How to set and achieve meaningful goals in your life
You must have noticed that some people can progress faster than others. Seemingly they are always making the right decisions, they do everything right and while average folks are stuck in stupid jobs, they are enjoying life at it’s fullest. Does this sound familiar?
There was a time when I was also watching successful people enviously on Facebook and YouTube. While I was doing my boring office job, I was dreaming about breaking free, making an impact on the world and living a fantastic lifestyle.
In this article I will share my experience about setting goals, making plans and keeping yourself focused to achieve anything you want.
How to find your way and set inspiring life goals?
To find meaningful goals, you will need to look deep into yourself and ask what is your biggest dream, your desire that you would do anything for? Leave time for yourself to answer this question. When thinking about this, try to look beyond average small goals like “get a college degree”, or “get a better job” and think about real life goals.
Imagine situations that you would truly enjoy, like having a beautiful house in a lovely area, making a positive difference in the lives of other people, becoming so rich that you don’t need to worry about money anymore - or breaking free from the corporate rat-race.
You need to set satisfying and meaningful goals that you will be truly excited about, and what will be rewarding enough to keep you focused and motivated. Choosing wrong goals will make you feel doubtful and sooner or later you will give up on them - which will feel you even worse.
Do not rush yourself, take your time to think about your life, to understand yourself and identify your genuine needs. In your process of becoming a successful person, planning is more important than doing so take your time and make sure that you identify your goals and directions well.
How to make plans to achieve your goals?
Similar to a project management plan, you will need to break down the process into phases. Be aware of what accomplishing your goal will cost you. It will require time, money, learning, tools and you will need to sacrifice to focus on what you want. So as a first step, plan out what it will cost you, what will it give you and what resources are available or will be available for you to accomplish your goals.
When starting my current consulting life, I clearly understood that I will lose my job, my stable lifestyle, most of my friends and that it will take lots of work. But as my vision of the future was a lot more promising than my present, I thought it is a good deal to risk everything and go for the new.
Once you understand the risks, rewards, and requirements of your goal - then you will need to make a simple 3-4 phase plan with progress milestones. Break down the progress to sub-goals that are easier to achieve one after the other. Start doing and only move on to the next phase after you accomplished the current one.
Let’s imagine that you want to be a successful model. What you will do?
Phase 1: get a perfect shape and find a stylist who will develop your looks
Phase 2: find a successful agency that can get you serious modeling jobs
Phase 3: build your personal brand and gain international publicity
Phase 4: make valuable connections and get top-level jobs
You see, the next step in this plan would not be possible before successfully accomplishing the previous one. When making plans, you will need to build each following step on the previous one and make sure to satisfy any prerequisites before moving on to the next steps.
Let’s say you want to become a super rich person. How to do that?
Phase 1: learn high-income skills (communication, professionalism, mindset)
Phase 2: get a high paying job to start accumulating money
Phase 3: start and grow your own business
Phase 4: invest your excess funds
In this example, you can see again that getting a high paying job, investing or starting a business would not be successful without having high-income skills, or becoming an investor would not be possible without having enough money generated by your business.
Whatever your goal is, you will need to plan in phases to make it happen. Proper goal setting and planning is crucial to make your dreams a reality and if you take your time do these two right then you will simplify your work greatly.
Working and focusing on achieving your goals
After defining your goals and getting your plan together, it will be time to work on making it happen. The sad truth is that most people fail at this point. They don’t have the courage to get started, they lose focus, they procrastinate and give priority to anything else. They end up making excuses and lame explanations.
There are three main reasons why people lose focus
They choose goals that are not really meaningful or motivating
Not getting invested in the process
Distractions and obstacles
Problem 1: not really meaningful or motivating goals
This is classic. Choosing uninteresting goals will obviously not motivate someone to put efforts in, so if it’s your case then just stop and try to find better goals. Why would you work for something that you don’t truly need or want?
Problem 1: not getting invested in the process
Not getting invested or giving up before getting started probably the lamest thing you can do. Did you ever have plans and motivations but you did not do anything? It is too easy to back off and forget everything. But if you have already spent time working on your goal then you will not want to lose your invested efforts. If your goals are truly motivating then start working on it as soon as possible, so you will become invested and you will not want to lose the time you have already sacrificed.
Problem 3: distractions and obstacles
Distractions… probably the most common reason why people are unable to go through the process of getting what they want. Distractions are coming in various forms. Family members, naysayers, money problems or other unexpected stuff that can happen any time. It is very important to understand that distractions are just distractions. If you start dealing with distractions then they will become obstacles, and if you have too many obstacles then those will become excuses of why you stopped working towards your goals.
When you face a distraction, ignore it. If someone wants to change your plans, just say no and keep going. If someone places obstacles to slow down your progress on purpose, then first you eliminate the obstacle then distance yourself from the person.
Obstacles can come in different forms but don’t let them distract you. It will slow you down, but as soon as you identify a problem, you will need to think about how to solve it and get back to your plan as quickly as possible.
Make progress and improvement an enjoyable part of your life
It seems overwhelming to be determined but the good news is that you don’t need to be super hard working or serious about it. You can take it easy and have fun during the entire process.
With a plan, you will not need to overwork yourself. In fact, it is a lot better to do it slowly and progress step by step. The key here is to work smart from the beginning so you will start seeing results almost immediately that will motivate you to do more. There will be times when you become tired, in those times you will need to slow down or stop for a while then continue when you feel ready to go on.
My trick to remain focused is to keep it slow and enjoyable, spending 4-6 hours weekly on doing purposeful things to reach my next goals. It feels amazing to see your plan working and getting what you want. Once you start enjoying it, you will want to do it more, faster and soon you will realize that you are living your dreams.