How to Set Goals
in 7 Steps

How to Set Goals in 7 Steps

L ast week we talked about the importance of setting goals. Setting your life goals is one of the most life-changing things you can do.

During the process of goal setting you have to come clear to answer one of the most profound questions: What do I want from my life?

Motivational speaker, author and life coach Brian Tracy identified four reasons why people don’t set goals:
• They don’t realize about the importance of goals.
   Covered that one last week!
• They don’t know how to set goals
• They fear failure, or
• They fear rejection

If done right, goal setting can easily motivate you to take massive action and to grow as a human being. ‘That is very nice Mirjam, but how do I set goals?’ I hear you ask. Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place and to the right blogpost. This week: seven steps how to set goals!

First let’s define what a goal is. A goal is a future achievement with a timely deadline you can work towards to. A goal is a thought with commitment to make it real. A compelling goal is something that has a deeper meaning to you. It is the kind of goal that excites you, that lets you grow and the achievement is fulfilling and rewarding.

So here they are: seven steps how to set goals and make it happen!

Get into the state

Get into the right mental state to set compelling life goals for yourself. Think about the big picture. Allow yourself to dream without barriers! Forget to be reasonable. It is totally irrelevant if what comes to your mind is possible or not.

Brainstorm your life goals

Now begin thinking about what would really excite you. The things that get a big smile on your face. If you knew you could not fail, if you weren’t afraid, what would you start doing? Write everything that pops into your mind down as fast as you can. Again, it is totally irrelevant if what comes to your mind is possible or not. Forget the ‘How?’, we are totally into the ‘What?’. Avoid thinking about what it means or how difficult it will be to get there.

It works best if you choose important areas of your life to set life goals in. For example your body and health, mind and spirituality, education, finances and material things, relationships, work and career. Write everything down that excites you and that you would like to be, do and have. Brainstorm for about 5 minutes on the area you have chosen. As you do this, make sure that the goals that you have set are ones that you genuinely want to achieve, not ones that your parents, family, or employers might want. Stay true to yourself!

Also important: select a time-frame.
Choose from short-term [3-12 months], mid-term [1 to 2 years] or long-term [3 years to lifetime].


Now get your results in order. From all that you have written down in each area and time-frame, select the life goals that are most compelling to you. Give them numbers from 1-10 where 10 is the most motivating. If you reach that one, you really made progress towards what you really want in life.

Choose the top three

Select the three highest ranked goals in each category that best reflect what you want to do. Then consider trimming again to the first highest ranked and most important goal per category. Now select the 3 highest rated goals from this list you’ve created and highlight them. And also determine your number 1 goal. This goal is the most compelling thing you want to achieve.

Now you’ve already achieved something, because selecting the goals is the most important step to take. Congratulations! The next step is to start bringing them into reality. Step by step.

Set deadlines

For your top 3 life goals, including the number 1 goal, set deadlines to when you will achieve them. That means a specific date. This is important because it creates the tension that is necessary to give yourself the message, that you are serious about your happiness!

If you complete this step you really are among the 3% of the population who have actually written goals . If you work from here and review your achievements regularly you even step into the 1% of the population who does this. You go, girl!

Now comes the ‘How’-part of goal setting:

Create an action-plan

Create an action-plan for your number 1 goal. A one-year plan, six-month plan, and a one-month plan of progressively smaller goals that you should reach to achieve your lifetime goals. Then create a daily to-do-list. A specific list of actions that you should do today to work towards your lifetime goals.

Start to think from the end. Visualize your outcome as completed and think backward to where you are now. What steps have you taken to get there? Write them down and bring them into a logical order. If you have long-term goals, that process will include parts that are not completely clear and this is okay. Review this action-plan every time you make progress.

Start NOW!

From you action-plan identify the very first step to take and do that NOW! It is very important to do at least one step right now and start building momentum on your goal.

The process of goal-setting is a prerequisite for happiness. Psychologists tell us that people who make consistent progress toward meaningful goals live happier and more satisfied lives than those who don’t.

Now 2014 is moving in fast. Let me encourage you to make an appointment on your calendar any time soon to work on your goals for 2014. You can get a rough draft done in as little as an hour. There are few things in life that pay so well for such a small investment…

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Your turn!
Is setting goals one of your success habits?
What is your biggest goal for next year?
Please do leave a comment below!
Thank you.

Mirjam Stoffels

Founder of seven2success, guest blogger at TEDx, Project Eve and 365 dagen succesvol. In my mission to make seven2success the biggest platform of knowledge and inspiration for women, by women, I want to inspire you with our content! Check us out on Facebook and Twitter! I’d love to connect! 
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