are experts at setting and reaching goals. Learn from them. All great people are great because they have made meaningful goals and took action to reach those goals. All joyful great people are among the happiest people in the world because they enjoy all that they are doing to achieve their meaningful goals.

Two people might be busy for the same amount of time. But the person who knows what he wants to accomplish will accomplish more within that time. Clarity of goals gives you added incentive and motivation.

When you know your priorities in life, you focus your attention on those priorities. This leads to more focused words and actions. When you know your target, you can improve your aim. When you know where you want to go, you can reach your destination. And when you enjoy the journey, you will have added energy to do what it takes to get there.

The ability to set a goal and follow through is one of the most essential skills that a person can have. Having a strong desire to reach a goal is a main factor in reaching it.

If you knew that you could reach whatever goals you wrote down, what goals would you add to your list?

People tend to accomplish more when they write down their goals. This is especially important when they have a number of meaningful goals.

If you knew that you could reach whatever goals you wrote down, what goals would you add to your list?

If you haven't written a list of goals yet, it's a good idea to stop reading and write down a goal. Choose a goal that would make you feel wonderful if you reached it. But don't just write down goals just for the sake of having a list of goals. You must also have a strong desire to reach those goals, to avoid being distracted from achieving them. For a start, you can even write down a small goal that is easy to accomplish. Make a goal to call someone who would appreciate hearing from you, and then call them up. Make a goal to write to someone who would appreciate receiving a letter, and then write that letter. Another possible goal is to go to a store and buy something that you need.

Thinking of these small actions as goals and then actually doing them adds to your ongoing list of goals that you have reached!

It's important to be clear about the goal of your goals. Why do you want the goals that you want? In what other ways can you reach the goals of your goals?

When you have an intense will and desire to reach a goal, you will be more likely to reach it. You will find the right people to help you. You will gain the knowledge and skills that you need. You will find a teacher, mentor, or coach to help you.

Believe in your ability to make and reach goals. How do you gain this belief? Through life experience. Remember a time that you managed to accomplish something you had thought was impossible. Even if you needed to exert a lot of effort, that experience is a lifetime resource. It is a clear proof that you can do something if you are determined to do it. After setting a goal, plan how to reach that goal. Some people make goals and sincerely wish to achieve those goals, but because they didn't make a plan, they didn't take the steps necessary to reach their goals.

Be aware of possible obstacles that could prevent you from reaching your goals. Plan what to do to get past the obstacles. If you tried a plan that didn't work, then make another plan.

With perseverance, you will end up accomplishing and achieving many worthwhile things throughout your life.

If that doesn't work out, make another plan until you are successful. Be open to the feedback you receive from every plan that doesn't work. This experience will give you more wisdom and knowledge. With perseverance, you will end up accomplishing and achieving many worthwhile things throughout your life.

Which of your goals will add to the happiness and joy in your life and the lives of others? Which goals will add to your sense of meaning and fulfillment?

Someone who accomplished a lot in his life told me the following story:

I used to feel a tremendous sense of pressure to accomplish major things. I was very aware of the accomplishments of people I respected and admired, and I kept thinking that I hadn't accomplished enough. I spoke to someone who was helpful in assisting people to make and reach life goals.

"It's highly commendable that you have a strong drive to accomplish," he said to me. "But are you clear about what you would need to accomplish in order to stop being so hard on yourself?"

"Not exactly. But I know that what I have already accomplished isn't significant enough. I keep telling myself that if I don't accomplish more, I will consider my life a failure," I confessed.

He suggested that I create spirit-centered goals. He clarified, "It takes time until you reach material goals. And many goals need other people's help in order to reach them. When it comes to spiritual goals, the very first day that you are clear about your goals and you write them down, you will experience a shift in consciousness.

"When you actively pursue your spiritual goals, you can transform your feelings of failure to a feeling of value. You stop thinking of yourself as a finite being who is only on the planet for a short while, with a life that is full of frustrations and disappointments. Your spiritual self is connected with the Creator. You have a sense of infinite and eternal."

After the first week of greater spiritual clarity, I found that my entire life was so much more meaningful. Before, I was never really satisfied with any accomplishment. Now I began to experience a deep sense of serenity.

I realize that there is always so much more to do. But I live in the present moment. I have long-term goals, but I experience life moment by moment. My added awareness of the Creator and His love for me has given me a new lease on life.

Excerpted from Rabbi Pliskin's new book TAKING ACTION (Artscroll). Laziness and procrastination prevent a person from accomplishing and reaching meaningful goals. "Zrizus" – alacrity -- is the antidote that will enable you to increase your joyful willpower. This book is a must for anyone who wants to utilize more of his potential.