People often wonder how goals should be set or if their goals will be accomplished.
In this post, you’ll learn everything you need to know to set up goals in life using the SMART goals technique and developing a strategic plan to achieve goals.
I’ve never been romantic. But if there’s something that can make me soft as hell is dreams.
I can get teary-eyed when I think about my big dreams.
This is also true for when I hear someone else talking about theirs.
Dreaming big is like… my whole deal.
And I know it’s yours too. I know you want something with all your heart but sometimes it seems ridiculous to you and even delusional.
That big beautiful dream probably makes you feel awake, but also very overwhelmed.
And feeling overwhelmed is one of the main reasons why people abandon their projects and that’s a shame, really.
Don’t let this feeling stop you from getting what you want. It’s just that: a feeling. You can tame it!
Today, I want to teach you the techniques I use to map what I need to do in order to reach a specific goal.
I’ll walk you through the whole process from start to finish, including examples and a little pep talk as per usual.
So, if you’re wondering how you can set goals, look no further.
The first thing you need to know before we dive into this process: feeling overwhelmed sometimes means one thing: you’re dreaming big.
And I’d say that’s something you can’t teach.
If you like to dream big (as I do, so I get you) you have to know you’re on the right track to start. The only thing you need is to learn how to set goals effectively.
Dreaming big means you have a spark inside you ready to start a huge unstoppable fire.
Big goals are made of tiny ones just like the whole ocean is made of little drops of water grouped together.
When facing ambitious challenges this is exactly how you need to see it: take a look at all the small steps you need to take to get there. Those are milestones.
This is a key step on my workbook (if you still haven’t downloaded it, what are you waiting for? It’s free).
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the process I recommend you use to set goals and achieve them!
HOW TO SET A SMART GOAL + EXAMPLES
Now that we’ve learned to identify what we want to do, it’s time to set a precious goal.
There’s a pretty well-known technique to set goals: to use SMART goals. SMART is an acronym that stands for: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-sensitive.
S – Specific
First of all, you need to goal to be SPECIFIC.
When it comes to setting SPECIFIC goals you should ask yourself open-ended questions like:
· What do I want to do? What do I want to accomplish? State it in a clear way.
Avoid “abstract” concepts such as:
· “I want to be famous”. This is abstract because the meaning of “famous” can vary from one person to the next.
· “I want to look better”. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What does “look better” mean to you? Do you want to lose weight? Gain weight? Get a nose job? Dye your hair? Put on make-up? Change your clothing style?
M – Measurable
If you’re wondering how goals can be measured, this is what you need to ask yourself:
· What’s indicative that I’ve reached my goal? Use a parameter that can help you measure if you’ve reached your goal or not.
✖ I’m going to lose weight
✔ I’m going to lose 5 pounds
In this case, losing 5 pounds is the criterion you can use to determine you’ve reached your goal.
A – Achievable, Attainable
You’ll need to be realistic if you want to succeed. Now, this is where it gets tricky.
It’s important that you challenge yourself.
Otherwise, you’ll end up doing things you’ve already done and that are easy-peasy for you. So, dream big. However, you’ll also want this goal to be attainable for you. Otherwise, you’ll end up frustrated and feeling like a failure.
Remember there’s a thin line that you’ll learn to identify only if you analyze your goal in depth (we’ll get there).
R – Relevant, Resourced, Realistic, Reasonable
A relevant goal is a goal that matters TO YOU. This has a lot to do with knowing your WHY.
T – Time-sensitive, Timely, Time-based
Set a time and date for your goal.
This is much easier to do after we’be broken down our goal is smaller pieces.
I hate to say that there are things that are impossible.
I don’t mean to crush your heart, but it’s true. However, before you bet all your money on your dream being silly and impossible, I want you to be 100% sure it is.
Don’t dare to give up before at least giving it some serious thought.
Know your why
If you still haven’t seen Simon Sinek’s iconic talk, then go watch it.
In this talk, Sinek explains that many businesses know WHAT they do and HOW they do it, but few really know WHY they do what they do.
This principle applies not only to businesses but to personal goals as well.
The bottom line of it all is: in order to be successful in your endeavors, you NEED to really know WHY you want to do the thing you want to do.
You have to know what MOVES you.
I have a little theory (not stating this hasn’t been said before, it probably has, I just hadn’t seen it anywhere else): it doesn’t matter why you want to do something, as long as it’s not immoral or illegal, you’re fine.
The only thing that truly matters is that you know what that WHY is.
If you want to start a business because you find it fun, don’t feel pressured to say you want to save starving kids if that’s not your thing.
Your WHY is your fuel.
And trying to convince yourself that fuel is something it’s not, is like filling your car’s tank with gasoline mixed with water. It just won’t work.
How to set milestones
“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!”
Let’s get practical here. We’re going to break down that dream of yours into digestible little steps.
This is, in my opinion, the key step when it comes to achieving goals. If you don’t set milestones you’ll feel lost along the way and you’ll probably abandon your intentions.
Besides, knowing what are those steps you need to take to get there and the things that need to happen, are unmistakable signals for you to know you’re getting there.
Let’s get to it!
STEP #1 Brainstorm
Grab a piece of paper (or better yet, aimlief’s workbook), and ask yourself these two questions:
- what do I need to get what I want? (money, contacts, knowledge)
- and how do I get what I need? (working, developing several income streams, setting up a LinkedIn account, enrolling in online courses)
Don’t know how to get what you want? Ask around! Or, if there’s nobody in your circle who has accomplished what you want to accomplish, then use our good friend Google.
Google people who have the job you want, stalk their LinkedIn, find out what they studied and what they did and use that as a guide to create your own path.
Now, the exercise:
For example, let’s say you have no money, but you want to buy your first house.
(Please, keep in mind this is a simplistic example I’m using to illustrate this process).
Ask yourself what could you possibly need to buy that house. I’d say you’ll need:
Now it’s time to figure out what you can do to get and save the kind of money you need to buy the home of your dreams:
- get a job
- start a freelance business
- develop several income streams
- start a side hustle
- develop passive income streams
- learn how to invest
Keep in mind these steps can also be broken down in smaller steps, just like we did with the big one.
For example, let’s say you have no idea what a side hustle is. So in order to start one, you’ll need to:
- read books about side hustles
- listen to podcasts about side hustles
- take a course about side hustles
Since I hate large credits, I’m not listing that one here. But as I always say… YOU DO YOU.
Notice there’s no logical order in the list above.
And it may seem non-sense to write random tasks on a list.
But in my opinion, this exercise is important because people usually get stressed out thinking about what their first, second, third step should be.
Before we get into that, let’s jot down absolutely EVERYTHING we think we should do.
#2 Organize your list
Now it’s time to get that random list in order.
I’d say in this case it’s best to tackle the easiest tasks first.
Ask yourself what you can start doing today in order to get that house you want and start there.
For this type of process, I always say: START WITH WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE. And then build from there!
That’s all from now, but don’t worry, we’ll keep working on this process together.
Next week I’ll teach you everything I know about how to keep the goals you set for yourself!
If you have questions or comments, don’t hesitate to tweet me or write a comment down below.