Simple Goal Setting Framework & Exercise (+ Goal Setting Worksheet)

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If you don’t know where you are going in life or what you want to attain then you will most likely be influenced and tossed around by other people and events.

Everyone and their mom have an opinion of what you should do.

At some point, you have to decide what you really want in life. This can and will change throughout life, but making clear decisions is important if you want to succeed in reaching your targets.

In general, the stronger the burning desire for something in life, the higher the chances of attaining it. 

While we can’t control a lot of things in life such as our family upbringing, predispositions, and how specifically things shake out on our journey, we can control how we respond to life, our effort, and what direction we want to head.

This is why I think having a simple goal setting and life vision practice is helpful.

In this guide, I’ll go over a simple goal-setting action plan and explain some of the details.

6 Steps of Goal Setting

Below are the six steps to take when creating your goal sheet.

  1. Decide on the exact goals and numbers you want to accomplish in a specific time frame
    • This can be broken down by business and personal goals but it’s best to keep it as simple as possible with only the most important goals
  2. Determine what you will give or do to accomplish your goals
    • Break down the goals into action steps that need to be done and create a plan that can be followed to accomplish the goals 
  3. Establish a definite date of expiration
    • Usually 3 months, 6 months, 2 years, 5 years, 10 years
    • Goals will change often as life changes
  4. Write out a brief concise statement of the specific goals you intend to achieve, name the deadline for the goals, and state what you will do to attain them
  5. Read your statement aloud to yourself each morning and night, visualize yourself in the attainment of your goals, and cultivate emotion for your why

Goal Setting Sheet Example in Action

Below is a goal-setting worksheet I created that you can use on your computer to write out your business and personal goals which you can then print out to review.

It’s best to write down your goals and action items every 3 to 6 months so you can review them and update them as needed to get on the correct path.

Using The Power of Your Subconscious Mind

When any idea or image is repeated often enough in our minds it becomes fixed in our subconscious mind. 

This is with both positive and negative thoughts. 

When working towards the attainment of any goal or object in life it’s important that you train your mind to produce the right thoughts and images that create fruitful actions.

The best times to work on the creation of good thoughts and images you want to plant in your subconscious mind are the following:

  1. When waking from sleep in the morning
  2. Before going to sleep at night
  3. After any activity that allows access to the subconscious mind 

This is where your goal setting and visualization process can come into play. 

  • Simply read your statement of affirmation in the morning before going out and at night before going to bed so that your subconscious mind can go to work helping you to attain your goals when you aren’t thinking about them. 

The Power of Thought & Deciding What We Want

Our mind and the thoughts that flow through it have an amazingly strong effect on our physiology and the physical world. 

There is no separation between the mind and body. If your mind starts generating fearful thoughts and emotions then your body will respond with adrenaline and cortisol.

If it starts generating positive happy thoughts then your body will respond with bliss and relaxation.

Yes, these are triggered by the environmental situations and how your brain was wired in the past but we have a significant amount of will to consciously determine how we program it over time.

If we decide that we want something and are willing to die for it, then the chances of attaining it are much higher. 

When temptations, distractions, and naysayers come along they won’t be able to influence you in a negative way if you’ve already made a clear purposeful decision on what you are working towards. 

This is why deciding on a life target or goal is important in accomplishing anything.

With a clear purpose and a burning definite desire to accomplish what you set out to, anything is possible.

The Willingness to Burn Ships & Cut Sources of Retreat

Anyone who succeeds in accomplishing their goals has a few things in common.

  1. They have decided what they want and have a clear vision and purpose for it
  2. They know what key stepping stones need to be met (metrics or key indicators)
  3. They have complete focus on the task and are willing to persist through failure
  4. They are willing to burn all ships and sources of retreat because they have a burning desire to accomplish their goal. They are willing to risk death if they don’t succeed.

“A long while ago, a great warrior had to make a decision which ensured his success on the battlefield. He was about to send his armies against a powerful foe, whose men outnumbered his own. He loaded his soldiers into boats, sailed to the enemy’s country, unloaded soldiers and equipment, then gave the order to burn the ships that had carried them. Addressing his men before the first battle, he said, “you see the boats going up in smoke. That means that we cannot leave these shores alive unless we win! We now have no choice- we win or we perish!”

They won and every person who wins in any undertaking must be willing to burn his ships and cut all sources of retreat.

Only by doing so can one be sure of maintaining that state of mind known as a burning desire to win, essential to success.

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Josh is a writer and entrepreneur who runs a small digital content publishing business. His main interests are in topics related to developing personal and financial freedom. When not working he enjoys reading, yoga, surfing, being outdoors, meditating, exploring, and hanging with friends.