Stop making goal setting so complex!

I’ve seen charts, tables, checklists, and journals for setting goals. They take you through an entire process of figuring out your goals and getting super specific.

Those are great, but they’re also intimidating. If you’ve never set goals that you’ve actually achieved, something is wrong. And it’s probably your process.

I set goals quarterly, and I have a few right now. So I’m going to quickly walk you through my process.

Simple Goals

Literally all you have to do is write down a few things you want to achieve. That’s it.

Figure out the most important area or two (or maybe three), and set some goals.

I decided that my most important areas for this quarter were health, learning, and writing.

This is what my goals look like for this quarter:

  1. I will weigh 230lbs by 30 Jun 18
  2. I will read 25 books by 30 Jun 18
  3. I will finish my book’s first draft by 30 Jun 18

I know, I’m missing some important areas like marriage, finances, parenting, blogging, social, blah, blah, blah. I’ll set those goals, but not right now. For this quarter, these were my top three areas.

I wanted to share my system with you, but I also chose specifically to do it at this point in my life to show you that you’re not always going to reach your goals. let me explain my situation…

Things Change and Goals Suffer

I set all of these goals a few weeks before this quarter started, and then I got a short-notice deployment.

I’m not talking about a deployment to one base for X months, this is a deployment to different locations all over the world. I’m constantly traveling on military aircraft from one place to the next. If there’s one thing I’m not not good at, it’s sticking with routines while I travel.

Because of that, I have not hit any of these goals, but I did make a lot of progress on all of them. Because I didn’t overwhelm myself with too many goals.

easier goals not hard

How am I doing? Well, I’m pretty close to my weight goal, but I have about a month before I’ll hit it. I’m only four books away from my second goal, and I’m a few chapters short of my third goal. That’s not too bad considering the situation I’m in.

I’m about to set Quarter 3 goals, and now that I’m deployed, I can factor that in.

But I can’t stress the importance of only setting a few goals. If I had set more, I likely would have been even farther from hitting any of them.

Stop Setting So Many Goals

The only reason it’s worked out as well as it has is because I only set three goals.

So back to the question earlier: “what about goals in marriage, finances, parenting, social, etc.?”

I have a few things to say to that:

  1. I still have systems in place, such as writing everyday and sending loving texts to my spouse as much as possible.
  2. This isn’t the quarter to work on goals like financial and social, because I can’t do much in those areas right now.
  3. I don’t have goals set in all of those areas, but I’m still improving them by my daily habits and routines.

too many goals

I used to feel guilty for leaving out important areas of my life in my goal setting, but I realized that I can only effectively work on a few areas at a time. That doesn’t mean you stop working on the other areas, it just means that for this quarter, you’re focusing on a few specific things. And that’s ok.

Goals Are Really This Simple

You want to set some goals right now? Do this:

  1. Decide the duration (monthly, quarterly, annually) – I prefer quarter goals
  2. Decide the most important areas for you to work on right now – maximum of three
  3. Write down what you want to accomplish in the given time frame
  4. Read your few, short goals every single day

That’s literally it. Once you’ve been doing it for a while, if you want, you can groom your goals to your liking and change up the process.

But to get started, see the above list.

Write them down as something you can achieve, so you’ll know when you hit the goal. But other than that, just get them on paper. Don’t worry about S.M.A.R.T. goals right now, just write something achievable down. Once you get used to the process, you can get more specific.

It’s really that simple. Set some goals. Today.