How To ACTUALLY Achieve Your Goals

If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing.
— Coco Chanel
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*If you’re just here for the free, no-strings-attached goal planning worksheets, scroll to the bottom of the page and download them from there*

I recently shared that according to research, 92% of people never achieve their New Year's resolutions. That’s a very high, WTF kind of number. I believe the reason that most people don't achieve their goals is because they don't plan on achieving their goals. They set a goal and then get to working on it with no real guidance plan in place.

I get it, setting goals is easy but it's hard to come up with the necessary steps to get there especially if you have no blueprint or mentor to lay out the steps for you. 

Over the past 7 years, I’ve become somewhat of a master at goal setting and at goal achieving because I planned it that way. In 2011, I made the promise to myself that my next 5 years would be better than my last 5 years professionally, personally, emotionally, spiritually and most definitely financially.

I was in the midst of creating a 5-year plan (that ended up going really well).

As I was sitting in my parent's attic, where I lived in 2011 (I'm no longer there, thank ya Jesus!), I decided to take control of my life and especially my finances. I bought the book The Secret and read it trying to internalize it. I meditated more trying to imagine the life I wanted to live...immediately. I prayed more asking God to guide me towards my purpose. I then created a vision board taping up all of the things I wanted to accomplish within the next 5 years.

I think all of those steps are awesome and necessary but eventually, I took what I believe to be my most important step. I bought a 5 subject notebook and began to WRITE DOWN my goals and how I PLANNED on achieving them by breaking them down into smaller steps. 

At the beginning of 2016, I created a new 5-year plan since my first 5 year plan had gone pretty well. While doing so, I decided to share some goal setting tips and the goal setting worksheet I created as my guide: 

Start "big picture" when planning your goals. 

Since I love traveling, I'll use that as an example. Say you want to go to the Amalfi Coast, you'd need to figure out how to get there. You cannot wake up one day and decide that you're going (unless you're balling out of control...then by all means, go 'head on). The destination is the "big picture." You'll figure out details such as costs, travel, lodging and activities later. So when it comes to planning your life, have the end game in mind first. 

Set a theme. 

My 2016-2020 5-Year Plan Theme is "Expect Excellence and Success." You can take it. I won't mind. Anyhow, there's something about the word "expect" that I really love. Expect, by definition, means "regard as likely to happen" and there's no other way that I think you should go into planning your goals, expecting your success. 

BTW, if a 5-year plan seems daunting, you can scale this baby back to a 1-year plan.

Write down your goals. 

I don't get people (and if this is you sorry, not sorry) that do not write down their goals and plans to achieve them. They say "oh, they're in my head." Boo, you are not Jay-Z (infamous for never writing down his raps). Science has proven that you are more likely to achieve a goal when you write it down. Why not take advantage. 

Set challenging yet achievable goals. 

It's great to have big goals and dreams but the steps to get there may be many. You can't say you want to go from making $12 an hour to over half a million dollars a year WITHIN a year. Most likely, you'd be setting yourself up for failure. Not to say that it can't be done, it just needs to be planned and executed properly (which may take years - as is common). "One popcorn bite at a time is how you can eat an elephant" is what I tell myself when I have a big goal ahead of me. Besides, every time you achieve an achievable goal, you become more confident in your abilities to plan and execute more goals. 

Be precise. 

This is your life to create. You want to be as precise as you can. Instead of saying "I want to travel more" say "I want to visit South Africa...and Guatemala...and the Galapagos Island." Say it aloud (after you've written it down) and put it out there. Then, make SPECIFIC plans to do just that. At the beginning of 2015, I told myself that I'd like to take 12 trips that year (I ended up taking 14). I wrote down the places I wanted to go and proceeded from there. The same is true of all of your goals.

Set a deadline. 

I love deadlines. They're like these nagging little subconscious alarms. You're more likely to be serious about pursuing a goal when you have a deadline because your brain will remind you when you forget to remind you that you have something coming up. Put a date on it. Instead of saying "I want to pay off my credit cards" say "I want to pay off my credit cards in 18 months by [insert date]" and then make a monthly plan to get there. 

What are some of your 2019 goals? Share in the comments section below.