A Goal Setting Approach That Gets Results
Having a written list of goals makes you much more likely to achieve what you want. This is a highly effective method for creating a written list of short and long-term goals.
Goal setting is a foundational element of success—it’s the intersection of what you want and how you’ll get there. It’s not surprising that most high achievers I know keep a written list of goals.
In fact, a popular study once found that simply writing your goals down makes you 42 percent more likely to achieve them. However, making a written goal list is like practicing an instrument or lifting weights—you’ll only see results if you do it correctly.
I used to think I was great at setting goals. I would set a bunch of one-year goals for myself and hit them regularly, which provided the initial dopamine hit of checking off my list. I was accomplishing what I wanted to do, but I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t getting where I wanted to go.
Eventually, I realized I was setting goals in the wrong order and needed to work backwards, similar to how a company turns a vision into a strategy. I needed to ensure that my one-year goals were aligned to my five- and 10-year goals. Plus, I needed to ensure those long-term goals were tied to my core values and purpose to confirm I was doing things that actually brought real fulfillment. In this system, one-year goals become down payments towards what I wanted most.
This epiphany completely changed my goal-setting approach. Most of the things on my resume—scaling my business, writing six books, becoming a paid speaker—came after I shifted my strategy. I want to share this playbook with you, including a Goal Ladder resource to help you ensure your goals help you climb toward something meaningful for you.
Set SMART Goals
Before you start brainstorming goals, get clear on what actually makes a goal effective. Most experts agree that it’s best to ensure your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely, or SMART. This is a useful framework for ensuring your goal is something you can actually achieve, setting a time horizon for completing it, and dictating how you’ll know you actually accomplished it.
Here’s an example:
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