Pretend you are working on a project. It could be a project at work or at home.
How will you know when you’re done?
More importantly – how will you know if you were successful?
The only way to know if you’ve achieved something is by setting goals. Goals give you a target to aim for and a way to see how you did. If my goal is to do 5 situps every day, then at the end of the day, I can tell if I’ve met the goal or not.
But how do you set goals that will help you in anything you want to do? Instead of just focusing on family, or your job, or fitness – how can you create a strategic goal system that you can apply to all areas of your life?
I want to share six techniques for setting strategic goals for a successful life. These techniques can be used for health goals, professional goals, or even personal goals like learning a new language.
Focus on Your “Why?”
Once you set a goal, you need to understand why you want to achieve that goal. No matter what you are doing, it will take time and energy for you to reach your goal. You may experience setbacks that could discourage you, or you may just not be in the mood.
Focusing on your “Why?” helps motivate you when nothing else will. If you want to be healthier and more fit, then your “Why?” could be that you want to play sports with your children, grandchildren, or friends. When you don’t have any motivation (which will happen at some point), then you can remember your “Why?” and it can push you to get moving.
Break Them Down
If your goal is to learn guitar, then you’re already starting at a disadvantage. What does “learning guitar” mean? How will you know when you are done “learning guitar?” Starting with a vague and general goal is a quick way for you to lose interest.
Break the overall goal down into small pieces. For the guitar example, you could say “For the next 10 days, I’m going to learn the A, D, and G Chords.”
Instead of this overwhelming goal of learning “all the guitar,” you made your life easier by focusing on something simple. Once you’re done with those chords, then learn three more, and so on.
You can apply this to anything – learning a new language, remodeling a house – because every huge project is just a combination of lots of small steps.
Figure Out What You’re Going to Give Up
After you set a goal to start something, you need to figure out how much time you will devote to that goal and what you’re going to give up to accomplish it. If you’re going to spend an hour everyday learning guitar, then you need to know where you are going to take that hour from, because you’re spending that time on something new.
Maybe you’ll give up an hour of television watching or you’ll stop scrolling through social media. Either way, this is a critical step because every second you spend on one thing is a second you don’t spend on something else. You need to understand what in your life is going to go away to develop discipline in working towards your goal, which leads to the next point.
Reflect Daily on Your Progress
One of my favorite quotes is “Your day is your week is your month is your year.” That’s 90% of the motivation you need because it puts things into perspective. At the end of every day, you need to reflect on what you did that day to help achieve your goal. How you spend today affects who and where you are in a year. It’s not difficult to be motivated the first week of your goals, but it’s extremely difficult to be motivated seven weeks into your goals.
Monitoring your progress helps you understand how you’re progressing (or not). If you’re not consistently meeting your daily goals, then you can change your system or the environment to help you be more successful.
This ties back into the “Focus on the ‘Why?” because, if you’re not motivated to try and reach your goal, then you don’t have a powerful “Why?”, which means you won’t have the motivation to reach it. Knowing this will help you understand if you need to change the strategy of your goals or your “Why?” to stay motivated and work on your goal daily.
Believe in Yourself
This is the most important step in setting strategic goals for a successful life – knowing you have the potential within you right now to be successful. There will be some days where you experience setbacks, but that’s true of anyone. Every successful person – athletes, business owners, parents – experienced a setback at some point.
However, they also believed in themselves and their ability to keep going and overcome any obstacles. They remained positive when there may not have been a reason to be positive.
You have the same potential as every successful person you’ve heard of. Believing in yourself will give you the strength and motivation to set and achieves your goals with a positive mindset.
Life goals are an effective way to motivate you towards reinventing yourself and increasing your skillset. Your goals could be related to personal or professional development, but these techniques will help you set your goals and achieve a successful life.