Setting Goals and Plans That Help You Succeed

Welcome to Setting Goals and Plans That Help You Succeed.

This course is for anybody who has tried to do something ambitious and challenging, but...

It will help you to:

This course takes about 60 minutes to complete. Let's get started!

Part 1: Find Your "Why".

The case for a knowing your "Why".

This concept explains the reason that you do not follow through with what you resolve to do. It also explains the reason why people like Amelia Earhart and Steve Jobs did amazing things.

Before you start trying to do something you want to do, start with why you want to do it. 

What does that mean? Watch this video to find out:

Your "Why" is your purpose. It is about you and the life you want to lead. It sits at your core, and is about what you truly desire.

If you start with your "Why", you will be able to explore all the possible ways to achieve it. 

When you get discouraged when you're doing what you need to do, your "Why" will get you back on your feet.

So it's worth the time you will spend figuring it out.

What are the benefits of a strong "Why"? (Select all answers that apply)

  • My "Why" keeps me motivated when I get discouraged
  • My "Why" tells me exactly what to do on a daily basis
  • My "Why" makes it easier for me to explore ways to achieve it

How to find your "Why".

So how do you find your "Why"? This is something that is different for everyone.

As a guide, your "Why" needs to be embodied in a clear statement that you can turn to in times of doubt. Apple's statement is, "Think Different", and it helps them to challenge the status quo in everything that they do.

The below questions will help you to clarify your "Why". These were culled from a list of 20 questions from Rory Vaden (click here for the full list.)

  • What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
  • What do you want to give to the world?
  • What do you want people to think of when they think of you?
  • What do you want to be known for?
  • What are the things you believe in most?
  • What would your perfect day look like in terms of how you spent your time and what you were doing?

Take some time now, and identify your "Why". Do your best to express it in a clear statement. Click "Submit" when you are done.

Part 2: A SMART Goal... The "How".

What is a SMART goal, and why do I need one?

A strong "Why" is important, but a SMART goal explains "How" you will achieve it. This is the tool you use to achieve your "Why", like a compass helping you find your personal true north.

A SMART goal is:

  • Specific. You need to know what will get you to your why. Is it learning the cello? Becoming wealthy? Regularly seeing your friends? Make sure your goal is based on something you can do.
  • Measurable. Simply saying, "I want to be rich" is not measurable. Saying, "I will have a net worth of $1,000,000" creates a real destination. Make sure your measurement does not waver by clarifying it before you get started.
  • Achievable. How long does it take to learn to play that Bach piece on the cello? How do you know that eating 100 hot dogs in 60 seconds is even possible? Make sure that your goal can be achieved, otherwise you will become discouraged from setting future goals.
  • Relevant. Is learning to play the cello connected to your why? If your "Why" is "happiness," it may well be. If your why is "power," then proficiency in the cello may not get you the power you want.
  • Time-bound. It's all well and good to want a net worth of $1,000,000, but if you don't get there until your retirement age, that may not be enough to consider yourself wealthy. Setting a timeframe around your goals makes you focus on how to achieve them.

Which of the below statements is the best example of a SMART goal?

  • By the end of the year I will have saved enough money for a 2-week holiday in London.
  • By December 31st, I will have saved $5,000, so that I can pay for flights and accommodation for an awesome 2-week holiday in London during July.
  • I want to save money for a holiday.

Take some time to think of your "why", and write down your SMART goal. Click "Submit" when you are done.

Part 3: A Small Step Plan... The "What".

What is a Small Step Plan, and why do I need one?

Now you have a goal. It's a compass, pointing you in the right direction. Now you need a map.

This map needs to be easy to follow - so easy that you can take action every day that will advance you towards your goal.

This is what I call a Small Step Plan. 

If you want to know why a Small Step Plan is so powerful, and you are in a place where you can watch a video that contains strong language, watch the video below.

If not, move on to the next step and learn how to create a Small Step Plan.

How do I create a Small Step Plan?

Follow these four steps, and you'll have your plan.

  1. Brainstorm all the actions you could possibly take in order to achieve your goal. Don't stop until you have at least 20 actions. If you can't think of 20 actions, get people to help you.
  2. Filter the actions through your "Why". Eliminate any actions that do not connect with your "Why", even if they will work. For example, there are a lot of ways to lose weight, but you may decide that aggressive calorie counting does not suit your lifestyle.
  3. Break the actions into a list of small steps. You should be able to accomplish each step within half an hour, so that you take action every day towards your goal.
  4. Do the first thing on your list. The plan is not over until you have used it, so use and get started!

Example: Suppose my goal is to save $5,000 over the next six months. Let's make a plan!

Source: Dustin Hale Marketing1. Here is a list of (over) 20 things I can do to save $5,000 over the next six months:

  • Put $100 per week into a savings account
  • Sell some of my musical instruments
  • Get a part time job
  • Ask my boss for a pay raise
  • Find a new job
  • Do some freelance instructional design work
  • Monetise my website
  • Drink less coffee
  • Make my lunch at home instead of buying it at the food court near my office
  • Make my breakfast at home instead of buying it at a nearby cafe
  • Make large batches of cheap meals that I can eat for dinner every week
  • Quit drinking beer
  • Shop at a cheaper supermarket
  • Limit going out on the weekends
  • Do odd jobs for friends for money
  • Become an Uber driver
  • Sell my DVDs on eBay
  • Tell my friends why I'm saving money so they won't pressure me into spending it
  • Quit eating junkfood
  • Stop buying new clothes
  • Negotiate a cheaper phone and internet plan
  • Arrange a cheaper gas and electricity plan

2. I've eliminated the following actions because they don't connect to my "Why":

  • Sell some of my musical instruments
  • Get a part time job
  • Drink less coffee
  • Do odd jobs for friends for money
  • Become an Uber driver

3. Let's say that I start by negotiating a cheaper phone and internet plan. I'm going to break that action into small steps:

  • Research the cheapest plans that meet my data needs
  • Google negotiation strategies for getting a cheaper phone plan
  • Call the cheapest providers and find the cheapest plan than will pay out my existing plan for me, and arrange a call for the following day.
  • Call my current provider and tell them I'm leaving unless they can beat the price of the competitor I found. If they agree to do so, stay with them. If not, then switch providers.

4. Now I just have to get researching. I'm going to do that, you can go to the next part of the course!

Go ahead and follow the four steps to a Small Step Plan. Write down the first five steps in the space below. Click "Submit" when you are done.