At this time of year, it is inevitable that you will come across a handful of posts from various bloggers and publications about setting goals for 2017.
As you read through many of those, you may find yourself inspired, jacked up, and ready to dive head first into an epic new year!
And as a result, you may set a handful of big goals that would be difficult, if not entirely impossible to achieve.
Yet in this post, I want to present a different view on goal setting.
I want to share why dreaming big isn’t always best.
And, why you may want a few simple goals that are easy to achieve.
My experience with setting big goals
For the past few years, I have gone through a similar process of setting huge goals and lots of goals each year.
I set massive income goals for myself that involved doubling my income.
I set goals to launch and finish several personal projects.
I set goals to launch and monetize new business projects.
I set fitness goals, bucket list goals, learning goals, etc.
In nearly every aspect of my life, I had goals set for what I was going to accomplish.
Yet here is the thing…
At the end of 2015, when I looked back at the goals I had set for the year, I realized I had accomplished hardly any of them…
In fact my massive number of goals set me off in so many different directions that many only were completed halfway, and some never even got started at all.
The end result was that I fell short in nearly every aspect of my life and business. In fact, I hadn’t just failed at my goals, in many ways the lack of focus had moved me backwards!
How I have changed my goal setting process
Instead of setting lots of big lofty goals, I have decided to simplify. My new goal setting strategy includes two massive changes.
1. Set fewer goals
The goals I now set are the ones that are absolutely important and essential to moving my life in the direction I want to go.
I no longer include all of the small nice-to-have goals. Instead, I eliminate those so that I can focus on the essentials. The result is a much more focused and manageable path to achieving my goals.
2. Set smaller goals that are easy to accomplish
The goals I now set are small and easy to accomplish. This seems counter to what everyone else says on goal setting. They all say “Dream big!”
But that advice is actually more harmful than good sometime. I picked up this idea from a podcast interview between Chase Jarvis and Tim Ferris. In the podcast they talk about “setting small goals so that you always feel like you are winning.”
When you set these huge, lofty goals that would require everything to go as planned to accomplish, then you are setting yourself up to feel like a failure. Instead, set a small goal that is still forward progress and seems very easy to accomplish. If you beat that goal, then good for you!
My goals for 2017
Here are my simplified goals that I have set for 2017.
Consulting Revenue: $225,000+ of revenue
Personal Income: $125,000+ of personal income
Keep work hours to 35 hours per week or less
Increase net worth by $75,000
Publish Book and hit #1 on at least one Amazon category
Validate and max out group training / coaching program
Run half Marathon in under 2 hours
An exercise to set your own goals
1. Start the process
Setting annual goals is not something that you just sit down and do in one sitting. Instead, open up a doc on your computer or a page in your notepad and jot down your initial thoughts.
Revisit those a few times over the coming weeks. Journal on them, think on them, or do whatever you need to in order to really evaluate if they are the right goals for you.
Personally, I use my morning pages to flesh out my thoughts on my annual goals and revisit them at least 5-6 times before solidifying them for the upcoming year.
2. Simplify them
When you think you are done, ask yourself “Can I make these any simpler?”
Are they all essential goals, or could you cut some out?
3. Make them easier
Then ask yourself “Could I make these easier to accomplish?”
Can you reduce your income goal? Your expectations for your next project?
How can you make these easier to accomplish so you feel like you are winning?
4. Solidify them
Once you are certain on your goals, then take some action to solidify them and make them real.
I personally write them down on a piece of paper that I can keep and reference throughout the year. Writing them by hand makes them feel more real than just having them in a digital form.
Others find that publishing them externally in a blog post like this helps.
Do whatever will help you solidify to them and commit for the upcoming year.
The bottom line
Simplify your goals. Fewer goals is better than a lot.
Make your goals easier so you feel like you are winning.