At the end of each year, most people make meaningful resolutions for what they would like to achieve in the New Year. They start the year off strong, yet if you ask them in February they most likely have already given up on their resolution. Don’t believe me? Join a gym for the New Year and note how crowded it it. Then see how easy it is to get parking in February…
It’s not that you can’t achieve a resolution you set for yourself, we’re all perfectly capable of achieving goals. It’s just that most goals aren’t set up for success in the first place, and therefore don’t amount to much more than unfulfilled hopes and wishes.
I’ll be the first to say I’ve had a few goals that have proved elusive to me in the past.
After many years of trial and error, however, I believe I’ve been able to put in place a system that allows me to achieve them. So I’m sharing with you the steps to set, manage and crush your goals – plus some common mistakes people make – so you can avoid the mistakes and achieve your goals, whenever you want.
Ready to make this your best year ever? Awesome, let’s do this together!
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible”
– Tony Robbins
How To Come Up With Goals
How do you come up with the right goals for yourself in the first place? From the outside looking in, it looks fairly easy. Yet, the truth is that most people don’t set meaningful goals for themselves and that’s another reason why they fail to achieve them.
If the goals that you write for yourself don’t excite you, if they aren’t aligned with your core values, then it’s going to be extremely difficult to stick with them.
Your goals should fire you up when you wake up in the morning and allow you to go to bed excited for the next day. You know that you’ve set a correct goal for yourself when you can’t wait to tackle it.
The first step for coming up with goals for yourself is to take a few minutes and write out everything you wish to accomplish. No goal is too audacious. You’ll want to give yourself the opportunity to see everything you wish to accomplish without holding yourself back. You can prioritize later. Give yourself 20 minutes to complete this process.
A few examples might be:
- Write a book
- Travel to 10 different countries
- Meet the man or woman of your dreams
- Launch a new business
- Lose 50 lbs
- Drive a Maserati
- Speak on stage with an industry influencer
- Start a charity
Let your dreams run wild with this…
When you’re writing out these goals for yourself, I don’t want you to think of just business. Consider what you’d like to achieve in 5 areas of your life: health, wealth, spiritual, relationships and community. To quote Tony Robbins again, “Wealth without health isn’t wealth at all.”
What do you want your finances to look like? What would your ideal relationship be like? How do you want to feel about your own body? What do you wish to leave behind? How do you want people to think of you when you’re gone? What impact do you want to have on the world? Those are all questions you can ask yourself when you are brainstorming goals.
After you’ve completed the exercise, put a timeline to each of your goals. Out of all the goals that you’ve written, which ones are most important to you to accomplish within the next 12 months?
Now, you will want to narrow your goals to an amount that you can handle. Sure, you can set 20 goals for yourself but it’s unlikely you would achieve every one of them. I recommend choosing no more than 5 goals for yourself that you would like to accomplish. You can always set more but start with 5 and when you accomplish them😀 you can move onto the other goals on your list.
It’s important to remember that when you set these 5 goals for yourself, choose from different areas of your life if you can – health, wealth, spiritual, relationships and community. I want you to become a well-rounded goal setter.
Now that you’ve come up with and prioritized goals for yourself for the next 12 months, we still have a bit more of work to do.
How To Set Up Your Goals
With the goals you have for yourself, I will take you through the process on how to set them up so you can achieve them.
Vague and ill-defined goals are difficult to manage and doomed to failure. We don’t want that.
Instead, you want to set up your goals correctly, so you can stay on track. To do this, we will use the S.M.A.R.T. philosophy. You might have heard of it before. We’re going to use it to help set ourselves up for success.
S.M.A.R.T. stands for:
Specific – being very clear helps you visualize the path you need to take
Measurable – you need to be able to measure progress
Attainable – your goal can be aggressive, but it has to be reachable
Relevant – make sure it is aligned with your core values or bigger vision
Timely – “someday” doesn’t help you, give your goal a timeframe
Goals stated using the S.M.A.R.T. framework are actionable and very clear. This will dramatically increase your ability to achieve them.
Here’s an example of a goal you can set for yourself:
I will have made $100,000 by December 31, 2018.
Why is this important? This goal will get me on the path towards financial freedom and a life where I don’t have to worry about money.
$100k per year = $8333.33 per month = $1923.08 per week. My business will generate that income through coaching & consulting, email marketing, affiliate marketing, and my own digital product.
You can see that the goal is very Specific. It’s an affirmation you could repeat to yourself each morning when you wake.
The goal is Measurable because you can determine how much you’re making each week. The goal is Attainable because, with the right mix of product/service (and work ethic) I’ve seen several businesses scale to six figures. The goal is Relevant because it is aligned with a vision of financial freedom, and something you can get inspired about. And the goal is Timely, meaning it has a timeframe attached to it and you can track the progress each month.
Also note this example is written in the affirmative, as in “I will” achieve, not “I want to”. Too many people state their goals as wishes, making it harder to visualize success. You must be able to “see” yourself achieving your goal. It may seem like a small semantic change, but it can make a huge impact. So pay attention to the language you use when stating your goals.
How To Manage Your Goals
Okay, setting your goals is one thing. It’s when you manage them so they stay alive that you can ensure you reach them.
Write them down. I recommend writing your goals on notecards where you’ll be able to read them each day.
Some people like to write out their goals each day, but I find it easier to use my goals as affirmations instead, reading them aloud. You could also post your goals where you would see them each day. Place them in front of your computer or on a mirror, anywhere where they would be readily visible.
Break the bigger goal into tasks, and each of those into subtasks, until you have a list of what you need to do each week to move yourself toward your larger goal.
Then, review your progress weekly! This is an easy process and shouldn’t take more than an hour. I prefer to set time aside each Sunday. This allows me to adjust my calendar for the upcoming week if I’m getting off track.
I keep track of my goals by using a Google Sheet. You can also do it on paper, or a calendar. The tool is not as important as making sure you use it.
I also recommend breaking longer-term goals into 90-day “challenges.” If a goal has too long of a time frame, there is a temptation to allow yourself to slide a little, because the sense of urgency is not as great. A 90-day challenge forces you to focus on getting as much done as possible in a shorter block of time. It’s a sprint, because there is less time to waste.
The 90-day challenge will push you. But once you hit the 90 day mark, you’ll realize your goals are a lot more achievable than you initially thought. You’ll start feeling success earlier and begin building momentum.
Momentum is your friend.
You may even find you reach your initial goals earlier than you thought, and you’ll have to set new goals!
“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success”
– Pablo Picasso
Common Mistakes When Goal Setting
Unrealistic Goals – Goals should be aggressive, but realistic. If you are just starting a business, going from $0 to $2 million is unlikely. But doubling your current revenue is not out of the question.
If the goal is too great, it’s common to become overwhelmed and you’ll be more apt to give up.
And I really want you to stick with it.
Remember, your goals aren’t achieved in one day. They’re achieved through compounding the small actions you take each day. Read The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy if you want to see how our everyday small decisions can lead into big results.
Setting Uninspiring Goals – If reaching the goal you set doesn’t inspire you, you will be less likely to try, and worse, you’ll find a million reasons to avoid making progress. Make sure your goals are in line with your core values and/or find a way to make it fun to reach.
Not Owning Your Goals – This might seem obvious, but make sure you’re setting goals that are satisfying YOU and not someone else. This is YOUR life and your choices shouldn’t be based on what you think others want you to achieve. The worst thing you can do is live just to impress others.
Being Vague – You may have noticed in the example goal above, it included a path to achieve that goal, and a measurement to know when the goal was reached. Too many people create broad, undefined goals with no actionable steps to give direction or are impossible to know if you were successful.
You don’t need to understand every detail at the start, but be as clear as possible. “I want a healthier lifestyle” is not nearly as actionable as “I will start each day with large glass of water and a meditation and double the number of days I exercise each week.”
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”
– Benjamin Franklin
How To Make this Your Best Year Ever
Becoming the best version of yourself starts with the goals you set today. The goals you set will inspire the decisions you make and the actions you take. The actions form habits, and your habits create the person you are.
You can become a person who achieves their goals.
It may take more time than you thought, and not everything will go according to plan, but if you stick with it, I guarantee you’ll feel better about the place you are in than if you never set goals to begin with.
Remember who's watching you and who you can inspire. Friends, family – think of how proud they will be once you achieve your goals.
You can rewrite your story at any time – whether you’ve been good at setting goals in the past or not. And today is as good a day as any for you to create a new story for yourself.
I’m here with you every step of the way and I’d love to hear how you’re doing.
When you start reaching your goals, please let me know, I can’t wait hear about your successes!
Here’s to achieving your goals and making the next 12 months your best year ever!