I’ve set a lot of crazy goals in my life. Some of them never amounted to anything; I might have lost interest, found something better, or just didn’t have a plan and gave up.
Other goals though, I’ve knocked out of the park.
I’ve had a lot of practice setting and reaching goals. I’ve learned what works for me and what doesn’t, and what works for me seems to work for a lot of people!
Goals are the magic bridge that connects our dreams to our reality.
I’m going to share the goal setting method I used to start and grow my business, write my novel, reach financial goals, and basically accomplish anything I set my mind to. I’ve learned that the method of setting goals is almost as important as the actions themselves, and having a plan can definitely speed things up.
How to Make Any Goal Reality
Step #1: Dream
What do you want your life to look like?
This is the part that drives the rest of the process, like fueling up your car before starting a road trip. Skip this step, and you won’t get very far.
So what do you want your life to look like? What would be amazing? How do you want to spend your time? What issues would you like to be solved? How do you want to feel?
Remember this amazing feeling, because this is your “why”, the whole reason for this process.
Spend some time with this daydream. Really sink into it and feel what it would feel like to have that life. If you’re into vision boarding, but out those scissors, baby. If you want to anchor this with affirmations, go for it. Whatever it takes to make that dream feel real to you, do it!
Step #2: Clarify
Define your dream with a goal
In your dream life vision, what have you accomplished? Do you have a successful business? Do you own your dream home? Have you quit your day job to work for yourself? Written your book? Write down anything that comes to mind.
Ask yourself what would need to happen in order for that dream to be true, and use that to form your goal.
Step #3: Refine
Your goal needs a few things to be really clear: You need to be able to measure it, you need a timeframe, and it has to be within the realm of possibility.
For example, “Have a successful business” is not a clear goal. “Increase my business revenue by 50k this year” is much clearer because you’ll know when you’ve achieved it, you have a timeframe, and it’s at least somewhat realistic.
(I’m all for dreaming big and shooting for the moon to land among the stars, but I’m a big fan of realistic goals too. More on this here.)
Figure out these details and craft a goal that is as specific as possible. For example: “I will pay off my students loans by Christmas,” or “I will double my email list in the next 100 days.”
Step #4: Map it out
Break that goal into small actions then schedule those actions.
Now that you’ve got an exciting, clear goal to shoot for, you’re probably feeling really overwhelmed. The best goals are the ones that feel possible, but scare us a little.
So where do you start?
You break things down into teeny tiny non-scary steps. You can probably think of lots of different things you’d need to do in order to reach your goal, so grab a piece of paper and write those down.
Those are probably big steps too, so write down the steps you’d have to take for those steps to be possible. If you get stuck, try reverse engineering those steps. What would have to happen right before reaching that milestone? What would have to happen before that? Keep going until the path unfolds at your feet and you run into steps you can take right now.
Then do those things in order. If they don’t all fall into an obvious order, do the most important things first.
Big tip: You might have absolutely no idea what to do and where to start, and that’s okay. Just deciding and setting the goal is the biggest step.
Get the “what” and “why” sorted out, and the “how” will follow.
Figuring out steps can be a step on its own. If you’re stuck and don’t know what to do next, take some time to do research, talk to an expert, etc. Anything you need to figure out steps. Just don’t get stuck in the research process. I suggest doing enough research to get a nice overview of the whole process, then enough research to find your next steps. This doesn’t have to take a long time, and it doesn’t have to be perfect. Learn enough to move forward, but don’t let it become procrastination!
This is the process I’ve used for just about every goal I’ve successfully accomplished, and I believe in it 100%. Give it a shot, and you might be astounded by what you create.