If you’re ready to change your life, it might be tempting to simply jump right in without a clear blueprint in mind. However, setting goals and organizing your life is one of the first steps to changing your situation and reaching for success. Dave Allred is a real estate investor who started his journey knowing where he wanted to go, which helped him achieve the extreme success he has today.

Dave Allred started his adult life knowing little about money and how to manage it. He began his career doing door-to-door sales before moving to manage 100 teams in 41 states with the world’s largest smart home security company. However, he knew he wanted to achieve more; he just had to figure out how to accomplish it. So he started out by outlining his goals for real estate investment. At the age of 30, he set a goal of owning 40 rental doors by the age of 40. “I really internalized this goal and made it my mission to achieve it,” Allred says. “I lived by it and thought of it as one of the most important things in my life.” He reached this target by 36, and decided to set the goal of 1,000 rental doors by age 40. Through sheer focus, he’s already achieved it, and now plans to own 10,000 rental doors by the age of 45. “It’s all because I knew what I wanted and how to set realistic goals.”

In order to achieve success like him, Allred recommends a “lifestyle design,” which is a blueprint for exactly what you want in your life. You can outline your core values, mission statement, non-negotiables, and other key areas. This will help you prioritize your time and know what you’re working toward. “Many people spend more time planning a vacation than they do planning their life,” he said. “You need clear-cut goals before embarking on a journey. Without them, you’ll find yourself floundering, unable to really accomplish what you want.”

To do this, you should write down your goals for the next year, five years, and 10 years. Many people overestimate what they can do in a year, but underestimate what they can do in five or 10 years. “Writing down your goals is one of the most important things. Studies have proved that simply writing them down improves your accountability and makes it much more likely that you’ll succeed.” You can track your progress along the way and change the steps you’re taking to achieve your goals. It’s normal to get off track and have to change your path; just work to focus and find your way back. Allred also recommends having fun while you make your goals. “If you’re not enjoying moving toward a goal, maybe it’s not the right one for you. Pay attention to how you feel every day. If it’s a slog, you won’t achieve your dreams and won’t be happy with your life!”

Dave Allred loves setting goals for himself before he starts a new project. He thinks that you’ll be able to find similar success if you too follow the same pattern.