5 Steps to Set (and Achieve) ANY Goal You Desire

If you’ve gotten a chance to read a few of the posts on my blog you’ve probably realized that the main things I discuss here are lifestyle design and personal improvement.

Both of these concepts are a core part of learning how to build the perfect life.

The truth is I’m just an average guy who’s trying to get by.

But at the same time, I’m trying to live the always wanted to live:

Running my own internet marketing business instead of working for someone else, traveling where and when I want to (currently in Lagos, Portugal).

And staying healthy and in shape instead of stressed out by a boss who drives me crazy.

How to Do Everything YOU Want to Do…

One of the questions I get from people is how I manage to squeeze everything in.

My friends will attest to the fact that I’m always reading, always writing myself notes, always trying my hardest to figure out ways to do things easier and improve my life.

I’m not a wealthy person.  But I feel like the life I’m living right now has given me an abundance of experiences that most people spend their whole lives dreaming about.The way that I was able to do this was I simple decided one day what I wanted to do with my life.

Then I set a bunch of goals, and proactively worked to achieve them.

Setting Goals Helps You Move Forward in Life

Goals are absolutely necessary if you’re trying to move forward in your life, because any sort of improvement takes effort. It doesn’t matter if you want to start your own business and triple your income; lose weight, or just make a few new friends … these things are all goals that you want to achieve.

The following list involves 5 basic steps to follow when you’re trying to set and achieve your own goals.

Think of the list as a quick “go-to guide” to use as a reference as you work on writing out your goals.

#1- Decide on a Goal and Write it Down

Until you decide that something is a goal worth working toward — until you set up a plan to actually accomplish it — it’s not a goal. It’s a wish.

There are probably quite a few things that you’d like to do one day. You know what I mean. We’re all guilty of it.

“One day, I’ll see the ocean.” “One day, I’ll buy that red convertible I’ve had my eye one for years.” “One day, I’ll be in better shape and run a marathon.”

Those are all pretty cool ideas, but unless you actually set up a plan to accomplish them, that’s all they are … ideas. Wishes.

Give yourself five or ten minutes to brainstorm. Think about the things you’d like to change about yourself, objects you’d like to have, and places you’d like to see …. whatever.

Go crazy and make a mental list. Now that you’ve done that, you will realize that some things aren’t exactly what I’d consider to be “goal-worthy,” such as getting a haircut — it doesn’t involve much effort to run down to SuperCuts and sit in the chair — so skip those sort of items.

Once you’ve chosen something that is do-able and goal-worthy, let it be your goal! It’s definitely okay to work on more than one goal at a time, but for the purpose of this list I’m going to act as if you’re creating one goal for yourself.

Let’s say your goal is to completely remodel your house within two years. That’s a pretty substantial goal because it involves time, money and effort, but if you put your mind to it, it is something that you can probably achieve if you put your mind to it.

Now that you’ve said, “I’m going to remodel my house within two years!” it’s time to write down the goal. I’ve learned from experience that if I don’t keep records of what I’m working on, I tend to let things slide. Now I know, and I write things down. So get a notebook and write down your goal.

#2- Set Milestones (Mini-Goals) Along the Way

In order to achieve anything worthwhile, it must be broken up into smaller sections. Breaking up a goal simply means that you’ll have milestones to meet along the way. These are process goals.

Feel free to think of each milestone as a “mini-goal.” Accomplishing things, big or small, will give anyone’s self-esteem a bit of a boost. Once you start meeting your milestones, you’ll also start to realize “I really can do this!”

Milestones are important because they will help keep you on track. The sense of accomplishment you feel as you meet milestones should help you achieve your entire goal.

You can divide your goal into smaller sections however you decide, because there are usually many different ways to divvy it up.

As in the previous example, if you’re planning to remodel your home, you could aim to paint and wallpaper the entire inside of your house first, and then have new carpet installed … or you could decide to remodel your bathroom, then your bedroom, then your living room … room by room.

Either way is fine, but you need to create milestones or mini-goals of some sort.

#3- Setbacks WILL Happen, So Be Prepared

Unfortunately, life isn’t perfect. Stuff comes up. People get laid off from their jobs, relatives pass away … bad things happen. Sometimes, bad things happen to good people. It’s unfortunate but true.

Most of us drive our car every single day. We’re able to drive to work, to school, to the store … all without incident. We’re still required by law to have auto insurance “just in case” something happens.

If you’re realistic and prepare for things, even if it’s just mentally preparing for them by realizing that they can happen, you won’t be as distraught should something come up as you’re working toward your goal.

#4- Re-Work Your Goals Along the Way

Just as it’s important to realize that setbacks or problems may come up as you work toward your goal, you also need to realize that your goal may need re-worked along the way.

If something happens, simply come up with an alternate plan.

If you are working toward completing the goal of remodeling your house, you have a fund set aside to make purchases. That is the money you’re using to remodel your house, but should your hot water tank go out, or you wind up needing a new washing machine, some of that “remodel” money may need to go toward other necessary things, causing you to re-work some of your milestones or your main goal.

#5- Don’t Procrastinate

If something is important enough to you that you’re willing to spend time and effort accomplishing it, be sure to push yourself to follow through with it.

Putting your goal in writing was the first step, and planning out milestones to meet along the way came next. Next came the biggest deal of all: starting the work involved to achieve your goal.

While it’s good to feel a sense of achievement as you meet your milestones, don’t let it turn into conceit. Don’t yourself slack off. Don’t procrastinate. Yes, things may come up which require you to be flexible, but “I’ll do it tomorrow” very easily turns into “I’ll do it next weekend” and all too often “I’ll do it next month.”

Before long, your goal is on the back burner of your life. It’s forgotten and dusty, and back to being a wish, not a goal. You’ll be right back at square one, except you’ll be angry at yourself for quitting.

A good idea to prevent this from happening? Tell people what you’re working toward! As I said at the beginning of this piece, it’s always great to have a support system in place if you can! If your goal is to lose weight, find an exercise buddy or join a healthy cooking class. Don’t keep your goal a secret. Involvement from others may be the motivation that keeps you going.

Finally, there are lot of tools/books that I’ve used to set goals and become more productive.  They’ve helped me travel the world while maintaining a consistent working schedule.  To learn more, I recommend checking out my “Steve Recommends” page.


Take Action. Get Results.

7 thoughts on “5 Steps to Set (and Achieve) ANY Goal You Desire”

  1. Steve Always enjoy reading your blog. I work with people the same way you do. I call it the ideal life.
    Your writings are always good to know im on the right track, reading this one is good cause Ive let some things go to the back burner myself and need to set new goals and write them down.
    Keep rockin.

    • Tim,

      Glad you like the writing and glad that it helps to keep you on track. It is awesome that you are able to live the life you love. I have not regretted doing it myself and think it is amazing for anyone who is able to pull it off

  2. I love the focus of your blog… lifestlye design and personal improvement…. wd explore your blog a bit more. We have the ability to determine our own destiny… and setting goals… help us keep our focus. Interesting to know that you visit Lagos, I lived in Ibadan, but now live in the UK.

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