Setting Your Goals and Breaking Them Down Throughout the Year

Setting Your Goals and Breaking Them Down Throughout the Year

I want to talk a little bit about goal setting and goal achievement, which quite truthfully is probably the most overdone topic in any genre in the world.

Everybody has done a goal-setting exercise at some point, whether it was in high school or in college or university or their first job.

I realize that we've all done it, but the truth of the matter is very few people, in the grand scheme of things in this world, anywhere on the globe, very few people have goals written down.

What that tells me is that very few people actually know what they want.

Why is that?  Why do so few people know what they want?  I believe it's because a lot of us are programmed from a pretty early age, to not acknowledge that we can have what we want.

Instead, we're told what we should be doing and what we shouldn't be doing and we should follow this path to be successful.  You should do this to make sure that you have enough money when you grow up to do whatever it is you need to do.

They never actually think, "Well, is that really what I want?  What if I want to spend my life traveling the world?"

A lot of times, somebody that says that will just get laughed at or mocked, that that's not a realistic thing to want.

But here's the thing.  You can want anything you want, but it's up to you to create it.

A lot of people, and maybe this is you, the very first thing you need to do when it comes to goal setting is have an acknowledgment with yourself that there are things that I want that I don't have right now.

It could be some pretty big things that you're looking at like I'm at a job that I hate.  I don't want to be here.  What I want is to do X.  

By coming to that realization, the next step is to translate that into something you can control, which is where goal setting comes into place.

Acknowledging that it's okay to have wants, then defining what those wants are.  Next, turning that into a goal.

So, "I don't want to work here.  I want to travel the world.  Let's set a goal that in 12 months from now I'm not going to be in this job.  I'm going to be traveling at that point."

How do you make that become a reality?  That's when the real work kicks in, the goal achievement.

Setting the goal is really the easy part.  It's the fun part.  Figuring out the rest is much, much harder to do.

But that's where your real test of character comes in.

Goal achievement can't happen without goal setting.  But goal achievement also can't happen without commitment.  So that's the big equator in this whole thing.

The level of commitment you have to making your goals become a reality.

You can very often see people's level of commitment when the rubber meets the road.  Setting your goal as a new year's resolution, for example, let's say it's to lose some weight, you set the goal and then very often you'll see people, they'll join the gym and within a month they're not doing those things anymore.  They're not even going to the gym even though they're paying for it.

The level of commitment was very, very low.

Obviously, they wanted to be in better shape, but the want wasn't strong enough, the commitment wasn't there, the goal was never achieved.

Your level of commitment to achieve goals that are ideally far beyond what you're currently doing right now, which is a great place to start by the way, your goals should be an extension far beyond what you're currently doing so that you get excited, they need to be at a level where your level of commitment is going to be there in the long run.

How do you get yourself to commit to doing something far beyond what's even believable to you right now?

Let's go back to my example.  Currently have a job and in 12 months from now you don't want to be in that job anymore.  You want to be traveling the world for a year. 

How do you make that happen?  Is it even possible?

Well, it probably starts by doing some research to look up other people who have maybe done that before.  But it goes way further than that.

Setting that kind of goal and actually achieving it requires you to do things far beyond your comfort zone.

For one, you might want to lock yourself into a decision like that.

Setting Your Goals and Breaking Them Down Throughout the Year

Making a public declaration.  For example, you might want to go to a circle of friends or to your family or to people that will hold you accountable and say look, here is what I intend to do but I know myself better than this, and I know that if I don't tell a bunch of you people then I'm never going to do this.  Here's what I want to do.  This is important for me to do in my life.  I need to quit this job I'm in right now because it's awful and it's sucking my soul away from me, and I need to go and I need to travel the world for a year.   

I'm a relatively smart individual.  I can figure out a way to fund this.  I can figure out a way to keep the money coming in while I'm gone for that year.  But I need you people over here, my friends and my family or whoever you are, to hold me accountable that I actually do this.

So from today's date, whatever the day is on the calendar, one year from now I vow to do this thing, and I need you to hold me accountable.

Now, your level of commitment has just gone from a zero to maybe 50, on a scale of zero to 100.

Your level of commitment is a lot higher now because you've told other people.

Breaking Down your Goal

Now that you know what your goal is and you have at least one accountability partner you need to create a path to success by breaking down your goal into smaller milestones.

For example, the next level of commitment to reaching your goal might be something like buying a plane ticket that's going to take you from where you currently live to the first destination on your trip, on your 12-month voyage.

Now that plane ticket has just sucked $1,000 or $2,000, whatever it is, out of your bank account.  That money is not coming back.  It's a non-refundable ticket. 

Your level of commitment has now gone from a 50 to a 75.

Now you're going to go book the hotel or the hostile or maybe you're going to find a group of people to travel with that are now relying on you to be there.

Your level of commitment is going to continue to go higher and higher up as you invest in this thing and as you commit yourself to making this vision become a reality.

As you being to imagine these things, it becomes quite nerve-wracking.  It's out of your comfort zone. 

That's a very good sign.  That means you're doing something far beyond your current capabilities.  Far beyond what you're doing right now. 

So take a few minutes right now and write out your big goal at the top of a piece of paper. Then list out the sub-goals you need to accomplish in order to reach your big goal.

It’s important that you think about sequencing when you work on your sub-goals. Break them down by month or even by week and they should follow a logical order that will enable you to reach your big goal by the due date you have set.

You will end up with a map that points you straight toward achieving your big goal by the end of the year.

So thinking back to our example, your sub-goals would look something like this:

  • Decide on an itinerary of when and where you want to go

  • Research flights and/or driving time

  • Research places to stay and pricing

  • Get plane tickets or create a driving plan

  • Book hotels, hostiles, or Air B&B

  • Research things you want to do and see in each location

Your list can contain as many sub-goals as you need to make your big goal a reality.

Goal setting and goal achievement are about finding out what you're really capable of doing, and it goes down to acknowledging what you want and creating a plan to make it happen.

If it's something you truly want and you're speaking from your heart when you write these wants down, then you will find a way and you'll create those commitments that make you not only set the goals but achieve those goals in the long run.

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Setting Your Goals and Breaking Them Down Throughout the Year