How To Set Goals And ACTUALLY Achieve Them

Remember that New Year’s resolution you made earlier this year? What was it? How did it pan out for you? Did you achieve what you wanted? Yea, I thought as much. Well, luckily for you, I will be explaining how to set goals effectively and actually achieve them!

The most effective way to set goals isn’t actually to set goals but instead to set strict, manageable rules for yourself. People’s goals are usually set so far into the future that the outcome often can’t be controlled, whereas you have full control over the tasks required to achieve those goals.

Let’s use a friend of mine as an example. Every year, he would always say to me “by the summer I’ll be in the best shape of my life” or “after Christmas, I’ll be fitter than ever”, but year after year he’d let various excuses get in the way of those goals.

Why?

Because he was too busy focusing on the end result rather than the steps required to achieve that result. You see, you have little to no control over your level of fitness BUT you do have control over how much you exercise or eat.

Instead of focusing on having six-pack abs, my mate should have been focusing on a plan of…

  • What days he was going to the gym
  • What he was going to be doing each gym session
  • Which foods he was going to be eating
  • How much food he was going to be eating

etc.

The problem with focusing on the end goal is that it becomes too easy to give up after you haven’t achieved such results within a certain timeframe.

When you break the process up into mini, bite-sized chunks though, it becomes far easier to build up confidence and momentum.

Smaller steps also works wonders for holding you accountable too!

As I write this now, my friend has begun implementing this change of mindset and is already seeing great results, both in the gym and in life in general too.

Whether it be goals for your fitness, business, finances or whatever, preparing a tangible action plan and being consistent with it is the best way to ensure that you not only achieve your intended results but potentially exceed them too!

Do This Right Now

I want you to take a notepad and have two blank pages, side by side, like an open book.

On the left-hand side, I want you to write down your end goals.

I’m talking about getting those six-pack abs, buying that Lamborghini or attracting the perfect woman (or guy). Whatever it is, write it down.

On the right-hand side, I want you to write down the EXACT things that you need to do in order to achieve those goals.

The more specific you can get with these, the better.

For example, if you were trying to lose weight then you could write down things like ‘Calculate my macros’ and ‘Walk 10,000+ steps every day’.

Remember, these should be small tasks that are both achievable AND in line with your goals.

On that note, every decision you make today, tomorrow and beyond, no matter how small it might be, I want you to ask yourself whether or not it’s going to help you to achieve your end goal.

If this answer is no, then say NO.

Not sure how a conversation like that (with yourself) might sound like? Well, here’s a taster:

  • I want to lose 10lbs before my wedding next month, should I eat this entire tub of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food Ice Cream? NO.
  • I want to save up for a house and finally move out of my parent’s basement. Should I get this car on finance? NO.
  • I want to become a professional Football player. Should I sit inside, playing Call of Duty? F*** NO.

Anyway, I think I made my point.

Once you’ve filled up your two pages, I want you to focus on just one of the (small) tasks and work on executing it first-thing tomorrow morning. Once you’ve done this, cross it off and focus on the next – one day at a time.

Set reminders for yourself on your phone if you have to. Or better yet, try this…

This tool makes life 10x easier

I’m not going to lie… I can be pretty stubborn at times.

Which is why I wasn’t too happy when a client of mine told me that we’d soon be working with a project management system going forward.

It’s not that I despised using such tools but I already had my own way of doing things, which was working just fine.

Plus, I thought I’d left timesheets behind when I quit my finance job years ago!

Eventually though, after some convincing from the client, I had a play around with the system features and honestly…

I was excited.

Before long, I realised that this was going to be a complete game-changer for me and my business.

The system we used was called ClickUp, however, a better name for it would have been ‘Trello on Steroids’.

(Sorry Trello! 😅)

ClickUp catered perfectly to my OCD of categorizing things and filing them away neatly. The system has increased my productivity so much that I’m actually quite embarrassed that I hadn’t tried it sooner!

For those of you wondering what ClickUp does and how it might fit into your plans/business it allows you to;

  • Create spaces (i.e. projects), tasks, subtasks & more to help keep your to-do lists organized.
  • Add deadlines to each task and subtask, with reminder notifications for when a deadline is upcoming or has passed.
  • Delegate tasks & send messages to other team members or clients.
  • Integrate with other software, such as Slack, Calendly & Zoom.

And more.

I can’t stress enough how much ClickUp has transformed my business. I don’t work with any clients or plan any projects without it. It’s made achieving my (mini-)goals so, so easy and frequent!

I use it for business but if you’re tired of procrastinating and finally want to get s*** done, regardless of what it might be, then I highly recommend you try out ClickUp today. By the way, did I mention that it’s free? 😄

Conclusion

There’s nothing wrong with having big dreams, but if you’re actually serious about achieving them then you need to plan & focus on the smaller, tangible tasks that you going to get you to that end goal.

Completing these bit-size tasks will help give you the confidence needed to pursue that goal or dream. Without it, it’s far too easy to become disinterested and give up.

If you really want to start smashing it out of the park on a consistent basis, then I highly recommend that you check out ClickUp, a free-to-use project management system that will take your level of success to the next level. Try it out today!

Have any questions or feedback on this post? Let me know in the comments below!

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Qaseem Kazmi

    Writing down smallest of tasks is definitely the way to achieve your big fat goals. Great article Mike! Loving your writing.

    1. Mike Walters

      Thank you Qaseem, really appreciate the kind words!

  2. Soufiane

    Great post, I like how you finished it the ClickUp which I used at certain time of my life. It’s really Trello on steroids as you said….

    “Dreams” must be “Goals”, and big goals should be split into multiple smaller goals with celebrating every time we reach a new milestone.

    Thank you Mike!

    1. Mike Walters

      Thank you Soufiance, appreciate your comment. Exactly right!

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