Just like writing a book, you start with a first draft. This is you just getting the first things that come into your head, out of it, and onto the page. Go wild, don’t hold anything back. Go off on tangents, and remember the dreams you had of being an astronaut, ballerina, or football player. Just going through the process will start to re-wire your brain into possibility-thinking rather than focusing on the problems.
Take your time, and have fun with it. Once you have a general idea of what you want to achieve, you can start to narrow it down and make your goals more specific.
Get Some Wins Under Your Belt
Start with a few small goals, just to get into a routine of winning. All fitness routines start with a warm-up. It might start with you deciding you will get out of bed an hour earlier every day for a week.
This is where we start to get serious. For the goals that are a little more complicated than just waking up early, we can start to analyze, qualify and quantify our goals: A SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Let’s break it down:
Specific – Know Exactly What You Want
People who don’t set specific goals are either scared of failing, so they don’t make a commitment, or they don’t know what they want. This is the most important step. You can’t hit a target you don’t have. This means that your goal should be specific enough that it’s definite. There’s no ambiguity.
“I want to lose weight,” becomes “I want to lose 10 pounds by the 4th of July”
“I want to make money,” becomes “I want to earn $10,000, in my bank, by close of business on the 31st of October”
Measurable – If you can measure it, You can manage it
The goal may not be a financial one, it could be time-related or something else. But it needs to be converted into parameters that can be measured, and broken down into actionable daily tasks that move you towards the ultimate prize. You can track your progress and see how you are doing.
Just as we check our map for directions, we can check a spreadsheet or a graph to check our progress incrementally and stay on track. For example, if you want to lose weight, weigh yourself every day at the same time. Make a spreadsheet and record all your measurements.
Print a chart or table for your wall. Make it visual, and have some fun with it. Put it where you can see it. Daily guilt trips help. Be honest. Don’t cheat.
Your goal should be just enough out of your reach that you need to stretch. It should be challenging. If your goal is too easy, you’ll think it’s not worth your time, you could live without it, so you won’t do anything. If your goal is too difficult, you’ll think it’s a waste of time trying, there’s no point, and give up.
It should be YOUR GOAL. Not someone else’s. If you’re doing it to impress someone else, anything that gets in your way will knock you off track. It doesn’t mean enough to you. Your goal should be relevant to your longer-term life goals. For example, if your overall goal is to be healthier, then losing weight would be a relevant goal. Do it for you, and for the right reasons.
Imagine our football match with no goalposts.
Now imagine that there’s no clock. OK guys, just play.
What’s the saying, “Even a blind squirrel will find an acorn eventually”
When do you want to achieve your goal?
Deadlines increase focus and productivity. Stats, Graphs, Charts, and Spreadsheets keep you on course.
That’s all well and good… but I still prefer to think about the game. The most exciting time is when the score is close and we’re almost out of time. The term we learn here is URGENCY. It’s when shit gets done.
Separate Them Into Categories
It’s your list, and it should be quite large at this point. So let’s break it down, something like:
or any other categories you can think of.
Separate into Short, Medium, and Long-Term Goals
Set your time parameters for each category and individual goal. The list is starting to take shape.
Set your time frame
List your goals
Set your time frame
List your goals
Set your time frame
List your goals
Order of Importance – Prioritise
Not all goals are created equal.
We will be selecting the most important short-term ones first to prepare you for the tougher ones later. There are only 24 hours in the day.
Look at all the different types of goals. Write down the things you want. List them in order of importance. Each one requires time. You might have to compromise. Be organized.
Keep Track – Spreadsheets, Stats, Charts
Start the process.
You’ll probably tweak the layout a hundred times as you figure everything out, but get started with something simple.
There’s a worksheet to help you with this.
Initial Goals – Short-List
Your list is starting to look more organised now.
I also like to use different colours, like traffic lights for instance. It could be different shades of blue, or images of different modes of transport from Bicycle to the Starship Enterprise. (There, I knew I’d fit a trekkie reference in somewhere)
It’s Your list and you will be looking at it many times a day if you’re realy motivated. Why not spend a bit of time doing it right.
So, lets say you had goals in 3 categories: Financial, Family and Health.
You had 5 goals in each of those categories. So list each of those in order of importance… Choose the easiest goals from different categories, then prioritize again. Till you have 1 goal on the top of the list that you can get started on.
The most important – Short-term goal. Just 1. no… 1. Got it? Good.
Task List – Your Plan of Action – Step by Step
We’ve got a few fledgling goals on our makeshift list now and we can start to see how it will develop. But let’s get a win.
Remember that 1? ok, lets focus ALL our energy on that one thing. It should be far enough away that you need to stretch… so let’s work on that. measure it, manage it, break it down into bite-sized pieces, what do you have to do every day in order to reach it. Get the win, don’t stop till you get the win.
Success breeds success. It will motivate you to do the more complicated ones.
The whole point of setting goals is to get some activity going. Journey of 1000 miles and all that. It’s what you do every day that counts. Keep moving forwards. We set a big goal. Break it down into bite-sized pieces. Step-by-Step. Now we start to see what we need to do, EVERY DAY.
Complete some tasks, and cross them off the list. Add some more tasks, and before you know it you will have completed the first goal.
Life’s not perfect, we’ll miss a few days here and there. Don’t beat yourself up. We can recalculate, reset, and refocus. Do you remember trying to cram it all in the night before the big exam? The stress?
Being successful at this requires DISCIPLINE. We’ll get there.
Goal Setting Worksheet
Forms coming soon, got the builders in!
As findmycave.com is a website about making money, I guess that’s at least one of the things you’re looking for. As you work through the attached worksheets the reasons for actually doing something will start to appear. This becomes your reason why… then, depending on the scope of your big plans… as we go along we will get into the various ways of finding out HOW we can achieve the things you want.