How Often Do You Set Goals For Yourself?

I started off planning for this video as just a long list of things that I was going to do this month. My goals. Me. Me. Me.

Then I saw a very interesting video by the man who runs YouTube (I don’t remember his name let’s call him Mr. YouTube Guy) and Mr. YouTube Guy said that (on YouTube) there are two different kinds of content that people created- selfish content and service content.

Service content meaning I’m actually here to provide something meaningful for people. And I thought, “Wait a second, my plan is very, very selfish!”

So I knocked that off, flipped the script around, and set a goal to make this a serviceable video for you fine people. So the object lesson today is simply helpful: how do we set goals, what makes up a good goal, and what do we do with goals once we have them.

What Is A Good Goal?

Setting a good goal is the first step to actually achieving a good goal. Today, we’re going to talk about three things that are necessary to set good goals.

Step One: A Good Goal Is Simply Stated

The first thing you need to have for a good goal is it needs to be simply stated. Your goal can’t be some obscure laundry list of motives.

I’m gonna move the world and I’m gonna do this and I’m gonna do that. I gonna make a million dollars and stand on my head and blah, blah, blah.

This is not a good goal statement.

If you want a good goal, it needs to be simple and it has to be a statement. A statement of what you’re going to do. A statement of what is going to be achieved.

It sounds easy, but a lot of people can’t do it. These people set out to achieve this kind of fuzzy, hazy idea and if you squint really hard and stand on one foot, then it forms something that seems like a goal, but it’s actually some kind of inactionable statement.

Don’t do that.

Make your goals very simple. Make them a short statement. If you can’t say it in one sentence, then you need to rewrite.

Step Two: A Good Goal Needs To Be Actionable

Your goal has to be actionable. Your goal that is simple and is a statement needs to be something you’re actually going to do.

You have to actually go and do something.

You can say, “I’m going to make a million dollars,” but how are you going to do that? That’s at least a thousand separate goals combined, which is nice from a really high level, but achieving a goal like that is the sum of a whole bunch of different steps.

Try and boil it down. Do something simple. Make it actionable, so you can start doing it today.

Step Three: A Good Goal Is The Start Of The Path

You can think of this step as a higher level tip. The first two steps will get you going, but this one’s going to get you next level goal achievement.

Here it is. Prepare yourself.

A good goal needs to lead to something else.

It could be that I’m just going to do one simple thing. I’m going to finish this book. I’m going to learn this new skill. I’m going to wake up at five o’clock in the morning this month.

Whatever your goal happens to be, it needs to lead to something else. Some kind of skill, some kind of ability, some kind of knowledge, or some kind of fitness. It needs to lead to something else, because when you take all of these tiny, disparate goals and put them all together, they form that big honkin’ goal which is:

  1. I want to make a million dollars, or
  2. I want to write the great American novel, or
  3. I want to (insert simple, actionable statement here).

Good, Small Goals Create Large Changes

Anything and absolutely everything is achievable. Your goal doesn’t need to be particularly groundbreaking. It doesn’t need to be, “I’m going to go run a marathon today.” That could be an end goal, but what are you going to do today? How is that actionable for you to accomplish today?

I think you should come up with simple goals, like:

  1. I’m going to do the dishes every night
  2. I’m finally going to finish Atlas Shrugged
  3. I’m going to smile, every day, to change my outlook on life
  4. I’m gonna tell my wife that I love her every single day

Whatever it happens to be, you set your good goal. You decide what your goal is worth. You don’t need to justify it to anybody else. If people don’t like your goals, they can go to hell!

‘Stupid Goals’ Get Things Started

As a matter of fact, I make it a point to have a ‘stupid goal’ every single month, a little unimportant goal that doesn’t really get me anywhere but does get me moving.

For example, one month I wanted to solve a Rubik’s Cube. To me, this is the definition of a ‘stupid goal,’ because there is no actual value in it. I’m not going to turn this into some kind of profitable skill. I have no desire to compete with a bunch of little kids who are given ritalin 24 hours a day to solve Rubik’s cubes in 30 seconds. Solving a cube was just something I wanted to achieve and now I can.

Every time you accomplish one of these little goals, your brain rewards you. I’m not going to tell you how it rewards you for two reasons:

  1. I would just be lying to you about some kind of expert knowledge I had on what your brain is going to do. It’d be just some nonsense I looked up on Wikipedia.
  2. Who gives a damn what your brain does? It does it, all right? You’re going to feel better when you get this thing done, so let’s just move on from the minutiae.

Little Goals Lead To Big Goals

Another reason why setting good goals is important, especially these little ‘stupid goals,’ is that they’re fun and they can lead to other things.

By solving a Rubik’s Cube, you learn to think in terms of patterns, memorize sequences of commands, and to the end result of a series of moves. This could apply to any number of things. If you do fifteen push-ups a day, that will lead to this result. If you read ten pages a day, that will lead to that result.

It’s all the same idea. These goals are simple, they’re actionable, and they’re leading somewhere, even if they’re ‘stupid.’

Achieving Your Goals Puts You In Charge

When you set good goals that you can state, act upon, and that lead to something else, you know what you’re doing? You are putting your hand on the driver’s wheel of your life and you are living your life intentionally.

If you’ve read my first post, then you know that this is my favorite thing. Not having people jerk you around. Not having decisions made for you. Not allowing yourself to be a leaf that’s stuck in the water, going down the drain, and you’re just being swept along.

My Current ‘Stupid Goal’

If you’re interested in my goals, then we’re inside one right now. I have all these business goals that I’m not going to bore you with. My stupid goal for this month is to run a 5k distance every single day in June.

I’ve never been a runner in my life. I have reasons why I’m going to do it and you should keeping coming back because my next post is going to be all about the reasons why I chose this particular goal and the end result that I expect to get from it.

Leave me a comment, I’d love to hear how things are going for you!

There will be more.

By Alex Blasingame

I'm awesome.

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