Until this past year, I didn’t actually do goal setting. At least not in an intentional way. Meaning, I never actually spelled it all out in writing…but now I view goals as the GPS for your life…without it, you’re just driving around aimlessly without a destination.
Think about it…you need to know where you are going or how else will you end up with a life that fulfills you? And how can you hit a target you can’t see?
I think it is important that you write down what you want out of life…pen to paper…because there are studies to suggest this makes you more effective. Plus, there are many successful people (Grant Cardone, Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn, etc.) that preach how important actually writing down your goals is…so I figured it made sense to do it.
Let’s dive into how I do goal setting to hopefully spark some ideas and motivation in your life as we leap into 2021! To be honest, this is a pretty big brain dump on my views of goal setting…how I approach it…tips, questions, etc. I hope you’re able to pull a nugget or two from it!
How I’m Currently Doing Goals
I’ve got two things going on with my goals right now. It started with my goals sheet that I created for my morning routine. The goals sheet has more long-term goals that I want to accomplish over the next 15 years. It is more than a list of to-do’s…but more of aspirations and a dream board. I also have a wins section and daily affirmations.
The other thing I have going right now is with my Mastermind group. They put together a challenge called, Come As You Will Be in 2023. They had us fill out goals across different areas of life: personal, professional, spiritual, financial, and in relationships.
Now, my goal sheet is a mixture of the long-term and short-term goals I’m trying to reach. The way I do it isn’t right or wrong. It’s just a way of doing goals that feels right to me. I hope you will find a way the feels right to you.
The Reason You Should Set Goals
Sure…you set goals so you can achieve them, but that is only part of the reason it’s important. It’s more about the journey you are on and where it takes you (and the person you become). Sometimes, you try to achieve things that are lofty and you don’t get what you set out to get. Other times, it takes you down a path that’s even better than you expected.
The journey you take is essential in personal development and helps you to grow in many ways. I think that goals should be across different areas so you can develop yourself more holistically. These areas can be personal, professional, physical, spiritual, etc.
Depending on your goals, you’ll have to learn new things, try different things, and change your mindset to get what you want. Personal development will naturally happen because it is required to become the person you want to be and have the life you want to have.
What I’m Focusing On In 2021
To provide inspiration and ideas to you, here’s how I’m approaching next year besides making progress on my goals. I’m looking at 2021 as a big skill building year for me. I’m going to do one of Darren Hardy’s courses and I just bought a subscription to MasterClass (I love it so far!). I plan on training in different things like leadership, negotiation, business, advertising, sales, and more.
I’m going to marry those two investments up with my audible selections so I can be more deliberate and strategic with what I’m trying to learn. These are my rough ideas for the year and, as time progresses, I’ll formulate more of a plan. But, I’ll continue to work on reaching my goals…and, in tandem, I’ll work on leveling up my skills (which should in turn help with the goals).
Without Goals, You Will End Up Where You End Up
You likely wouldn’t get into a car and just drive without knowing where you’re going. For the same reason, I don’t think it’s wise to live life without a plan or direction. Otherwise, you’ll just end up where you end up, good or bad.
You may end up in a 9-5 job that you absolutely hate and drains the life out of you and all you can do is complain. Or you end up in an unhappy relationship or becoming something you never thought you’d be. Instead of letting yourself get into that negativity loop, come up with at least one goal and start working towards it. Maybe you were dealt a terrible hand in life, but don’t let that stop you. Many people have overcome hardships and worked as much as needed to change, but it all starts with knowing where you want to go.
Here are some common questions with getting started on creating goals.
1. What Should Be On A Goal Sheet?
My goal sheet has different sections where I write down some short-term goals, as well as long-term goals. It’s also like a dream board for me, because I have what I want my life to look like…the relationship I want to have with my kids and wife, the kind of person I want to be, etc.
The other sections I have on my goal sheet is a place for daily affirmations and a wins section where I write down things I have accomplished or proud of. This sheet is more of a full package.
In addition to my goal sheet, I’ve got the short-term goals I plan to accomplish by 2023 for the Come as You Will Be in 2023. Since the time frame is tighter, I spent more time coming up with those goals and I was much more specific.
Some of these goals include:
- Financial goals to start construction on my current home and put away money for a vacation home in Vermont I want to buy.
- How often I want to see friends and how much time I spend with my family.
- Reaching my goal weight of 160 pounds and maintaining it.
- Improving the on-boarding of clients and improving their experience with us in the first 100 days.
For the short term goals, I use the 3×5 cards to write out my mini to-do list. This is a list of things that will help me push forward in the right direction towards my goals.
2. How Many Goals Should You Have At A Time?
I think the number of goals you have on your goal sheet or list depends on whether you have really large goals that take a lot of work…or smaller things you want to accomplish. For example, with the short term goals I’m working on for my Mastermind group, I have 2 in each section. These sections include relationships, financial, business, personal, and spiritual. They are short-term goals that I’ll be able to reach quickly and take off the list.
Having small goals versus big goals will determine how much you can work on at a time. For me, fewer goals work best. I like simple. Also…I like developing daily habits I can stick with to help me reach my aspirations and become the person I want to be.
3. How do You Know When to Stop Pursuing a Goal?
I think it is ok to put things on your goal sheet that you end up taking off later on. My goals sheet tends to change a lot depending on new opportunities and when my desires change. If it is not important, then why chase it? If it doesn’t feel right anymore and doesn’t line up with your personal or business situation, it doesn’t need to stay there.
I’ve removed some things I had on my 15-year plan because I realized those things are no longer what I want. Maybe you have a goal of taking your business into a new industry and you decide after doing the research, that it’s not a good fit. Or, maybe you’ve had to make a lot of life changes this year on account of the pandemic and what’s important to you has shifted.
4. How Do You Stay Content When You’re Trying To Reach Your Goals?
The team members in my book club at Ballantine asked me this:
How do you stay content and live in the moment when you are going after so many goals?
To me, it is more about the journey it takes to reach the goal than it is to get to the finish line. That’s why the minute something wraps up, I’m ready to take on the next challenge. What’s really satisfying is taking the journey to get there.
I think it is important to mention that the journey isn’t the reason everyone keeps pursuing their goals. Some people are really hard on themselves and keep pushing to prove themselves or find validation. If that’s the case for you, here are a few things you can do to help you stay content:
- Be conscious of the present and develop an awareness of what’s around you.
- Add to your list of accomplishments and remind yourself what you are proud of.
- Meditate every day and clear your mind.
- Practice gratitude and be appreciative of what you already have.
5. What Do You Do When You Reach Your Goals?
I’m a big believer in celebrating your wins when you reach your goals and putting them on your goal sheet to remind yourself of what you’ve accomplished. On the other hand, not all goals have an end. For example, the way I treat my family is something I’ll always work on. I’m proud of the way I treat them because I try hard and I’m intentional. Same with Ballantine…I’m proud of the growth we’ve seen as a team and I’ll keep pushing to improve.
6. What Do You Do If You Realize You Can’t Reach Your Goal?
Sometimes you set a big goal and you come shy of it(that’s ok). It goes back to the journey. Even if you set a goal and don’t meet it, you can compare yourself at the end to where you started. I think if you do this, you’ll find you have experienced a lot of personal growth.
However, if your goal is in the realm of possibilities and it’s important to you…keep trying to achieve it. Obviously, it has to be something that you can actually achieve. If you are a middle-aged, short man, you probably aren’t going to make it into the NBA no matter how hard you try. But if it is in the realm of possibilities, keep working on it.
What’s Most Important Is To Know Where You’re Going In Life
I don’t think there should be hard and fast rules around goal setting. What’s most important is that you get an idea of what you want to out of life, write it down, review the list every day and start working towards it. Focus on the journey and take satisfaction in the person you are becoming.
Key Take Aways
- Write down your goals and review them every day.
- Celebrate your wins and recognize the things you have accomplished.
- Have short-term and long-term goals.
- Do things every day to help you reach your goals.
- Practice gratitude and be fully present to enjoy your life.