Many people think goal-setting is a simple, frivolous activity that ultimately provides little value to one’s future.
Trust me… I’ve heard it all.
Most commonly I’ll hear someone proclaim “What’s writing down a few words going to do to guarantee my future? That only happens when I DO the things!”.
I usually reply with “Well, yeah! But what’s going to guarantee you take the right actions or take action in general?”.
Cue the blank stares.
Even many goal-setting advocates still think that it’s simple and that there’s not much more to learn about the subject.
Well, if that’s the case…why do most people do it terribly?
If everyone actually knew how to set goals effectively, the results would be insane!
The truth is…we all need a little help in learning how to set goals the right way.
Which is what I’m here to teach you today.
Here, you’ll learn why we need to set goals and how to set goals that set you up for massive success in the future.
So, let’s get to the nitty-gritty you future goal-setter you!
Goal setting is one of the GREATEST gifts you can give yourself when done properly.
I can say that I’ve personally adopted a lifestyle where I’m always working towards my goals.
It’s just become a natural part of my day.
I can’t imagine my life without it.
The fact that there are people who drift through life without alignment towards their future goals is crazy to me!
Having goals is beyond important to ensuring growth in any aspect of your life.
Not only that, but not having a constant future focus for your brain is dangerous stuff.
Not dangerous in the “you’re going to walk into oncoming traffic” type of way, but in the sense that you’ll be left completely out of control with your results in life.
When you neglect to set healthy goals, you leave your brain on autopilot.
As Brooke Castillo states, “An unsupervised brain is like leaving a toddler with a knife.”
And I can tell you right now, your brain is capable of producing some pretty outrageous and debilitating thoughts when you don’t give it a focus.
Which will prevent you from producing the results you want in life.
So, create a future-focus for your brain by giving it GOALS to think towards.
This will allow you to intentionally make decisions based on what you want for your future.
In order to create goals that we’ll actually work towards, we want to set goals from a place of abundance.
Now, before I explain abundance let’s talk about scarcity.
Since this is where most of us are currently setting our goals from.
When you set goals from a place of scarcity, you’re setting a goal to fill some type of void you’re currently experiencing.
For example, if you set a goal to lose 20 pounds because only then you’ll be skinny and happy, that’s filling a deficit you think you currently have.
This is setting a goal from a place of scarcity, which will ultimately set you up for failure.
The first reason for this is that you’ll be desperate to obtain the result so you’ll likely rush to get there and not take the actions necessary.
The second reason is you will constantly be in anguish when reaching towards this goal.
Since you’ll be focusing on what you don’t have.
Now, let’s talk about abundance.
When you set your goals from a place of abundance you’re not focused on the lack, but on the possibility!
You value growth for the sake of growth.
For example, you would come from a place of abundance if you set that same goal to lose 20 pounds because you want to feel strong, empowered, and like a total boss-babe.
See the difference?
Your goals, no matter how scary, should make you feel GOOD about doing them.
It shouldn’t highlight what you’re missing from your life, but should focus on what’s possible!
Here’s what most sources don’t tell you.
And it makes all the difference in the world.
You need to learn to dig deep into your imagination and set goals that are ridiculously huge.
I’m talking about results that you never thought were possible for you.
Write these down. Explore what your dream life would look like 1 year, 3 years, and 10 years from now.
When you set goals the right way, they should feel outrageous and slightly unattainable.
That means you’re on the right track.
When your goals feel “safe”, that means they’re not big enough.
They’re keeping you too close to your current state.
Dreams that scare you, only do so because they cause you to GROW.
If you set goals properly, your brain should immediately start coming up with a billion reasons why you won’t achieve it.
This is natural. Your brain LOVES to be stagnant. That’s where it comfortable.
Your brain should NOT feel comfortable with the goals you set.
This process is neglected by many people.
Which is understandable.
When you include specifics with your goals it makes them possible and real.
Which ignites fear in many individuals.
They’ll think, “Holy $#!@. I now know exactly what I want. Now I actually have to make it happen.”
Which is totally natural and justified.
However, being super specific with your goals is necessary for you to achieve them.
It’ll mean all the decision-making will occur beforehand so all you have to do is stay focused on that future-goal.
Things to clarify in terms of your goals are what aspects of your life will be different once you have that future result.
For example, if your dream is to make a higher salary in 5 years ask yourself these questions: Where would you live? What thoughts would you be thinking? What relationships would you have? What would your average day look like? Etc.
Create that future goal down to the details and you’ll make it real in your mind.
It’s important to understand that the “how” in terms of your goal is NOT important when making them.
You don’t need to know the how in order to create a goal that’s achievable.
When you try and analyze the how, your brain will start coming up with reasons why the goal isn’t likely or possible.
Which is total crap.
That’s your brain trying to keep you at a standstill.
When you focus your brain instead on the possibilities for the future, it taps into your imagination to start creating a life that you want.
After you’ve set your goals, then you can start collecting the hows and start writing an action plan.
A couple things to note about this…
First, the “how” will constantly be changing on any journey.
You’ll think you know how to achieve a goal, only to be proven wrong in an epic fashion.
Which is where the real growth and magic occurs.
So, don’t sweat the how.
Second, if you don’t know the “how”, it doesn’t matter!
As Marie Forleo says, “Everything is figure-out-able.”
While many picture goal-setting as a one-time exercise that maybe lasts a few minutes, it’s actually way more in-depth.
If you want to achieve out-of-this-world, “oh no she didn’t” goals, you need to learn to manage your mind DAILY.
You can do this by journaling once a day to keep your thoughts aligned with the goals you have.
I do this every morning and it’s worked wonders.
Here are examples of what you should be journaling daily to keep on track with your goals:
Let’s start with the obvious.
Write down your goals regularly.
Even just the act of writing it down solidifies it in your mind.
It’s simple but insanely effective.
When you set your goals, you’re going to feel resistance from your brain constantly telling you NOPE!
Listen to your thoughts and fears daily. Write them down.
Then, get to work writing down the thoughts you want to think instead that will produce the results you want.
Learn to ask your brain the right questions every day.
For example, instead of asking yourself, “Why is it not possible for me?” ask instead, “What actions can I take today that will produce the future I desire?”.
This is such a powerful exercise.
I hope this helped you understand how you can start setting goals more effectively so you can actually achieve your goals this year!
The contents of this article have significantly impacted my life over the last year.
This ‘ish works! Like, really works.
Now, get to work setting those goals so you can achieve the next level of you.
Hey there! I'm Kat Rentas. I’m a certified life and health coach for women who believes that eating healthy should feel simple and sustainable. I teach hundreds of high-performing women to change their eating habits without the overwhelm. Want to change your eating habits in a way that is aligned with your needs, preferences, and goals? You’re in the right place. You can read my full story here.