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.
This method divided goals into three categories:
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:
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:
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:
Now that I’ve explained the method, let’s start with a little 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.
You can use it to generate ideas or to ensure you don’t forget about any important life areas.
Now, let’s get started!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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