10 English Idioms Related to Goals

Today we’re going to look at common English idioms related to goals and to achieving goals.

A new year is a great time to set out your goals for the future whether they are personal or business orientated (connected to).

It is important when setting goals to follow some basic guidelines:

you want to ensure that your goals are achievable (do not make them too hard or too easy),

you want to be able to measure them (need to have some way to determine if you are successful or not) and

you should commit your goals to paper (write them down) and place them somewhere you will see them everyday (on your fridge or your desk) and finally review them regularly so there are no surprises (check your progress, do you need to do something differently).

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10 English Idioms Related to Goals

Before you start off on your goals we need to look at the preparation.

1. BUCKLE DOWN

We use this to tell ourselves it is time to get to work and start your project.

Example: Come on, it’s time to buckle down to these goals and get started.

2. EXPLORE ALL AVENUES

Before you start it is a good idea to do your research and understand clearly what your goals are.

Example: I really explored all avenues open to me and eventually decided that this was the best option.

3. LAY THE FOUNDATIONS

If you wish to be successful at anything it is really important to prepare and get everything ready.

It is like building a house. You would never build a house unless you prepare the ground first and dig your foundations.

So before attempting any goal make sure you lay the foundations, do your preparation and the goal should be achieved more easily.

4. HAVE A BEE IN YOUR BONNET

to be obsessed by an idea, to be constantly occupied with thoughts

Example: Peter has a bee in his bonnet about healthy eating.

5. DIG YOUR HEELS IN

to refuse to do something or change your mind about something

Example: She dug her heels in and said she wouldn’t speak with me anymore.

7. GET YOU TEETH INTO SOMETHING

to put a lot of effort into something

Example: She really got her teeth into the writing.

English Idioms related to Goals - Infographic

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When you have finished your project and you can review whether you have succeeded or not and whether you are satisfied with the results.

If you are satisfied, you can use the following idioms for achieving goals:

7. BEYOND MY WILDEST DREAMS

If you have really over achieved you will be absolutely delighted and excited with your results.

Example: I lost so much weight this time I am really happy it is beyond my wildest dreams!

8. GO THE EXTRA MILE

to put more work or effort than is expected of you

Example: Sarah went the extra mile to achieve academic success last year.

9. BLOOD, SWEAT and TEARS

When you dedicated a lot of time and effort and energy into your project you can take even greater pleasure from any success.

Example: I worked so hard at my goals, I gave it everything (I did as much as I could). I gave blood sweat and tears for this (I was 100% committed).

10. AT ALL COSTS

When you were determined to succeed no matter what it took you can say “I did it (or I was prepared to do it) at all costs.

Example: When I set out on this project I was determined that nothing would get in my way. No matter how long I had to spend or how hard I had to work I was determined to succeed. I did it at all costs.

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Sometimes (occasionally) we are not as successful as we had hoped. In these situations we can say we came up short or fell short of our desired goal. It is not a total failure but just under the target we set out. From time to time the reason for our lack of success may be due to someone else.

For example, if in a work environment you are trying to achieve your sales target but you miss out (fail) because your boss increased the targets half way through the sales period then we can say:

I missed my target because someone moved the goal posts! (the boss increased your target).

If the reason why we did not succeed is due to our own mistake then we might be accused of scoring an own goal! (we caused the mistake ourselves).

ex. If you have a big sales target to achieve in the month and half way through the month you take a few days holiday then you might be guilty of scoring an own goal!

(literally an own goal is a football expression which means you put (kicked) the ball in to your own goal by accident and gave the advantage to the other team).

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post. As always, I would appreciate if you could share these English Idioms related to Goals with your friends. Let’s speak better English!

More Information

For more information on English Expressions, English Phrasal Verbs and English Grammar Rules, check out the following links:

How to use Phrasal Verbs with COME

Difference between BEFORE and AFTER in a Sentence

Commonly Used Phrasal Verbs with AROUND

Free learning materials for self-study are available here.

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