Set and achieve personal goals
Do you need goals in life? Or is it more worthwhile to live for the moment? Research and studies show that people with goals achieve more in life and are more satisfied. So goals are the tool to fulfill your dreams. Do you already have an opinion about this? Otherwise, after this post, you will surely find an opinion about your personal goal setting.
A problem that many people share: Setting and achieving personal goals. It is important to set personal and professional goals. I'll show you here how you can define your personal goals in just a few steps and why this is important to be successful personally and professionally. So that you don't look back on life one day at an old age and think to yourself what if and that doesn't work anymore, we set the foundation here for you to set clear and meaningful goals in life for yourself personally.
Dreams and desires are just as important as goals, with set goals we head for events and results that we really want to achieve. Dreams and desires can give you motivation, focus and perseverance. Chase your dreams by formulating them into goals that include individual milestones (intermediate goals).
What should you look for in your goal definition?
Define goals that relate to you and your values. If you pursue goals in life that do not correspond to your ideas but to those of others, you will not be happy with them. Remember. You have only this one life. Make the best of it and go your way!
Often, however, general conditions such as family planning, job or health change. This affects your life as well as your goals. But that is exactly what life is all about. Life goals also change according to age. Our experiences become deeper and deeper. Accordingly, the relevance of life goals decreases or increases.
What goals can a person have?
There are quite a few examples. But whether in this overview there are goals that correspond to yours, is also not sure:
- Start your own family
- To have a happy relationship
- To be successfully self-employed
- Career in a company
- Passive income
- Healthy diet and sports
- Quit smoking
- Run a marathon
- Take part in an extreme sport
- Own a house
- Play instruments
- Learn foreign languages
- Travel around the world
- Have and keep your dream figure
Remember that you fulfill very different roles and functions in the areas of your life. It is important to be clear about what your role actually is and what that means to you. Possible roles can be:
- Mother, father, son, daughter, grandchild, etc.
- Boss, head of department, employee
- Club or community member
- Boxer, sailor, bowling brother, basketball player, coach
- Worldling, American, European, Asian, etc.
- Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, etc.
- Friend, acquaintance, neighbor, partner
5 Steps to Finding Goals. Our Guidance:
Please be aware that there is no one right way. But we create here a framework that will help you to orient yourself:
Set the stage
It sounds crazy for many people, but you have almost unlimited possibilities to develop freely and to learn and achieve everything. Especially in this day and age. This sometimes makes it difficult to set goals, because there are so many different things you want to accomplish. If you want to find your personal goals, you should be familiar with self-reflection. You have only 24 hours per day, and you spend about 8 of them in the land of dreams. When you start something new, you need to set the stage and reduce yourself in other areas. For example, hobbies or dating. Divide your time consciously to give all parts of your life the time they need.
You are welcome to read our post "Who am I, what do I really want and where do I want to go?" afterwards to gain important insights. Self-reflection is part of the post, among other things.
Free your mind
How you do that? Turn off your inner critic!
- "What do others say about this"
- "You can't achieve that"
- "You have no idea about life"
- "Not a good idea"
- "I must be completely crazy"
Yes, I like that last one! Be crazy in your finding phase and let blocking and critical voices be silent. Spin around for yourself and brainstorm, jotting down everything that comes to mind. You know this method for sure and I promise you that it has its full right to exist. Well-tried, well-known and still very effective.
Everything in life has its right to exist. So does everything in your thoughts. Every thought that is spun can be implemented. Look at the most successful people in the world. Many of them were declared crazy by their circles, but they were crazy enough to go their way and achieve their personal and professional goals.
After your brainstorming, you should find out what is really behind these thoughts. What do you want to achieve in your life? More responsibility, health or exercise?
Our article "Success journal template - the power of writing in your hands" explains what power writing gives you for your life path.
A little more system - division according to areas of life
Classify your goals into different areas of life:
- Family and partnership
- Social contacts and friends
- Job and career
- Finances and material things
- Education and learning
- Relaxation, leisure and hobby
- Religion, spirituality and mindset
- Health and well-being
Detach yourself from social and family norms and rules. Only then will your personal goals be the same. Just because everyone around you is planning a family or going in a similar direction of self-employment doesn't mean that these goals match yours. The reverse is also true, of course. By breaking down your personal goals into areas of your life, you can create more clarity.
- What is important right now?
- What needs your time and energy?
- Do several goals happen together / in parallel?
Be aware that our perception of our outer world corresponds to our inner world. What you see and feel comes from your thoughts, your feelings, experiences and values. The whole thing is so complex that you should also apply this thought to your environment to keep in mind that the world can be seen very differently, although we all live on the same earth.
Analyze and evaluate the areas of your life
Let's take a career change as an example. Think about what is important to you in life and how you would like to change professionally. Write down your thoughts:
- Is it a complete change of direction?
- Do you want to change companies?
- Do you want to take a new job (promotion)?
- Or are you in the process of planning/implementing your self-employment?
Which areas of your life correspond to your goals and which areas of your life need improvement? Negative points are not necessarily detached by you or the life area, but can also be in a bad light by other people and circumstances. Look closely and practice self-reflection here.
Through an as-is/to-be analysis, you can draw insights through which you can derive concrete goals.
Again an example from professional life:
You enjoy your job and find it fulfilling, but the working atmosphere among your colleagues is tense. The concrete question that arises from this is:
What can you or your colleagues do to create a good working atmosphere? What measures result from this question for your goal achievement?
Milestones - formulate partial & intermediate goals
Don't just look at the big mountain that may be pressuring you to surrender. Divide the path to the top by setting intermediate goals. This way you can keep your focus, motivation and stamina going. The path you choose will not be linear. There will always be ups and downs that will challenge and test you.
Are you ready to walk the path? To face this challenge that needs to be solved? And what does the descent of the present and ascent of the next mountain look like?
Don't get lost in the big picture. So-called Micro Habits can greatly assist you in achieving your goals. It is better to roll the ball than to let it stand still. The following small time allocations can help you make steady progress every day:
- 3x 15 minutes a day of exercise
- 3x 15 minutes a day reading
- 2x 45 minutes a day working on your independence
Micro Habits help you build helpful habits that develop into strong routines over time. Remember:
Even drop by drop, a lake can form. This gives you experience, character, and depending on the path you choose, entrepreneurship, empathy, or strength. It doesn't have to be a raging torrent that leads you to your goal.
After my conclusion, I'll present you some more methods and information that can support you in your goal formulation & achievement. But let's get to the conclusion:
Success and goal achievement can be seen very individually. There are goals and achievements that are socially and culturally viewed and there are goals that are entirely attributed to you and your person. So ask yourself what YOU want in life and go your way.
If you have a goal, you will create a plan or strategy to accomplish it. Moving forward with structure and milestones will help you maintain your motivation. I definitely recommend keeping a diary or success journal as a tool to help you achieve your goals. Even in more difficult times, your notes can reinforce and motivate you.
Find what makes you happy. Something you are wholeheartedly committed to. Prioritize and keep your own checkpoints to measure success.
Update your strategy and personal path so that the course to the destination and your goals fit your life and circumstances. None of us can look into the future and predict what will happen. But if the necessary preparation meets the right opportunity, you will be grateful to yourself.
In the end, what matters is that you're satisfied.
- There is no perfect moment. The perfect moment is now. Start imperfectly, because the path will show or result.
- Keep a journal and record your progress
- Make a mistake or setback small a second time. Learn from your setbacks and take the experience with you. The more mistakes, the more you learn. The more you do better!
- Avoid perfectionism
- Be your biggest fan and celebrate yourself for your successes.
- Have patience, focus and concentration
What is a goal relationship?
I usually know goal relationships from business or corporations. But these can be applied to our personal goals as well. A goal relationship describes how different goals relate to each other.
Complementary goals: Goal A positively influences goal B. As an example: More sport increases your health / well-being. Both goals support each other.
Competing goals: Goal A negatively affects goal B. As an example: the time you need to build up your self-employment will leave you with a little less time for other areas of your life. Achieving one goal A is at the expense of the other goal.
Antinomian goals: By achieving Goal A, the exclusion of Goal B follows. You want to advance your personal goals, but have to give up social goals to do so because it is not a social or cultural fit. Thus, both goals are mutually exclusive.
Indifferent goals: Goal A does not affect goal B. You can travel around the world and advance your independence via notebook on the way.
Methods for goal formulation and goal definition
SMART METHOD: Formulate and achieve goals better
Specific: Formulate goals as concrete and specific as possible. Generalization and vagueness relate poorly to goals. Be precise with your statements so there is no doubt about what exactly is to be accomplished. Instead of writing "I want to make more money," be specific about how much and how you want to make more.
Measurable: qualitative and quantitative metrics. In some cases, this is very simple. For example, cost savings or increase in profits. But you can also set up notional metrics for things like customer satisfaction.
Attractive: Plan in a way that motivates you to achieve your goals. Positive wording encourages you to take action. No goal will just fall into your hands. Only if the goal is attractively formulated will you find the necessary motivation not to let setbacks tear you down.
Realistic: Feasibility of the task within the time and available means. Your goal should be formulated in such a way that it challenges you, but is also feasible. A too big goal that is very unrealistic can quickly take away your motivation. Choose your goal so that you grow with the challenge and raise the bar with the upcoming milestone.
Timed: Schedule goals in a time-binding manner. What needs to be done and by when? Every goal needs a deadline by which something is to be completed. The deadline of the goal is also the checkpoint for measuring success.
Everyone goes through phases where you couldn't get your act together. But keep track of your days and see if you were able to accomplish everything you set out to do in the days, weeks or months ahead. If not, adjust your schedule or practice self-reflection to see what you spent your energy and time on.
Example of a SMARTE GOAL FORMULATION
Incorrect: I want to write a novel
Correct: I will write a 365 page novel within one year by writing one page each day. (Think Micro Habits)
Personal tip: Before publishing and even before writing our biographical novel, Eda's Abyss, I set a deadline for myself. My wording sounded something like this:
I will translate Eda's manuscript in 3 months, put it in the form of a life story/book, and hand it over to the editor where I will work on it for an hour every day.
WOOP strategy as a picture
Do you already know the WOOP strategy? It helps you prioritize, visualize and overcome obstacles. Here you can find a graphic:
Conclusion to the article "Set and achieve personal goals"
Remember. The strategy you set is an assumption and takes place in theory. When you implement it, you move into practice. If you notice that your strategy is not working out, you should rethink it and adjust it if necessary. How you can do that? Here are a few tips:
- Find the cause of failure. The more precise your planning is, the more precisely you can find the cause.
- What assumptions did you make and what information were they based on?
- Have the general conditions changed?
- Take the experience with you and ask yourself: What could I learn from this? What can I do better from now on? How do I implement my new strategy?
Goals are measurable. If your measurements don't meet your expectations, it's your turn to realign.
Nothing is impossible and you can achieve anything. Because you have what no one else has. Your experience, your values, your thoughts and your very personal life path.
If you need support, I am here for you! Feel free to contact me and arrange a free and non-binding conversation here: