https://www.stevenaitchison.co.uk/design-life-goals-that-actually-work/

Keywords: Life
goal

When you aren’t clear on your life goals you lack direction in life. Essentially, you end up feeling lost.

Too many people fail to set clear life goals in a way that provides them with this direction. Fortunately, I have developed a strategy based on the worlds most successful individuals and high-performers.

Through this post, I
am going to take you through my goal setting process step-by-step and
show you exactly what you need to do to clearly define your life
goals!

What
Are SMART Goals?

SMART goals are
adopted by many successful individuals. It helps them turn vague
goals into actionable steps towards success!

A lot of people
learn about SMART goals at one point or another. You probably have as
well. Unfortunately, few people actually stick with it. So commit
yourself to it right now.

If you’ve never
heard of SMART goals, essentially, SMART is an acronym for Specific,
Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.

Let’s break down
what each of these means!

S – Specific

A goal like, “you
want to live healthier”
, despite being a great target, is a
poorly defined goal. It’s nowhere near specific enough. Is your
goal to up your exercise game? Are you looking to start eating a
healthier diet? These questions are left unanswered.

The value of the
goal is in the DETAILS! Who is involved in the goal? What is going to
be the target outcome? When are you going to work on this goal? Why
is this goal important? And, how are you going to achieve it?

Addressed as many
details as possible in order to make your life goals specific enough
to provide you with true direction.

M – Measurable

Once you’ve got a
specific goal your next step is to determine how you’re going to
measure it. Are you going to track the time you spend exercising
every day? Perhaps you’d prefer to track your calorie intake vs.
your calories burned? Whatever you decide is fine. All that matters
is that you have a way to track and measure your progress toward your
life goals.

A – Attainable

There is no point in
setting a goal that is so outrageous that you’ll never be able to
achieve it. If your life goal is to bench press more than Superman,
I’m sorry, but you’ve set an unattainable life goal.

The best way to set
an attainable life goal is to look at your past history and evaluate
trends in your behavior. Is there any logical path that could lead
you from where you were and where you are now to the life goal you’ve
outlined?

If the answer is no,
maybe consider scaling this back a bit. Make sure your life goals
challenge and push you, but also make sure they are attainable.

R – Relevant

Make sure your life goals are relevant to what you actually want to achieve in life. It’s so important for you to align your life goals with your life values and then begin building a lifestyle around those things.

It’s the best way
to reach personal happiness, success, and fulfillment.

T – Time Bound

Finally, you must
ensure you have a time constraint on your life goals. This will
motivate you to achieve that life goal by a certain time. If you miss
a deadline however, it will signal that you either need to
re-evaluate your desire to achieve the life goal or the plan you have
in place.

5-Steps
to Defining Your Life Goals

Now that you know
what SMART goals are, it’s time to go through my 5-step process.
After this, you’ll have gone from vague and directionless goals to
having a blueprint for your own success!

Step
1: Decide Which Struggles Make You Happy

Every life has
challenges. Yes, some challenges are a lot tougher, but everyone
faces them. So choosing a life goal that takes you down a path that
has struggles you won’t enjoy is a horrible idea.

Think about what
struggles and challenges you would enjoy confronting throughout your
life.

Ask yourself:

What do you want to
spend your time on? Who do you enjoy spending time with? What do you
want to learn about? What problems are you good at solving?

Your answers to
these questions will help you pick life goals which align with your
ideal life path.

Step
2: Write Down Your Life Goals

Ok, now that you’ve
figured out which struggles you want to confront, it’s time to
clearly define what life goals stem from them. Then, and this is
important, WRITE THEM DOWN!

Research has shown
that people who write down their goals are more likely to achieve
them. This cements the goal into reality.

So at the top of a
separate page each time I want you to write down one of your life
goals.

Remember, these
don’t have to be your life goals forever. They can change as the
things that are important to you change and as you evolve and grow as
a person. But don’t worry about how these goals might change in the
future. Focus on what’s important to you right now.

If you need help,
look at your answers again from the previous steps. What life goals
will bring you closer to those answers?

Step
3: Create an Action Plan for Your Life Goals

Now we need to
create your success blueprint.

Under each goal, you
are going to write down the things you are going to need to do and
the steps you are going to need to take in order to achieve that life
goal. These items will essentially serve as a checklist as you
progress towards accomplishing these life goals. They’ll also help
you keep yourself accountable if you feel like you’re falling
behind.

Remember to make
sure that each step follows the SMART guidelines we already
discussed. If you aren’t going to create a detailed plan, you’ll
have no idea what path you need to take to achieve your life goals.

The best way to
build your action plan is to start with the attainment of the life
goals and work backward from them.

For example, if your
life goal is to run a triathlon the final step is running and
completing the race. Prior to that though you need to engage in a
conditioning training schedule, you may need to get a coach, you may
need to get the appropriate equipment, etc. If you’ve done this
correctly, you’ll have a step-by-step plan you can progress through
as you move towards your life goals.

This plan goes
directly under each goal heading you’ve already created. Then when
you have the plan and steps outlined you need to begin placing them
on a timeline with specific and realistic deadlines. This helps you
to create momentum and continually progress towards your life goals.

Step
4: Take Action

Now that you’ve
got an action plan it’s time to get working!

It can be
intimidating to look at your life goals and all their steps. So try
to limit yourself to looking simply at the next step. This prevents
you from becoming overwhelmed.

Place those next
step on your calendar and place it in an easily to see location.
Figure out what you can do today, this week, this month, this year,
etc. to move closer to your life goals. When you break it down like
this, your long journeys become more manageable.

This should remind
you regularly to take action and actively pursue your life goals.
After all knowledge and planning are great, but combining them with
action is so much more powerful!

Step
5: Conduct Progress Reviews

A progress review
will be essentially you checking-in to see whether or not you’ve
stayed on track towards your life goals. I would advise conducting
these reviews yearly to keep yourself accountable.

It would be great if
all of us achieved every goal we ever made for ourselves.
Unfortunately, the reality is not every goal will be a smooth
journey. There will be unforeseen barriers and challenges that we
didn’t predict when we originally made our action plans.

These are the things
your progress review will help you identify. Your progress review
will identify what is working well for you and what isn’t. It will
help you determine if you still value that particular life goal or
whether other things have become more important. Remember, your life
goals are allowed to change as you change. You are the captain of
this journey.

Wrap
Up

That is my brief version of my 5-step process. If you are interested in learning even more about goal setting, then check out my ultimate goal setting guide.

I hope you enjoyed
this article. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and contact me if
you have any follow-up questions. I’d be happy to connect with you.

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