Don’t you love setting goals?
You wake up early on the first Monday of the month, fueled by caffeine and an inspirational Gary Vaynerchuck video.
You sit down at your desk, pull out your pen and a notepad and you start writing down all of the things that you are going to do over the next 6-18 months to transform your life and conquer the world.
These goals probably sound like this….
- “I’m going to get a six pack for summer.”
- “I’m going to buy that house with the great view soon.”
- “I’m going to make $250,000 this year.”
And when you are in the moment, setting these goals, you feel more motivated and fired up than ever before…
You can see it, you can feel it, you can even taste it.
You get tingles down your spine and you vividly imagine walking into that new house, turning on that sport car’s engine for the first time, or moving in for the kiss on the love of your life, but then something happens.
As the days, weeks, and months go by, you slowly start to forget about your goals and slide back into your old patterns and ways of thinking.
Your enthusiasm and motivation begin to dwindle and you start spinning your wheels, doing the same ‘ol crap that you’ve always done.
I know it does for me, my early twenties were littered with goals I created but never finished.
For me, setting goals was easy… Following through? Now that was a different story.
Life gets busy.
We all have the same obligations of dragging our asses to work, hanging with the family, and trying to exercise enough to offset football munchies.
But why is it that some people achieve greatness while others simply go through the motions of life?
Why do some people achieve their goals while others end up relegating their dreams to “Someday Land”?
Why do so many people settle for an average life that they will one day regret?
In 2017 I made a decision to follow through and finally achieve some of my biggest goals, and now, only 9 short months into the year, I am proud to say that I have.
Through careful planning, consistent action, and a fiery vision, I was able to knock off some of the biggest goals on my list and I want to share the simple strategy that I used so that you can do the same thing.
Here’s how to get started….
Why You Need to Set Goals
Before we even begin the discussion about how to reach your goals, many of you are probably wondering why you should even set goals in the first place.
And I get it…
Goal setting can often be seen as an exercise in futility, especially if you are experienced goal setter and pathological goal “underachiever”.
But here’s the thing.
If you don’t have goals, if you don’t have a burning vision, then it’s easy to become unmotivated, irritable, pissed off, and complacent.
You might be working at a job you hate right now, but if you know that this job is helping you achieve another goal like a down payment on a house, funding for your startup, or savings for your around-the-world tour, then you can still show up to the office with a smile on your face and a spring in your step.
But if you don’t have a clear reason for being there?
Then you will slowly pull up to the office each day praying that God will send a bolt of lightning to strike you down and stop you from spending one more minute in that dreaded place.
If you’re not someone who regularly sets goals, don’t worry you’re not alone.
According to a study at Virginia Tech, “80% of Americans report that they don’t have goals. Some 16% say they do have goals but they don’t write them down. Less than 4% take the time to write them down and less than 1% review them regularly.”
Are you kidding me?
No wonder so many people go through the motions of life!
Without goals, you will drift around without any real purpose.
Without a target, you’ll miss it every time.
“It is important to set goals in life. I set mine to the highest standard I can achieve.” – Usain Bolt
When you set goals for yourself you will have something that shapes your days, weeks, and months instead of going through the motions.
While it’s important to set goals, it’s even more important to set goals that challenge yourself and seem unrealistic at the time.
The Magic of Thinking Big
“Set your goals high and don’t stop until you get there.” – Bo Jackson
If you are among the small percentage of people that actually sets goals, how high do you set them?
Do you set achievable, bite-sized goals that you know you can achieve?
Or do you set goals that scare you, heck, even goals that make you piss your pants a little bit? Do you set goals that feel out of reach and unrealistic but still within the realm of possibility?
Hopefully, your goals are like the latter.
If you don’t set big goals you won’t achieve greatness.
Some of your goals should be so big they scare the hell out of other people. They should make others laugh, shake their head, and think you’re crazy.
If your goals don’t create this reaction from others, scrap them and reset your goals 10x bigger.
But, there is one problem with setting big goals….
Sometimes these goals are so big they might even scare you and paralyze you from taking action.
But don’t give into the fear.
Break your big goals into tiny, small chunks to make it seem like a stairway of mini goals to your big goal.
If your goal is to make $20,000 a month in your business or lose 30 pounds you need to break them into small, attainable steps.
You won’t just automatically increase your salary or lose weight instantly, you have to go through the process.
It will be hard, and it’s supposed to be.
But take a page from the Navy SEAL’s book and embrace adversity, challenge yourself, and bite off more than you think you can chew.
Because at the end of the day, goals aren’t actually about the what but the who.
When you set big goals, you must become the kind of person who can achieve those goals. And as you become a stronger and stronger man you become capable of achieving even bigger things!
If you aren’t the kind of person who can earn $1,000,000 or date beautiful women yet, that’s ok! Every time you set a big goal and follow through on it (like I am about to teach you) you will increase your confidence, your feeling of self-worth, and your capacity to follow through on the next round of goals.
Goal Setting 101: Simple Strategies and Tactics to Increase the Odds of Achieving Your Goals
Setting and achieving your goals is actually pretty simple (notice I didn’t say easy).
But in order to maximize your results, you need to have a proven strategy for setting and achieving your goals.
There is actually a right and wrong way to set goals based on decades of research and anecdotal evidence.
Here are a few tips to help increase the probability of hitting your goals.
1. Get Crystal Clear on What You Want
When it comes to setting and achieving big goals (or any goals for that matter) you have to be very clear about what you want to accomplish.
Vague goals = vague results.
Clear Goals = Clear Results
There is a big difference between a goal and a good idea.
“Make each day count by setting goals to succeed, then putting forth effort exceed your own expectations.” – Les Brown
Everyone has good ideas…
All of us daydream about that new yacht, estate, sports car, beautiful girlfriend, or perfect body.
But you need to turn your “good ideas” into tangible, specific goals.
To do this, implement the “how much and by when” mentality.
This strategy will help you reach your goals by adding a deadline and sense of urgency.
Here’s an example…
Good idea: “I want to own a big house on the beach.”
Goal: “I will own a 4,000 square foot home on the beach in Miami, Florida in the Coral Gables community by December 31st, 2022″
Good idea: “I need to lose some weight before the holidays.”
Goal: “I will weigh 175 pounds and have 12% body fat by Thanksgiving 2017.”
Are you starting to see the difference here?
Don’t fall into the trap of only thinking about a vague goal.
So for this first step, I want you to write out 10 goals that you want to achieve in the next 12 months.
*Note: Do not type your goals, write them out! Most experts suggest that seeing your goals written out in your own handwriting has a subtle effect on the subconscious that increases the chances of achieving them*
2. The Different Types of Goals to Create
“The more you focus on and talk about what you do want, the faster you will manifest your dreams and goals.” Stephen Covey
This is one of my favorite goal setting exercises because it will expand your mind and make you think about what you want from life beyond just the materialistic things you have been programmed to want.
Known as the Have/Be/Do exercise or the 30/30/30, this exercise is simple.
You are going to sit down for 30 minutes and, using the goal setting framework listed above, write down 30 things you want to do, 30 things you want to be, and 30 things you want to have.
Here are a few examples to get the creative juices flowing.
- Have: A Ferrari 458 Italia, a House on the beach, a six pack
- Be: A world-class chef, bilingual, a black belt in BJJ
- Do: See all of the wonders of the world, dance the Tango in Argentina, sip a glass of wine with a view of the Eiffel Tower
This exercise is more of a brain dump or “bucket list”.
The goal here (pun intended) is to get as many of your goals as possible out onto paper so that you can later break them down and create an actionable strategy for achieving the ones you find most important.
I want you to set a timer for 60 minutes, sit down with a pen and notepad and write down 101 goals you want to achieve in your life.
Try to break the goals up by the time range too (short-term, mid-term, and long-term)
And finally, we have the breakthrough goal.
A breakthrough goal is any goal that will radically change the quality of your life and catapult you into a new level of existence.
You want to set goals that will stretch you, goals that will help you achieve goals in other areas of your life.
For example, you might set the goal of doubling your income because you know that if you accomplish this goal, you will be able to afford the food and supplements required to have your dream body, you will have the financial peace required to enjoy your relationship, and you will be able to give money away to charity instead of constantly worrying about your next meal.
Or, maybe you decide to lose 50 lbs. because you know that your current weight is holding you back from performing in the office, in your relationships, and in the bedroom.
Whatever your breakthrough goal is… Make it good, make it scary, and make it impactful.
3. Affirm Your Goals
Once you have written down your goals you want to accomplish in your life, it’s time to beat them into your brain with affirmations.
“If you don’t see yourself as a winner, then you cannot perform as a winner.” – Zig Ziglar
One of the easiest ways to keep your goals top of mind if by affirming them to yourself every single day, preferably first thing in the morning.
I’ve used affirmations as a powerful tool to help better my mood, increase my creativity, confidence and change my outlook on life.
You can read off of your goal list or write out each goal on a notecard individually. It can be as simple as reading them while you are shaving or driving to work.
The important thing is to reread and affirm your goals every single day.
Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want!
5. Visualize Your Goals
As Magic Johnson has said, “If you don’t dream it you can’t become it.”
When it comes to your accomplishing your goals you need to spend time each day visualizing and dreaming about completing your goals.
“The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it. As long as you believe 100%.” – ~Arnold Schwarzenegger
Visualization or mental rehearsing is used by some of the best athletes and performers in the world. They include:
- Michael Jordan
- Jack Nicklaus
- Will Smith
- Tom Brady
- Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Tony Robbins
- Tiger Woods
- Michael Phelps
- Jim Carrey
- and hundreds of others….
A great time to start visualizing your goals is first thing in the morning, ideally right after you spend time meditating.
Meditating and visualizing are some of the best rituals to lead a strong, grounded life and conquer each morning.
Spend 5-10 minutes in a quiet space visualizing as if your goals are already complete.
Imagine how it will feel when you earn your first million, buy your parents a house, or get into the best shape of your life.
Create the emotions, sounds, and feelings you will get once you achieve them.
According to researchers, one hour of visualization is worth seven hours of physical effort.
It’s no coincidence that Olympic athletes and top business leaders spend time visualizing their success and achieving their goals.
Here are three ways to help reaffirm and visualize your goals:
6. Set Constant Reminders
One of the reasons people don’t complete their goals is that they get lost in the craziness of life.
Surround your life with your goals. Have pictures of future travel destinations on your desktop, set a reminder on your phone or save a list in your notes to look at daily.
Brendon Burchard, one of the most successful and influential high-performance coaches of all time, instructs his clients to set reminders in their phone that will go off 3x a day to help them refocus on the mindsets they are trying to cultivate and the goals they are trying to achieve.
So for example, if your goal was to improve your health, you could create three reminders that would go off at 9 a.m., 12 p.m., and 3 p.m., each reminding you to take a different action to improve your health.
Whatever your goal is, it needs to be in front of your conscious mind and in the back of your subconscious mind on a constant basis.
The more you focus on it, the more you will pursue it, and the faster you will attain it.
7. Write Yourself A Check
“I wrote myself a check for ten million dollars for acting services rendered and dated it Thanksgiving 1995. I put it in my wallet and it deteriorated. And then, just before Thanksgiving 1995, I found out I was going to make ten million dollars for Dumb & Dumber.” ~Jim Carrey
As Jim Carrey and other successful people have done write yourself a check for the amount you want to earn in the future.
Many wealthy and successful people have used this visualization method to earn more money. Be sure to carry the check and your most important goal in your wallet so you see it multiple times every day.
Each time you see it make sure to take a brief moment to visualize what you will do with the money. Think how it will help change your life and the lives of the ones you love most.
If it brought 10 million dollars to Lloyd Christmas it has to work, doesn’t it?
8. Set Triggers for Yourself
One of the single most important factors in achieving your goals is the mindset that you have when taking action towards those goals. And one of the best ways to cultivate a winning mindset is to train your brain to associate certain actions with certain thought patterns.
Here’s what I mean.
Imagine that your goal is to double the income that you made last year.
Now, think about where you work towards that goal.
If you are like most people, then it’s probably from your office.
So now what I want you to do is to develop a phrase or mindset shift that you can use to consciously put yourself into a more powerful and primed state making it easier to achieve that goal.
For example, you might say, “Energize, focus, and crush it!”.
Now that you have your phrase, I want you to pick a specific trigger that you will use to remind yourself to get into this mindset.
My favorite trigger is simply walking through a door way.
So now, anytime you walk through the door to your office, you say to yourself “Energize, focus, and crush it!”, putting yourself in a winning state of mind and cultivating a goal-oriented mindset.
If you have a trigger and phrase like this for every goal, I can promise you that you will start achieving your dreams faster than you previously believed possible.
“Decide what you want, review it constantly, and each day do something that moves you towards those goals.” – Jack Canfield
When you set goals and accomplish them you will grow into a stronger, happier, and more confident man.
Visualization and affirmations will help overcome fear and roadblocks that inevitably come when you set big goals.
Some of these exercises may seem stupid or make you feel weird but ask yourself, what’s the harm in trying?
These methods have worked for some of the most successful people on the planet.
Don’t go through life only helping out other people’s goals.
I challenge you to set big goals, get out of your comfort zone and live your life working towards your vision.
Put in the work so you never end up with any regret and instead of a life well lived.
Don’t wait until 2018 to start making changes in your life — start getting clear about what you want now and go get it.