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This post explains exactly how to set and achieve your goals in 2020 for continued success in life.
My greatest weakness is probably that I love EVERYTHING and can’t seem to commit to doing just one thing. I keep myself super busy with: learning new languages (currently speak 5 and counting), studying (was a CPA and now I’m a PhD student), running my blog, making money doing side hustles, sports (yoga, snowboarding, classical ballet and more!)… I even play a bunch of musical instruments! Boy, that was a handful! I often get asked how I stay motivated and continue to be successful. My short answer is: setting goals.
In this post, I am going to explain what I do to set and achieve all of my goals.
What is goal setting?
Goal setting is a way of motivating yourself to take action by identifying achievements that you want to make in a future time period. Goals can be related to any aspect of your life, be it career, finance, sports, music, languages, travel, relationships, friendships, etc.
Why do you need to set goals?
The way I look at it, without goals, your life is meaningless. You will basically lead your life without a purpose.
With goals, you give yourself a mission and purpose. Each day, you work towards being a better version of yourself and achieving the goals that you set out for yourself!
What are your best tips for goal setting?
1. Figure out your life mission and purpose
Everyone has an ultimate life goal. This may take years of soul-searching to really figure out.
What do you want to achieve before you die? What would your greatest regret be if you were to pass away tomorrow?
THIS is your life mission and purpose. And everyday, THIS should be what you’re working towards.
2. Break your big goals into smaller, doable goals
You have to break your bigger goals into smaller, easier-to-digest nuggets. If you only have one huge overarching goal, then you will feel hopeless, lost, and directionless. You will have no idea where to even begin to try to achieve this goal.
Smaller goals are helpful because they break down the tasks for you so you can climb that ladder one step at a time!
3. Set stretch goals
I love setting goals and every time I achieve one, I make my next goal a little bit harder.
If, for instance, I know that I can earn $500 a month from my blog, then my stretch goal will be, say $750 or $1,000 a month. This stretch goal is still achievable, but a bit tougher.
It’s a bit of a stretch (get it?)! And this stretch is what is needed to keep me motivated. It pushes me further than what I know is easily attainable (based on what I’ve already previously achieved).
4. Set SMART goals
This is a very common acronym that stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound.
Goals are precisely articulated and not vague.
For example, a vague goal is, “I want to be rich.”
A specific goal is, “I want to save $5,000.”
In this example, you define what “rich” means. If you are not specific, then you have no idea what you’re working towards. The “I want to be rich” goal will just feel like a distant pipe dream and have no motivational factor.
One thing I love doing when goal-setting is measuring them – tracking how I am doing against my actual goal. It’s totally okay to miss your goals, but you have to be able to measure how much you’re missing them by.
That’s why I highly advise setting goals that are quantifiable.
Here’s an example.
A non-measurable goal is, “I want to get good grades.”
A measurable goal is, “I want to get a 95% average.”
In this example, your average is a metric that can be used to track how you’re performing against your goals. If, say, you finish the semester with a 80% average, then you know you fell short of your goal by 15%. Whereas if you attained an average of 96%, then you actually beat your goal by 1%! See how much more effective a measurable goal is?!
Setting an achievable goal means being realistic. It’s okay to set stretch goals to motivate yourself, but don’t make them so impossibly out of reach that they become demotivating!
To illustrate with an example:
A non-achievable goal is, “I want to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming” if don’t know how to swim.
An achievable goal is, “I want to swim 1,000m front crawl without stopping.”
Swimming 1,000m is still a stretch for someone who is learning how to swim but it is achievable within a specified time frame. Winning an Olympic gold medal is obviously an impossible goal that would demotivate a brand new swimmer!
Relevant goals are related to your overall life mission and purpose. Setting goals that are completely off tangent will only distract you and prevent you from reaching some of your larger goals.
For instance, if your goal is to start your own business, an irrelevant goal is, “I want to become fluent in Polish.”
A more relevant goal would be, “I want to get 5 new clients this year.”
Although Polish seems like a lovely language to learn, it is not exactly related to your long-term goal of starting your own business, unless being in the Polish market is part of your business plan.
Make sure all your goals are related to your bigger goals. For example, if your life goal is to retire at 45, then all your goals should be related to saving money and boosting your income in some way. Anything that is not related should be put on the back burner.
I am extremely guilty of setting irrelevant goals ALL THE TIME because, as I mentioned in the introduction, I have far too many interests. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to just take a step back and figure out your life mission and purpose is before setting smaller goals.
You need to give yourself a deadline for reaching your goals. Otherwise, the lazy part inside all of us will probably take over and then nothing will get done!
For example, your goal might be to start a blog. “I want to start a blog” is not time-bound and you could end up taking years before launching your blog.
On the flip side, a time-bound goal is, “I want to launch my blog in 30 days.”
30 days is a short period of time so you know you will be hustling your ass off to get your blog launched in time!
5. Revisit your goals often
There’s no point in setting goals if you’re not monitoring them regularly. I literally go through my goals on a daily basis to see how I’m tracking towards them and to identify areas that I can focus on.
You don’t have to be like me and revisit your goals daily. However, you should still visit them often, say weekly, monthly, or even quarterly. If you don’t know how you’re doing against your goals, then you’ll never know whether you need to improve or not.
Also, without revisiting your goals often, you might forget some of your goals. Don’t leave any goals behind!
6. It’s okay to miss your goals
I wanted to say that it’s okay to miss your goals. That’s actually a sign that you’re on the right track in setting “stretch” goals.
Missing your goals is not meant to be demotivating. In fact, it should have the opposite effect. You should be able to say, “Oh, I am sooo close to meeting my goal, I’m just going to work this much harder to meet it next time.”
7. Revise your goals
It’s also totally acceptable to change your goals. Life happens and people’s interests change. That’s absolutely normal and it’s okay to keep adding or removing goals from your list as required.
When I was in high school, I used to have the goal of being married by 25 and being a CEO by 30. Well, look at me now. I’m 29 and I’m still happily unmarried and a student.
Life happens. Keep your mind open and keep your goals flexible to adjust for new things that come your way!
Free goal-setting workbook!
Don’t forget to download my free goal setting workbook!
Goal-setting is one of my favourite things to talk about. In this post, I share with you why I think goal-setting is the most important activity in your life! I also shared all the rules I follow when I set goals.
What goals are you working towards?
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