Top 5 Tips for Writing Goals, and the Mindset Necessary to Achieve Them

First of all, I want to give some updates. [I started writing this blog post on Sunday, but I neglected to account for the madness of moving and getting internet set up.]

The movers are coming today. I will do a video showcasing my new office.

On Tuesday I start my LLC paperwork for my proofreading business and make plans to start up my violin studio again.

I’m leaning back on my network marketing business. I was pretty gung-ho on it reaching out to 50 people a day, which turned out to be about 1,500 people in a two month span. I’m still doing the business, but I really enjoy the products and having fun connecting with my team. As with anything my tribe will come.

That said, before I go into the 5 tips, I want to talk about mindset.

I firmly believe in personal development and thought work. However, in order to be successful self-acceptance has to come first.

This means you have to take time to learn to accept the negative parts of yourself.

The basic of this is that all of you is perfect the way you are, the good and the bad. Once you’re good with that, the goals are to simply amplify the parts you like or improve on some of your areas that you determine might be room for growth.

Here are your 5 tips for goal setting.

Tip #1- Define what you want There are at least seven different areas of your life, health, family, career, finance, spiritual, personal development and hobbies.

Think about where you would like to be in 10 years. If you want to go really deep, and far into the future think about what impact you would like to have had on the world after you have kicked the bucket.

However you decide to start, just write. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, etc. at this point, just put what it is that you want or what you want to have accomplished on paper. In education we call this a “brain dump.”

Don’t over think it either, because I am going to let you in on a little secret that most self-help things don’t cover.

There is no shame in being ordinary. If everyone could be Oprah or Martha Stewart that would be cool, but being a regular person in the grand scheme of things is also cool.

If your life vision is to grow tomatoes in your backyard, do it.

If you love your call center job, and you want to be the best darn customer service agent there ever was, by golly do it.

If you love your job at Walmart, be the best Walmart associate you can be.

If you want to be a hot shot entrepreneur, and you’re ready to swim with the sharks, do that.

Even if you just want to be mediocre at them, that’s cool too. It’s okay to be average and do “ordinary” things. 

Goal setting is just the rudder on the boat, whether you want to be Oprah or you love your job as a custodian, goals give you direction.

This will determine your vision and values. This exercise I have taken from two separate books. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a **** by Mark Manson.

Tip #2- Translate what you wrote into SMART Goals

The purpose of this tip is to give your brain dump more detail.
SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.

Now that you have decided to grow your tomato garden, how big do you wnat it? How many tomato plants do you want in it? What supplies do you need? Are the amounts indicated in the previous questions achievable? Do you actually like growing tomatoes? What is a reasonable amount of time to execute your plan?

If you want to grow tomatoes in your backyard, unless you’re really good at tetris having 1,000 tomato plants is not achievable.

The A in SMART I think is important because it helps you to be realistic. If you set unrealistic goals, (like putting 1,000 tomato plants in a suburban backyard), you’re only going to set yourself up for disappointment.

Speaking of setting yourself up for success, I’m going to lead into the next tip…

Tip #3- Reverse Engineer It

Look at all of your long term smart goals. Ask yourself, what do I need to do in 5 years to reach my goal? 4 years? 1 year? 6 months?

Continuing with the tomato garden example, now that you know where you’re going in that first month, you may want to read about how exactly one goes about growing tomatoes.

Once you figure that out, set a date on the calendar for the planting season to yield a great tomato crop. Then think about the supplies you’ll need and where you need to purchase them.

Tip #4- Take action on your plan.

Now that you have clear direction on where you want to go with your life goal, take action.

I’m going to continue with the tomato garden example, because we are in too deep now.

Prepare your yard. Before you get to growing season you have to mark out where you would like to grow them, weed the area, turn the soil, and get stakes and that chicken wire type stuff.

Close to planting season buy your tomato seeds.

Monitor your crop over time. If you did not yeild what you expected review what may have not gone well, and figure out what you will do different next tomato planting season.

By your 5th year, you should have a decent sized suburban tomato garden, and you may even be selling them to your neighbors.

This may not have been in your original plan, but your tomato garden turns into a lucritive business and so you have to start thinking about expanding your garden.

Tip #5- Stay consistent

This is the tough part. Once the excitement wears down from your initial plan, there are going to be days where you don’t want to follow the plan.

You might even think that you have to be motivated to continue on.

However, sometimes simply taking the action (even though you may not want to) will help get you motivated, so the motivation process may actually work in reverse.

The point is, if your tomato crop fails that first season, but you are determined by year 5 to have a thriving tomato garden, don’t give up.

Try again. Occasionally it is good to review the master plan and make adjustments on your time or what you want to do also, but if you stay engaged over time, you’ll get to your goal.

Failure is a stepping stone to success. You may trip and face plant on some of those stones, but whatever you do, get back up and keep going.

I can tell you I have reinvented my blog at least 5 times by now, and it may get reinvented again.

However, I am sticking to it, and that’s what matters.

I hope this helps you with whatever you decide to do.

Classically yours,

Author: Angela Ruiz

I’m an amateur blogger trying to find my way in the world. As a Master of Music Education and 6 years of teaching orchestra my life is heading in a new direction. As an entrepreneur and violinist, I’m exploring this new normal.

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