Note: Worksheet coming for this in the next few weeks! For now just do it in a journal.
So a few days ago I created my “100 Life Goals in 10 Years” post and it really inspired me to start thinking about goals and how they shape our path in life. Goals are the compasses and guideposts of our lives.
If we don’t have clearly defined goals, it’s easy to get swept off course by temporary emotions, motivations, and ideas. I think it’s important to know what we want in the short and long term.
Here’s an example from my own life:
From January to March, I kept jumping back and forth across a crazy array of goals:
- Trying to get a job at a tech company in San Francisco
- Trying to start this blog
- Trying to travel around the world
- Trying to get a job while I worked on this blog
Those 3 months were rough. I kept jumping around from goal to goal without truly committing to anything. I barely got anything done!
One day I’d be so excited to get a job, then I wouldn’t get it and I would jump back into working on blog. I’d get frustrated with life and decide that I wanted to escape through long-term travel. I was relentlessly switching back and forth between goals and making no progress on any of them.
We need to set goals. I eventually decided to wholeheartedly pursue this blog and get a job until I could do something in the meantime. Now I’m laser-focused on this goal and I’m getting so much done!
So let’s go ahead and set some goals!
Quick and Easy Goal Setting Exercise
Step 1: Figure Out Your Goal
This seems like the hardest part but it’s actually incredibly easy. I want you to answer one question before we start:
Where do you want to be a year from now?
Don’t think, just answer!
Now, take the first thing that came to your mind. The thing that spends a lot of time rattling around in your head on a daily basis. The thing that haunts you as you try to fall asleep. The thing that you know that you want but aren’t sure you can get. This is your goal!
Go ahead and write that down in your journal or in your Evernote or on a Google Doc.
You’ve just completed step one!
Step 2: Analysis of the Goal
Now that you know what goal you’re striving for, it’s important to take a deep look at it and what significance it has to you. I want you to write down a few things now:
- What excites you about this goal? List at least 3 things.
- What scares you about working toward this goal? List 3 fears.
- What would achieving this goal mean to you?
These are the types of questions that reveal a ton about why this goal is important. The things that excite you? These will keep you excited. The things that scare you? These are what you have to keep a watchful eye out for. These fears are what will hold you back so it’s important to be vigilant about not falling into their trap. What achieving this goal means to you? This is the reason you do it. It goes beyond being excited about it, it’s the underlying purpose that drives everything.
Here’s my answers for my goal of making this blog a resource for people to improve their lives:
- This goal excites me because it gives me a chance to help improve the lives of others by sharing the story of how I’m improving my own life. It excites me because it gives me a chance to make a living through my writing. This goal excites me because I would eventually be an expert in the field that I’m most passionate about (personal development).
- This goal scares me because it requires massive amounts of work with no guarantee that it will work out. It scares me because I worry that I’m not knowledgeable or experienced enough to actually help others. It scares me because it means that I’m putting my life and all of my vulnerabilities on display to the world.
- Achieving this goal would mean that I am helping people while also supporting myself – this has always been my ultimate goal. I’ve had projects where I’ve helped people and made no money. I’ve had projects that were purely based around profit that helped nobody. I’m trying to intersect the two.
Step 3: Lay Out the Plan
For this part, it’s important to lay out all of the major steps that go into making this goal a reality. I encourage you to create at least a 10-step plan. Here’s mine:
- Continue writing a blog post per day
- Continue to build a Twitter following
- Continue to consumer knowledge and become an expert
- Reach out to other blogs and begin to drive traffic through relationships
- Begin to build up my Instagram and YouTube channels
- Get traffic to 500 unique visits per day and an email list of 5,000 subscribers
- Collaborate with fellow bloggers, Youtubers and Instagram personalities
- Begin to offer products that truly make a difference (not products that are only designed to make me money)
- Write a book and self-publish it
- Partner with sponsors to help pay for me to hire content creators
- Continue to build out this platform in terms of reach and usefulness to readers
- Travel around the world and continue building
Alright, that’s pretty much it!
It’s pretty simple really. Pluck the most prominent goal from your mind. Analyze why you want to do it on a deep level. Lay out a general plan to make it happen.
It sounds easy but we both know that it takes a good amount of soul-searching to answer these questions.
If you want any help setting goals or want any input on your work so far, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to me on Twitter.
Much love to you all, I’m excited to reach out goals together!