The other day I was having a talk with a friend of mine, during which he told me about a problem that he has struggled with for a long time. I listened carefully, and then shared some of the goal setting strategies that I have been implementing for the past couple of years. I explained that goal setting has been a total game changer for me. Whenever I set a new goal, I always give it a date by which it should be achieved, at least partially. If these deadlines are not met, I know that I haven’t done what I have promised myself to do. This makes it very hard to lie to yourself about the made progress, and it pushes you to be a lot more proactive.
We discussed the issue for a while, and he told me that he never had thought of it in that way. It all sounded very logical to him. However, even though I felt happy that I shared some useful information, I also felt that there was another problem – the goal setting itself. Because it seems like such a hassle, people procrastinate and never actually do any of it. It just doesn’t seem important enough.
Having had this conversation with my friend, I got motivated to share some of the most powerful goal setting tools here as well. Hopefully, after reading this post, people won’t use the “I’ll do it later” argument. I’m dead serious when it comes to the potential that goal setting has, and I want it to help you as well.
1. Understanding why goal setting is crucial
Obviously, you don’t need to create a separate goal in order to take the trash out (although some people do), but you do need one when making life-changing decisions. Finding a job in a foreign country, becoming vegan, doing whatever it takes to earn more money – are all major changes in life that may need a gradual transition. Maybe you want to become a vegetarian first before becoming a vegan, or maybe you need to first visit a few different countries before making the decision to finally move to one. And you definitely need time to make more money – it doesn’t happen overnight.
Not only the given examples illustrate big changes, but they also show how distant in the future or difficult certain things may be. All three of them take a lot of time and/or determination, and that is a real problem for most of us. By thinking so big while missing the right mindset, we may get discouraged as soon as something goes wrong. It may be about becoming a vegan too soon and failing, or it may be about not being able to find a job fast enough. These things may break us and prevent from further attempts. This is where smaller goal setting comes in place.
By spending some time to break big goals into smaller ones, we minimize the amount of stress that comes with it. For a guy scared of women, it may sound impossible to find a wife ten months from now. But if we were to tell him to go to dating classes within a month and join a “singles club” by the end of next month, the progress would be insane! Do you see how small goals are so much more effective than just having large ones?
2. Creating the warrior-like mindset
But even to make the small goals attainable, we need to learn to be in a positive, warrior-like mindset at all times, especially when setting them. The more confident you feel about yourself during goal setting, the more confident you will feel about yourself when going towards them. We are trying to create a powerful mindset that you can come back to whenever you need to remind yourself why you decided to set these goals in first place.
As always, I would suggest to meditate, and to read and watch motivational content to recondition your mind into realizing that life is not painful, not difficult, and that as long as you work hard enough, anything is possible.
There were times when I needed to create some short-term goals, but I was in such a mindset that it was impossible for me to believe in myself. The goals seemed ridiculous and unachievable. The more I thought about my future plans, the less I wanted to make it happen. There was a feeling of despair.
Soon enough, I understood that the only way to make a real plan is to do it in a clear and positive state of mind. Sometimes I may meditate and sometimes I may watch something uplifting. As a matter of fact, I always try to start my day with a morning ritual, where I thank this universe for letting me live this truly precious life. Sometimes, we need to remind ourselves just how amazing it is to be here. A morning ritual allows me to get into the mindset that I need in order to be proactive.
You can create your own morning ritual. It doesn’t really matter what exactly you do to get into that mindset. It can be whatever you want, just as long as it does the trick and starts your day with energy. If you want to learn how to create your own perfect morning ritual, then I highly recommend that you check out Stefan Pylarinos’s Morning Ritual Mastery program. The whole purpose of that program is to create your own morning ritual that you can use to live each day with maximum efficiency.
3. Taking your time
As funny as it may sound, one of the biggest reasons why we fail in reaching our goals is the lack of time understanding why we are after these goals. Just think about it, how many times have you begun something or bought something, just to realize soon after that it wasn’t really “your thing”?
When you decided to spend some time setting goals, don’t rush it. This part of the process is your foundation. If you set goals for yourself that you are truly passionate about, you will have success. If you rush things and “follow the trends” that everyone else is following, you may find out soon enough that it was a waste of time, money and/or effort.
I knew a person that saved up for many years to buy a BMW M5. Unfortunately, he had to sell it 2 weeks after the purchase. He got fired from his job and couldn’t afford the car anymore. He knew about the unstable situation at his work, but he never rationally approached his goals and desires. Always spend rather too much time than too little on goal setting.
One fancy and direct way of approaching goal setting is to apply the S.M.A.R.T. analysis:
Be as specific as possible about your goal. “I want a new job” vs. “I want to work in New York in a software company that pays ____$ per month.” See the difference?
Make sure there is a way in which you can measure your progress. If you are selling a product, it can be the amount of sales per week that you make.
Spend some time to set a goal that is attainable. Don’t make goals that you know are impossible to reach. Want to earn from zero to a million dollars within 2 months? Maybe not…
Again, make sure your goals are your goals. It needs to be something you desire, and not something you think you desire.
Something you can track. I strongly believe that every goal needs to have a time frame and a deadline. If you are missing these, your goals can take forever to achieve, which is a very common scenario.
5. Taking action
Last but not least, taking action.
Taking action is something that I can almost never leave out of my posts, not because I am crazy, but because no achievements go without taking action.
Consider the scenario in which you understand the importance of goal setting, as well as the importance of having a warrior-like mindset. You have carefully analyzed what you want to create in your life, and you have even made use of the S.M.A.R.T. analysis. So what next? Do you just sit back and wait for things to happen? Of course not! Now comes the hardest part of all – taking action.
Remember the friend of mine in the beginning of the post? Apart from not even setting the goals, I know that taking action for him will be the real problem. If he would not be afraid of getting outside of his comfort zone, his problem wouldn’t have been a problem for so long in the first place.
Therefore, remember that without really getting outside of your comfort zone and taking action, your goals will always remain to be in the future. You need to make them your present and then continue setting new ones. There is no other way. Movement is the key here.
The last thing that I would like to say is that goal setting is actually an amazing thing to do. You spend time creating your future, giving birth to new ambitions and imagining the success that is ahead of you. And then, once all of this is done, you go into the unknown and make it all happen. It truly is wonderful when you see things you imagined materialize and become a part of your life, a part of you. It may be difficult at times, but the results are worth every struggle.
As always, if you like this type of content, sign up for more of it through the forms found on the website. It’s easy, and you get a free gift when you sing up. And feel free to leave you comments in the section below. Feedback and personal stories are always very welcomed!