Over the last few months I’ve become increasingly interested in goal setting and the process behind it. It’s an activity that can help you determine what you’re doing and more importantly why you’re doing it. After doing a ton of reading on the subject I’ve found a framework that I’m using personally to help me achieve what I want.
The first and probably most important step to setting goals is starting. I am a believer that you won’t be able to happily solve problems if they aren’t genuinely aligned with what you personally want. This means that you need to spend a serious amount of time figuring out if what you want to do is really aligned with what you want to do. The first step sounds a little bit like an East German police tactic; you need to interrogate yourself. I’m talking about determining what you want out of your life with ruthless honesty and figure out what you’re looking for. You can’t outsource this to anyone. What’s interesting about this phase is that you can pivot, but spending a solid amount of time thinking about what you want is the first step to moving forward on it. I’ve found that every time I try doing this activity my answers change a little bit based on what is happening in my life at the time; however the general truths don’t.
There are a few questions you can ask yourself to get started on the process of learning about your goals. Below I’ve listed a few, each of which should be followed by two questions; is this truly MY goal or thought and why do I want to do this?
- What do I enjoy working on?
- What do I wish I learn more about?
- What do I love to talk about and who do I love to talk about it with?
- What am I bad at?
- What does my dream life look like?
If you can answer these questions, you have your building blocks. The next step is to eliminate the things that aren’t in congruence with your goal. As Ray Dalio says in his book Principles, “You can do anything you want, but you can’t do everything you want.” There are possibilities to wrap side dreams into your main goal.
If you can figure out what you want, you’ll find yourself receptive to the things that will help you get it. Half the battle is definition, the other 90% is execution.