Why Effective Goal Setting Will Completely Change Your Life

effective goal settingYou’ve probably set a few goals in your life, and if you’re reading this website, you’ve probably reached quite a few of them, but let me ask you this question – a question that will change the way you set goals for the rest of your life. Are you practicing effective goal setting?

Out of all of the goals you’ve set for yourself in your life, whether they were long-term goals or short-term goals, how many of those goals have you completely blown out of the water?

Probably not very many if I had to guess. Why?

Because something interesting happens when we set goals. When we set goals, we’re not just giving ourselves a target. We’re not just giving our lives a little bit of extra meaning.

We’re actually setting expectations for ourselves to live up to. We’re actively creating our self image. We’re literally painting the picture of our what we want our future to be, and it’s very likely to happen very close to the goals we set, especially for goal-oriented people like Academy Success readers.

Everything you do will be in line with the goals that you set. That’s why you should ALWAYS aim high with your goals. Otherwise you may sell yourself short.

Consider This

Let’s say you currently make $75,000 a year, but you feel like you need more to live the lifestyle you want to live. So you set a goal to make $100,000 within three years. Awesome. Nice goal. Six figures baby. Go you.

So what do you do then?

  • You figure out what its going to take to add that extra $25k, then you set out to make those things happen.
  • Year one you negotiate a nice raise and get to $82,500.
  • Year two you add some freelance income and make it to $95k.
  • And year three you get another raise to hit the $100k mark.

Awesome, right?

Sure, but you could have done better.

What if you had set a goal to double your income, to be making $125,000 in three years? Considering you’re already aiming to increase your income to six figures, $125k isn’t that far fetched, right? Get some stones. Go for it.

You would have gone through the exact same process, but your tasks and milestones would have been a little different.

  • Rather than that $7,500 raise, you would have dug a little deeper and figured out how to make that a $15,000 raise.
  • Rather than just adding a little bit of freelance income doing projects here and there, you build a larger (and smarter) side-business bringing in an extra $25k a year.
  • And rather than that final $5k raise to bring it all together, you figure out how to make it $10k.

Now you’ve got a $125k annual income, and a profitable side-business that you can grow even further.

Sure, the second situation is going to be slightly different, but you’re going to follow the same process. and you’re probably not even working that much harder. Each scenario played out in a very similar fashion. You just optimized and maximized more in the second.

The Effective Goal Setting Difference

Expectations.

You used the same process with both situations. You even hit the same milestones. So why did one result in far greater financial gain than the other?

Because the expectations you set for yourself were higher in the second. You believed in yourself that you could do better. You painted a better picture of yourself, a smarter picture of yourself.

You set that number higher in the second scenario and you figured it out.

And that’s exactly what you’ll do with any goal. You’ll do exactly what it takes to hit that goal, and probably not a whole lot more.

When you achieve a goal, you’ll probably enjoy the satisfaction that comes with achieving that goal, and you should. But it’s human nature to stop once you’re satisfied. That’s why you must always aim high. If you’re going to be satisfied, be satisfied with something more.

Challenge yourself to do better.

Your Actions

One of the ways I want you to retain what you read and benefit from the lessons I teach you on this website is to always take some sort of action very soon after you read. So here’s what I want you to do.

  • Take an inventory of your current goals (share a few in the comments if you’ve got the stones)
  • Whether they’re short-term or long-term, it doesn’t matter
  • Now think to yourself – Could you do better?
  • Do you want to do better at some point in your life? Odds are you probably do.
  • Now believe in yourself that you can, and set those goals higher.

A little higher, or a lot higher. It doesn’t matter. As long as you 100% believe that you can do it, that’s all that matters here.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll begin to think about how to make those higher goals happen, and this will be your catalyst to much greater things.

Now, if you’re open to doing so, share your previous goals and your new adjusted goals in the comments. The simple act of doing this will further commit you to making them a reality.

I publish a newsletter with new training each week to help you behave more successfully. If you'd like to get that delivered straight to your email, you can subscribe here for additional content just like this. I'll also send you a free copy of my eBook, The Lifehacker's Manifesto.

About Cody Wheeler

Hey there. I'm Cody Wheeler, founder of Academy Success, the place where people come to learn how to Behave Successfully. We all want to save time and money right? Well how about both? Right now, you can grab my Financial Automation Checklist Collection for free. I'll also send you my free weekly newsletter, packed full of personal finance and productivity tips.

Comments

  1. Thanks Dan. If you’d like to do a full write up of your product I’d be happy to work with you to get it published here. Just send me an email and lets talk. Otherwise please keep or comments pitch free and specific to the post contents.

  2. If you’d like a tool for setting your goals, you can use this web application:

    Gtdagenda.com

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, and a calendar.
    Syncs with Evernote and Google Calendar, and also comes with mobile version, and Android and iPhone apps.

    • Thanks Dan. If you’d like to do a full write up of your product I’d be happy to work with you to get it published here. Just send me an email and lets talk. Otherwise please keep or comments pitch free and specific to the post contents.

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