Eight months ago I stepped into a world I had never seen before. There were tired eyes and impatient people. There was dissatisfaction and contempt. Everyone was alive, but was not fully living. It was a nine to five. It was the “real world.” It was waiting for me. So I ran.
But before I ran I knew I had to build a foundation. This was where I became friends with goal setting and accountability. At first it started off small. Write a few things down to do for the day. Then write a weekly goal or two. After a while I started to understand how to properly set up goals. Once that was accomplished I knew I had to reach out and be held accountable.
Making your wildest dreams come true isn’t unrealistic. In fact it can be very realistic when you make it that way.
Set unrealistic goals and then find realistic ways to make them happen.
How To Properly Set Goals
Goal setting may sound simple, but it actually can be challenging. For starters you have to figure out what it is you actually want to do. What is your big goal? Once you have that hammered out you have to set up a format.
Keep it small and simple. Don’t set 15 goals for this week. Don’t even set 10 goals. Set one or two goals. These can be any number of things. But by doing this you are keeping things so simple it’s impossible to fail.
Also be sure to focus on one thing at a time. The brain is a horrible at multi-tasking. Don’t try to start three different businesses, get in shape, and learn how to play the guitar at the same time. Your brain will explode and nothing will get accomplished.
Want to start a business? Focus on it. Nothing else.
Do your normal job/school/etc. and then come home and focus. Do one step. Buy the domain name. Do the next step. Purchase hosting. Do the next step.
By breaking down an astronomical goal you rid yourself of the overwhelm and fast track yourself towards real success.
Here is exactly how I format my goals and have been doing it for months.
Monthly Goals: These goals are set the first week of every month. I generally don’t set more than three goals. Lately I have been setting a few primary goals and a few secondary goals. The primary goals MUST be done and the secondary may be done if time and energy permits. This is a little advanced and can be overwhelming at first. Just keep it simple for now.
Weekly Goals: My weekly goals are focused around my monthly goals. They are actionable things I can do in a week’s time that will help me out. For example this week I wrote down wake up at 6am to get myself to my goal of comfortably waking up early. I also set the goal of writing all articles and meet deadlines which is getting me one step closer to my goal of making 1k this month from SEO writing. Each goal is actionable and focused on the bigger picture.
Daily Goals: I do not set daily goals more than a day in advance. Planning out every day of the week limits my freedom and I hate that. Instead I plan out my daily goals the night before. I write them down on a notepad. To set these goals I just reference all the weekly goals I set and when I want to accomplish them.
A Note On Yearly Goals: Technically I do have yearly goals but I generally don’t set these. Instead of yearly goals I have a vision. I can see in my head where I want to go and how these monthly, weekly, and daily goals will get me there.
Accountability: The Key To Consistency
Accountability is a beautiful thing. Having people that will hold you accountable for what you say can be powerful. You can set goals all day long but if you’re not consistent it is all for nothing. Having someone to hold you accountable is the answer.
Finding an accountability partner isn’t as tough as it may seem. We live in an interconnected world where you can reach millions of people at the touch of a button. Whatever your goals are, there will always be others with the same dream. Wanting to start a business and move to Thailand isn’t a common goal. But luckily there’s a few folks out there who think it is awesome.
Find those people who share your dream. Make sure they are non-judgmental people who will support you. If you find that your accountability partner is discouraging you drop them in a hurry. Find people who uplift and inspire you to fulfill your biggest dreams.
My first accountability partner was a man who’s in his forties and works in IT security. Under normal circumstances we would never know each other. But we share a common bond. To say “Screw You!” to the nine to five and live the life we want. We are now great friends and continue to be accountability partners
Here’s exactly how my accountability system is set up.
Sundays: This is the day to set weekly goals. It’s also the day to set monthly goals if it’s the start of a new month. I write to my accountability partner(s) and tell them how I have done with my previous week’s goals and share my new goals with them. Lately I have been writing a few extra things borrowed from the Live Your Legend weekly planning like naming 10 things you are most proud of form the previous week and what could you have done better. Again, this is getting a little advanced. Just keep it simple. Review previous goals, set new ones. Just do that for a few months before trying anything fancy.
Wednesdays: Wednesday nights are Skype nights. On this night I always have a weekly Skype chat with my accountability partner. We discuss where we are currently at with our goals and how the week has been so far. This is so huge. Whether your week has been terrible or uplifting, this chat keeps you on track and motivates you towards your goals.
A note on penalties for not reaching goals: Although I know there are people who fully believe that setting up a punishment for not meeting goals is effective. I’ve actually found it to be the opposite. You will not always reach your goals. That will feel shitty. By having some kind of penalty you feel even more shitty. This is a waste of emotion. Not reaching your goals is punishment enough. Brush yourself off and get back to it next week. Don’t waste time on some stupid penalty that will just detract from your real goals.
That is how it’s done. Thanks for sticking with me. Productivity is a great feeling and knowing that you can actually control it with a little assistance is empowering.
Anything is possible ladies and gents. I’m not moving to Thailand in August because I’m disorganized. I’m heading out because I have laid a foundation that cannot be broken. Now it’s time for you to do the same wherever you may be at in your journey. You can do the impossible. Go after the big dreams and make them a reality one action at a time.
About The Author
Kevin Cole (@PerformDestiny) is a 19-year old writer and entrepreneur. He runs a blog called Perform Destiny all about owning life personally and professionally. He shares practical knowledge on how to set your own path, find fulfillment, and take back your life.