Goal Setting: 4 Simple Steps
Why set goals?
The Reticular Activating System (RAS) is a bundle of nerves at our brainstem that filters out unnecessary information so the important stuff gets through.The RAS is the reason you learn a new word and then start hearing it everywhere. It’s why you can tune out a crowd full of talking people, yet immediately snap to attention when someone says your name or something that at least sounds like it.
Imagine you just bought a red van because it looked really cool and unique. Before you bought the red van you never saw it around, but once you bought it all of a sudden you begin to see it everywhere. It seems like everyone has the same car just as you got it! Have you ever had an experience like this before? This is the RAS at work and it’s the main reason why goal setting works.
Goal setting puts certain ideas in your mind, and when we have something in mind, we tend to see things related to it. If you know your specific goals, you will be more likely to see opportunity all around you! Goal setting changes your focus, and where your focus goes your energy flows.
Most people spend more time planning vacations than they spend planning their lives. This sheet will outline a clear strategy for goal setting that you can use to clarify what you want, why you want it, and what you need to do to get what you want. Goal setting is not a one-time thing. Try to revisit this goal setting template once per quarter, month, week, or even every day if you’re ambitious, and you’ll start to see new opportunities all around you.
A goal that is only in your mind is called a fantasy. Invest a few minutes in yourself and you might be amazed at how your life can transform. Spend 15 minutes right now and go through the following steps. You owe yourself.
1. What do you want?
Pretend that you’re a child on Christmas and throw caution to the wind. Don’t think about what you believe you can get or what your parents want. Instead, think about what you want.
Action: Set a timer for 4 minutes and think of EVERYTHING and ANYTHING that you’d like to have in your life. Don’t worry about writing clearly or detailed, just get your pen moving and write as much as you can for the next 4 minutes. Set a timer and GO!
Who would you like to be? What would you like to do? What do you want to feel?
Where do you want to go?
How do you want to live?
2. Clarify what you want.
Once you know what you want, clarify it. The biggest mistake that people make when setting goals is they keep their goals too vague. Vague goals do not trigger your mind to focus on anything.
“I want more money” is a terrible goal because if I give you a quarter you’ve just accomplished your goal and you can stop. “I want $10 million in net assets by age 35 by offering my services in the form of X to my target market X” is a much better goal. Goals should be specific and measurable, with a deadline for achieving them. The more specific and detailed you make your goals, the harder they will pull.
Action: Select your top 5-10 goals and add detail to them.
How much? How often?
How do you want to feel?
When, exactly, do you want this goal by?
3. Why do you want it?
Once you have specific goals that are measurable and have a deadline, you are ready for the most important part of goal setting: Why? If you have enough reasons, you can do anything.
“I want $10 million in net assets by age 35 by offering my services in the form of X to my target market X” is good, but “I want $10 million in net assets by age 35 by offering my services in the form of X to my target market X so that I can provide opportunity and support for my family and my aging parents” is much stronger because it includes a clear reason for why you want what you want.
If we can get reasons that are outside of ourselves such as family, community, friends, God, future generations, etc. then you can become almost unstoppable. We are willing to work much harder when we believe others are depending upon us.
Action: Spend a few minutes writing all of the reasons you can think of for achieving your goals. What reasons do you have for achieving your goals?
How would your goals transform your life or the lives of others?
Who could you help? What influence would you have on others?
How would your lifestyle transform?
4. Break it down to Momentum Goals.
Once you know exactly what you want and why you want it, you are ahead of over 90% of the population because fewer than 10% of people ever make it this far. Congratulations!
Your goals might be big, maybe even scary, and that is good. However, goals that are too big can cause us to freeze like a deer in the headlights. Breaking major goals down into momentum goals is the best way to get moving and to know what you want to do next. Major goals are usually years away, but momentum goals can be months, weeks, or even days away. Momentum goals should be very realistic and attainable within less than a year.
Action: For your major 5-10 goals, what would be the first immediate step you could take towards achieving them? Write down at least one momentum goal for each major goal you have.
Remember, momentum goals should also be specific, measurable, and have a deadline
What resources do you need? What would you need to learn?
Who would you need to speak with? Where would you need to go?
*Bonus: Tips for a Physique Goal
Get an idol. Find a person with the body you aspire to have.
Try to find someone with the same body structure as you. For instance, if you have wide hips, don’t have an idol with tiny hips. If you have narrow shoulders, don’t get an idol with very wide shoulders. Set your goals high, but don’t be foolish. Not everyone can look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but you can maximize your potential and get the best body your genetics allow.
Get a picture of this person you want to look like to reference and motivate you.
Get a journal. Track your progress as you pursue your ideal physique.
Track your food intake to know what you’re eating
Track your training to see how your body reacts and how you improve
Set momentum goals for body changes you want to see and set a final date for when you want your ideal physique.
Find habits you can stay consistent with for the rest of your life. Consistency is everything. If you want to have six pack abs and a six pack of beer every night, then you need to let one of those go. Everything in life includes trade-offs. Find the point where you feel happiest, then maintain that. Forever. And ever.