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Who doesn’t know it. You’re sitting on your desk on first of January, trying to figure out what you want to achieve this year. You have visions, ideas and goals in mind you need to bring to paper. Most of us just write a dash list to make sure they won’t forget on their goals during the year. Though while we are very tuned to get going in January, by the time June comes things look a lot different already. We start to get lazy and by December we realize we haven’t completed nearly half of what we wanted to achieve. Sounds familiar? Well I feel you, it’s been for me like that for years though one day I decided to make an end to not achieving. I’ve started doing my goal setting more strategic and in this post, I’m going to tell you the strategy how everyone, you and I can start getting the goal setting right and achieve every goal you want. Ready to get going? Okay, let’s do it.
No matter how your former goal setting looked like, if maybe it’s the first time you ever set yourself some goals and need advice on how to do it properly or you’re like me, looking back on a great year, but there is still room for improvement, growth and an even more amazing year, in any case this guideline will give you great insight and some help. Whether it is a long-term goal you want to reach in 10 years or a small goal for in a few weeks or months, you will need a strategy on how to achieve it in the most effective and least time consuming way. The right goal setting prevents from procrastination and outlines an actionable strategy on how you can, step by step achieve your goals. If you have a goal you want to achieve you have to work for it every single day until you get there. Also, when it comes down to preparing for your future, you can’t ever start early enough, so better start today. Most importantly though goal setting is a powerful tool to make sure you are living a happy and fulfilled life. There are many forms of goal setting and you don’t have to plan your whole life to call yourself a goal setter and use that tool to build a happy and successful life. Already light forms of goal setting can help you to improve and get more purpose into your life.
In a very broad sense every goal you ever set should align with your inner purpose and your outer fulfilments. The inner purpose of every human being is to live a life full of joy and consciousness. That means that we all are living on this earth to enjoy life, see the beauty that is within everything and be one with what happens around us. Being at peace and happy.
Then every one of us gets to choose one or more personal fulfilments through which he or she wants to carry this joy of life into this world and make it a better place.
Those fulfilments can be very specific and highly ambitious, like discovering a new planet or healing cancer. But they can also be very ordinary like showing love and support in one’s community. The fulfilments can also change over time as you personally grow and your life goes through change. However, all of that doesn’t matter as long as your fulfilments are aligned with your inner purpose.
All your goals should be in harmony with your fulfilment and therefore with your inner purpose. Of course, your goals must not always lead directly to fulfilling your fulfilments, they can also indirectly contribute to that life path you chose for yourself through self-development goals for example. Personal improvement is not directly related to your fulfilment and inner purpose, but it will help you to be a better self and therefore give even better action towards those purposes. Additionally, goal setting can take place in areas of passion that are not related to your fulfilment but which make sure you are enjoying life and living it to the fullest.
So, to sum it up, goals must not necessarily always be fulfilment related (even though most probably will), but can also be set in areas of passions and personal improvement to make sure you are fulfilling your inner purpose as well. That means, while setting goals that you want to pursue, you must always keep your fulfilment and purpose in mind as well as ask yourself what brings you joy and what areas you might want to improve in. Also, to be really realistic with your goal setting and make sure you will stick to whatever it takes, you should ask yourself the following question:
Am I ready to suffer for this goal/dream? Am I ready to “eat shit” at short-term to get closer to this dream? If the answer is no, let it go. This goal will never be reached, because on every way to a goal there are stones and you will only overcome them if you are willing to sacrifice something and go through all ups and downs.
What is a good goal? It reflects reality, serves more than your own benefit, and you must be in direct control and power to achieve it. Every goal should correspond to your reality and be in the realm of possibilities. It should not serve your own enrichment, but a higher, selfless purpose. And it must not be measured by external factors over which you have no influence. So, there must not be a variable in the goal that leaves the goal farther away, on which you have no influence.
Also notice that, whenever you have the desire to arrive at your goal or to not be productive or fast enough in your progress goal achieving becomes destructive and is not aligned with your inner purpose anymore. When your actions get a means to an end and the arriving becomes more important than the process of getting there you need to take a break and refocus. When there is negativity in any form in what you do, you will pollute your actions and the outcome. Now that you know the truth about goal setting, let’s see how we can effectively set some goals.
Most of our goals are quite big and seem unreachable at first but that is why it is even more crucial to have a concrete plan and strategy to make every step count and not getting lost along the way. So, it is important to have an overall goal and then break it down into small, manageable chunks you have to do every day, week, month to achieve your goal. And then you need to check on them whenever the deadline occurs. That said, let’s get started and set some strategic goals.
The first thing you got to do when sitting down and setting goals, is to make a list of everything you want to achieve. Because once you write down what you strive for, it’s more likely you achieve it. The reason is that you won’t forget what you wanted to have even after years because you wrote it down and can look it up again. A little hack I use to make sure I really won’t forget any of them, is to pin the list somewhere, you can always see. Your wardrobe or room door might be perfect. After writing a list, you need to categorize by setting time frames. Behind each goal write the time by when you want to have it achieved. So now you got a brief overview about what you want. It’s time to get a step further.
Once you wrote down the things you want to get done, you need to make them more concrete. This means, not only write down, what you want to do and in what time frame. Write down exactly what each goal takes to be achieved. Make some descriptions how it should look like. Always answer these main questions while doing this: What? Why? How? Write down all the major steps you need to take to get there and rank them according to their urgency. Then once you start with achieving your goals you want to make the most urgent tasks a priority. Choose the maximum three priorities at the same time. Everything else is ineffective. Do whatever is priority for as long as necessary and then move on to the next task. Aso until your goal is achieved.
Now we’ve been concrete and described the goal in detail. With doing this it is very important to stay realistic. It doesn’t help you reach your goals if you set them to high. You can’t lose 10 pounds in one month, but you can in a year. While setting goals you have to realistic and honest otherwise it’s just going to be depressing and keeps you away form actually achieving what you want. Don’t forget you’ve got other things to do as well, which might cost you time on working for your goal. Be aware of times where you might not feel in the mood of doing what you have to do and need a time off. All those things you have to calculate within setting a time frame for your goal and also the goal itself.
Resulting of the limited amount of time we as humans have, it is important to not set to many goals for the same time frame. One after the other is what I recommend. For example, if you want to study at university you shouldn’t set a goal like saving a lot of money or gaining working experience. You can have all these goals but just not at the same time. You have to decide what is more important and then do one after the other. This doesn’t mean you can’t work towards more than one goal. I’m just saying you can’t do to many time-consuming things at a time. Rather focus on a less time-consuming goal like working out more for example. For that you just need an hour a day, which you can fit in easily while studying or working.
Now we covered all important things for setting goals to make it easier to stick and achieve. Sometimes though it’s still hard to keep going, I know. And unfortunately, I have no secret for that, yet. All I can say is, everyone needs time out sometimes. I know this is a bit off topic, but it is never soon enough to think about vacations. You need them in order to fill up your energy levels so you’ll stay motivated and therefore reach your goals faster. Make sure you’ve got time off every once and then, so you can actually relax. It doesn’t have to be a whole week. Sometimes just one day with a very good friend having fun, is enough to fell more energized to keep going. Living a happy and successful life is not about achieving those goals. It’s about enjoying working towards them. So, don’t ever forget to enjoy life and live. Have fun, go with the flow and if you discover a goal was not leading you the right way, don’t worry adjust. It’s okay to go zick zack and back until you reach your destination. It’s about enjoying the journey with all ups and downs. And once you’re back from your little break, you need to remind yourself of why you want to achieve that goal and center the willpower to focus again. Use the motivation you get by imagining what it would look like to have reached that goal to keep working.
Achieving your goals takes time. You can’t force things to go faster than they are supposed to go it will only make you unsatisfied and unhappy so stop it. Have the patience and trust with and in yourself to be capable to do whatever you need to do. Have faith in you being on the right track and keep going. Even if things sometimes seem wrong, hard, yes even drowning, keep pushing through it. Facing and overcoming struggles is where the magic happens. This is where growth takes place and where you return stronger, more confident and a step closer to where you want to be. Trust me, even if it seems hard sometimes, you are doing great and all you need to do is enjoying. And now, let’s get started and work towards your best life. It’s never too late to start and never to early either.
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