How you can set and Achieve Your Goals
One of the most common questions I get is how I set and achieve my goals. I like to set big goals and work hard to achieve them. It can be hard finding balance, or even knowing what goals to set, so here is everything I do, from the idea right through to completion.
1. Know Yourself
What do you actually want in life? Don’t think about what society expects or whatever goals your parents set for you. How do you want your life to look and how can you make that happen? What is important to you?
Setting goals because they sound good but you aren’t thrilled about isn’t going to work. Doing goals because others are doing them is not going to motivate you to stick to them and it is not going to get you the life you want.
Take time to think about what you value in life, what matters to you and how you enjoy spending your time. For me, my family is everything to me, as is my health. Community contributions and being financially free are also important to us.
As such, my goals revolve around having a financially free life so my family and I can travel, spend time together and enjoy our lives. Health includes yoga daily with my kids, walks and going to the gym. Joining classes I want to do, reading books that are important to me and making my family a priority.
By knowing myself, the life I want and what is important to me, it’s been easy to set goals.
2. Clear your head
Get out a few pieces of paper and ‘brain dump’. Write down all your ideas, aims, desires, goals and anything you think you want to do. Getting it out of your head and onto paper makes it easier to see all of it and sift through to find what you truly want.
I generally have a piece of paper for the following life categories: health, finance, career, community, relationships, travel/life experiences and home. This way, I dump whatever I am thinking in terms of goals on those specific pieces of paper. This also makes it easier for me to work out which areas of my life I need to focus on more.
Which goals are most important or most urgent? Making decisions is not easy. When it comes to setting goals I write down each goal on its own piece of paper, the timeframe I want to achieve it in and the pros and cons of the goal to help establish goals to achieve first.
Having them on individual pieces of paper, I can easily move them around to place them in order of priority to me and see what will work. You cannot do everything at once, so pick a couple or even one to start with then do the rest later as you progress.
Taking on too much at once will cause overwhelm and make you more likely to fail.
4. Plan of action
When I set goals I make sure they are SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Bound. I write down exactly what I want to achieve, how I will do it and the steps I need to take to achieve that goal. Sometimes this means creating mini-goals, other times it is a simple 3 step process. This is crucial. A goal not written down and without a plan is just a wish.
On top of this, I add emotion. What is the emotional drive behind this goal? How will it make me feel to achieve it?
Once you have your plan, take steps to make it easy. For example, if it is saving a specific amount of money, set up automatic payments to your savings account. You can do this for investing and other things too. If your goal is to lose weight, join a class or group to be accountable and start moving.
Break down your goals into bite-size steps, with small actions you can take every day to achieve your goal in the timeframe you’ve set. Using smaller goals to achieve your overall goal makes it feel achievable.
5. Create a Motivation Wall
Once I know the things I want to achieve and want in my life I get visual and create a motivation wall. It includes a vision board, my calendar, motivational quotes or affirmations, saving graphs and anything I am working on. It’s on my bedroom wall so it’s the first thing I see every morning and last thing I see at night.
Take a photo of your vision board and use it as your background on your devices as well.
To help me stay focused and remember what I am working towards I create reminders. Write your goals in permanent marker on your mirrors and read them out loud every day. Say them with conviction as if you have already achieved them. The more you do this, the more you will believe it.
Change the background and screensaver on any device to match your goal along with changing passwords to match.
Write them down and check on them daily. By having all these reminders and by writing them down, you can check where you’re at with all your goals easily.
For many people, having someone they are accountable to helps immensely. This doesn’t mean you have to be public on social media about your goals (although that does help some people). It means having someone you can check in with regularly, brainstorm with and get help to stay on track.
My sisters and I support each other this way. For my weight goals, they are fantastic. When it comes to money, business and other lifestyle goals, my partner and I are on the same page, working towards the same things so we check in with each other all the time.
Each week we have an abundance meeting where we discuss our finances, check out net worth and go over our goals. We love visualising our goals and discussing our future as if it is our now. This helps us stay motivated.
My vision board, reminders and accountability are all great motivators. What motivates one person is different to what motivates another. Being a mother and wanting a better life for my kids, it has been easy to be motivated at times.
Whenever I was faced with a choice or a goal that gets too hard I think about my daughters, the life I want for us and go spend some time with them. Sometimes, I use tools such as motivational books, podcasts, webinars, courses, friends, anything which motivates me to get back on track.
Life changes and sometimes the plan of action you had for your goal is not the best course of action to help you achieve it. I’ve set numerous goals in my life I’ve had to change either how I did them or if I was going to do them at all anymore.
Too often I see the pressure to achieve your goals no matter what. I do not believe in that. Yes, be resilient, work out how to overcome obstacles to achieve your goals and do what you can. But if you life has changed and that goal no longer aligns with what you want, it’s ok to ditch it.
Make time to reassess and evaluate if what you are doing is working and if it is indeed what you still want. Be sure to know the difference between it simply feeling too hard/having a bad day vs it actually no longer being the right goal for you.
Celebrate goals as you achieve them. Revel in your success. You don’t have to jump straight into the next one. Sometimes completing the goal is reward enough, but sometimes it is nice to go out to dinner/buy some new clothes/have a party/go on a holiday as a reward for achieving your goal. Recognize and celebrate your achievements.