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I have been planning on doing a post on how to set goals for a while now. With the new year around the corner, I thought this would be the perfect occasion.
As you know, most people most people fail to achieve their annuals goals. The generic process is to either write them down on January 1st, or simply ‘think’ of them, and then as soon as things are back to normal, life takes over and goals turn into simple wishes (if ever remembered).
Since I was 17, I got into goal setting after reading few self-development books. Since then, I got hooked, especially after witnessing myself crossing almost every goal off my list. Yes, it did take some time to achieve them. But I did! Today I want to share my strategies with you so you can learn how to set goals properly.
Why Goals Setting Is Important
Without a goal, it’s almost impossible to reach your vision in life.
Take a moment right now and think of what you desire for your life. What do you want your health to be like? what about your career, relationships, etc. Since this blog is health-focused, we’re going to stay focused on health goals to save time. But you can repeat this exercise for ANY area in your life you’d like to improve.
Once you set a goal on paper, you give it energy. That’s your way of telling yourself “this is what I want to achieve in my life and I am committing to it”. It also gives you the opportunity to reflect and feel if you really want that goal. A lot of times, I wrote things down that I ended up scratching and replacing with different goals because they didn’t feel right at that time.
So if you want to achieve something in the upcoming 100 days, 6 months, or year, write it down in your journal.
How many times a year should you set goals
I have long-term goals (1+ year), and then I break those down into smaller goals (3 months – 6 months).
This way I can focus all my energy on the smaller goals that are feeding into the bigger picture. If I stay focused on the big, long-term goals, I get doubtful, don’t trust myself and my actions reflect that. More on that in the next sections.
It is totally up to you how you want to break down your goals. You can set quarterly goals, or semi-annual goals, or annual goals. This is why a 100 Day Challenge is the BEST way to go about achieving your goals (more on that below)
How to set goals – the SMART formula
I want to introduce you to the SMART approach for setting goals. I don’t remember exactly where I learned this formula (probably some self-development book), but it shows you how to properly set goals.
SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timeline.
Specific: The clearer you are when setting goals, the better. You want to be as specific as you can as well. For example, here is an unclear, vague goal is: I’m going to workout more in 2018.
If you have been sedentary for years, you can just workout once or twice every 3 months. But, are couple workouts here and there going to give you the results you want? not really.
A clearer, more specific goal would be: In the next 90 days, I will workout 4 times a week at 5 pm for 30 minutes.
Measurable: A measurable goal allows you to go back and monitor your progress. Let’s take the above example. You can easily monitor see if you are moving through with your goal. If not, then you can change the plan or actions. If you are failing to workout at 5 pm because you have kids, and by that time they are back home from school, you can change the plan my moving your exercise time to 9 am, or 2 pm.
Attainable: One of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to goal setting is set gigantic goals that deep down, they know won’t happen in the upcoming year or months.
An important thing to keep in mind when writing your goals is that you want to BELIEVE you can achieve them. You need to have confidence and certainty.
If you never traveled before, and you write ‘visit 30 countries’ in the next year. You’ll be full of doubts, and limiting believes that will hold you back. A more attainable goal would be: visit 2 countries by the end of next year. It needs to be believable. Not too small, and not too big.
This process is also called the sweet spot technique, where you want to set goals that are challenging and big, but not too big to cause self-doubt and limiting believes…and I go in detail on how to achieve attainable goals in my goal-setting workbook. You can grab your free copy below.
Realistic: This is similar to what we discussed above. You want your goals to feel realistic. If you’ve never run a marathon before, and you want to become a marathon athlete and win a medal, you should take into account what it takes to get there. Simply having that goal on paper, while your actions are not following along, will not help you achieve that goal. You may want to ask yourself if that’s really what you want to become. If deep down you don’t believe that for yourself, your actions are not going to reflect that.
Timeline: Because a goal without a timeline is a wish. You want to set a ‘realistic’ timeline that will keep you accountable.
How to Write your Goals
Make sure you write your goals in a way that makes you feel excited every time you read them. Put words there that give you the motivation to pursue those goals.
Here is an example of one of my recent goals:
Vague goal: Create a new program.
A SMART goal: I will easily create a new back pain coaching program that’ll provide massive value, and transform the lives of thousands of people by March 2018.
Let’s review this goal: It’s specific (back pain coaching program), it’s measurable (I can measure my actions towards creating the program daily), it’s attainable (I can totally create a new program in 3 months by avoiding distractions), it’s realistic (back pain is my field of focus and I am a coach, so I feel confident in delivering), and it has a timeline (By Mars 2018).
Compare that to the vague goal.
I was first introduced to the 100 Day Challenge through a mentor, who has had massive success using this challenge. So I wanted to let you know about it.
Gary Ryan Blair (otherwise known as The Goals Guy) has put together a radical approach to goal setting! It’s called the 100 Day Challenge
If you ALWAYS, every time, fail to achieve your goals (small or big), because you lack a sense of direction, accountability and have no idea how to do it, you should check out this challenge.
Once you write down your goals and you commit to them, the first 30-90 days are the HARDEST. It’s always during that time that most people fail and abandon their goals. This is a critical time where you require accountability and a sense of control.
If you had that accountability, I bet 3 things would immediately take place…
1. You would START doing the things you know you need to do.
2. You would STOP doing the things you know you shouldn’t be doing.
3. You would build MASSIVE momentum and start seeing massive results.
The 100 Day Challenge only opens up few times a year, so if you are interested in challenging yourself to get what you want this year (no more postponing your desires), you should check out this challenge.
Yes, the challenge is not free cheap, but it’s 100% worth it. Why? because we only commit to things we spend money on. I’m sure you can relate.
The only courses and programs I made sure to follow were the ones where I invested my money on. I made sure to do all the homework because I paid for them. The ones I downloaded for free are collecting dust on my computer. Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself if it’s something that will improve your life. In this case, CHANGE your life. Click here to check out the 100 Day Challenge
Happy Goal Setting!