Not into doing formal goal setting but still want to set a big, life-changing goal? Goal setting doesn’t need to be fancy. It’s as simple as making a list. It’s how you make that list and what you do with it that matters.
I’ve achieved what I like to think of as some big goals in my day. The ones that when you start, you’re like, how-in-the-what, there’s NO WAY I could ever do that. I’ve started my own business, saved a big emergency fund, started a blog, renovated my entire house, and read a whole lot of books. And it sounds really funny, but I strongly believe a lot of that had to do with making lists.
If you have one of those big goals, whether it’s solving for something in your life or striving for something new, then you some serious work ahead of you. Here are my steps to create a powerful list that will help can help you climb that BIG mountain:
1. Write Down Your Goal
Before you create the list, you need to be able to articulate what you want to do. For example, maybe you want to start a business, get fit, be financially secure, write a book. What is that big goal you want to achieve? Get really clear on it. If this is a mountain goal, a really big goal, then this is going to be a lot of work, so make sure this is what you want to do.
2. Describe Your Goal
Make your big goal real by painting a picture of what it looks like. What’s all involved in achieving your goal? A lot of goals we have might be too broad and therefore, really hard to go after. Try to make a bulleted list of what the goal looks like. So, instead of a broad goal of saving money, it might include: 1) following a budget, 2) having an emergency savings account, 3) saving more for retirement, etc.
3. Prioritize the List
This list should be extremely focused and prioritized so that you can work hard on less things, and put your full attention to them. This is the time to get hyper-focused on solving something and it will take a lot of your time and energy. So, when looking at the list you made above, now cross some things off. What matters most to you right now to achieve your goal?
4. Make the List Actionable
Now that you have a list of what solving your goal looks like to you, it’s time to figure out how you’ll do it. This is all about making each of the goals actionable. What you’re going to do now is make a list within your list. For each goal you set, you need to create small, actionable steps to create results. This includes specific action items with something measurable and time bound whenever possible.
5. Get Focused
Once you’ve determined your goals, if it’s something big you really want to accomplish, it’s time to get real with them. I’m talking laser-focused. This is where the power of the written list comes in. You’re going write them down over and over, sit and stare at them, wake up and review them before your day. This list is going to be posted on your mirror, in your planner, it will sit on your bedside table and be taped to your fridge. The reason the list method works is because your goals are right there in front of you, not tucked away in your computer or floating around in your head.
6. Create Milestones
There are two ways to feel progress toward your goals using this list method. They both include a really powerful and motivating aspect of a pen and paper list – crossing things off.
First, you can cross off your accomplishments as you meet each deadline that you set above. It’s basically a to-do list. As you complete each to-do, you are closer to achieving your goal.
The second is to track your progress. So, if you have the goal of saving a $10,000 emergency fund, break that number up into smaller amounts like $500. Write down $500 10 times on a sheet of paper alongside your goals. Every time you put an additional $500 into your savings account, cross off the another $500 on your list.
Creating milestones to accomplish a goal will help you see that achieving it is truly possible and will keep you moving toward the bigger goal.
If you’re overwhelmed by a really big goal that can create real change in your life, try the list method. Be sure to save your list. It’s incredible to look back at all you crossed off to meet your goal!