How do you set achievable goals?
What’s the secret formula for setting goals that you will actually accomplish?
Like practically speaking, what are the how-tos of slaying your goals day-to-day?
How do you set goals and actually make them happen? Not just write or dream about them.
Whether you are just starting out on a new journey to build your dream life, or you are a seasoned goal slayer, these 6 simple secrets to setting and achieving your goals will help you turn your intentions into actions.
Plus, get your FREE Achievable Goals Workbook to help you work through all 6 secrets.
What’s Your Goal for this Year?
Before we get to the day-to-day business of setting and achieving your goals (or slaying your goals as I like to call it), the first question is, what’s your goal for this year? (Just an FYI, a year doesn’t have to start in January, it can start whenever you decide.)
Have you even contemplated what you want to accomplish and where you want to be?
Maybe there’s even a New Year’s Resolution you’ve already given up on?
As you may know, my goal for 2016 was to get free from the 9-5 life I’d narrowly escaped towards the end of 2015. I’ll be using this goal as an example to illustrate exactly how you make a goal like this achievable.
Presently, my goal for 2017 is to stay free (umm… no pressure right?). Savings only go so far and building up a sustainable income stream is an entirely new challenge for me.
The reality is that just selecting a goal isn’t enough to make it happen this year (or any year for that matter). So, I’m doubling down on setting achievable goals and re-committing myself to the daily fundamental basics of goal setting.
I hope like me, you choose to not leave achieving your goals to chance or waiting for luck to strike.
*RELATED POST: How Do I Slay My Goals?
6 Simple Secrets to Setting Achievable Goals:
Here are the six simple secrets you need to take to go from just setting goals, to setting achievable goals. The emphasis here is on making your goals doable, but also as actionable as possible.
Don’t forget to get your FREE Achievable Goals Workbook. The time is now to slay your goals!
Focus on One Main Goal
Focus on one, yes only one, #1 goal you would like to achieve in one year. Personally, I like the timeframe of one year as it’s a workable time period and not so far enough in the future that I’m unable to vividly visual where I would like to be. Please note, we are not talking about your ultimate goal in life, just one main goal or transformation you can commit to.
What should your goal be? Take some time to contemplate where you want to be one year from now. “Where” can be a place, a feeling, a monetary or business goal. You decide “where” where is. Write it down, describe it as clearly and as simply as possible, you’ll work out the specific details in the next few secrets.
Example: “In one year, I want to be in a secure financial and emotional position, where I am ready to quit my full-time job. I will be free to build my dream life, as a creative entrepreneur from the comfort of my home.”
Deconstruct your main goal by setting four “mini-goals,” one for each quarter of the year. If you prefer to give yourself a bit more time, you could set 3 goals, one for every four months (rather than a quarter). With the extra month, this could be a more realistic timeline for your expectations or to adjust due to any unforeseen complications (if you didn’t know something always goes wrong). Then, decide which you will tackle in your first 3-4 month period.
How do you select your mini-goals? There are a few ways you can determine your mini-goals. Think of your 3 smaller goals as crucial way stations on your journey to you 1-year goal. Where do you have to be before arriving at your “where.” Secondly, you could identify three separate components or realms of your main goal, such as financial, emotional and business. Thirdly, you can also set three specific projects for yourself that lead you to your goal.
Example: #1: Saving 4-6 months of my cost of living and expenses, so that I can survive the difficulties of being self-employed. #2: Starting a profitable side-hustle or business. #3: Building up my self-confidence, emotional and mental strength to handle the challenges of being self-employed.
Figure Out the How
With your first mini-goal set, create your list of “how-tos” by brainstorming every possible idea or necessary steps to achieve that particular mini-goal. Repeat for each mini-goal as you achieve them.
What should your list of “how-tos” include? Think about the particular “mini-goal” in terms of what is required. What do you need in order to achieve this? Possible requirements could include financial, mentorship, education, time investments, the participation of others, research, and even less tangible needs like emotional support, confidence building or higher self-esteem.
Example: #1 Mini-goal ideas: financial literacy on saving or spending less, creating a budget, cutting expenses, opening a high-interest savings account, consulting a partner or spouse, moving to a cheaper apartment, DIYing instead of buying, cooking more meals, staycation instead of vacation, seeing a financial planner, taking on a side-job or more hours and so on.
Choose Your Priorities
Knowing what your priorities are key to achieving the goals you’ve set. You now have a hopefully long list of ideas as to how to achieve your first mini-goal. You need to know the difference between what’s absolutely necessary and what’s a would be nice to get done. Sort your ideas by priority level – what’s important and urgent!
How do you know which tasks are priorities? There are a few ways to determine the priorities for your goals. Firstly, which how-tos can you absolutely not do without, or which are essential to achieving your goal? Secondly, which are both urgent and important – if you don’t complete this key task by a certain time, you won’t achieve your goal on time. Thirdly, which tasks need to be completed before you can do another. Alternatively, you could think of your priorities in terms of which is the best use of your time for the greatest possible benefit. Basically, which is a sure thing, or as close to a sure path to your goal.
Example: Creating a budget, determining current spending habits and halting all unnecessary spending are priorities for achieving the mini-goal of saving 4-6 months of income. These tasks are the linchpin on which other tasks like saving depend.
Commit Time Every Week
Now that you have your priorities in line, it’s time to schedule them. Look at your weekly schedule and select at least two specific days and times each and every week you will commit to your goals (one will be your backup time in case your week gets derailed – it happens all the time!).
Your aim here is to create a routine that enables you to develop a habit of achieving your goals. You could also tie your goal slaying time to an existing routine or activity, like while the kids are at tennis or before you go to the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
*RELATED POST: How to Automate Your Success with Good Habits
Whatever time(s) you select, set an alarm, block it off in your planner and calendar, also notify your partner/spouse or family members that you are now busy at these times. Take this commitment seriously.
How much time should you commit to your goals each week? Honestly, it’s completely up to you and how much you’re willing to give to achieving your goal. I would recommend just committing an hour or so to start each week, then in a few weeks commit more. You need to build up your tolerance and get used to your commitment. Try not to over commit and burn out in the first month of goal setting.
Example: Every Sunday for two hours after dinner and before Walking Dead or Game of Thrones comes on and Thursday’s before Grey’s Anatomy to update my budget and booking keeping or research to save money.
Always Take Action Now
Yes, right now. No excuses, you had time to read this, so you have time to do one tiny task for your goal. The time is this now, no more waiting for the perfect moment or planning every other step between where you are now and where you want to be.
These six simple secrets are all you need to set your goals and start achieving them. Achievement happens in the action you take in the now, in your day-to-day. This is the only action plan you need to get started. Remember action plan, not a business plan, it’s called action because the important parts happen off the paper.
But, what can I even do right now? Don’t over think it, progress is progress no matter how small. Do some online research, reach out to a contact, sketch out your ideas or write a hundred words of that novel you’ve been putting off. Just do something, just get started. Progress, not perfection.
Example: Create a budget for all my spending (scary I know) and started reducing spending immediately by canceling my paid subscriptions.
Your Next Step: Get your FREE 6-Step Workbook to help you start setting achievable goals.
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How to Set Goals and Achieve Them
The ultimate secret to setting achievable goals is to just get started.
You can plan and overthink your goals for months, years and maybe even your entire life, without actually taking action. Goal setting is easy, but setting achievable goals is another story.
It’s a combination making sure you’re goals are doable and bite-sized, so you can take action. ALL the emphasis on that action.
*RELATED POST: How do I Slay My Goals?
Be specific with your #1 goal, break it down into smaller achievable goals and then take those steps.
Because the honest truth is that without taking steps to make it a reality, you’re just goal setting, not goal slaying. And goal setting alone gets you nowhere.
Goal setting is the map, but unless you set out and go on your journey to reach your destination, you’re just always planning that trip you never take. How sad it that? You deserve to go on the adventure of your life and reach your end goal.