You want to learn how to set a goal and then achieve it. In this post I go over three things you should keep in mind when setting a goal and the three levels that goals have and how to achieve them.
This article is a prescription for your life. A medication that I have concocted to help make you feel better. It is one hundred percent free and all I ask is for you to use it.
The ingredients are simple and powerful. In fact there are only two ingredients. The first is self knowledge(Know Yourself), this is important because it gives you perspective and will help you set goals aligned with your strengths and weakness. The second is vision(Setting Good Goals), and that will give you an overview of the three levels of goals to set wonderful goals.
So sit down put on your oversized glasses and read
Before you can even begin the goal setting process you have to some self knowledge. This is absolutely critical because it gives you the ability to tailor your goals to yourself. Why get off the rack goals when you can have custom.
This part is focused around the kind of person you are.
- Small thinker vs big thinker
- Unrealistic vs pessimistic
- Individual vs group
Small Thinker vs Big Thinker
I don’t like those two terms because they have been linked to the thought that I am better than you if I am a big thinker. We have bashed the small thinkers into the ground not realizing that small thinkers are absolutely critical to the success of big thinkers.
You are a small thinker if you don’t have ambition. Not I want to climb a nearby hill ambition but the I want to cross the ocean and fight my way to the top of Everest ambition. This ambition will manifest and slowly color all your goals.
If you are a small thinker you will need to teach yourself to think big. By thinking big I mean promoting your goals. The number one problem I see with small thinking is that it cultivates an air of unwillingness to fight against your circumstances because you have resigned yourself to your fate.
This resignation leads to stagnation which ultimately leads to decay.
Big thinkers problem is that the when they fail miserably they don’t get back up, instead of breaking down the goal they change the goal. For example imagine your gifted at birth with an inhuman ability to run. In your teenage years you set record after record in your school. You made it your life goal to become the fastest man alive.
Than you left and went to compete in your local county and you won. Than you competed in your country and lost. You were absolutely destroyed. You saw this and your response was to go get a different coach and train as hard as you could.
3 years go by.
You fail. In three years you were unable to win your country’s tournament. Defeat sank its fangs into you and your soul was broken. Your ambition was quenched and your desire for greatness was put out like a glowing ember in the wind. All you wish for now is survival. Some food a decent living and a bit of recognition for all the years you put into your running.
Let us talk about you and your broken spirit. Let us talk about the problems with your mentality.
The problem is when you give up you no longer look for roads to that goal. For example if I want to become the highest paid writer in the county there are many roads to this goal. I could write fiction and sell thousand of copies. I could write copy and charge thousands to dollars. I could write songs and reach millions of people.
If I tried to write songs and failed miserably. Than I changed my goal from making 1,000 dollars to 100 dollars. I would still fail because the cause of the failure isn’t the magnitude of the goal but the execution.
If you are doing things right but failed to hit your goal because of time restrains than all you have to do is scale up. If you failed to hit your goal because you don’t have any initial momentum than your reframe(also called pivoting) and try again.
If you give up than you haven’t used this method.
Why Give Up
However there are circumstances in which giving up is good. For example if you trade up there is no problem. You give up working for 10 dollars and hour for 15 dollars an hour. This is a no brainer and thus we need not focus on it.
Next, if the cost of success is too high than giving up is a good decision. For example if you become a medieval thief than you have to understand you wouldn’t live long. That is a sacrifice you make for money and power.
Finally if your odds of success are minuscule than you should give up. If you are 4’3 than becoming a NBA basketball superstar is impossible. You should give up because it will never come to fruition. You are constrained by your height.
Individual vs Group
Are you a people person? Than use people. Not in a exploitive way but in a win-win way. People are great for motivation, keeping you accountable and sharing the workload. On top of that most people like reaching goals with other like minded people.
If working with people makes you more productive, more energized and overall more likely to succeed than you would be foolish not to work with other people on your goals. I would recommend that you find different ways to incorporate others into your goals.
If you wanted to learn a language go to places where these languages are spoken and make friends who know the language. If you want to learn a sport find people who are really good at that sport and start playing with them.
This is the better path its vice is distraction. Don’t let yourself get distracted. If you manage to do that then you will have gain almost all the perks without the drawbacks.
Onto the people who are terrible with people or who are drained by talking with people. This is the half of the population. Than for most of your goals you want to go solo. You want to do a lot of self improvement work to make sure you are as efficient as you can be.
Understand that most of your most important goals will involve people and you have to work around that but you shouldn’t view this as a limitation. You should work through it not around it. No shortcuts, teach yourself to be decent working with people and improve your social skills.
Group Benefit vs Individual Benefit
There is an aspect of this I have left out. Groups have another hidden cost that being they are inefficient.
As an individual if you have built yourself up than you have control. You can schedule your life and get what you want done in a timely manner. With groups there is an an addition layer of complication that arise from the fact that people have lives.
The group is nice to them but not as important as their work, family or school. They like meeting up with you and helping you get whatever it is you guys do together done but their will be days when something happens and because your time together isn’t the most important thing to them they will not show up.
This makes it so that there are gaps in which you were suppose to get work done but really didn’t. This is the cost of working with a group.
When you are an individual who has built themselves up. By that I mean you have done enough self work to understand your limitation, build a good work ethic and a healthy mindset(attitude to life). They will be much more efficient than the group and will normally get the work done faster.
The best benefit of a group is that you can slack off and the group will pick up the slack. This means that the group is more forgiving. So if your character is weak than get yourself a group it will be better for you in the long haul.
Setting Good Goals
Everyone has a desire some desires are harder to fulfill than others. That is where goals come in. By transforming a desire into a goal you are taking the first to actualize it.
Usually these desires are life goals. They are at the root of your belief structure and are extremely important to you.
This is the first level and your first goal. Life goals are rooted deep in you and are thus aligned with your values. Some people hold family as the single greatest belief and to them success means nurturing descendents that not only are self sufficient but productive to society.
A life goal is direction. It is not going to be achieved in a year or 5 or 10. It will take a long time and will be the culmination of years of hard work. If you don’t have a life goal you need one because it will be the north star guiding you in the coming years.
Life goal are not desires. Life goals are desires that have grown up. That have lived and have experience that are rooted and are no longer blown around by the wind. Life goals are a force within you.
Milestones aren’t goals they are metrics that you use to judge how close to your life goal you are. A good starting point would be ten. Ten milestones between where you are today and the completion of your life goal.
I have chosen the number ten because it forces you to be specific but gives enough leeway so that each achievement means something.
Milestones should have time restraints but I understand that not all life goals can be realistically predicted beforehand and thus estimated.
Each milestone should be significant. It should signify something while at the same time showing progress and getting closer to the life goal.
This is by far the most prevalent advice for goal setting and it is good rule of thumb if you know it than skip this section you will hear from me in the wrap up.
SMART means specific, measurable, achievable, time bound and relevant. Each section can be broken down but their are people who have done it better and instead of wasting your time trying to spice up a dull subject I will refer to those who have. More Info.
The two most important pieces are the measurable and time bound pieces. Measurable makes it grounded. Their is a big difference between going to the grocery store with your credit card and going to the grocery store with cash.
In one you have a scarce amount of resources while in the other the resources aren’t scares and because of the scarcity you change your behavior. Making your goals measurable also means that you can’t lie to yourself.
For example we can make it a goal to eat healthier. A week goes by an in that week we ate 3 healthy meals. At the end of it we sometimes tell ourselves that we accomplished our goals because we took some form of action.
When it is measurable we are clear about what are goal means and there’s no lying to ourselves. We know what to expect from ourselves and we do it.
This is the most important part. Without action all of this is useless. Set goals and achieve them. Don’t let forgetfulness get in your way. Write down your goals. This is a necessary step in achieving your desired goal.
By writing down our goal we are carving our goal into reality and giving it form. We are also making a commitment. There is some evidence suggesting that writing goals down makes it much more likely for you to actually see it through.
As a goal setters we must take advantage of every advantage. This means writing down our goals.
Take action. I want you to set a smart goal for the rest of the day. I mean it.
I can wait.
Fantastic. Now I want you to do it.
Of course after you are done reading this. What goals do you have? Do you have a life goal? If you do how close are you? Have you done anything to get closer?
If you have that is fantastic keep doing what you are doing. Use the points to detail your goals even more. For the rest of you I want you to do some thinking and figure out what goals you want to achieve. What is your life goal? Than get some milestones and start chipping away at that goal.
Once you have two maybe three success stories come back here. Come and brag in the comments section. Mr. Yusuf will be waiting.