What’s the first thing you think of when you see the words – goal setting? Is it losing weight? Reading more? Starting a business? Tripling your income? Those are common goals that many people begin with.
And I’m no different. My first experience with goal setting was all about pursuing my interests.
- Learn how to surf
- Learn the Python programming language
- And lose 15 pounds in six months
All made my initial goals list (in addition to numerous others). But when I came up short on many of them, I became disillusioned; thinking I had “done it wrong.” So I changed course. Instead of setting reasonable goals, I chose to set really ambitious ones.
For example, I set a goal to have a net worth of 100 million dollars by the age of 25.
A goal that was entirely unrealistic seeing as how I was 22, fresh out of college, and was making less than $50,000 annually. By 24 I was nowhere near my goal and decidedly threw in the towel, once again becoming frustrated. I would think to myself – I don’t understand. I dreamed big. Where’s my reward?
I was lost.
3 Tips for Better Goal Setting
Fast forward several years to today. I currently run a blog called QuickBooost and write about ways to be more intentional with your time. A large part of which is goal setting.
Now, the great thing about blogging, or really writing at all for that matter, is the clarity of thinking it provides. How, through chronicling my disappointments, shortcomings, and mishaps, I’ve been able to fine-tune my reasoning and develop a system that works.
There’s a lot that goes into goal setting and I don’t want to veer too far off the topic at hand, but if you’re curious, here are a few things you should keep in mind when setting goals for yourself:
- Set ones that are within your control (ie. Read 20 pages per day as opposed to trying to read more books than your spouse).
- Plan out your days so that you allot time to work on your goals (instead of “forgetting” about them).
- Remove friction around that goal (ie. If you want to run a marathon later this year, keep your running shoes by where you relax so as to trigger yourself to run).
Ok, that’s enough for now. Let’s get back on track.
How to (really) do goal setting
With experience, my perspective on goal setting has changed.
Where I originally pursued interests and income, I’ve since come to realize that goal setting is much more powerful than that. In fact, when done right, it is a means to help you achieve a desired end. And in my case, the desired end is a fulfilled life.
One that inspires me, excites me, and gives me a purpose. One that is meaningful, even when times are tough or challenges lie before me.
Goal setting has the power to create that for you too.
The categories of life
When setting goals for yourself, look across the foundation of your life and consider what meaning/contentment would look like in each of those areas. As a:
And from there, go about setting actionable goals for each of those categories. For example, you can set a goal to take your daughter on a date once a month; email five new clients a day for your business; plan a camping trip for later this quarter; and so on and so forth.
It will take a little time to set things up initially, but the outcome will be worth it.
Consider the various facets of your life. Determine what fulfillment would look like in each category. And from there, set goals to help you achieve those aims.
You can do more with goal setting than just trying to “make more money” or “be more grateful.” You can create a fulfilling life for yourself. Challenges will come up, you will stumble, but when that happens, don’t quit. Do the best you can and keep urging yourself forward.
Achieving goal success isn’t easy, but it is worth the effort. Get to it and start designing a more intentional life for yourself.