You can achieve your goals by taking a measured approach and hitting milestones along the way. Don’t just daydream about what you want. Make a plan to get there.
This is a simple process that involves just three steps.
Step 1: Set Your Vision
What is your big, overall goal? Where do you want to be in 10, 20, or even 40 years? What is your life’s vision?
It’s important to set a long-term goal here, and it needs to be big. Your personal moonshot. This can really be anything, but it needs to be something that will take a lot of work to achieve.
Setting a big goal of sleeping in until noon every Saturday is way too small of a target, and it’s way too easy to accomplish right away.
Your vision will take a lot of work to reach, and that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with a little hard work. There’s not even anything wrong with a lot of hard work. Your goals are worth the effort.
To get that hamster wheel in your skull moving along, you can brainstorm goals such as:
- I want to retire with $5,000,000 in my investment accounts.
- I want to be a New York Times Bestselling Author in five years.
- I want to retire at 45 and start a YouTube channel about woodworking.
- I want to own a small mansion in a wealthy neighborhood by the time I’m 42.
- I want to be the best breeder of angry chihuahuas in the world.
These are just examples, but you get the idea. They’re big and they will take work.
This vision is what you will be driving towards in the next two steps.
Step 2: Set Quarterly Goals and Take Action
The journey to your vision will have many stops along the way. You have a lot to do to get there, so it’s time to start planning and tracking.
Break out a spreadsheet or piece of paper and write down a set of goals and give each a deadline. I like to do this by breaking up the year into quarters.
Why choose to track and measure goals quarterly? Why not weekly or monthly?
It boils down to simplicity and time. Weekly goals are not going to be super effective because a week is too short of a timeline. A lot can happen in a week that can throw you off course. Then you could end up with several weeks in a row of failure. That’s not what you want.
If a week is too short of a timeline, what about a month? Again, I think that’s not enough time to set, work on, and accomplish meaningful goals. A rough couple of weeks at work can just blow your month’s goals out of the water.
A quarter, however, is three months long. This has a built-in cushion for error, mishaps, or general exhaustion. If you get sick, you can still recover and work towards meeting your deadlines.
Pick 4 or 5 goals and write them down with a deadline of the end of the quarter. If you start this process in the middle of the quarter, maybe just pick 2 or 3 goals and see how you do.
I like to use a spreadsheet with a worksheet for each quarter. I write my goal in one column, the due date in another, a date completed in the next column, and then one last column for notes or remarks. If a goal has two parts and I think I can get them both done in the current quarter, I just put an earlier date on the first goal and the end of the quarter for the second part’s deadline.
As I complete them, I fill in the date completed (even if super early), add notes, and highlight the whole row in bright green.
If I fail to accomplish a goal by the deadline, I highlight the whole row in red and leave a comment explaining why I failed.
Each morning, I review my previous tabs as a reminder of what I’ve accomplished and what I need to continue to work on. Then I go over my current goals and set my mind to action.
Seeing your accomplishments and your current goals can really motivate you to get things done.
Step 3: Keep Yourself Accountable and Repeat
When it’s a new quarter, start another tab on your spreadsheet and write down some new goals. What 4 or 5 things can you accomplish in three months that will move you closer to your vision? Go over your previous goals and look at your failures. Are there any of those you can try again?
Look at your successes. Can you improve on those with a new goal? Always reach higher and push yourself harder. You’ve got big things to accomplish, after all.
It’s important to look at both your past successes as well as your failures. You need to know where you messed up so you can correct course and improve in the future. You also need to look back at what you’ve accomplished over the quarters and, eventually, the years. That’s a big boost to your self-confidence and can really help motivate you to reach your one big goal.
Repeat this process until you hit your big vision from step one. Then come up with another big, lofty goal and start the process all over again.
You’ve got one shot at this life, so make it count.
You can hit your big life goals if you have a plan and take small steps toward them. Your purpose is what you decide it to be, and your actions can get you there.
Now go do steps 1–3, on repeat, and get what you want out of life.
Feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more content like this and also not like this.