Looking ahead to the rest of your life, it’s imperative to have a vision. The Bible says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). Most of us don’t get what we want simply because we don’t know what we want. We’ve never written down a list of life goals.
In his book, The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson explains how crucial setting goals is for our future success. He says, “We’ve never defined success for ourselves. And our dreams are as nebulous as cumulus clouds…The brain is a goal-seeking organism. Setting a goal creates structural tension in your brain, which will seek to close the gap between where you are and where you want to be, who you are and who you want to become. If you don’t set goals, your mind will become stagnant. Goal setting is a good stewardship of you right brain imagination.” Creating goals helps us to achieve what we seek, whereas a lack setting goals allows our minds to dwindle away.
My wife says I’m a dreamer, but really, I’m establishing goals. “A dream exists only in the mind, while a goal exists in the mind but is planned and it has a determined deadline”(Raeth). When setting goals, keep them measurable. Goals are a practical way of dreaming big. For example, getting in shape is not a goal; it’s a dream. Running a half marathon, however, is a measurable goal because you know you’ve accomplished it when you cross the finish line (and you’ll get in shape along the way if you train for it).
“Goals are dreams with deadlines. And these deadlines, especially if your personality is anything like mine, are really lifelines. Without a deadline, I would never accomplish anything because I’d be just dreaming of other dreams without taking action. And that’s why so many dreams go unaccomplished. If you don’t give your dreams a deadline, it will be dead before you know it. Deadlines keep dreams alive. Deadlines bring dreams back to life” (Batterson).
Keys to Figure our your LIFE GOALS:
Look to Others
It’s hard to pull life goals out of thin air, so I recommend looking at the life goals of others. Don’t cut and paste someone else’s goals, but looking to the goals of others is an efficient way to generate your own ideas.
Think in Categories
I almost always begin writing down my goals by breaking them down into categories. Categories such as adventure, work, health, educational, family, faith, legacy, travel, and financial help to organize your thinking and get you started.
If a goal isn’t measurable, you will not have a way of knowing whether you’ve accomplished it or not. Losing weight isn’t a goal if you don’t have a target weight within a target timeline. One of the ways I’ve increased the specificity of my goals is by attaching ages to some of them (i.e. I want to accomplish skydiving by age 35 or owning a vacation home by age 40).
It may be difficult or daunting to attach specific ages to some of your life goals, however, I encourage you to try it out. It’s better to aim high and fall short than aim low and hit the target. And it’s completely fine to make revisions to your visions. J. C. Penny was quoted as saying, “Give me a stock clerk with a goal, and I will give you a man who will make history. Give me a man without a goal, and I will give you a stock clerk.”
Write them Down
Something powerful happens when you verbalize goal, whether in a conversation or on paper. On more than one occasion, I’ve been able to achieve a goal almost immediately after setting it because I was aware of it and focused on it. When you write down a goal, it holds you accountable
Also, at some point in the process of goal setting, you need to muster the courage to verbalize it. I’ve found that verbalizing my dreams and talking about them with others often speeds up the process or helps me to achieve that goal.
Think Long Term
Most of us overestimate what we can accomplish in a year, but we underestimate what we can accomplish in ten years. If we want to dream big, we need to think long. If you want to dream until the day you die, you need to set goals that take a lifetime to achieve. And it’s never too late to start.
The sad truth is that most people spend more time planning their summer vacation than they do planning the rest of their life. Instead of letting things happen, goals help us make things happen. Instead of living by default, goals help us live by design. Instead of living out of memory, goals help us live out of imagination.
Life Goals List
So now it’s time to make your own life goals list. Get out a piece of paper or open a word document and let’s get started. I’m going to ask that you just stay open minded and write down anything that comes to your mind that you want for your life. It doesn’t have to be perfect. This is just a rough draft. My life goals list is always morphing.
With my life goals list, I add the random cool things I’ve done as I accomplished them. What I mean is almost half of my list was added after I had already done them. I have done a ton of cool things that I didn’t originally think I’d do or had planned to do. Keeping this list helps me to remind myself and be grateful for the many great things I’ve done in life. I am able to feel good about my life every time I look at my life goals list.
Now I’m sure you don’t care about my dreams and goals in life, but I’ve included my life 2017 goals list below to help get you started. I list out my dreams, and as I accomplish them, I love checking them off. This helps me to visually see what I have and have not yet accomplished. Then, from my list, I like to focus on which goals I would like to accomplish in the year ahead. I then pick my Main 3 that I MUST accomplish this year to be a success, which helps me to narrow my focus. This way I don’t get distracted by the hundreds of goal I want to accomplish.
Jason’s DREAMS for 2017
- Master 12 books every year (Circle Maker, One Minute Manager, The One Thing, Total Money Makeover, Cash Flow Quadrant, Crucial Conversations, Making Marriage Work, etc…)
- Exercise every day (Maintain under 185 lbs with a 6 pack)
- Follow most of Tony Robbins health plan
- Save 50k+ total including my ROTH
- 5+ big trips a year
- Las Vegas P.Banquet, UPW-C.A., SLC, Costa Rica, Cabo
- Have a weekend to reflect and by myself (March or April)
- Buy my family a huge gift/donation-cruise 2017
- Sell 5,000 copies of my first book
- Get 5000+ Views on blog
- Get 100+ people apply for the D.L.U. scholarship
- Write 2nd book – Finding the One – how to do it right after learning it all wrong (relationship book w/ Abby)
- $1,000,000+ Office/500k New bizz/1.5 mill District
- Have 10+ DLU coaching clients
- Miracle Morning Daily (5am-7am)
- Complete the first two books for Toastmasters
- Start Josh Shipp’s Youth Speaker University program
- Give back 20k (10%) for charities and tithe
- 5-minute journal the 3 outcomes at the beginning of each day
- Give 5+ paid speeches
- Shedd Aquarium or Packer game with Abby
So now, take 30 minutes to brainstorm your life goals list! If you can’t do it immediately, schedule a one-hour time block to do it soon. If you’re married, it’s empowering to do it with your spouse as well. Get out your journal and do it now!
After you spend 30 minutes brainstorming your list, spend another 30 minutes picking out the top goals you want to accomplish this year. Also, put dates on some of your goals. Maybe it’s not realistic to buy your first rental property this year but in 3 years it could be possible.
Print them out and put them somewhere you can look at every day. As busy humans, we need to be reminded daily of what we want. It’s very easy to get distracted or choose what feels good in the moment as opposed to choosing success.