The Ultimate 10-Step Goal Setting Process
Intentional goal setting is probably the most important first step you can take towards success in any field. So, if you are wondering what is the best way to accomplish goals? We have gone ahead and researched some of the top resources on goal setting. We then combined these goal setting strategies into one massively effective plan on how to reach your goals. But why is it important to set goals? Well consider some of these famous goal setting quotes:
“People with goals succeed because they know where they are going” – Earl Nightingale
“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” – Albert Einstein
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins
As you begin to complete this process it will become more obvious to you as to why goal setting has such a powerful effect on your life. But it all starts with learning how to organize your goals and then taking the daily action steps towards them.
Because as John Maxwell said: “Being organized gives a sense of power. When you know your purpose and priorities and you have ordered your day, week, or year according to them, you have a clarity of thought that strengthens everything you do. You develop an efficiency that helps you to follow through on everything you do”.
Therefore, we at OrganizedCo want to help you organize, optimize, and achieve your goals. Thus, we came up with the ultimate 10-step goal setting process in this post. Plus, when you’re ready to start taking action we also optimally designed a premium dry erase wall calendar. It will help you better manage, organize, and prioritize your schedule so that you can achieve more. You can check it out here.
Nonetheless, we have thoroughly considered all aspects of a balanced life and believe that this goal setting strategy will help you be more intentional and effective in your daily activities. We will teach you how to best plan and organize your goals so that you can ultimately learn how to reach your goals.
*Note* Please take your time completing this goal-setting process, it is not meant to be done all in one sitting. We recommend breaking this goal setting process into two-days (ideally a weekend) and using the first day for steps 1 and 2 and the second day to complete the rest of the steps. Remember, the more intentional you are about planning this, the better will be your results.
- Sign up below for the free goal setting worksheet that accompanies this 10-step Goal Setting Process.
- Plus, we’ll keep you updated on our latest products/resources to help you with your Goal Setting!
Step 1: Goal Categories: (think of 5-10 life goals for each category)
To live a successful and fulfilled life you need to have a healthy balance in all areas of your life. Therefore, we have carefully considered all the areas that you should intentionally set goals in:
- Health (physical, mental, nutrition)
- Wealth (business, financial, career)
- Lifestyle (experiences, hobbies)
- Material (goods and services you want)
- Personal Development (skills, achievements, character, growth)
- Relationships (spouse, family, friends)
- Spiritual (beliefs, values, and emotional feeling)
- Contribution (legacy and impact)
Setting goals in all these areas will lead you to a successful, fulfilled, and happy life. So carefully consider each category and write down 5-10 things you want to achieve in each area of your life. Essentially you are creating a life plan of who you want to become, accomplish, and have.
Do not hold back or worry about how you will achieve these goals yet, just write down your ideal life in each category regardless of your current limitations. Think of these as your life goals.
Remember, goal setting is a lifelong process, therefore, you will constantly be revisiting this list every time you want to set new goals in your life. Plus, you can always adapt or update new ones to the list as you go. At the very least this step alone will make your life much more intentional as you will begin to realize what your values are and what it is you truly want to accomplish and achieve in your life.
“The greater danger for most of us isn’t that our aim is too high and miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” – Michelangelo
Step 2: Timeline: (divide into short-term/mid-term/long-term goals)
Now look at each item in your categories and estimate whether this is a short-term goal (less than 1 year), mid-term goal (2-5 years) or long-term goal (greater than 5 years). Place an S, M, or L beside each goal.
This will put a better perspective on your goals and will allow you to better organize your action plan.
Plus, your short-term goals category will give you a list of goals to constantly choose from and remind you of when you want to add more goals to your current list.
“A goal without a timeline is just a dream.” – Robert Herjavec
Step 3: Choose the top 10 goals you want to achieve this year
I’m sure by now you are beginning to feel super motivated to achieve all these goals. But as you know success is achieved one step at a time, therefore, it is important to prioritize and focus on 5-10 goals that you want to achieve this year.
Your goals need not be 100% realistic, so long as they have about a 50% chance of being accomplished with some proper planning. The reason being is that your goals should be set such that they “stretch you not stress you” – Lisa Nichols. Therefore, a 50% probability is a good benchmark as to how likely you are to complete it with some intentional planning and work.
Go through your list and choose up to 10 goals (short-term or mid-term) that you believe you have a better than 50% chance of achieving with the proper plan in place (again don’t worry about the exact details of the plan yet). If you chose some mid-term goals you are going to have to break it down into a yearly milestone, so that by the end of the year you will be much closer to that mid-term goal.
Tip: try to choose at least 1 from each category plus an extra 2 from any area that needs more focus.
“Once you decide that something is a priority, you give it tremendous emotional intensity, and by continually focusing on it, any resource that supports its attainment will eventually become clear. Therefore, it is not crucial to understand exactly how you’ll achieve your goals when you first set them” – Tony Robbins
Step 4: Choose 1 goal as your major definite purpose (what is the 1 goal that by accomplishing it, it will make everything else easier)
Now there should be 1 goal that stands out from the rest. 1 goal that by achieving it, it will make every other goal easier or better (usually a financial or health-related goal). Put a star beside this goal as this should be your major definite purpose for the next year.
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve” – Napoleon Hill
Step 5: Beside each goal for this year make a list of all the ways you will benefit from accomplishing them
This is honestly my favorite step, as this develops your purpose and makes it clear as to why you want to achieve these goals. This step alone should give you a big boost to your goal setting motivation.
So, beside each goal, brainstorm all the ways that by achieving it, it will benefit you.
- The goal: going for a 5k run every day.
- The benefit: I will begin to feel more confident with my body and improve my heart health. This will also allow me to play soccer on the weekend with my kids.
“You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.” – Jim Rohn
Step 6: Next to each goal write down what is holding you back from accomplishing it/any limitations you may have.
- Consider where you are now and what is holding you back from accomplishing each specific goal (e.g. money, time, skills, resources, etc.).
- Tip: we recommend combining step 6 and 7 on one page next to each other.
“ The important thing is not where you were or where you are but where you want to get” – David J. Schwartz – The Magic of Thinking Big
Step 7: Then write down what resources you will need/can use to overcome these limitations
Are there any books, courses, videos you can use to help you learn a new skill, or maybe you can find someone who has already accomplished what you want and ask them to be your mentor? Can you wake up 1 hour earlier every day? can you put aside a little bit of money each month to save for the thing you desire? All of these are potential ways/resources you could use to overcome your limitations.
Ask yourself “what kind of person will I have to become in order to achieve all that I want?” – Tony Robbins
Step 8: Now from your yearly goals choose a few that you want to work towards this month
Alright, so you are probably feeling pretty anxious now to get going. So now grab a calendar and start analyzing which goals will require time and which can be accomplished quickly if worked on.
Break down your yearly goals into either quarterly or monthly stages. Choose a few that you want to start working towards this month keeping the rest for upcoming months. Remember this is a marathon, not a race. You do not want to overwhelm yourself and then not achieve anything. So, stagger your goals throughout the year and if you do happen to finish some early you can always refer back to the lists done in step 1 and 2 and add more.
“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” – Zig Ziglar
Step 9: Now for the goals you have chosen to work towards this month make each one SMART
What is SMART goal setting?
- SMART goal setting is the most effective way to achieve your goals. Used by businesses, organizations, and individuals alike, the SMART Goal method is crucial to achieving any tangible goal. So, if you’ve never heard of the SMART acronym here is a quick summary:
- S – specific (you should identify exactly what it is you want to accomplish, e.g. “I want to lose 20 pounds” rather than just “I want to lose weight”)
- M – measurable (how are you going to measure your progress for this goal, is it by how much weight you lose? is it how many sales you make? etc.)
- A – achievable (are your goals realistic, remember you want to make them at least 50% attainable so that they “stretch you but not stress you”. Although dreaming big is a very important element to success, it is not very effective for accomplishing specific goals. You need to set goals that can be realistically attained with some proper planning in place and maybe even a touch of luck, but either way, it should be realistic enough that you can vividly visualize yourself achieving it.)
- R – relevant (your goal should be aligned with your greater purpose in life, is it really what you want or is it what someone else wants for you? Carefully consider whether your goal helps you achieve or get closer to some of the longer-term goals you set for yourself in step 1 and 2.)
- T – time-specific (it is equally important to not only be specific about your goal but to set an actual time frame for completion. This will drive you to make an action plan that can measure your progress and will hold you accountable. Therefore, you can check in regularly to make sure you are on target or if you need to make any adjustments.)
Smart goals examples/examples of smart goals
- Non-Smart: “I want to create a successful business”
- S – first define what is successful?
- M- how would you measure it?
- A – is this an achievable goal with some proper planning?
- R – is it aligned with my greater goals and long-term vision of my ideal lifestyle?
- T – what is a realistic time frame for achieving this?
- SMART Goal: “I want to create a successful business that makes $10,000 a month by selling premium calendars to people helping them better manage, organize, and prioritize their schedule. I will achieve this by selling 1000 units a month by December 31st, 2018.
This process may feel a bit time-consuming at first but once you get the hang of it, it is really just a matter of identifying what you want to specifically achieve, how to measure it, and in what time frame. And remember this only applies to tangible goals like the above examples. If it’s a goal like improve your relationship with your spouse, you may be able to make it more specific but setting a time-frame may be difficult as it is probably an ongoing process.
“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” – Pablo Picasso
Step 10: Now that you have a SMART Action Plan for the month. It is time for the most important step which is…. Take Action!
Once you have made a list of your SMART monthly goals, begin breaking it down into what you are going to accomplish this week that will move you closer to your monthly goal. If you do this correctly then you should have an effective built-in system for achieving your goals. You can then set daily tasks that will help you achieve your weekly goals which in turn will move you closer to your monthly goals which then brings you closer to your yearly goals and thereby closer to your life goals.
This is easily the most important step. As all of this planning is of no use unless you make the necessary sacrifices to take action on your goals. Luckily, if you followed all the steps you should realize the major benefits of accomplishing your goals and how it will help you live your ideal balanced life. So, don’t wait any longer and start acting on the daily steps that will bring you closer to your first weekly milestone. 😊
What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” – Zig Ziglar
Congratulations! You have now learned the most effective way to set and accomplish your goals.
Completing this process may seem a bit time-consuming at first. But, eventually, you will start to get the hang of it until it becomes second-nature. Also, you have already taken the time to develop a life goals list in step 1, so you can easily refer back to it when you want to make sure you are accomplishing things that bring you closer to your ideal life.
We also highly recommend reviewing your goals regularly (daily, weekly, monthly) and visualize yourself accomplishing them. There is amazing power in visualization which you can learn more about from some of the resources down below.
Moreover, we understand that things change over the course of a year. So always remember to evaluate your progress and make adjustments if needed. Life, unfortunately, is not a straight line. But if you follow this process there is no doubt you can reach your goals, maybe just not in the way you imagined 😉
“A goal is an objective, a purpose. A goal is more than a dream; it’s a dream being acted upon. A goal is more than a hazy “Oh I wish I could” A goal is a clear “This is what I’m working toward”. Nothing happens, no forward steps are taken, until a goal is established. Without goals individuals just wander through life. They stumble along, never knowing where they are going, so they never get anywhere” – David J. Schwartz – The Magic of Thinking Big
Goal Setting Motivation:
- Still need some motivation on why goal setting is so important? Check out some of the resources below:
- Goals – Brian Tracy
- The Magic of Thinking Big – David Schwartz
- Awaken the Giant Within – Anthony Robbins (esp. ch.12)
- Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals – Michael Hyatt
- The One Thing – Gary Keller
- Maximum Achievement – Brian Tracy (esp. ch.5)
- Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey
- Tony Robbins
- Jim Rohn: video 1, video 2
- Vanessa Van Edwards
- Jay Shetty
- Zig Ziglar
- Brian Tracy
“It must be borne in mind that the tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach…. It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for. Not failure, but low aim is sin.” – Benjamin E. Mays
- Sign up below to receive the free Goal Setting Worksheet for this 10-step Goal Setting Process.
- Plus, we’ll keep you updated on our latest products/resources to help you with your Goal Setting!
- Plus, if you want an effective way to keep your goals top of mind so that you can plan your schedule around your priorities. Then take a look at our newly launched Premium Dry Erase Wall Calendar, it is optimally designed to help you achieve more! 😊
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities” – Stephen Covey