My Ultimate Goal Setting Guide
Posted on August 11, 2021
We are all capable of extraordinary things.
We all come into this world with talents, skills and dreams and part of our journey is about discovering how to create what we have envisioned. As we grow up, we are definitely challenged by life and sometimes we lose faith in ourselves due to failures, tragedies and everything else life throws at us.
But that doesn’t have to be the end of the story.
I’m here to help you turn that all around and give you some amazing no-nonsense strategies and tactics that will help you finally achieve your goals. It’s not going to be complicated – in fact, we want our goals to be anything but complicated. But this guide will be rooted in battle-tested techniques that will get you from where you are to where you want to be.
Remember this following statement.
It’s not usually the goal that was bad. It’s usually the strategy that sucked.
When we try to achieve our goals and fall short (or don’t even start at all) it’s because the strategy that we have implemented (if there was one in the first place) isn’t supportive enough to give us a chance to succeed.
Fundamentally, that’s what we are working on here. There will be many different elements to this guide, but the strategies we put into place is going to be huge.
So that all being said, let’s get started.
Step 1 – Dream A Wonderful Dream
“If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” – Joseph Campbell
The fundamental question we really want to ask ourselves when we are coming up with our goals is “What would bliss be like?” That question will guide you better than any other question you could ask yourself when you’re trying to discover what really matters to you. What would mean so much to you and would make you so proud that you would essentially feel blissful in accomplishing it?
So here’s what I want you to do during the first step. I want you to sit in a quiet room, close your eyes, and just breath for a couple of minutes. Don’t think about anything. Just wait until your mind has calmed down and you are feeling completely relaxed.
Then, I want you to ask yourself that question “What would bliss be like?” Give yourself the chance to dream.
Some of you may be dreaming again for the first time in years. Don’t worry about how you’re going to make this all work. This is not the place for that yet. We will dig into that later. This is purely time dedicated to the dreamer and seeing all possibilities in front of you and should be a 100% positive moment. Dream away. Take as long as you need. Enjoy what arrives.
Step 2 – Get It All Down On Paper
Okay, so you’ve been dreaming away for as much time as you needed and should be feeling pretty good about what came up for you. Now, get the important stuff down on paper! These goals and dreams resonated with you on a deeper level and now we have to capture them.
My favorite method of doing this is just getting a lined notepad and writing down a big list of everything I had just come up with. If you’re worried about forgetting things during Step 1, you can bring your notepad with you during your dreaming stage.
It doesn’t matter the order of any of it. Just get it all down. You’re not going to try to tackle everything once (heaven forbid) but you do want to have a recording of all of these individual goals that you want to tackle in the future. They will come in handy. If you have tons, great! If you only have one or a few, that’s also great. The number doesn’t matter. The significance of what you wrote matters.
Step 3 – The One Big Domino
The one big trap I see people fall into all the time is they have so many things they are going after at once that they can’t get anything done.
I like to use an analogy I call “Digging A Hole To China.” If, you are going to dig a hole to China, you probably want to dig in the same spot. It’s such a monumental task that if you dug 5 holes to China at the same time, you’d exhaust yourself, never get anywhere, and if something went wrong you’d never be able to handle it. See why going after a bunch of big goals all at the same time is exactly the wrong thing to do? You only have so much time and energy. You want to make sure you’re giving your goal as much as you can.
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” – Lewis Carroll
Take a look at your awesome list and spend a moment identifying the top 3-5 goals you have that really stand out to you. Sure there are a bunch of things we usually have dreamed up, but what really stands out? Then, out of those 3-5, I want you to identify that one BIG goal that is so much more valuable to you than anything else. If it feels like bliss to you when you think about yourself accomplishing it, that’s usually the one.
That, is going to be your 1 Big Domino – the one goal that if you push it down, it has a positive ripple effect upon the rest of your life (possibly even knocking down other goals by proximity) and will make you feel incredible. That’s the one I want you going for first. We will come back to the other goals on your sheet when you knock this one out of the park. But for now, I want 100% of your energy and effort going to the task at hand.
Step 4 – Get SMART
Since you now have your 1 Big Domino, I want you get a bit more specific with what make up the individual elements of this goal. It’s important to do this step because remember, if you don’t know exactly where you’re going, it’s pretty easy to get lost.
So, use the S.M.A.R.T. system (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Based) to really flesh out the details of your big goal. This will help you stay on track and know exactly what you’re aiming for.
On a piece of paper, write out the individual pieces of this acronym. Here are some things to think about for each one.
Specific Who. What. Where. Where. Why. How. Answer them all. Get as specific as you can with your goal. The more specific the better. If your goal is vague and ambiguous, you’ll never know if your close or have even arrived in the first place! But if your goal is exact and specific, you’ll know precisely when you cross the finish line.
Measurable Ask yourself, “How will I know when I have accomplished this goal?” What’s the measure of my success with this? You really want to be able to quantify it as much as possible. Is it in lbs? Hours? $$$. Get really specific with what the number is. You want something as exact as you can make it.
Achievable When you’re setting goals, make sure it’s something achievable. Chances are you’re not going to grow fins and turn into a mermaid. Make these goals achievable and as you go on, you can set bigger and bigger goals!
Relevant We’ve already covered this one together when I had you sit in that dream state for quite some time and really figure out what was the most important goal to you. But it doesn’t hurt to double check your work. Make sure this goal means something important to you.
Time Based Set a deadline! Without a deadline, you’re just wishing. Don’t know what date to set? Just set one that seems reasonable and make that the day you are going to have accomplished your goal! Without a start and an end date, it’s really easy to fall into “tomorrow syndrome.”
Step 5 – Break It Down Into Habits & Systems
Alright! So you’ve selected your one big goal and made it very clear by specifying the elements of what that goal is and what it specifically looks like to achieve it. Now, we have to do one of the most important parts of the goal setting process.
Remember way above when I said, “It’s not usually the goal that was bad. It’s usually the strategy that sucked.” This is how we make sure we are implementing proper tactics and strategies that will help keep us on the right track and continue our progress.
Your objective here is not to create a complicated system of a million things you need to do every single day so you can be successful. There’s close to zero chance you’ll be able to follow through if you do that. Your objective is to create a plan that is so plain and simple and yet incredibly impactful that you can’t help but achieving what you want to achieve.
When developing a strategy, you’re looking for one to three different things to do each day that will have a lot of leverage in terms of moving you forward. Spend a few minutes really thinking about this. It may take a bit to really break it down (especially if it is a longer term goal) and find the answers you are looking for. But in the end, you’ll come across a few impactful habits to take on that if you stay consistent with them, in time you will hit your mark.
Step 6 – Begin
Here’s where a lot of people get stuck. You are never going to feel 100% ready to start your journey. Waiting for that moment is a trap because it will never come. Instead, prepare yourself as much as you can up to the date you selected to start and then just begin.
You can spend a lifetime telling yourself, “I’ll just start tomorrow.” Don’t let that be your story. Begin with what you have and you will figure out many more pieces along the way. That’s the point of this anyway – to grow and become more. Don’t let your fears stop you from starting.
Step 7 – Adapt & Adjust
Along the journey, you’re going to come across many situations and challenges that you didn’t predict happening back when you were breaking everything down into systems and habits. That is to be completely expected. There’s no possible way to know what will arrive on the unknown parts of your path.
This is where the mindset of adapting and adjusting comes into play. Instead of abandoning your goal and thinking you’re doing something wrong when things are hard, just see the challenge that faces you as something to be expected. You may have to shift your plan a little bit in order to move through it. Don’t be so rigid with sticking to an element of your original plan that’s proving to not work over and over again. Instead, ask yourself, “How can I shift this element of my plan a little bit to make sure it clicks a bit more with what I’m doing.” Then, implement it and carry on forward.
Learning how to adapt and adjust to challenges is a skill to develop. The only way to learn it is to face those challenges and find your way through them. Developing this will help you continue to move forward with whatever comes your way.
Step 8 – “No Matter What.”
There’s a great line by Hagrid in Harry Potter when he’s about to head into the dark forrest. He says to Harry, “What’s coming will come and we’ll meet it when it does.” Mindset is huge when you’re trying to make a goal happen and I’ve found no other better slogan to use than “no matter what.”
Tell yourself over and over again that no matter what happen you will find a way. Whenever you are challenged or feeling weak, work with this slogan. I can’t possibly predict what will happen for you on your journey. However, I can tell you that if you dedicate yourself to finding your way through, you will find the answers you’re looking for. There are going to be tough times ahead and you have to mentally prepare yourself for those moments. If you don’t, it’s really easy to pack it up and quit.
Step 9 – All The Way To The End
I can’t explain why, but human beings have a remarkable way of stopping right before they have a huge breakthrough. When things are going really well, they get complacent and stop practicing the things that got them them. When things are going poorly, they lose faith and quit even though they were so close to being done.
This is another big mindset piece. Along with the slogan “no matter what” you have to also repeat to yourself “all the way.” Don’t waver. Don’t quit. Don’t stop until you finish what you started.
Trust me, the amount of courage, discipline, resilience, focus, consistency and many other character traits that you develop when you stick to something and finish strong is astounding. Do this for you. Finish strong.
Step 10 – Celebrate
This one is important for so many reasons. You must celebrate when you achieved your goal. You’ve worked your butt off. You’ve broken through old ways of being, developed new habits and grown significantly because of the journey you have taken. Celebrate your wins. You deserve to feel incredible about doing something you’ve never been able to do before. Don’t cut yourself short here. You need this moment in your life as a landmark for what’s possible. It will serve you in the future and give you momentum when you try to achieve other big goals as well. Whatever celebrating looks like to you, whether it’s going out with family and friends or a wonderful private moment to yourself, do it. Your heart will be forever encouraged because you’ll be able to say, “I did that. I can take on whatever comes next.”
Step 11 – What Comes Next
I thought that this would be an important part to add into the goal setting guide that usually doesn’t get talked about often enough. Once you have achieved your big goal, you’re going to have a ton of momentum behind you. Use it. Take a look at the list you created all the way back in Step 2 and circle the next Big Domino. Go back through this guide if you need to step by step to make sure you’re setting yourself up for success.
So there we are!
That’s my Ultimate Goal Setting Guide. I hope this helped you gain a deeper understanding of the skills, tactics and strategies that are needed to make sure you give yourself the best chance to succeed.
If you have any questions, please let me know!
And if you’re interested in learning more about working with me privately, head over to www.1on1withevan.com
All the best,