How To Set Goals and Actually Achieve Them
Updated: Dec 26, 2020
In all major areas of your life, and all important undertakings - you should always have a good understanding of your desired outcome. The goal. The ideal future state you want to get too.
This is why you must know how to set goals and actually achieve them.
Goals give you direction. They help guide your day-to-day actions, and they are the first step in building the life you want to live.
No matter the context – setting a goal will always be the first step in making plans to reach it.
Yet people still either half-heartedly set goals, or don’t set them altogether – and then they wonder why they never attain ‘success’.
How can you expect to get the results you want, if you don’t know what they are in the first place?
Success doesn’t just fall out of the sky. You need to make it happen.
Today I am going to teach you how to set goals properly – how you can craft them in a way that puts you in the best position to reach them.
No matter how big or small they may be, if you follow this guideline you will be taking the first step in manifesting them.
Implications of Not Setting Goals:
What happens if you don’t set goals?
You drift aimlessly.
Think of any area in your life right now where you aren’t setting goals – now ask yourself: have you fully taken control of that area? Probably not.
Are your results as good as they could be? Probably not.
When you don’t set goals you:
Have no direction / drift aimlessly
Don’t have a good understanding of what is important / what to prioritize
Lack control over your future
Don't have a high standard you can hold yourself too
What Setting Goals Does For You:
“Without goals, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.” –Fitzhugh Dodson.
You should absolutely be setting goals for yourself in the aspects of your life that matter most to you.
Personally, I have health goals, wealth goals, relationship goals, and a few other areas that are important to me.
Setting goals comes with a handful of benefits, but the three most powerful benefits are:
They Provide You With Direction
By having a destination you now have something to aim for, and to strive towards. Have you ever tried throwing a dart at a dart-board while blindfolded? It doesn’t work. Goals give you clarity around your target.
They Make Decision-Making Easier
Now that you know where you want to go, decision-making becomes much easier. Decisions like should you go to the gym or take the day off, become more clear-cut when you have a goal of losing 15 lbs in 2 months. If you have a goal of making millions of dollars per year through your business, should you party every Friday and Saturday or grind? The pathway you must take becomes clear once you set your goals.
They Give You Control of Your Future
Setting goals lets you choose the destination you want to reach. If you set the destination, it is now yours for the taking. You just need to get out of your own way, and put in the work to get there. The very first step is just becoming aware, and knowing where you want to go (setting goals) – from there, it is within your power to reach that exact destination with enough guts, grit, and discipline.
The Mindset Required:
Setting goals correctly requires a particular mindset in order to truly maximize your potential.
You must open your mind to all of the possibilities and understand that anything is possible with time and effort.
- Sell yourself short
- Put limitations on yourself
The first step is realizing this, and then narrowing in on a goal you would like to achieve, and finally taking action towards it.
It's as simple as that.
I promise you – anyone you look to who is achieving success in a certain area, is doing so because they've underwent this exact process.
Success does not just fall out of the sky.
If someone is wealthy – either they worked for their wealth, or their ancestors before them worked for it.
How to Set Goals Properly:
Now that you’ve adopted the correct mindset: it’s time to set your goals.
So schedule 30 minutes for a brainstorming session where you will not be bothered or distracted.
Here is how you will do this correctly:
1. Brainstorm What Is Important To You:
Let your goals derive from what is important to you at the moment, and what will be important to you in the near future.
If laying the ground-work to be making millions of dollars per year in the future is important to you – set goals around that.
If making money isn’t important to you currently, but building great relationships is – set goals around that.
If being healthy (mentally and physically) is really important to you – set goals around that.
This will be different for everyone and where you are in life – but do some soul-searching and truly understand what matters most to you at this stage of your life.
The focus areas that derive from this, will be what your goals sprout from.
2. Pick Your Focus Areas & Identify Your Goals
Now that you’ve listed out all of the areas that are important to you – pick the 4 most important areas that you want to take control of and set goals around.
You will probably have a rough idea of what your goal might be in each area, but you need to flesh it out.
Use S.M.A.R.T to set your goals – your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Specific.
Health - “I want to weigh 185 lbs in four months”.
Wealth - “I want to be making $200,000/year by the age of 25 through X source”.
The list goes on.
Visualization is a great technique you can use to flesh out your goals, and lay the groundwork for manifesting them into living realities.
Close your eyes and truly see the specifics of what reaching your goal looks like for you, as well as the obstacles that you must overcome to get there.
These goals should have a time-frame to them. So decide when you would like to reach your goal by.
Ensure you are finding a healthy balance between not giving yourself too much or too little time. You want it to be urgent enough, but not due so soon where the goal is unrealistic to achieve.
3. Understand & Cultivate a Powerful ‘Why’ Behind Your Goals
Never set a goal that doesn’t have a powerful ‘why’ behind it. When you have a powerful ‘why’ / purpose behind your goal, you will be able to overcome the obstacles and tribulations that come your way in reaching it.
Without a powerful ‘why’ it will only be a matter of time till you give in to the resistance that will be thrown your way.
Besides – you want to be setting goals around things that matter anyways. The stronger the ‘why’ the more motivated and fired up you will be to get there when you are reminded of it.
For each of your goals, ensure you know the answer to ‘why is this important to me?’.
4. Write Your Goals Down
So now that you know what is important to you, what your goal looks like, the ‘why’ behind your goal, and the time frame to reach it; it is time for you to formulate 1-2 sentences that encapsulate your goal.
Digital devices don’t work well here – so grab a pen & paper, and literally write your goal down.
You will be using this to keep your mind focused on the goal each day as you progress towards it, so don’t skip out on this!
5. Remind Yourself of Your Goals Each Day & Take Action Towards Them
As you embark towards your goal, your morning routine (hyper-link here to blog) will ensure you are reminding yourself of your goal each day first thing in the morning. Instead of picking up your phone, you will be picking up your journal and thinking of your goal.
Now that you know the ‘what’ – you must know cultivate the ‘how’ behind your goal. My e-book (X plug here) is designed to give you a full-proof blueprint to reaching your goal – no matter how big or small it is.
The tool-box you are building on this website of mental toughness, discipline, goal setting, visualization, the fundamentals, and high ROI activities will all come in handy and be put into an actionable blueprint designed to ensure you reach your greatest heights.
Potholes To Avoid (where people go wrong with setting goals):
There are a few common potholes I want you to avoid – I learned these the hard-way though pure trial and error. But I want you to learn from my mistakes right off the bat.
1. Setting too many goals at once
When you first embark on your journey to maximizing your potential, your eyes will open to all of the possibilities. You can truly accomplish anything you set your mind to – the initial reaction to this exciting truth, is to want it all at once.
You will be tempted to set upwards of 20 goals immediately of all areas you would like to improve upon.
The issue with this is that the trade-off between depth and width is real.
The wider range of goals you try to tackle, the less depth you will be able to get into each of them. Jack of all trades, but master of none.
Your best bet is to keep it simple, immerse yourself in a few goals at a time that matter most to you at this point of your life. Become a master.
Then in a few months after you’ve made great progress, you can cycle onto newer, more relevant goals.
This way, you will be truly making significant progress in the areas that matter most with consistency.
2. Not being specific enough
“I want to be richer” or “I want to be healthier”.
These are common goals set initially. The issue is how do you know when you’ve reached it? If I give you $5 right now -technically you’ve become ‘richer’, or if you eat an apple - technically you’ve become ‘healthier’.
But I’m sure those weren’t what you envisioned when you initially set your goal.
You need to be as specific as you can be in setting your goals. This clarity will benefit you tremendously as you flesh out your plans to get there (hyperlink – ebook here).
Instead of setting broad goals – set specific goals that are measurable (so that you can track progress).
- I want to be making $200,000/year by the age of 25 years old.
- I want to weigh 200 lbs by the age of 25 years old while eating healthy, and practising weight training regularly.
3. Giving yourself too much time
You must be conscious of the time frame you give yourself to reach your goals.
If you give yourself too much time to reach a goal – you will lack the urgency required to actually reach that goal and miss out on great opportunities for progress.
The same way a University student will cram for their studying in the last two days before an exam illustrates that.
Those last two days of studying are far more productive than the previous two weeks they had to study.
When you have too much time – you will slack off and miss out on great opportunities to progress towards your goal.
Ensure you’re not giving yourself too much time to reach your goals. They will often sneak up on you, and you will realize you’ve wasted a ton of time that could’ve been used to progress.
The shorter time frame you set, the more urgency you will have to get moving and working on your goal.
4. Giving yourself too little time
On the flip-side – you don’t want to give yourself too little time to reach your goals either.
When you give yourself too little time – you set yourself up for failure.
Say you’re 21 years old right now, you have a part-time job as a waiter and no side hustles currently. You decide to set a goal of making $300,000 over the next 12 months.
Unless you win the lottery or have some extreme luck – you probably aren’t going to reach that goal. Its just not realistic.
Hitting that number in 36-48 months might be more realistic.
You must consider what is realistic.
Set an appropriate time frame – don’t give yourself too much time, but don’t give yourself too little time either.
Find a realistic middle-ground that pushes you to get working on something ASAP.
The Bottom Line:
Being able to set and accomplish your life goals is the number one determinant of your success.
If you’re serious about getting the relationships you want, getting the money you want, the health you want, and ultimately succeeding in life- then I highly recommend checking out my program: “8 Steps To Achieving Your Biggest Goals in Life“.
It’s the definitive guide to maximizing your potential in life, in all major areas.
In fact, it'll teach you exactly how to:
Be the cause, not the effect
Become a master of your mindset
Drown out all the external noise that has been holding you back
Unlock constant improvement & upward spirals (step 6)
Unlock true discipline with a powerful secret method (step 7)
Adopt the proven & powerful blueprint used by the top 1% of achievers
... and much, much more.
So now think to yourself – would you like to continue to drift aimlessly? Or will you be part of the 1% who decide to grab the bull by the horns and take control of their lives by setting goals.
You decide. Get the 8 Steps today, and take your life to the next level.
My Challenge To You:
Set aside 30 minutes in your near-future to brainstorm on what is important to you, set goals around the 4 most important areas to you, cultivate your ‘why’ behind each goal, set an appropriate time frame, and write these goals down in your journal in 1-2 sentences per goal.
Ensure you are reminding yourself of these goals every morning and night.