Credit: Tony Robbins
What you will get from this article:
- Understand what makes a compelling goal
- Learn the 2 questions you need to answer before setting goals for yourself
- Discover the 5 principles of S.M.A.R.T. goals
- Access a brief goal-setting workshop that Tony Robbins himself uses
- Uncover the driving force that propels you toward your goals
How do you go about setting goals? How often do you achieve your objectives? If you’re having trouble following through after completing your goal-setting process, it’s tempting to just stop trying to make any changes. People say things like “Maybe this is just it,” or “I should settle for what I have.” But frequently what’s getting in the way of achievement is the actual goal. If your goal is “lose weight,” well, how do you know when you’re done? When you’ve lost 1 pound? 5? 40? Without a clear target, it’s difficult to know when you’ve hit your mark. That’s precisely the reason why it’s crucial to set clear goals.
Here we’ll cover how to set goals. You’ll learn what makes for compelling goals as well as the steps you need to take to see them through.
Why Have Goals Anyway?
Setting life goals is the fundamental key to success. Goals let us create our future in advance of it actually happening. Setting goals helps us grow and expand, pushing ourselves to transform in ways that, just maybe, we never imagined. We’re willing to bet if you’re reading this page you’ve set a goal or two in your life, but did you see them through? Are you setting goals effectively? Will your goals transform your life in the ways you want?
Many times people think they understand how to set goals, but then they never quite achieve what they were after. One common reason is that their goals aren’t compelling or inspiring.
You’re much more likely to put time and energy into something that excites you, so your goals should reflect that same level of momentum. We’re talking goal-setting that makes you leap out of bed in the morning ready to go. Think of a goal as a dream with a deadline. So how do you create a compelling goal?
The Two Key Questions For Compelling Goal-Setting
- Identify your goals: What do you want? Something almost magical happens when you take generalized desires and start defining them more precisely through goal setting.
- Identify your purpose: Why do you want to achieve this goal? What will it bring you? If you know what you’re moving towards, you’ll find ways to make it happen. Remember: reasons come first, then the answers.
Oh, and if this all sounds familiar to you, great! Repetition is the mother of all skills, so you’re on your way to becoming master of your goals, and, thus, your future.
Create And Maintain Momentum With S.M.A.R.T. Goals
When setting goals, there are a few guiding principles you can use to keep you on track. We use the acronym S.MA.R.T. to precisely map out measurable, attainable goals. A S.M.A.R.T. goal should be:
- Specific: The more detailed you can be, the better. How specific can you be if your goal is to lose weight? “I want to lose 20 pounds” is a good start, but “I want to lose 20 pounds so that I can wear my favorite clothes again this June” makes it easier to visualize and achieve what you want. This puts a reason behind your aim, which will enable you to progress further when things get challenging.
- Measurable: Precision is your friend when it comes to goal setting. When you can measure, you’ll actually see your progress and know when you achieve it. Concrete criteria helps everyone stay on track. For example, “get better at money” is not a measurable goal; it’s unclear what “better” means here. You need to have solid metrics in mind! Have the goal to understand your current spending patterns, pay off your credit cards and start saving 25% of your income per month by the end of the year — now you have benchmarks that you can use to check your progress on the way to success.
- Achievable: If you can’t actually attain your goal it will only serve to frustrate and dishearten you. You’re not going to create a billion-dollar business or become a world-class concert pianist overnight. Many times when we’re creating big goals we get too lofty, making them seem impossible. This leads us to the next element…
- Realistic: Perhaps in an ideal world you’d have 6 hours a day to work on your golf swing or tennis game. You live in the real world, not an ideal one, so make sure you’re setting goals that match up with reality. Can you realistically become a concert pianist having never played an instrument in your life? Does this goal fit with your current lifestyle?
- (In a) Time frame: Having a clear idea of your timeline creates a sense of urgency. You’ll be working toward what you want more quickly. Perhaps your goal is that you want to learn Spanish because it will help you communicate better with your clients. What’s a realistic time frame for yourself? Do you have a trip to Spain coming up in six months for which you need to be prepared? Set a timeline for your goal so you can check in with yourself along the way.
Having this level of clarity puts power behind your goals and ensures you can measure your progress more often and take new actions. As Tony says, “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”
Ready to try making some goals of your own? Click below to start your very own goals workshop, Tony-style. You’ll need some paper and a pen or pencil, so grab those before you begin working on these three goal-setting steps.
Goal Setting Step 1: Give yourself six minutes to brainstorm a list of anything you’d like to achieve, create, do, have, give and/or experience in the next 20 years. Write as many things down as fast as you can in this time.
Goal Setting Step 2: Now go back through your list and write 1, 3, 5, 10 or 20 years next to each goal to indicate how long it will take to achieve them. Be realistic when assigning time estimates. You have a minute and a half to get this done, so be quick and go with your gut.
Goal Setting Step 3: Review your list. Choose your top four 1-year goals. These are goals that make you really excited. Write a paragraph for each goal explaining why you will absolutely achieve this goal within the next 12 months. This should take you about 15-20 minutes total.
Now, if you have the chance to share what you’ve written down with a friend, family member or other person you trust, do so. If not, just say them out loud to yourself.
Final concept? There are three steps in Personal Power — put your goals where you’ll see them daily, write down and take at least one action toward achieving your goals and then start the rocking chair test: Visualize yourself older and looking back. What’s the pain from not achieving, and what is the pleasure from having achieved your goals?
Credit: Tony Robbins