Eight years ago, I felt stuck.
Many of my decisions were guided by the expectations others had of me.
Then a friend shared a goal-setting method.
My life now is a direct result of the goals I set in 2014.
I’ve lived in different countries, learned Spanish, developed a reading habit, and spent many beautiful moments with loved ones.
Could you also use a change?
Then try out this goal-setting method for yourself.
Setting Goals | The Template
This method divided goals into three categories:
- One-Year Goals that are specific and short-term
- Ten-Year Goals are your vision for the medium future
- Lifetime Goals that convey how you want to live your life
I’ll explain each in more detail below.
Your one-year goals should be SMART. That means Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
I’ll give you some examples. This year I want to:
- Read 25 books
- Pass a Spanish C1 exam
- Invest 10,000 euros
- Spend a weekend with my dad
- Publish the Culture List
Each of these goals is specific. You can measure whether you achieved it. It’s doable, realistic, and within the timeframe of one year.
A good rule of thumb is to focus on achieving 66% of your goals.
If you’re achieving 100%, you could’ve been more ambitious.
If you only achieved 50%, your goals may have been too ambitious.
I am a big fan of the 66%-rule because I tend to lean towards overachieving and perfectionism.
Not needing to tick all of the boxes gave me a sense of calm and flexibility.
I see the ten-year goals as a vision of where you’d like to be in the medium term.
The ten years are a moving window because the number remains ten each year.
The moving window is not a problem, because it’s a vision of where you’d gradually like to go.
However, if you feel you’re not moving towards your 10-year goals, you should consider a planning strategy to reach them faster.
For many, this will probably come naturally.
Some examples are:
- Speak four languages fluently
- Having a beach house in Spain
- Having a group of close friends whom I keep in touch with frequently
- Being in close contact with my family
As you can see, these goals are not SMART and more flexible. They’re not as broad as the next category, though.
The lifetime goals are not really goals.
After all, what would you live for if you’ve achieved your life goals?
Instead, your life goals are about how to live your life and the kind of person you want to be.
Let me give you some examples:
- I always want to be there for my friends and family
- I want to stay physically and mentally fit
- I want to live a happy, joyful, and fully alive life
- I’ll always try to be grateful, mindful & present
- I’ll never stop learning
- I want to live life being playful
- I want to create a more sustainable economy for people and nature
Now that I’ve explained the method, let’s start with a little inspiration.
Do You Need Inspiration?
It’s not always easy to develop a vision for your life, the next 10 years, or even the next year.
That’s why it can be helpful to get some guidance.
If you like, you can use one of my previous goals. Just download a copy of this document and edit it to make it yours. Feel free to use those goals as your own to personalize them over time.
Another useful tool is Mindvalley’s 12 Areas of Life. For a balanced life, your goals should touch on the areas below.
- Health& Fitness
- Creative Life
- Family Life
You can use it to generate ideas or to ensure you don’t forget about any important life areas.
Now, let’s get started!
Getting Started With Your Personal Goals
Are you ready to set your goals?
If so, schedule 1.5 hours in your calendar.
Go to a nice coffee place or an environment that inspires you (this can also be at home with a candle).
You want to have your creativity flowing and to do this from a place of excitement.
Step 1 | Create a Bucket List
Did you find a quiet spot?
If so, grab a piece of paper.
For the first step, write down your bucket list. Just scribble down anything exciting you want to do on a piece of paper.
After you’ve run out of ideas, it’s time for the next step.
Step 2 | Divide Your Goals
Divide all the goals into the 1-year, 10-year, or lifetime bucket.
Remember 1-year goals are specific, 10-year goals are your medium-term vision, and lifetime goals are the kind of person you want to be.
Step 3 | Select The Best Goals
Now bring down your goals to between 6-10 per category.
Keep the goals that excite you and spark something inside.
Keep the other ones on your bucket list.
Maybe they’ll make their way to your goal list next year.
How To Use Goals
The first year I wrote down my goals, I hung them on the wall for me to look at each day.
Nowadays, I probably look at my goals 3 times a year, when I feel lost and need guidance.
Eventually, the process of setting goals becomes more important than the goals themselves. The method of sitting down and thinking about your life helps shape the life you want.
Don’t Stress It
It’s important to realize that goal setting is a lifelong practice.
Over the years, you’ll personalize your method, improve it and start making it yours.
So, please don’t stress about not having a perfect set of goals yet. Just keep at it.
My advice would be to start collecting goals at the end of the year (October-December) and make a final list in early January.
This way it becomes an iterative process, and your final goals will be the ones you really care about.
What are you waiting for?
Let’s get ready for this year!
I’m Done. What Now?
I usually review my goals in January of the new year.
If you want to know how, check out my post, “Tired of Futile New Year’s Resolutions? Try This Method Instead.”
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9 thoughts on “Create Your Dream Life. How To Set Goals in 2023”
My new lifelong goal is to be part of the friends you keep in touch with <3
Hahah stay on it. Looking forward to catching up this month!
The 1-year, 10 year, lifetime goals is a nice approach.
For my 1-year goals I write a “20 for 202X” list. ie 20 things I want to achieve during that year. One or two big ones (e.g. process my 4-year backlog of photos) and the rest much smaller (listen to an audiobook [something I’d never done before], try making my own homemade icecream). My 20th item is always “Substitute one of the above” 🙂
This is inspired by Gretchen Rubin.
Some years I do pretty well. Other years (like last year) I achieve very little of it. But it gives a base from which to pursue various interests during the year and I find it really helpful
I really like that idea and would be curious to hear what’s on your list for 2023 (please share on Whatsapp if you’re comfortable doing so). Gretchen Rubin is great! I remember reading the happiness project and getting some very useful ideas from that. Thanks for reaching out!
Why did you take that random photo of two people walking on the beach?
You know me, always willing to help out even if it means third-wheeling a romantic evening walk
How do you think that this goal setting influences (consciously or subconsciously) your day to day behaviour?
It really helps me look for opportunities or solutions to things I want to do/solve (consciously or subconsciously).
I once read an article that suggested categorizing your notes based on the questions you have in your life. Let’s say you’re trying to be healthier, want to buy a beach house, solve poverty, and scale your business. Then it would be best if you used these questions as categories, and whenever you find a book, video, blog post, or idea, you can store it as a note. This will help create a database of helpful info to answer those questions.
I know it’s important because I spent time pondering these questions and writing down the most important things, which motivates me to do the work. Goals also help to take the necessary steps, even if uncomfortable. Finding solutions will probably take much longer if you’re not writing down these goals.
How’s your experience been with goal-setting and its influence on your daily life?