How to set goals?
How to set goals and actually achieve them? In “the strangest secret in the world”, Earl Nightingale defines success as the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. To him, the successful person is anyone who once decided to work toward a goal and acted upon that ideal. It is the person who says “I want to become this and begins working towards that goal”. In this sense, an entrepreneur who decided to be an entrepreneur is a success because he deliberately chose his predetermined job.
Unfortunately, only 1 out of 20 people succeeds. The rest simply conform. Those in the latter category don’t believe that they can proactively create their own realities. Instead, 19 out of 20 are certain that their lives are shaped by external forces and random circumstances. Most of them don’t even know why they are going to work in the morning. “It is because everyone else is doing it” most would say.
Earl Nightingale highlighted how bad he wanted to discover a simple key that will determine success or failure. Have you ever thought if such a key existed? The answer is yes and it is a goal. People with goals succeed because they decide and know where they are going. Unsuccessful people are like a ship left in the sea with neither destination nor crew. So how to set goals and actually achieve them?
Make sure your goals are really yours
I am talking here about personal goals and not imposed ones. You might work in a big company and your boss wants specific outcomes, these are not yours. Imposed goals are the ones designed by other people for you. So the successful person is she who decided her own definition of success and worked towards that direction.
Working on your personal goals gives you thrills and reasons to get out of bed in the morning. We all know a person who can’t wait until Friday (even if we just started the week). This attitude gives a glimpse of how most people live an unfulfilled life. This mostly underlines how their goals aren’t really theirs.
How to set goals: Be specific and set deadlines
“How could I be more specific?”
Be very specific with your goals. Challenge yourself and ask this question when setting goals: “How could I be more specific?”
I have a friend whose new year’s resolution was to lose weight. So he just told me: “This year, I will start exercising”. He always felt drained and wanted more energy. But his goal was too vague and it was impossible to measure. As the saying goes, a goal should include numbers, otherwise it’s a mere slogan. As I asked him to be more specific, he replied: “I will stick to 3 times a week, spending at least 15 minutes per session at the beginning”.
I challenged him to go further and to be “even more specific”. As we carried on, his final answer looked like this: I go to the gym three times a week. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I will spend at least 15 minutes from 06:00 am until 06:15 am. “I will particularly focus on deadlift and squat” he declared. And now he can use a weekly rhythm register to track his progress. That’s much better!
Reverse engineer and break it down into smaller steps
You can blend smaller goals with big goals
What do you need to do on a monthly, weekly and daily basis for you to achieve your goals? You don’t need to wait until the end of the year to assess whether you accomplished your resolutions or not. Just look at your smaller goals and check if you achieved them. This also highlights the importance of progress tracking.
You can blend smaller goals with big goals. The sense of pride when you achieve the smaller goals will move you forward and keep you motivated to achieve your bigger goals.
Set goals in 4 major areas of your life
Personal (relationship, social, holidays…)
Finance (Business, money, savings, investments…)
Contribution (impacting and helping).
Your goals can also be categorized into 3 main areas: Who you want to be, what you want to do (experience) and what you want to have.
How to set goals and magically achieve them
I learned from Dan Lok the 4 steps necessary to achieve our goals. And he distilled it in 4 steps:
Set it: Write it down on a paper using a pen. I used to write my goals on my phone or on my computer. But I don’t see them as often as if I wrote my goals on a paper.
See it: As you wrote down your goals, make sure to see them every day, every hour, as much as it should.
Live it: In there you apply the law of attraction by mixing visualizations, emotions and belief. You must see inside what you want outside. Every creation is a two-step process: you first visualize it in your mind and then it will physically manifest in the real world. Look at the tables and even the computer or phone you’re using right now. It’s all been designed in someone’s mind first and now we’re holding them in our hands. In other words, you have to live it first inside to manifest it outside. Dan Pena uses the expression: “Smell the leather”. As he didn’t acquire his dream car yet, he used to go to different dealerships. When checking for the options and price, he used to sit in the car and consider it as already his, smelling the leather, visualizing how his life will be in a short time after buying the car.
Share it: I wouldn’t say share it because people have different opinions and it’s rather controversial. Actually, some might want you to share it and get others hold you accountable (talk the talk and walk the walk). The others suggest you to keep it to yourself and get on the job. The effect of surprise is what works best too (don’t talk the talk but still walk the walk). And finally, you can share your goals not with everyone but with a carefully chosen circle of supportive friends (talk the talk and walk the walk 2.0).
Surround yourself with a supportive environment and create a mastermind group
Every member should commit and respect their words
One of the best tips on how to set goals is to surround ourselves with positive people. In a simple term, get rid of toxic people and dream killers. Those are people who love reminding you what reality should be. Conservative and traditionalist mindsets might hold you back from your greatness. Even if they are sincere and might want you safe, it never helps us because it creates self-doubts. A mastermind group is better. As the very term implies, it requires a meeting between different minds.
The main purpose is to create a supportive environment whether it be professionally, emotionally personally. It is now easier than ever to create a group using social networking tools. The mastermind offers an efficient platform that lets the members share ideas and information that would benefit others.
Every member should commit and respect their words. This would help the members have a regular meeting on a weekly or biweekly meeting.
Once you set your goals, you might ask yourself how to achieve them, I recommend you to read the previous articles on how to be productive. Until next time!