The CrossFit of Personal Goal Setting

What do you want next from your life? About a quarter of my practice involves working with people who are at a crossroads and having a tough time articulating where to go next. These are accomplished business owners that have achieved success – financial success, family, friends, health – however you want to define it. They’re dealing with implementation roadblocks (fear, lack of knowledge, habit, etc.) but whatever their specific flavour of blockage is, the fastest (and hardest) remedy is the same. If you are serious about taking your life to the next level, this is the method that can’t help but work if you stick with it.

  1. On a blank piece of paper, write down everything you’ve ever dreamed of achieving. This is brainstorming time – there are no bad ideas. Really go big. Keep writing until you have at least 40 ideas. Once you get past 40, when you begin to lose steam, take a break. Go back to the list a couple more times – not to edit, but to add anything else that may have come to mind.
  2. Ok, now you can edit. Eliminate the ideas that are just impossible (time travel; dinner with Kurt Cobain, Sun Tsu, and Ghandi… that sort of thing). For the remaining ideas explain what it would mean to you to achieve those goals. Why did you pick them?
  3. Cull. Pick four or five goals that seem interesting, achievable (though a stretch) and worth your focus and attention.
  4. Make a weekly plan for reaching your first achievement. What would you need to do each week to keep moving toward that goal?

Your goals are set! You’ve now got concrete, measurable actions to take to move yourself toward them. At the end of every day (this is important!), write down the answer to this question: What did I do today to move me closer to this goal?”

This can be done in a notebook, on a whiteboard, on a file in your computer. Answer it for each goal you set. The idea is to hold yourself accountable, every day, to achieving the goals that are most important to you.

As you see, the steps are very simple. Sticking to it is the tricky part. An accountability partner who keeps you on track can be immensely helpful in that regard. Hire a coach or find a friend who wants to do the same thing and work with each other. You can’t help but make progress if you follow this plan. What’s holding you back?

Written By:
Tara Landes

Tara Landes is the Founder and President of Bellrock. She has spent over 20 years consulting and training in small to medium-sized enterprises. A sought-after speaker on a wide range of business topics, Tara has delivered workshops and seminars at conferences and industry associations across Canada. Tara obtained a BA (Honours) in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario (UWO) and earned an MBA from UWO's Richard Ivey School of Business.

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