Although goal setting might sound easy, there are some key ideas when it comes to setting goals that are more likely to lay the groundwork for success. One of the big differences that sets the dreamers apart from the doers in life is the ability to use goals as a tool to drive action.
In addition, setting the right goals is important in terms of activating the Law of Attraction. If you feel like you are swimming upstream when it comes getting what you want out of life, chances are you haven’t fully harnessed this powerful force.
Finally, accomplishment is cumulative, and you need to be prepared for the long haul. Have you put in place the right measures to assess and correct your approach to make sure you are making the most of your energy on the path to greatness? Read on to learn how.
What Does A Great Goal Look Like?
One of the most important things you can do to achieve greatness is to goal set properly.
Before I started goal setting I had no idea what I wanted to achieve and it felt like I was just running around in circles getting nowhere. I thought I was doing the right thing by saying my goal was to make a ton of money, but that’s not specific enough to work. It just didn’t give me enough information or inspiration to figure out what action to take in order to achieve that goal.
Then I read The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan which is an amazing resource for figuring out how to properly goal set.
Once I figured out the flaw in my goal setting, I was off to the races!
My new goal is to
have all the benefits of making over a million dollars a year, but also the
free time to play guitar, travel, and spend time with friends.
This goal is large enough that it inspires me to work hard at achieving it and it is specific enough for me to realize what I need to start doing to achieve it. In my case, it meant that I needed to start pursuing businesses that generate passive income! Once I figured that out, I started Luminouslampz an e-commerce site that dropships Rustic Lamps.
Big Enough, Specific Enough
It’s possible you don’t even know what your goal is, or maybe your goals are not specific or large enough. How can you tell? Read on!
Take a moment right now and write down a big life goal. Don’t be afraid to let your dream be your guide here. And, make sure it isn’t someone else’s goal for you, such as your parents. The most important part of your goal is that it comes from you and is an authentic expression of your true vision for your ideal life.
Take your time to think long and hard about what your goal is going to be and make sure it’s large and specific. When you think you have it right, put it to this test:
First: Ask yourself if there is something that you can do right now to get yourself closer to that goal. If there is great, its specific enough!
Second: Ask yourself if you told someone that was your goal they would think you’re crazy. If they would then perfect, its large enough!
I knew exactly what I could do to move towards my goal so it was specific enough and people think it’s crazy that I want to have a ton of money and not have to work, so it’s large enough. Once you have a goal in mind that passes the test, read on.
Setting a Goal to Activate the Law of Attraction
Once I wrote my goal down it was so much easier for me to figure out what I needed to do to achieve it. Not only that, it seemed like the world was working with me in order for me to obtain it. This is because when you write your goals down your brain starts to apply the Law of Attraction.
Once you write down your goals it is easier for you to visualize yourself achieving them. Remember, when you visualize yourself doing something your brain actually can’t differentiate reality from what you are picturing in your mind.
This causes you to believe that you have already achieved your goals and your subconscious will effectively start working towards achieving them by assuming they are true and acting accordingly.
Now you are reprogramming your brain to achieve those goals and enlisting your subconscious to work for you instead of against you.
But, I want you to take this one step further. Instead of saying I want to be a millionaire who doesn’t have to work you say: I AM a millionaire who does not have to work.
Just like reality and dreams, your subconscious can’t tell the difference between the future and the present. That means that when you picture yourself achieving your goals in the future your subconscious thinks that you have already achieved those goals.
So, if your goal is to sing and play guitar in front of thousands of people and you start visualizing yourself doing that, your subconscious thinks you are already doing that and starts to drive you to act a way someone who performs would act!
You can actually have your subconscious working for you like this! Isn’t that awesome?
This is extremely powerful stuff. Now you have identified what your goal is, you have made it large enough and specific enough, and you are highly effectively using the Law of Attraction to drive you to success! Wow!
Translate Your Long Term Goal into Incremental Goals
While a massive long term goal can be very important in terms of keeping you aimed in the right direction and motivated to persevere in the face of the work ahead, it is also a recipe for paralysis and inaction if you are unable to break it down into an actionable plan.
I find it helpful to think of my overarching goal as a 10 year goal, with incremental goals that work back from that ultimate vision to 5 year, 3 year, 1 year, monthly and finally weekly intermittent goals.
This is an exercise in working backwards. Think of it as reverse engineering. As you work backwards, you will have several additional items in each goal set as well.
For example, 10 years from now if I want to be able to play in front of thousands of people then maybe 5 years from now my goal will be to have created a band, mastered my instrument, and already be performing gigs.
Then I look at where I want to be in three years. Each of those 5 year goals can be broken down further into 3 year goals such as learning to count time, have practice playing in front of others, practice with a band, and so forth
Then I look at where I need to be a year from now to get that. I’m going to need to make some progress on my ear training by then and I need to be performing at least at small scale open mics. Then my 1 year goal will be to play 15 open mics, have a teacher that will help teach me to play by ear, and learn 5 songs only by listening to them.
Notice all of my goals are very specific. This is extremely important because if they are vague you will treat them as such, that is, you won’t do them.
Once you work your way down to weekly goals, you should be identifying specific, accomplishable tasks. Your weekly goals will look almost like a to-do list that you scratch off as you add them to your weekly planner.
By reverse engineering your overarching life goal, you can make a plan that forces you into purposeful action and helps aim your energy towards activities that further your vision of your best self.
From Goal to Action
There’s a theory that no matter the task, depending on how much time you allocate to that task, you will take that long to finish it. For example, if I needed to sell my house and I have 6 months to do it then I would sell the house in 6 months, but I probably could have sold it in under a month if I wanted to.
This is because people are inherently lazy, and depending on the urgency of the task at hand, we will only allocate the bare minimum of energy to that task.
One effective way to prevent this is by making your goals very specific. Doing so will force your brain to give enough effort to achieve the goal rather than skate by. After you get to your 1 year goal you start mapping out how you will get there each month.
One month I might say that I will learn how to identify the tonic of a song by ear. Another month the chords. Then I will start working on songs, each month being another song.
Then you work your way all the way back to this week. Each week you set out a goal and every Sunday you identify what worked and what didn’t work. (I will cover more on how to track your progress and adjust your strategies in chapter 6.)
Once you are ready to start mapping your day you will be breaking these incremental goals into small, daily tasks that are easily accomplished. For example, I started plucking random notes until I could hear what notes were in the song. Then I could work my way back to the tonic based off those notes. I did this by scheduling a small amount of time every day to pluck some notes while listening to these songs.
See how this incremental goal setting works perfectly for obtaining your larger goals?
The best part is, every week you identify what’s working and what you need to change. If something isn’t working then fix it! (More on this coming up in a later chapter.)
It’s as easy as that! Identify huge specific goals and work the process all the way back to this week. Then every week identify what’s working and follow your map all the way back to meeting your goals!
Chapter 4 Recap: Goal Setting Action Steps
Great goal setting separates the dreamers from the doers. Commit to setting at least one major life goal, and use the techniques in this chapter to develop a plan of action using the reverse engineering method.
1. Identify a major goal that is specific enough that it inspires a clear path of action but is large enough that people think you are maybe just a little nuts to dare to dream it.
2. Reverse engineer your major 10 year goal by working backwards to lists of 5 year, 3 year, 2 year and monthly incremental goals.
3. Refine your monthly goals into sets of weekly goals that you can reasonably accomplish over the course of a week. These are small enough that they should be easily broken down into a series of tasks.