What is a Goal?
Well, Goal Setting and achieving them building your happiness is what this blog and my work is focused completely on.
I want to help others have the financial and time freedom to do whatever they wish with their live back to them.
Normal western world life has conditioned us to believe that this is all that we want – to work till the age of 65, retire, then live life. That isn’t the case at all and you have the power and tools to change all that moving forward.
Smart goals are really all about creating a plan for how you want your life to look and feel.
Smart objectives – Start with the end in mind always
Your ultimate goal is who you are going to become.
So many people in the world are busy just merely surviving or making a living rushing to enjoy their only two freedom days at the weekend, and it is time not to be one of them any longer.
If we don’t take hold of what we truly want, and design it and work towards it – we may well look back and realize ten years have passed us by and no longer are our dearest relationships the way we wished they were, or our health the way we really want it to be.
“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.”
William Ernest Henley
I believe happy people are content and then contribute to the world better and so I believe that part of that journey is knowing the direction you want to take with goals.
SMART GOALS BRING DIRECTION
Goals are like magnets – they will pull you towards achieving them and the stronger and more defined they are the better.
If you want to create your dream life, with the work life balance you wish, you have to start by knowing exactly what you want or at least a very good guestimate.
A life best lived is one that is best designed.
Having goals that are as specific as possible; with a value and time to achieve them; look/feel/taste to them all will help you know how you will work towards it and what you want your future to look like.
Goals and purpose in life is the exact same – we need to get specific as we can even when we first start to think about setting them in our life, as how else would we know when we are on route to getting there and keep the faith to keep going.
Our Gyms are full of people will good intentions on a January every year, deciding that this is it the year they will lose weight only to be empty again by June. Don’t be that person in any of your goals!
It is up to us to know exactly what we are aiming for so we can reward ourselves on the journey and see it coming into life before us.
We are going to worker SMART(er) on our goals that we have outlined and pondered upon, and watch them slowly but surely start to happen in our lives.
I’m going to give you a blueprint to action on a daily level focusing on only a few things that would make the biggest difference in your life right now and then let the rest of the picture fill in.
HOW DO I MAKE MY GOALS SMART?
There are really only three areas for goals that have the biggest change to your world.
- Work or contribution;
- Your own health and mental well-being; and
- Relationships with other e.g. family, friends, work colleagues
I use these three goal areas as the basis of my own Goal setting each 12 weeks.
SMART GOAL EXAMPLES – Break down your main life goals into smaller chunks to attack
Concentrating on only those three fundamental areas of your life, you would then choose only 1-3 goals per area to work on for the short term that would bring you the most joy and impact in your life.
For example, in the area of my work and contribution, currently my goal is to write this book in my personal life and my work life is to develop my technical knowledge to become a better asset to my employee and manager.
In my personal life, one of the first things I do each week and day then broken down into smaller chunks to achieve the goal of writing a book, is to write or aim to write a certain number of words at some point.
The broken down mini-goals don’t need to be perfect but a starting point to work towards the main goal overall consistently
For example from my own life, let me help you with how to do this:
With my health and well-being, my big picture goal is to be as healthy and energetic as I can be so that I can enjoy life for as long as possible with my boys and husband.
So, broken down my 12-week goals in this area is to work out five times a week first thing in the morning, or mix and match between my own workouts and a local gym taught classes to keep me interested.
In my diary at the start of the week I book my time in the classes or write down the days I will get up early to achieve that goal and do it.
When I am happy mentally and physically from completing the exercise, I can then choose to do anything with my time rather than limit it based on my energy levels.
You start to get the picture so let me know teach further how to do this exactly in your own life.
GOAL SETTING THAT WORKS
There is nothing new about making goals smarter, but let me give it a fresh spin for you.
Remember this phrase though by Jim Rohn that “Income rarely exceeds your personal character development” and he also religiously proclaimed that we should “work harder on ourselves than we do on our day jobs”
Don’t be overwhelmed with the idea of goal setting, it is purely a tool to let you understand the control and power you have already within you to shape the life you want and have as much happiness as you desire.
USE THE ACRONYM “SMART” – WHY IS IT USEFUL?
SMART is an acronym for the 5 elements of Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based goals.
A great example of all 5 parts for a goal that you could set yourself in your life for example would be:
I wish to earn £30,000 a year by 31st December 2019 so that I can invest 10% of my wage each month and save a further 10% towards family holidays each year.
So, let’s break it down.
In order to actually give ourselves mentally a chance at achieving any goal they have to feel like we could be capable of making it happen.
Making the goal as specific as possible with a date, amount and specific skills needed to achieve it allow us to record our progress each week or month or 6 months towards it and adjust our course accordingly.
If we had this goal mentioned above, we could take the weekly action to speak to our boss about how to work towards a promotion in the next 6-12 months and ask him for the exact amount of money we are looking for.
Or we could start to look at applying for jobs offering the kind of money we would like now so see what skills we need to gain.
We could also look at this goal example in two parts, and aim to save 10% towards family holidays and 10% towards investments right now (despite the amount) and continue working on that aspect in the meantime.
Clearly you see how when we apply the SMART approach, it becomes something more achievable and within our grasp for us to record our progress and reward ourselves with the knowledge we are in control and making it happen.
A GOALS WORKSHOP YOU CAN USE TODAY
I’m going to share with you the exact process that you can follow every 12 weeks or when you feel you need to re-calibrate your life towards what you want it to look like.
It breaks down the stages of appreciation for what you have right now, what you want to become and create in your life and then how we can make it happen.
This linked with the productivity techniques that we will learn in future days will be your productivity blue-print ensuring you are ready for any challenge or life you wish.
I would recommend taking time to do this task slowly, on your own without distractions especially if you have never completed such as exercise before.
Start with being calm and peaceful, turn off any notifications and devices and be ready to enjoy the next time as you set your goals to then start working towards them.
Step 1) BE THANKFUL
With a bland piece of paper, or perhaps even your journal, start by listing 5 aspects of your life that you are grateful for right now today. Five things that you are proud to have accomplished and that you have already completed.
We start by releasing exactly what we have in this life and being thankful, then we will encourage a thankful heart when we get so much more.
Step 2) 10 YEAR GOALS
Next, what do you want to achieve in the next 10 years?
This is going to be a very big list, and I want you to aim for 30-50 items if you can in all areas of your life from health, finance, job, relationship, material possessions.
Detail as much as you can and even about your own character, and get it all down on paper.
Write this list number 1 to 30+ on separate lines of the paper down the page so you have space to add further writing beside each point on the same line.
Step 3) GIVE EVERY GOAL A TIME DEADLINE
Give each item on your life goal list a number of years to accomplish. If you think it will take you 5 years to have your dream car, write a 5 beside it and so on.
Use year values of 1 year, 3, 5 and 10 years only.
Step 4) DIVIDE AND CONQUER
Count up how many 1 year, 3 year, 5 year and 10 year goals you have.
Step 5) FOCUS ON SHORT TERM
Looking at your 1 year accomplishments, pick the absolute most important to achieve as quickly as possible and write those down on a brand new page or piece of paper
Step 6) KNOW YOUR REASONS OR MAGNETS
Underneath them write WHY are these goals important to you?
By writing and thinking about WHY you want to achieve something, you will attach the emotion and power you need to make them happen.
Think of all the good it will bring as a consequence and lives that will be affected when you achieve them.
Write it all down.
Step 7) WHAT DO I NEED TO BECOME
- Think about what kind of person you need to be to fulfill those goals?
- Do you need to gain more confidence?
- Do you need to learn more about financial management?
- Do you need to study more in a particular field or career?
By becoming the best version of yourself, you will attract towards you the success and goals that will make you the most happy.
Remember when you have accomplished all these goals, which you will do most likely with the help of this book and its principles, you will need to keep adding to this list.
Let this Goals list be the start of doing this exercise perhaps each year or few years and you will be excited to see the progress you make.
Step 8) ADD MORE DETAIL NOW TO YOUR GOALS IF YOU CAN
Look over all your goals and make them as specific as possible now, assign a value to them.
For example, if you want to be rich – find out exactly how much money you need invested and in assets to make that happen (you might even feel inspired to jump to that chapter tomorrow to write down the value).
If you want to lose weight, write down the exact amount of weight or body fat percentage you want.
Planning your goals in this very exact way with a value and time period, with feeling behind it, means that you are more likely to achieve them than not because it is actually achievable in the first place.
It is not some mere concept, it is a real tangible goal.
Celebrate each and every progress towards your goals regularly.
This will help you keep the faith and know you are on the right path to designing your dream life.
Don’t leave the rewards to the very end only.
Step 9 ) CREATE A GOALS LIST AND DISPLAY IT
Take your list of 1 year goals and display it proudly.
It could be beside your bed, like me, or even beside your front door as you leave each day and read it.
Seeing or reading your goals every day will help keep you on the road to succeeding them.
Should your goals change for whatever reason, scrub them off and write new ones up.
Step 10) TAKE ACTION
Next is the hardest part – START doing action every single day consistently with the right positive attitude working towards your goals.
This is the vital step that people don’t want to hear and don’t want to do.
Your actions determine your destination in life, and it is the accumulation of small daily habits and tasks that will get you there.
Step 11) REVIEW REGULARLY
My final advice is come back to this same exercise time and time again in your life, ideally every 3 months to make sure you feel on your correct path and achieving what you want your life to look like. The sense of satisfaction of slowly breaking down each stage will inspire you to keep going, knowing you can achieve anything you put your mind to.
To put into context further, let me share with you one of the greatest laws of nature – the power of Compound Interest.
// DAILY ACTIONS COMPOUND TO GREATNESS
Within the wonderful book “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy there is shared a great in-depth read on the natural law of time and action called Compound Interest.
Compound interest is often found more in talking about money, and interesting we will use it with our money management to make us financial free in later chapters too, but it applies to anything especially our habits and the final outcome of those habits to change our lives.
// BREAK DOWN YOUR GOALS INTO 12 WEEK YEARS FOR MAXIMUM PRODUCTIVITY AND PROGRESS
Set yourself a target to work towards your One Year Goals written down that you will work on them daily for a minimum of the 12 weeks ahead of you in this book.
Ideally write these down in a journal or notepad that you can reference daily, and I especially recommend using your daily journal that I will help you create and use in later days.
If you are starting afresh today with that new journal, keeping this goal workshop at the start of it will make it a wonderful motivator to keep pushing forward each day until you achieve them.
Any shorter and you won’t see any true results I don’t believe and the habits and skills don’t become second nature and last the course.
With Goals, there is no limit to what you can imagine yourself doing one day only your imagination and desire for it that limits it.
There is no limit to what you might achieve.
There is no limit to what you might achieve when you act daily towards those goals, and you will absolutely become successful with the skill of dedication it takes to make that happen.
Make that promise to yourself today that you will commit to working on your goals over the next 12 weeks at least, and wait to see what the next weeks hold for you ahead.
One must not lose desires. They are mighty stimulants to creativeness, to love, and to long life.
Alexander A Bogomolet
// PEOPLE NORMALLY PLAN INEFFECTIVELY
What differentiates truly great performers in the areas of business, sport and even personal life is how they attack and efficiently manage their time towards their goals.
Normally people have a huge gap in writing down goals to then actually acting on them daily, and this technique of planning in 12 week blocks rather than yearly goals will take you to the realms of creating your ideal life in front of you.
“Short term focus for long term gain” will be our motto from now on.
“The 12 week year” writings quickly determined though many experiments and conversations with high achievers that their single-minded focus on only a few outcomes happening in a short space of time, meant results happened very quickly.
There is a wonderful phrase that if we did what we knew we were capable of we would scare ourselves, and that is exactly what I want you to start to see evidence of in your life and believe it.
The problem with most of society is that they set goals at the start of the year and make them a whole 12 month attempt to hit that goal.
Think of on 1st January how many people sign up for health clubs saying to themselves that enough is enough and it’s time to get fit, only to end up quitting by March? The reason is very clear when you see it from a different angle – they fail not because the goal was too tough as they are capable of doing absolutely anything they put their minds to achieve in order to be healthy and feel great; the reason is that they believed that they had 12 months to achieve it so they had a lot of room for error.
One day of bad choices from old habits, especially when you are craving your previous diet badly after a few weeks, then can easily turn into a bad month as the final “due date” of the goal is still 10 months away and plenty of time to recover.
There is nothing quite like the fear of a deadline coming up to motivate you to pull out all the stops and focus on the prize.
I’m sure if we think back to our last years studying at school or our degree exams at university, knowing that you were only a few nights away from the final deciding exam of your course would bring out the “all-nighter” in anyone successfully if you wanted to pass with flying colours as much as you could.
Same is with goals and actually achieving them.
If you want to make these goals, visions and affirmations we have created the past few days – the core of what we truly believe and want to live by in our heart, we need to shift our mind to make them happen short term and that is where the magic number of 12 weeks effort comes into plan.
// PLANNING THAT WORKS – 12 WEEK PLANNING
The beauty of blocks of 12 weeks in the year also allows us to take 1 week complete rest at the end of each block of 12 weeks, to recharge our batteries and enjoy a break from a schedule or two. You will find out why rest is critical to work and progress tomorrow.
My suggestion is when you first start to use the 12 week year planning system, and we will show you how to do it shortly today, you also want to schedule or think about fun activities or a holiday in that week left over post the 12 weeks. It’s your turn to reward yourself for all that effort and celebrate your progress.
// WHY DO 12 WEEK GOALS WORK?
My goal today is for you to get a plan locked down that you can absolutely action, so that you start to finally believe you can achieve everything you ask and want in life. Within 12 weeks of action you will see results, without any doubt in my mind.
Each week we use SMART GOALs and track our progress, giving yourself the physical evidence your brain needs to know it is working and to maintain the course. The end and destination isn’t too far away to lose motivational and drive.
Keep things interesting and exciting – the best 12 week goals are realistic but also with a stretch in them, so you can really push yourself to grow more than your current levels.
This will be great fun and your daily and weekly actions will become so clear from doing this step today, you will wonder why you didn’t think of it before.
HOW TO ESTABLISH YOUR 12 WEEK GOALS
Decide the 1-5 most important directions for your life in the next 12 weeks ahead from your Goals Workshop above.
If we have too many 12 week goals to work on, you won’t achieve much in any of them.
If we focus we then allow clarity and time to take massive action in them and really see progress clearly.
I would say similarly to our goals aim for 1 goal in each area of yourself, contribution, relationships and personal development.
// 12 WEEK PLANNING WORKSHOP
Let me show you exactly how to use this technique and give you this workshop you can apply every 3 months in your own life.
I use it in my own life and believe it is the reason that this book is written and everything else I have achieved in the past few years.
STEP 1) LIST YOUR TOP LINE GOALS
Write down those 1-5 Goals on the top of a piece of paper or your journal.
Now write down each goal on a new section of the paper, and brain storm 1-5 activities you can do each week or daily to achieve those goals.
For example, if you wanted to have a clean and tidy house to make comfortable and joyful when you are all in it, your page might look like this:
12 WEEK GOAL – Clean and orderly home
Daily/Weekly action points – Create a morning & evening quick tidy routine (5-10 mins in length)
Each day focus on one area of the house and clean/sort as required (15-30 mins max a day)
Deep clean house for 1 hour every weekend
Declutter and sort for 15 minutes a day OR for 1 hour at the weekend
Or if you wanted to lose weight in the next 12 weeks:
12 WEEK GOAL – Lose 10lbs
DAILY/Weekly action points – Limit calories to 1200 a day (use mobile app food tracker)
Do 15 minutes of exercise (kettle bells or HIIT) before breakfast 3 times a week
Drink 8 glasses of water a day, and remove all diet drinks
Join an exercise class and take it once a week every Tuesday night.
You can then see very easily how our long term goals from our Vision Board and Personal Statement start to become reality, as long as our 1-10 year goals based on this effort.
The excellent aspect of 12 week goals is that we lay down very clear measureable actions for our daily life with a specific end date (12 weeks) so we are more likely to give it our best shot to gain a full attempt for that week knowing we gave it our full attention.
Keep in your mind that planning is really a form of problem solving, and being ultimately a “Happiness engineer” where you are engineering and creating a solution to generate more job and happiness in your life. The fewer goals and action points of course, the easier it will be to execute and prove successful, and we should never be overanalyzing our plan to the point we don’t want to not have it perfect.
We are merely solving the problem in this stage of how to bridge the gap between our current mind and life to a better one that we believe in and feel happy to receive in our life.
Next step after we have listed and broken down our 1-5 12 Week goals is to decide the urgency and importance of the goals.
STEP 2) ORDER YOUR GOALS IN IMPORTANCE TO YOUR HAPPINESS
Write 1-5 beside the goals, placing a one beside the goal that if you were only to achieve one thing for the next 12 weeks that one would have the most profound effect on your life. This could be losing weight in our example above.
The number we place next to the goals tells us then the urgent tasks that we must ensure are in our calendar and daily actions for the next 12 weeks.
This is basically using the Ivy Lee Method to do this, and you can check out my video that I talk you through the technique here:
That goes in first – just like when we have a glass of water you put the ice in first to then add the water or else you would end up with water all over your counter and a drink that has overflowed.
Then start to think about what actions might you struggle with initially to keep up for 12 weeks.
Would it be feeling that you are missing out on certain foods if you are wanting to lose weight? Would it be missing out on nights out or takeaways if you want to save £500 for your Christmas fund this year?
Think about these potential struggles but then beside it write about what you can do to overcome these.
If you felt you were missing out on nights out, why not create a weekly fun money account that you top up each day with a few pounds so you can go on at least one night out in the month and still enjoy it?
Or how about going on the night out but having a few soft drinks only instead of your normal consumption.
Start to think outside the box and attack those potential roadblocks now before they could potentially knock us off course completely and risk our progress to our final 12 week destination.
“No one can do your push-ups for you” as Jim Rohn would say – turn up and do the work and watch the rewards come.
The beauty of the 12 week plan is we start with the end game in mind, but then it allows us to deep dive into what we need to do each day and that is ultimately what we need to find the vision for – what each day will involve and feel like whilst we achieve these goals.
CARRY YOUR 12 WEEK PLANS WITH YOU ALWAYS!
Make completing your 12 week daily and weekly goals a game by creating tick boxes or similar in your journal. Nothing I enjoy better than each time I write a part of this book I can then go back to my journal and colour in a small box on a page dedicated to my 12 week goals.
Even print off a list of boxes and place them on your fridge to do the same and colour them in as you work out, or you clean the house, or you learn a new word or phrase in a language you need so you can go travelling next year.
Make it fun as you work daily on these goals and that will really make the goal come alight with excitement.
STEP 3) TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
Make yourself an activity tracker within your journal too so that you can celebrate each daily win towards your goal.
In the book “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson he talks about the power of compound interest by doing just slightly more or less of something and how over time it compounds and grows exponentially in power in your life.
Think about this – if you were to replace a sugary drink that contains 140 calories of empty nutrients that you consumed each day with water, you would end up consuming close to 50,000 less calories in a year and drinking 40 gallons of water extra instead. You would also save around £450 a year changing that habit alone.
If we replaced our daily habit of watching television with 30 mins of reading a good book instead, that would add up to over 180 hours learning something new which could easily get you through about 12-15 books a year with some attention.
What you use your time on truly matters and now is the time to use it wiser than every before without giving away all your time completely.
Take your 12 week goals one step further today, and write them on index cards.
I actually keep my 12 week goals on index cards in my purse and another set of them hand-written out within my journal, laminated to make sure I don’t spoil them but can keep them for years to come too.
This means every morning and whenever I am spending money I notice the cards, glance on them and remind myself of my goals for this year and the next 12 weeks ahead and smile.
STEP 4) NEXT GET READY FOR ACTION
Use all the techniques we have described so far in terms of visualizing your goals, creating them through the language you use about them, breaking some of those goals down to attack them quicker than most people and watch your next 3 months become something quite magically and special in your life.
Ready for a new challenge?
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