The Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting.

The Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting.

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The Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting- How to Set Realistic Goals in 2020.

Back in 2017 I decided to write a book. I was 14 at that time, but age wasn’t an excuse for me. After hours of hard work and research I finally finished writing. It was a 47 pages long Word document about Goal Setting.

It sucked.

The font was terrible (it was too big), half the book was written in CAPS and everything was underlined for no reason. I had no idea on how to publish it, the editing was terrible. And the cover? It was the worst part.

I downloaded a stock photo (non HD) from a website and made a cover using PicsArt. I still have the document in my laptop, but I’m too embarrassed to show it. I saw the file in my laptop and read it. Even though the book sucked, the content written was pretty solid.

I still follow the process of goal setting (with a few adjustments). It works, at least for me. So, today I’ll try to cover this vast topic in less than 1500 words (hopefully).

S.M.A.R.T Goals.

One of the first things they teach you in any self help workshop on goal setting is setting smart goals. SMART is an abbreviation for-

S= Specific,   M= Measurable,   A= Actionable,   R= (I don’t know what it stands for and I’m too lazy to look it up)   T= Time Bound

Why Goal Setting is Important.

Imagine that you’re driving a car. It’s raining outside and your windshield is filled with all sorts of crap. Dust, garbage, mud, etc. you can barely see anything.

What are the chances that you’ll reach your destination? Very thin. And even if you manage to reach your destination, you’ll end up taking a lot of time. Similarly, as humans there’s always something more.

You graduated successfully? The next goal might be to get a good job. The goal after that would be to get a promotion or get married or buy a house or any one of the hundred and forty six other things.

There’s always something more you can achieve. The moment you achieve it, it doesn’t feel so good. The achievement becomes worthless after a while. You try to achieve something more thinking that it’ll make you happy.

A few Rules.

  1. Always set Written Goals. Take a piece of paper and write your goals on that. Use a journal if you can. Less than 3% of the people on planet Earth have written goals.
    1. If you write a goal it is stored in your long term subconscious mind (something like that).
  2. Be Specific. Looking better, or being confident isn’t a goal. How are you going to find out if you actually succeed or not? Being positive is a common goal. How do you even know that “you’ve made it”?
  3. Like I said, feeling confident isn’t a goal. But giving 3 public speeches in a year is. Looking better isn’t a goal, losing 15 pounds in 3 months is. Being rich isn’t a goal, making 1 million in 7 years is.
    1. What gets measured gets managed.

The Entire Process.

When I think about goal setting I think about 3 categories.

  1.  School.
  2. Business
  3. Personal.

You can add/remove categories as you like. Your categories could be career, personal, spiritual or something like that.

Each goal can be put into one of the three categories. Scoring X amount of marks goes in the first category. Starting a blog or Making X% return in the market is a business goal for me. Reading 25 books or attending xyz seminar or doing something adventurous is a personal goal.

I currently have 31 items on my list, the things I want to do by the end of 2020. Of course, a lot of these things probably won’t be possible any time soon due to Covid-19.

Actionable Steps. 

#1. Write down specific goals. The number doesn’t matter. Write down what you really want to achieve/do in the next 1-3 years.

  1. I came up with around 25 items immediately and around 7-8 after putting in some thought.

#2. How realistic is it? Positive thinking is good, but it can be a major blind spot if you don’t look at data or facts.

  1. Being a billionaire is an audacious goal, but that are only about 2700 billionaires in the world. Around 117-130 in India.
  2. When I know the stats, the odds of me succeeding, I automatically get into a better place.
  3. Most people either set goals that are too low or the goals that are too high.

 

#3. Know your starting point. Knowing oneself is the greatest form of mastery. We either overestimate ourselves, or we underestimate ourselves.

  1. If your goal is to score 90% in some exam, know your current place. How much did you score recently? What are your strengths or weaknesses.
  2. The more data you have about yourself, the better.
  3. If your goal is to lose 15 pounds, know your current weight, BMI, maybe even your diet.

 

#4. Break it down. An audacious goal looks difficult at first. But if you break it down it’ll look much easier.

  1. If your goal is getting 1000 subs, break it down into how many subs you’d need each month.
  2. If your goal is reading 26 books, break it down. It’s like 2 books a month or 1 book every two weeks which is like 25 pages a day.
  3. If you’re not hitting your daily targets, you won’t hit your monthly targets. If you won’t hit your monthly targets you’ll miss your yearly targets.
  4. If really surprises me that some people acting shocked seeing their marks even after knowing that they didn’t study the entire year.

 

#5. Know the resources you’ll need. Resources are usually into three categories- People, Knowledge and Things.

  1. If your goal is to give a TEDx speech, you’ll need to do the right things and know the right people
  2. If my goal is to make X% return, I’ll need to learn deeply about risk management, option chain, price action trading, etc.
  3. What/who do you need to achieve xyz?

When you find the person you need to connect with, you’ll have to provide him some kind of value.

 

#6. Obstacles. A lot of times you’ll face a ton of obstacles in your way. Some obstacles will be completely surprising and you wont be able to predict them (like Covid-19) while others would be less surprising.

  1. I like to make a list of potential problems I might face and the answers for those problems.
  2. If my goal is starting a blog, the problems would be-
    1. I don’t know anything about hosting, I have no idea about the name or the niche of my website. I don’t know SEO, I have no plan for driving traffic.
    2. After I list down the questions and problems I have, I try to look for the answers.
      1. 98% of the times you’ll be able to find a solution on Google or on YouTube.
      2. Sometimes I connect with people, like experienced bloggers and ask them the doubts.

 

#7. Develop a Plan. Thinking about strategies and planning is a fun part for me. I make a plan to make a plan (got it?).

  1. Know your current position. Know what you’ll need. Then find a way to make it happen.
  2. It isn’t a rocket science or anything complicated. It’s just hard work. Setting goals is fun and easy. Working isn’t.
  3. Know the mistakes. When I try to learn something I search about the most common mistakes beginners make.
    1. Chances are I’ll make those mistakes. When I know about them early on, I hold a stronger position.

 

Final Thoughts.

I have shared my exact steps for setting a goal. I don’t plan something in so detail. This is time consuming. So I only pick the most important goals. I also use a weekly To-Do list.

This method is useful only for your most audacious goals. Pick the top 2 goals in each category and apply these steps to those goals.

You WILL fail. When I decided to write my first book it sucked. When I started my first YouTube channel it sucked. When I wrote my first blog, it sucked. When I gave my first speech, it sucked.

But the second, or the third time it’ll be much better.

The first time you have no idea what you’re doing. You’ll probably miss your goals. But carry those goals to the next years. Your chances of succeeding are much higher.

-Vikrant C.

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