How to Set Big Goals and Actually Achieve Them

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It’s a new year and a fresh start! If you’re tired of watching yourself set goals and fail to see them through, I’ve got just the thing for you! This is a modified version of an exercise I’ve adapted from a fantastic self-coaching program created by one of my mentors, Brooke Castillo. I’ve been using it in my own life with great success, so I wanted to share it with all of you as we embark on a new year.

Grab a pen and a notebook and let’s get started:

Start With a Thought Download

Let’s start by brainstorming all of the goals you have for 2018. Big or small, trivial or bold, just write them down and get them out of your head.

Learn a major secret to achieving your goals from professional organizer Shira Gill.

Pick One Big Goal for the Year

Now pick the biggest, juiciest goal from your list. Constraining yourself to one big goal at a time will help you stay focused. Don’t overthink which one is the best or most important. Just go with your gut and pick one. Whatever you pick will be perfect as long as you don’t change it.

Write Down Why It’s Impossible

Now that you’ve picked your big goal for the year, let’s give your brain a chance to freak out a little. It will be prone to get anxious and want to protect you when you take risks and move out of your comfort zone, so let’s indulge it a little. Write down all of the reasons your big goal is impossible. Let your mind go to work brainstorming all of the reasons it will never work and you are destined to fail. Fun, right?

Create a Counter Argument

Now, for each reason you wrote down, you’re going to create a strong counter argument. Write down a strategy for each obstacle you came up with, and create a plan for how you will overcome it. Make sure your plans are specific and actionable.

The best strategy to achieving your goals in 2018.


Take Massive Action

OK. So you have your big goal. You’ve written down your potential challenges and obstacles and created a specific plan to overcome each one. Now you have to stay totally committed to your goal and map out a plan to take massive action. Write down at least 25 actions you will take in pursuit of your big goal. It may help to tell yourself that you are going to plan “25 epic fails.” When you use this language, your brain has nothing to resist against, and it takes the pressure off. Now you can move boldly forward without the fear of failure because you’ve already decided to fail ahead of time! Tricky, eh?

Plan and Schedule Your Action Items

Once you’ve come up with your 25 actions/failures, make sure to map them all out on your calendar. Block out time to complete each task, even if it’s just a three minute email or a quick phone call. Put every single one in your calendar so you are set up for success.

Are you ready? As we all know, the only true failure is never attempting your goals at all. So let this be the year you go big and take some major risks. I’m certainly going to, and I hope you’ll join me. (Stay tuned – I’ll be launching my “big goal” later this year.) Cheers to 2018!

P.S. If you liked this post and want help tackling the rest of your goals, check out my other post: Goal Setting That Works.

Images: Anne Sage

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