I think goals are the backbone of your dream life. Without knowing where you want to go and what you want to achieve, it is really hard to actually take action. When I started my first business I had no goal, and that did not end very well. So how to set goals and follow through?
It is actually pretty simple…
But for me to learn this lesson, I had to go through some embarrassment and shame.
With a failing company and failed dreams and all that…
But you know what?
I learned from the experience AND it gives me some useful information to share with you guys.
So are you ready for my goal-setting and goal-achieving methods? Here we go!
WARNING: Total honesty and dedication are needed for this exercise.
Oh, and this blog post is not to set your ultimate life goal, I wrote a different post on how to discover your dream for that purpose.
How to set goals
So, goal setting.
Are you ready for a very simple formula that will blow your mind?
Ok, here it goes!
Look at the things in your life that you hate. Things you beat yourself up about. This can be in your career (I work hard, but don’t earn any money), your personal life (I am forever alone) or your health (I am too fat, I drink too much, I am too fat because I drink too much).
I am pretty sure that you can think of a million things right now. Things that you would wish away the minute a fairy grants you three wishes (obviously you use one of them to wish for infinite wishes, so you can fix your life).
Write those things down, make a list of all the things you really want to change.
Look at that list, these are roughly your goals.
The problem: I work hard, but don’t earn any money.
What you want: make enough money to pay rent, save for a vacation and to blow some of it on fun and random things.
Goal: find/ create a job that will pay x-amount of dollars a month.
Yes, it is really that simple.
The reason why we turn our goals into these difficult to define things is because we don’t want it to be that easy. If defining goals is so easy, why don’t we follow through?
Because that is actually the hard part! Everyone can think of a goal or even a million goals. But actually taking action and DOING SOMETHING… that is hard.
How to follow through
You didn’t think I was just going to leave it at that right? Giving you a tool to define some goals but not giving you pointers on how to follow-up with some real life action.
Now I must warn you, following through is hard. That is why you have to go back to your list now and pick only one thing.
It is easier to change one small thing than your life altogether. I still have things on my “goals to achieve list” and that is fine. I now know that I can actually reach these goals if I don’t want too much at the same time.
For the longest time, I wanted to quit smoking, work-out more to regain some lung capacity AND lose weight. Those were all under one goal; being healthy.
But that isn’t realistic.
You can’t quit two addictions (smoking and sugar – ok and also caffeine in soda so make it three) at once!
So I turned it into a couple of smaller goals
- Quit smoking – DONE!
- Create a workout routine that actually fits my lifestyle – Doing
- Eat healthier – Done!
- Lose some weight – Still on the list
I started with the hardest one, quitting my nasty habit of smoking.
I did not smoke every day, but I smoked enough to call myself a smoker and everyone kind of knew me as a girl that smokes.
But then, one day I decided I was no longer a smoker.
And then I got really sick, I coughed for about 2,5 months so cigarettes were the last thing on my mind. Turned out I had Asthma, what are the odds? Well I took it anyway, it was a great help in making me stop smoking and with inhalers it is pretty manageable.
Now see if that one thing is really one thing or secretly multiple small things like in my getting healthy story. Once you are sure that the goal is manageable, just write down what you need to do to to acchieve this goal.
For example if your goal is to find another job that will make you more money, the steps can be as follows:
- Asses how much more money you want
- What kind of job makes this kind of money possible
- What skills do you miss in your skill set right now to get that type of job
- Go to school/ do a course to learn these skills
- Make a new resume
- Apply for the new job
- Get an interview
- Get the job
Obviously, this can’t happen overnight, but by making a checklist you can actually track your progress. Now set appointments in your planner (if you don’t have one go to Google Calendar and start using it, get your life together!) that are specifically for “reaching your goal”. During these appointments, you will work on the next step on your checklist. Make them reoccurring events and take them as seriously as an appointment with some of your friends or co-workers. No rescheduling for Netflix time!
If you set these appointments at least twice a week you will see your goal coming closer. Once you’ve achieved your goal it is time to go back to the list and try something else.
Once you are more advanced in achieving your goals, you can try to achieve more than one goal over a period of time. Don’t forget though, more goals mean more time blocked off in your calendar! All goals should get the attention they deserve. If you can’t give them that, you are not ready for multiple goal-setting in your life. Oh and if you think you don’t have time to achieve your goals… I have been there. And then I started to set my alarm at 5:00 AM and voila, there was the time!
If you make something a priority, you will find the time. Cancel a date with a friend or the Netflix night you planned with yourself. If you have kids, try and get a babysitter (or ask one of your friends, your partner or family) for a couple of hours a week so you can work towards your goal.
Oh and most importantly, share your goals with someone. Find a person that will hold you accountable! If you don’t want to share it with someone you know, go on to our Girl can Dream Facebook group and share it there, send me a private message or find your accountablity partner down below in the comments. Whatever you do, make it known to someone that you have a goal. If someone knows what you are doing, you are way less likely to give up!
A couple of inspiring motivational video’s
Ok, so I have a confession to make. Almost every morning I wake up to a motivational video on YouTube.
Yes… I know, you can laugh. But because of those video’s I have fixed my to-do list and picked up some things that were on that list FOREVER.
So yeah, who is laughing now?
Why won’t you give it a try. Who knows… you might like it!
Below I will share a couple of my favorites, but usually I just type in “Motivational Video” or go to the “Inspirational” channel (most video’s below are from them) and just click one before I hop in the shower. Most of them have inspiring music and some great oneliners, perfect to start your day and get yourself in the GO AND GET STUFF DONE mindset.