You have big goals for your life.
But you don’t really know what to do to create the life you want.
I mean, you know what you should probably be working on. But you’re not sure if that’s the best use of your time right now or when you should work on these things.
I know what it’s like to have some huge ambitions for your life.
And I’ve also learned how to set goals that I’ve actually been able to achieve and I want to help you do the same.
So today I’m sharing my framework for setting goals that work.
Cast your Vision
Before we get started setting goals, it’s important to sit down and evaluate where you are now and get a clear vision of where you want to be. It will make your goals much more effective!
Think about your ideal life: where you want to be in 10, 5, and 2 years from now. Then write it down and get specific.
Get Clear on Your Priorities
First and foremost, we need to get our priorities aligned. Make a list of things that are most important to you and then narrow it down to your top 3-5 for this season.
Just because it doesn’t make the top list now, doesn’t mean it can’t in the future. It also doesn’t mean that you can’t work on those lower priorities – just make sure they have an appropriate amount of time dedicated to them.
Set a BIG Goal
Now it’s time to craft your big 2-year goal. What ONE big thing will have the most impact and improve all other areas of your life as well?
This can be financial, health-related, or relational. Or anything that will make a HUGE impact on your life.
How Big Should Your Goal Be?
Your shorter-term goal is going to be different than your vision / 2-year goal. That’s more the vision but now we’re going to break it down into a goal that is smaller and attainable in a shorter time frame.
What can I actually Accomplish?
This is important to consider. We tend to overestimate this. I read recently in the book “Finish” by Jon Acuff that during a challenge he hosted, he had participants cut their goal in half OR double the timeline. This highly increased the success rate.
Break it Down
Next, break down your big goal into smaller goals or projects that will get you there. Make them specific, measurable, and give them a deadline. Then break it down into bite-sized tasks.
Those bite-sized tasks are what will build upon each other and ultimately get you to the finish line of your BIG goal.
I think one of the big roadblock to goal achievement is not breaking down goals into daily, measurable tasks. If we can’t break it down into specific actions that it’s going to take to reach the goal, then it’s not going to get done.
I like to start by looking at the next 12 weeks or quarter and choosing my goals for that time frame. I highly recommend the book the 12 Week Year, which goes into detail about rethinking the timeline and how you set goals.
From my 12 week goals, it’s easier to break down into monthly, weekly, or daily tasks. It also keeps the end in sight which is much more motivating than a yearly goal.
Map it Out
Finally, put your action steps on the calendar! I like the quote, “If it’s not scheduled, it’s not real.” So take the time to create for yourself a detailed road map of how you’re going to reach that goal.
Use whatever planning tool you like best to schedule out those tasks so you can make it happen. I like to have a paper planner but also love digital tools to help like Google Calendar, Trello, and Asana.
How to Find Time to Work on Goals
So now that we’ve done the work of crafting our vision and breaking down our goals, how are we supposed to actually find the time to work on them in the midst of everyday life?
And the answer really depends on your unique situation but figure out what works for YOU. Maybe you get up 30 minutes earlier or go to bed 30 minutes later. A lot of goals can be accomplished with just a small amount of time devoted to it each day.
Other options may include working some time in throughout your day. When you have little kids sometimes it’s just 10 minutes here or there while the kids are occupied.
Don’t let time management be a barrier! You CAN find a way to fit in working on your goal. For more specific time management advice, check out these posts:
And there you have it! My ultimate guide to setting goals that work. Follow these steps and you’ll have a concrete plan of action to achieve the life you want to live.
If you want more direction and ready-made worksheets, check out my Goal-Getter Goal Setting Workbook.
OR, you can take a look at the Simple Living Society. The Goal Getter Workbook is included, plus much more!