set your sights on something

set your sights on something

COMMON If you set your sights on something, you decide that you want it and try very hard to get it. Note: The sights on a weapon such as a rifle are the part that helps you to aim it more accurately. Although she came from a family of bankers, Franklin set her sights on a career in scientific research. Gareth Jenkins and his assistant, Alan Lewis, have clearly set their sights on winning the championship. Note: You can also say that someone has their sights on something or has their sights set on it if they have decided that they want that thing. Brand and Torrance had their sights on the £111,000 first prize. With his football career coming to an end, Sibley now has his sights set on a TV career. Note: You can say that someone sets their sights high when they try to get something that is hard to achieve. If you say that someone sets their sights low, you mean that they do not try to achieve as much as they could. Why do these young people so often end up in low-status, poorly paid jobs? Is it that they don't set their sights high enough? The study criticized car makers for setting their sights too low and with being content to build cars which are just adequate. Note: This expression are also used literally to say that someone is looking at a target through the sights of a gun.
See also: on, set, sight, something