You can take a masters degree at a leading university and never receive a single hour of instruction on goal setting and goal achieving. Fortunately, setting a goal is a skill. – Brian Tracy
How are you doing with your current goals? What? You don’t have a list of specific goals? Well you’re in luck, because this article was made for you.
In this article, I’ll try to convince you of the immense value of having a clear goal-setting strategy. To do that, I’ll share some of my favorite quotes on goal setting and add my commentary.
It’s my hope that you’ll be pumped up by the end of this article and ready to set some exciting goals for yourself.
1) Plan your Life Carefully
I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than their lives. Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change. – Jim Rohn
How many of you have already spent days, weeks, or even months meticulously planning your next vacation? Don’t deny it, most of us have done this. I know I have!
Isn’t it crazy that most of us spend more time planning our vacations than our lives?
Do you have a roadmap for your life and a strategy to get there? If you don’t, you might want to take some time to sit down and create one.
2) Be Specific and Know What You Want
Know what you want. Clarity is power. And vague goals promote vague results. – Robin Sharma
We like to plan our vacations and even our weekends with extreme care, but how specific are we with our goals?
To better understand how important clarity is, let’s do a very quick and simple exercise from Made To Stick by Chip and Dan Heath.
Take 15 seconds to list as many white things as you can.
How many things could you think of?
Now take another 15 seconds to list as many white things in your refrigerator as you can.
For most people, the amount of white things they can list in their refrigerators is the same as the amount of white things they can list in the world. Isn’t that strange?
The bottom line is this: Specific goals allow you to tap into the focusing power of your mind. Vague goals don’t. Are your goals clear enough?
3) Set Goals That Truly Inspire You
If your goals don’t inspire you at least as much as going on vacation, they’re lousy goals. – Steve Pavlina
Do you know why you spend so much time planning your vacations? Because you are excited about it! You don’t just enjoy the vacation itself; you also have fun planning it. If you set goals that truly inspire you, you’ll notice a difference.
4) Don’t Set your Goals Too Low
Don’t set your goals too low. If you don’t need much, you won’t become much. – Jim Rohn
If your goals don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough. Good goals should push you out of your comfort zone.
The real value of goal setting rests more in who you become and less in what you achieve.
5) Put Your Goals on Paper
The key to goal setting is for you to think on paper. Successful men and women think with a pen in their hands; unsuccessful people do not. – Brian Tracy
According to goal-setting expert Brian Tracy, “Only 3% of adults have clear written measurable, time-bounded goals and plans to achieve them, and by every statistic, these 3% accomplish ten times as much as people with no goals at all.”
What about you? Have you put your goals on paper? If not, why not try it out today and see if Brian Tracy is right?
6) Always Think in Terms of Actionable Tasks
Things rarely get stuck because of lack of time. They get stuck because the doing of them has not been defined. – David Allen
When we set short-term, mid-term, or long-term goals, we often make the mistake of creating vague goals that aren’t actionable. Goals should always be broken down into actionable tasks.
To find out whether your goal is actionable, ask yourself the following: Do my written goals tell me what to do, or do I have to figure that out by myself?
For example, “Work on project A” is not a specific action. It doesn’t tell you what you need to do. Each vague item in your list is distracting because it requires you to waste time figuring out what precisely needs to be done. This breeds procrastination and makes it easy to focus on less important tasks, which is often a subtle form of procrastination itself.
7) Form Daily Habits That Support Your Goal
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle
Goals are just a succession of actions taken every day, so make sure you break your goals down into daily habits. Identify the key skill(s) you need to master and the daily actions you must take to reach your goal, then choose at least 3 steps you can take every day.
A great question to ask yourself is this: If I keep doing what I’ve been doing today will I achieve my goals? This should be a daily question, and it’s important to answer honestly.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is this:
- Create a list of goals if you haven’t yet.
- Try out at least one of the other tips in this article within 7 days.
In conclusion, remember this quote from Jim Rohn: “After you become a millionaire, you can give all of your money away because what’s important is not the million dollars; what’s important is the person you have become in the process of becoming a millionaire.”
Here is a special bonus for you
Why not go further in your personal development journey? If you like this article I’m sure you will benefit from my free e-book. You can download it below:
Thibaut Meurisse is the founder of whatispersonaldevelopment.org. Obsessed with improvement, he dedicates his life to finding the best possible ways to durably transform both his life and the lives of others. Check out his free e-book “The 5 Commandments of Personal Development” or order his new book Goal Setting: The Ultimate Guide To Achieving Goals That Truly Excite You on Amazon now.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.