It is kind of hard to make small incremental changes in your life unless you have a list of top goals in life that you are working towards.
I realized this kind of by accident the other day.
One of my top goals in life is to pay off my home by our 10 year anniversary.
I hate to say it, but it has kind of been one of those goals that I’ve always talked about, but never really took the time to articulate. Since I never actually articulated it, I never actually put together a plan to accomplish it either.
I looked up the other day and realized that our ten year anniversary is now 27 months away and I still owe $112,000 on our house. I’ve got some major catching up to do if I want to make this goal.
Now that I’m working part-time, I’m honestly not sure if we have the cash flow to do it either.
This was a really sobering realization for me because I’ve always talked about the importance of goals over and over on this blog. Yet, I made the biggest mistake ever.
I know how to set and work towards goals.
More importantly, I know that to succeed with you’re goals you can’t just think about them. You have to write them down, make a plan of attack and then work towards accomplishing them. I skipped every single one of these steps.
Although setting and accomplishing daily goals is important, that isn’t the actual purpose of this post.
What I want to talk about is setting the big goals. I’m talking about the top goals in life.
What is on your list of life goals?
I read blog posts all the time where they encourage you to write a bucket list. The list should include all the amazing things that you want to do in your life.
I love this concept and think it is a great idea.
However, when I talk about your list of life goals, I want it to be a bit more personal. I’m not talking about the big-ticket items like trips and skydiving. I’m talking about the basic life goals that make you who you are.
When I think of my list of life goals, I’m looking at the personal things that make me a better person.
Everyone has different goals in life. We all have different priorities and ways of spending our free time and money.
When I sit down to write my list of life goals, I center them around 9 areas. I know this sounds like a lot, but within each of those areas, I set three simple goals each year that will help me move forward.
Great Goals in Life should be centered on the following 9 items:
- Personal Health Goals
- Spiritual/Emotional Goals
- Spending Goals
- Savings Goals
- Career Goals
- Hobby’s and Free Time Goals
- Vacation/Relaxation Goals
- Marriage Goals
- Family Goals
When I sit down and break my goals into these nine areas, I can easily visualize my final destination.
Here is an example of list goals for me:
Personal Health Goal
Primary Goal: Exercise, eat healthy food and prioritize sleep so that I can always run 2 miles in under 18 minutes and not be sore the next day.
Secondary Personal Health Goals to Achieve Primary Goal:
- Exercise 4 days per week for at least 30 minutes
- I go into more detail on my personal lists and include the specifics of when and how much I’m going to exercise
- Spend 10 minutes each night before bed stretching and winding down for the day
- Absolutely no cell phone after 10:15 at night
I go through this same process for each of my nine areas each year. I periodically change out the secondary goals based on my current needs.
For example, I’ve been spending way, way, way too much time on my cell phone late at night working on my blog and wasting time. It is affecting my sleep which affects my productivity the next day. It is funny how such a small thing can have such a large impact on so many other factors in your life.
I know it sounds like a super simple goal, but I know it is a goal that I’m really going to struggle to accomplish.
I really encourage you to take some time start your list of life goals. When you have top priority goals that you are working to accomplish on a daily basis it changes you to your very core. There is something life-changing about setting daily reminders for yourself and then checking them off your list each day.
I actually think this is one of the most important details when trying to create great goals in life. I can always think of different goals I want to work towards. However, I’ve found that if the goals don’t have deep meaning to me, I don’t work as hard to achieve them.
When I’m planning out my top goal list, I do a massive brain-storming session using the following steps:
- Set a timer for 15 minutes and write down everything that is important to me for each of my 9 areas
- I give myself 15 minutes for each section so sometimes this happens over multiple days.
- Once I have everything written I circle the top five points.
- I’ll typically think about these top areas for a few days and then pick the point that I know will help me grow the most.
- Once I’ve found my top priority I craft my goals.
Keep in mind that your goals are constantly going to change. Sometimes my top goals in a specific area stay the same year over year and I just adjust my primary goals based on my current strengths and weaknesses. Other times, my tops goals change every couple of months.
You are going to fail occasionally and that is okay.
I started my 10:15 cell phone rule over a week ago and have only succeeded 3 times. I always have some excuse for why I need to keep working on my phone. This week, I decided to change things up and set an alarm on my phone for 10:00 and then programmed my phone to go into night mode and dim down at 10:15. Sometimes it is the little things that make a difference.
I put together a nice little PDF document that will help you set and accomplish your goals. Please take a few minutes to download a Free PTF Goal Setting Template. The forms themselves aren’t earth-shattering, but I promise that if you take a few minutes to fill it out and then work towards your goals, it will help you change your life.