If you are bored with life, if you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things – you don’t have enough goals. –Lou Holtz
I’ve studied the science of success for over four decades now – and if there’s one thing I know for sure to be true, it’s this:
The only way to attain a high level of success in life is to set personal goals for yourself and refuse to let anything stop you from achieving them.
… Sounds simple, right?
Yet so few people seem to be able to pull it off.
Most people in life don’t bother to set personal goals for themselves. They’re too busy reacting to daily chaos and won’t open their eyes toward the horizon to plan for a future.
Even if they do look ahead and set future goals for themselves, they lack the focus and motivation required to achieve their aspirations in life and give up when the first challenging obstacle appears on their path.
Or they set personal goals that don’t take them in the direction of the life they want to live. Their personal goals list reflects what they think they should want to achieve in life, rather than what they actually want to experience.
I don’t want that to happen to you. That’s why today I’m going to teach you how to set personal goals that are guaranteed to lead you in the direction of your dreams.
You’ll also learn how to identify future goals for different areas of your life so that you’re able to experience more balance, harmony, and greater fulfillment in everything you do!
What are Personal Goals?
A personal goal is simply something you decide you want to accomplish in your life. One of your personal goals might be to get married and have kids. Or you might want to achieve a certain position in your company, write a book, start your own successful business, earn a six-figure salary, learn how to play the guitar, or climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa!
Personal goals are signposts that point you in the direction of your dreams. They give you a clear destination to travel toward on your journey through life – which is incredibly powerful because when you know exactly where you want to go, the path forward will become so much clearer to you.
However, not all personal goals are created equal – or have the same kind of impact on a person’s life. Let’s take a look at setting the kind of goals that do the best job of empowering you to achieve success.
Setting SMART Goals
Your brain is a goal-seeking organism. When you present your subconscious mind with a goal, it will work night and day to achieve it. However, if you feed your brain weak or faulty future goals, you’re bound to get weak or faulty results. Just like with computers, “garbage in equals garbage out.”
That’s why, in order to unleash the full power of goal-setting in your life, I recommend you set SMART goals for yourself.
A “S.M.A.R.T.” goal is one that is:
- SPECIFIC: Be clear on the details so anyone can understand what you mean. For example, “write more” isn’t a specific goal at all. In contrast, “complete the first draft of my novel” is extremely specific. You know exactly what you’re committing to achieving!
- MEASURABLE: Personal goals are measurable when you know when you have achieved them. For example, “lose weight” or “get fit” isn’t measurable because it doesn’t identify how much weight you’d like to lose or how to determine when you’re “fit.” Measurable goals would be to lose 25 pounds, run 10 miles a week, or master “crow pose” in yoga. It’s easy to know when you have achieved goals like these!
- ATTAINABLE: It’s far better for you to set realistic goals and achieve them than it is to set impossible goals that go unfulfilled. There is huge power in crossing personal goals off your list, so I encourage you to leverage that power by setting realistic future goals you can actually achieve within a given time frame.
- RELEVANT: Some people choose to pursue personal goals that take them anywhere except the direction of their dreams. For example, they dream of living a life of ease and freedom but then they pursue a career that requires them to work 60 hours a week. Be sure to choose future goals that will lead you closer to the life you want to live most, not further away from it.
- TIME-BOUNDED: The hardest personal goals to reach are the ones you intend to achieve “someday.” Because “someday” never actually arrives! The best way to ensure you achieve your goals is to give yourself a specific and realistic timeframe in which to achieve them. For example, if you want to write a book, commit to writing your first draft by December 31st. Then do whatever is necessary to make that goal come true.
What is Your Goal in Life?
What are the big accomplishments you dream of achieving during your time?
Perhaps these life goals examples inspire you: you dream of owning your own home… paying off your debts… becoming a millionaire… traveling the world… learning how to sail… or participating in a triathlon.
Or maybe you’d like to write your memoir… heal your relationship with your parents… find true love… or pay for your children’s post-secondary education.
Only YOU know which personal goals are going to be most important and meaningful to you. So I encourage you to take the time to consider what you want your life to look like through powerful goal-setting that will help you make that vision a reality.
How to Set Personal Goals
If you’re unsure where to start, begin by making a list of future goals you’d like to achieve in your life. Be as specific as possible. Include details such as: when you’ll achieve it, where you’ll achieve it, how much you’ll make, what model you’ll buy, what size it will be, and so on.
Once you have created your life goals list, I encourage you to keep your goals somewhere you can review them often. And every time you achieve one of your goals, check it off and celebrate what you’ve managed to accomplish in your life.
Here’s a short, four-step process that is a part of my proven success formula for setting and achieving personal goals that help you manifest your aspirations in life.
1. Determine What You Want
If you want to fully activate the power of goal-setting in your life, one goal isn’t enough. Bigger future goals take longer to achieve than others – and if you spend years working toward only one objective, you’re likely to get discouraged when it doesn’t happen right away.
That’s why I encourage you to create a list of not 10… not 20… but 101 personal goals that you would like to achieve in your life! These can be big goals, such as traveling to 20 different countries or growing your own seven-figure business. Or, they can be smaller goals such as taking your grandchild to a baseball game or learning how to sail.
When you have a long list of goals you’d like to achieve, you have more to strive for, and more opportunities to check your accomplishments off your list. Plus, the rush you feel every time you reach one of those goals will inspire you to aim to complete even more!
2. Write Them Down
If you want to keep your personal goals top of mind, I strongly encourage you to write them down.
You might want to put them on a deck of 3”x5” cards you shuffle through every morning, on a poster or piece of paper you hang on the wall beside your computer, or in a book you read each night before you fall asleep.
The most important thing to do is to put your goals list somewhere you can see it every day so you can remind yourself of the things you want to accomplish in life.
You can also consider mind mapping to achieve your goals—a technique used to create a visual display of information. The more you visualize and think about your goals each day, the easier it will be for you to maintain the motivation and focus you need to reach them.
3. Take Action
Take action on your personal goals if you want to be successful on your journey. It doesn’t matter how clear or ambitious your goals are, if you don’t take relentless step-by-step actions to achieve them, they will remain forever out of reach.
That’s why, once you have decided which goals to set for yourself, I encourage you to get clear on the steps you’ll need to take to make those goals a reality. This may require you to do some research or talk with someone who has already experienced those accomplishments.
If you need to fill in any missing gaps so you can better understand the steps you need to take to achieve those goals, do so. You will need to learn what it takes to create the life of your dreams.
4. Celebrate Each Success
Each time you check a goal off your list, be sure to take the time to celebrate!
A big part of creating more success in your life is rewarding yourself when you prosper. Not only does it give you a sense of accomplishment and recognition, but the simple, enjoyable act of acknowledging your successes also causes your subconscious mind to say, ‘Hey, I feel great and I’m proud of my achievements. Every time we succeed, we get to do something fun! Let’s achieve more, so we can have even more fun.’
So please don’t think that celebrating your achievements is selfish or a waste of time. It actually primes you to stay motivated and reinforces your subconscious mind’s desire to want to work harder for you.
Personal Goals Examples
In order to grow your personal list of goals, I encourage you to start by considering the different areas of your life. Think about the specific goals you would like to accomplish in those areas.
Then, jot them down and divide them into the seven areas of life that I like to reflect on—financial, business & career, relationships, health & fitness, fun & recreation, personal, and contribution.
Here are just a few of my own life goals examples from different areas to inspire you!
Career & Financial Goals:
What big goals would you like to achieve in your business or career? What financial milestones would you like to reach? Write down every goal that occurs to you. Be sure to specify how much and by when.
For example, some of the big professional and financial goals I’ve accomplished in my life are:
- Write a best selling book (61 best-sellers so far)
- Make one million dollars in one year ($20 million best year so far, plus $20 million one year when we sold one of my companies)
- Have $3,000,000 net worth when I retire (I have much more than that already)
- Sell $20,000 worth of books and tapes at a live event in one day (I have sold $160,000 in one day)
- Sell 1,000,000,000 books (500 million so far)
- Publish 100 books (225 so far)
- Speak at the Million Dollar Roundtable
What big relationship goals would you like to achieve? Don’t just think in terms of romance. Consider also your friendship and family goals. What relationships would you like to heal or improve? What new relationships would you like to cultivate?
Here are some of the relationship goals that I have achieved:
- Meet & marry the love of my life
- Heal my relationship with my kids
- Have a great relationship with my grandson
Travel (Fun) Goals:
Where would you like to travel in the world? What different cities, countries, and places would you love to visit? What attractions or events would you like to experience? The best way to make sure they happen is to add them to your personal life goals list.
Here are just a few destinations I’ve visited from my travel goals list:
- The Eiffel Tower
- The Vatican
- The Taj Mahal
- Go on safari in Africa
Health & Fitness Goals:
How would you like to feel in your body, mind, and spirit? What health & wellness goals can help you feel this way? This might involve taking a yoga class, memorizing the 108 moves of Tai Chi, maintaining your ideal weight, or committing to walking 3 miles every day. Whatever will make you feel healthy and strong and happy in your mind and body.
Here are some of the health goals I’ve achieved in my life:
- Learn to windsurf
- Learn to ski
- Run a 10k race
- Run 14 miles in less than 3 hours
- Live to be 100+ years old
Create Your 101 Personal Goals List Now
In my life, I have met many people who have achieved the highest pinnacle of success in their chosen professions – including Olympic and professional athletes, billionaire entertainment moguls, and world leaders.
Without exception, all of them had one thing in common: they all knew how to set ambitious personal goals and refused to let anything stop them from achieving them.
Now it’s your turn. I encourage you to schedule time to sit down in the next day or so and fill out 101 of your personal goals, then put it somewhere you can see it every day. Each time you achieve one of the goals, cross it off the list and celebrate! You will be amazed at how much it empowers you, as well as inspires you to aim even higher to achieve bigger goals in life.
Is “helping others” one of your big aspirations in life?
Or perhaps you’re looking for a more personally rewarding and fulfilling career for yourself. If so, I encourage you to sign up for my FREE webcast: “The 7 Pillars of True Life Transformation.”
You’ll learn how to become a transformational trainer who can quickly remove the blocks, fears, and uncertainty in yourself and others (and make a profitable living while doing it!)
As the beloved originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, Jack Canfield fostered the emergence of inspirational anthologies as a genre—and watched it grow to a billion dollar market. As the driving force behind the development and delivery of over 100 million books sold through the Chicken Soup for the Soul® franchise, Jack Canfield is uniquely qualified to talk about success. Jack is America’s #1 Success Coach and wrote the life-changing book The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be and Jack speaks around the world on this subject. Check out his newest book The 30-Day Sobriety Solution: How to Cut Back or Quit Drinking in the Privacy of Your Own Home. Follow Jack at www.jackcanfield.com and sign up for his free resources today!
Image courtesy of Andrea Piacquadio.