How to Achieve Goals that Bring Success in Life and Profits in Business. 35 Experts Reveal their Goal Setting Activities & Secrets

How to achieve goals collage

When it comes to getting things done you don’t need to read a bunch of goal setting quotes to get you motivated, isn’t it?

How to achieve goals:

The basics go like this. You just set the goal and then take immediate action. But things aren’t always as simple as that.

You need to know how to set proper goals, and discover what works for you personally, not blindly copy-cat somebody else’s formula.

For this reason alone, we wanted to know how experienced bloggers and successful online business owners have learned how to achieve goals.

You, just like me, want to know their secret to success. Things such as

  • Goal setting principles for business and life success.
  • How to tackle daily tasks.
  • Tools, systems and methods that help track weekly, monthly and yearly goals.
  • How to get things done not just write or talk about doing them.

We got a wide variety of great responses. Things which will amaze you and help you learn the game of goal setting.

Enjoy these insights and please share this page all over the web. Your support is much appreciated!

Tor-RefslandTor Refsland

TimeManagementChef.com // Twitter

~ I decided to leave my six-figure job in order to follow my passion – to help online entrepreneurs free up more time, so they can focus on what they really love.

18 years of working hard for other companies and being a part of a few startups have taught me a thing or two about goal setting.

A few of the goals I have accomplished are:

– Black belt in WTF Taekwondo in 2.5 years by only training 2 times a week (average time is 3-3.5 years)

– Tripled the income within 5 years

– Increased my productivity by 200 %

– I convinced my company to cover my first car, a BMW 320d, when no one
else could

– Has spoken on stage in front of 3000 people in Nice

– Earned into the six figures

– While working full-time, managed to increase my earnings through a side
business by $53.500

Lost 13 pounds in 29 days without starving

– Got 2000 targeted Twitter followers in 38 days (free traffic)

I have discovered that the recipe for reaching your goal is quite simple:

1. Target – Know what you want to achieve

2. Fuel – Have a strong WHY – reason for WHY you want to achieve your goal

3. Price – Find out what you have to sacrifice (the price).

4. Decision – you have to decide if you are willing to pay the price

Goal setting is like sitting in a car in a foreign country with a map. You have to move from point A to point B.

You know WHERE you want to go, and you can measure the distance and estimate how much fuel you have to buy.

However, you can take a wrong turn and get lost and you will probably realize that the map isn`t THAT accurate. In addition, you probably have to spend a lot of more TIME and FUEL than estimated in order to reach your final destination.

So basically it all comes down to…

for how long are you willing to continue your journey?

And are you willing to pay the price?

It`s all about having a strong WHY, PERSISTENCE and being willing to make the necessary SACRIFICE…

EVERY SINGLE day.

Feelings and doubt will cripple your progress.

You have to turn yourself into a machine and ignore your feelings.

You have to be willing to complete the necessary tasks, whether you feel like it or not.

It can also be a good way to break a big hairy goal down into smaller manageable goals – using a method I call the DUMB SMART system. That is how some people becomes a world champion in their respected field.

The recipe is simple, but not easy.

Allow me to further reveal a few insights about my goals.

For example, while working full-time, managed to increase my earnings through a side business by $53.500

Why?

Because I wanted to accelerate my personal development and become the best.

The fact that it was really darn hard to do and that the chance of success was slim, was a motivating factor for me. It was like pouring rocket fuel on a bonfire.

Method:

I was daily listening to personal development mp3`s from the best entrepreneurial minds in the world (Jim Rohn, Napoleon Hill, Zig Ziglar, etc.).

I was constantly pushing myself out of the comfort zone doing things I would NEVER have done before, having great mentors and last but not least, willing to work 15-20 hours extra, every single week (in addition to having a demanding 6-figure income job).

Here’s how I’ve took the black belt in WTF Taekwondo in 2.5 years by only training 2 times a week (average time is 3-3.5 years)

My WHY: I wanted to become the best.

Method:

During the training, I was always asking the Master to verify me doing the new techniques we were learning, so I was sure that I was doing it right.

At the commute back home, I was visualising myself practicing the new techniques.

When I got home from training, I wrote a  training log with drawings of each new technique. And on the commute to the next training, I was visualising and practicing the previous training session.

As long as your body can perform every technique correct, it`s just a matter of in which order they are put together to perform a complex martial art pattern.

It`s the same with writing. If you know the alphabet, your writing skills is roughly determined by your ability to put the letters together in suitable way, forming words and sentences.

Ricky-FigueroaRicky Figueroa

BlogLaunchInsider.com // Twitter

~ Entrepreneur, Founder of Blog Launch Insider. I Build Smart, And Play Smart.

I’ll be the first one to admit, I did struggle with this for many years.

The reason I lost many battles in front of my goals, because I never made a committed decision.

You see, a committed decision is only a committed decision when you follow through with the RIGHT action steps that supports that decision.

Otherwise, your goal is just wishful thinking and you are setting yourself and your goals up to a vicious cycle of the exact same failure.

When I decided that I was going to launch an Online Brand (BlogLaunchInsider.com), I knew I had to make some serious changes, if I wanted to take it to the level I envisioned.

Here’s what worked for me, which changed my results dramatically:

1. I made a committed decision – meaning I committed to materialize my main goal no matter what it takes. Of course, let’s not kill anyone or do something illegal, but we can break some rules 😉

2. I make clear what the purpose and intention for reaching that main goal is.

This one is very important because it tells me exactly WHY I’m getting started and WHY I must follow through. I need to fall in love with this entire idea, if I want it to work for me.

3. I breakdown my BIG goal into sub-divisions and I assign a dateline for the big goal and also for all small goals.

4. Then, I break down the small goals into daily tasks that I must accomplish no matter what.

Next thing you know… by the end of each week I’ve often accomplished more than I expected.

That keeps me sane and happy.

5. I keep track of my progress every single morning before starting to work on the business and every night before going to bed.

Now, there are a few foundational components that drives all of these action steps to get completed:

When I’m starting a new project with new goals… I must have a purpose far more important than just making money.

Don’t get me wrong, making money… in fact, lots of it… is great! But it cannot be your only intention, because when you find your first couple of obstacles… your love for money is not going to take you far.

At least, that’s how I roll and what truly works for me.

And finally, EXECUTION is the name of the game!

You must want to accomplish your goals more than your competitors ever will.

You must work harder and smarter on it – period!

That is your competitive advantage.

In my case, I run my blog and business with a “Launch Cycle.” In other words, I run it like if I was getting ready to launch a product line for my brand – which I am.

There are 4 Launch Phases and the tasks I perform each day varies depending on which phase I’m at:

1. The Pre-Pre Launch

2. The Pre-Launch

3. The Launch

4. Post Launch

At this moment, regarding Blog Launch Insider – I’m at the Pre-Pre Launch Phase.

So, based on that, here is how my daily tasks look like (usually):

5:30 AM – Wake up, drink my delicious coffee or tea and do a 15-30 minute meditation and body stretch session.

6:00 AM – I run and do my workout routine for about 45 minutes to an hour.

7:00 AM – Eat a protein rich breakfast and drink lots of water.

7:30 AM – I start doing research. I read a book or read 1-3 articles from my top favorite sites with content that’s relevant to my own project and my audience.

Those articles that I find truly valuable are saved for future reference. I usually take 2-3 hours implementing this.

9:30 AM – I go into my Blog Launch Insider FB group to hop on the conversations and also the questions members of the group ask.

10:00 AM – I record a short video answering 1-3 questions from members of the FB group. Then, I edit it and upload it directly to the group. After that I upload it directly to the Blog Launch Insider Fan Page.

After that I upload it to Youtube, optimize it and share it on other social media platforms. This process usually takes me 1 hour to complete.

11:00 AM – I go on Twitter to reply to those engaged with my tweets. Something I’m doing more often now… is replying using Twitter Video, which can only be used via your mobile phone.

So, if you go to my twitter page and you say “hey” or make a comment about one of my tweets or blog posts – I will take the time to reply to you directly via video 🙂

Then, I check out what my peers are tweeting about and I save some of the tweets for future reference.

After that I quickly go to Buffer and I “re-buffer” my top posts.

This usually takes me 15-20 minutes.

11:30 AM – I take a 10-15 minute break to stretch and do a very quick workout routine.

12:00 PM – I start working on organizing the feedback I’ve gathered from my subscribers, and FB group members into different categories.

Then, I proceed to work on content creation for the pre-launch phase and also for the courses, and membership site I’ll be launching.

I usually work on this the entire day, unless I’m working on a big project for a high paying client.

Also, usually at night… around 7pm, I send emails to influencers in my niche that I’m building relationships with.

The Pre-Pre Launch process is all about gathering feedback from my audience, which help me shape my content for blog posts, courses, membership site and pre-launch video series I’ll launching soon.

Like I mentioned before… the tasks I implement depend on which Launch Phase I’m at with my business.

Zac JohnsonZac Johnson

ZacJohnson.com // Twitter

~ Entrepreneur and branding expert with nearly 20 years of experience in the online marketing space.

When it comes to setting a goal, the most important thing I do is clear out all of the clutter and make sure I limit my distractions.

With so many different things coming and going on a daily basis, it’s way too easy to get side tracked and not focusing on your end goal or what’s most important.

This is something I’ve personally struggle with over the years and have learned to deal with over time.

When you are your own boss, you need to focus your time, work and effort in all of the right areas.

Focus on what’s making money or whatever will move your end goal and you will continue to see success.

The key to my success?

In short, I just stopped working on other projects.

No tools, no magic apps… just plain old clearing shop.

Threw out notes for miscellaneous projects I was working on and just went hardcore on my main focus.

Alan-BleiweissAlan Bleiweis

AlanBleiweiss.com // Twitter

~ Forensic SEO Consultant, Author, Trainer, Speaker, and snarky rant specialist.

First of all, I don’t consider myself a world renowned successful entrepreneur – I am not yet fully retired, I don’t yet own a multi-million dollar home fully paid for.

I don’t yet have the luxury to fly around the world in private jets, staying at 5 star resorts for months at a time…  

HOWEVER – I am, already, at 55 years old, semi-retired.  I have brought in over $200,000 a year the past couple years ($240k last year) and am on track for that again this year (remember –that’s working PART TIME). 

I DO fly first class when I travel, (and I am beyond grateful I have reached a point in life and business I can finally do that! It’s not as a bragging point it’s also one aspect of my goal achievement process – see below on how/why…).  

Also, I do get to be philanthropic / take time to help others without any need or concern about compensation when that fits my life vision.  I do get to choose my own clients and who I associate with in business, without concern mostly…

And I pay my part time assistant an average of $300 an hour for straight-forward data gathering for my audit work.  Which allows HER to be a stay–at–home mom, raising and home–schooling her young son by working part time herself.  

So – Here’s some things that have worked for me.  

There are so many “secrets” to goal setting in business. Except they’re not secrets.

People have been sharing them online, writing books about them, doing TED talks on them, for a long time.

What I found though was not every method, tactic or strategy that others share worked for them is right for my unique life / personality / work methods.

So the first key is whatever others say works for them, sure – consider it.  Just don’t assume that one thing is going to be a winner in your life.  

For me, a major aspect of this has to do with learning both the concept of discipline coupled with consistency, processed through my own nature.

I can work toward modifying / changing my existing beliefs, patterns and habits.

However sometimes that effort or method goes directly in opposition to my nature and it’s not wise to fight nature too long or too much.

Because eventually the stress, the frustration will lead to bad outcomes all around. 

Some things that work for me, to varying degrees of success, at varying times include:

Work smart, not hard.

Sure, early on, and for varying lengths of time for each person / business, working hard is likely required. It was for me.

I had to bust my ass to achieve many of the goals I set out for myself. Except, at a certain point, if/when I am able to stop and evaluate the process of that goal achievement, I can often find ways to be more efficient.

That’s not about cheating the system, or unethical methods, or criminal activity. It’s finding better, smarter ways to do something.

For the past 30+ years I have done my best to apply that concept along the way.

And it’s helped me run circles around my former ways, and around others who don’t know / realize the value of the “work smart, not hard” concept.  

Decide what the goal(s) is/are.

That sounds obvious, yet if we’re not clear enough up front on particular aspects of a goal, we can end up meandering, becoming lost and side tracked too easily.  

Recognize where a goal is in the hierarchy of business and even life priorities.  Sure, I want to achieve X.  Except I have 35 other goals that, upon closer evaluation, really are more important.

That helps trigger awareness regarding how much time/effort I am really willing to give to the goal. 

Be willing to reevaluate along the path – if I keep saying “this is something I need to do”, yet it isn’t manifesting, look at why that is.

Typically it can either be because it’s not what I’m meant to be achieving (forcing an outcome is not healthy or wise in the vast majority of situations), or it may be that others need to be brought on board where I initially thought I didn’t need to include others.

Alternately, it may also be due to the fact that I hadn’t broken down a big goal into smaller, more digestible slices.

It may be due to any number of obstacles as well – obstacles in process, obstacles in beliefs, obstacles of many kinds unanticipated.   

I mentioned in that last one the concept of slices – by breaking a bigger goal down into more manageable slices, I can (and typically need to) focus on one or only a few slices at a time.

If I do that, and if I apply consistency over time, eventually I can quite often end up with the whole pie.

And when that happens, it’s a gratifying feeling – to know I stuck with something, step by step, slice by slice, and finally “arrived” at the bigger goal. 

And that reevaluation process is also important because businesses change, industries change, other people / companies / 3rd party products / services integral to a goal’s achievement also can change.

By reevaluating periodically, it allows me to adjust and shift as needed.

And by knowing the need to reevaluate is part of any long-term goal setting, it allows me to not stress out as much over those changes that do happen along the path. 

We’re bombarded all too often by negative forces – people who say something can’t be achieved; people who say we’re doing it wrong; people who think its not worth the effort; market forces in turmoil; competitors / perceived competitors appearing to be ahead of us; economic forces…

Heck – our own minds can often be the source of those same messages.

The list goes on and on.  So we need to recognize this as well – and if we want a goal enough, most any of those can be overcome in spite of what appears to be going on around us.  

History is filled with success that “flies in the face of logic or reason”.  

Trust my past success.

With each new goal I set, if it’s important enough to me, and if there is any chance I can reach that goal, one way to counter the negative bombardment is through pausing to look at what I HAVE achieved in the past.

What issue, situation, scenario in the past have I walked through and gotten past? Even if it means going into personal life outside of business for those past wins.

There may very well be personal life cases, or past business cases I don’t initially recall.  And with each and every past success I do recall, that starts building the “pile of evidence” in my favor for this one to succeed.  

Whatever the goal, whatever the challenges along the way, find gratitude in life – I can’t emphasize this one enough – it’s not hocus-pocus magical fairy dust new age thinking.  It’s real – and it matters.

Because when I stop to find reasons to be grateful today, where I am, right now on my journey in business and life, that too goes a long way toward detoxifying my thinking of negative force against current goal achievement.  It really works.  

Know when I / my team / my associates don’t have all the knowledge / skill / experience necessary, and figure out where to go or what to do to resolve that along the way.

What’s that saying about truly successful people – something about “how they know what they know, know what it is they don’t know, and know where to go / who to turn to that do know” right? Right. Absolutely.  

If I have no clarity on how to achieve a major business goal, I take that last one and morph it into “model yourself after the person / people who HAVE achieved that goal”.  I learned that years ago from stuff Anthony Robbins teaches.

That doesn’t mean to model our entire business or our entire life after that person / those people.  Just those aspects of their path directly related to the goal achievement process we are focused on. 

Regarding that whole “I fly 1st class” thing? And remember the “work smart, not hard” thing?

Well since I do make as much as I do, the stress reduction, time efficiency increase that comes from flying first class is beyond worth the additional cost to me.

And in fact, while some flights are stupid expensive to fly 1st class, many are surprisingly NOT expensive at all!  I can fly 1st class for around $1,000 or less most anywhere in the US if I time it right.

Heck – I need to fly to New York this month and when I went and checked fares, the average for non-stop coach was right around $500 (short notice pricing).  However when I checked the same flight 1st class, it was just $1,150.

So even though most of my life I couldn’t / wasn’t willing to justify that expense, nowadays it’s a no-brainer, even when held to the potential counter-value of other life/business goals I could easily make higher priority than that 1st class experience. 

As I opened with – there are so many factors and methods and ways to get success. These are just some of mine.  Hopefully they’ll help at least one person who reads this…

Chris-PunkeChris Punke

TodayThing.com // Twitter

~ Indie game & app developer. Internet marketing professional. Rabid experimenter. Wannabe astronaut. Husband. Dad. Buildbox enthusiast. Corona SDK Ambassador.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret I’ve learned. It’s one that I’ve only recently stumbled upon after years of failure.

But before I do, let me warn you…

This goes completely against everything I’ve ever read, heard or learned about GOAL SETTING. That’s OK. I believe the results will speak for themselves quite soon.

Ok. Here it is. (No turning back now.)

GOAL SETTING SUCKS.

There. I said it.

It’s probably going to get me a ton of hate mail, but that’s OK. I can handle it.

Let me explain WHY it sucks, and what I’m doing instead.

Goal setting sucks because as soon as I DON’T reach one of my goals, my brain is going to beat me up. Every day. Constantly. It’s not pretty. It makes me feel like a complete failure. (Well, at least a little.)

And every day, when I don’t reach yet another goal, that failure adds up, and adds up, and pretty soon I get to feeling pretty rotten.

And my beat-up, butt-kicked brain drags down my creativity, and my ability to provide any real value.

I don’t want to get beat up. Especially from within my own self!

Here’s how it usually works. Maybe you’ve noticed something like this before in your own life:

I set a VERY SPECIFIC goal with a VERY SPECIFIC date attached, just like all the “experts” have told me time after time. (The experts always say “BE VERY SPECIFIC”.)

“I’ll have $XXX,XXX.XX dollars in my bank account by January 1st.”

or

“By December 31st I’ll have 5141 people on my email list.”

And then I start working toward my goals. But the closer that date comes the more I realize I’m not getting close enough. And I’m not going to get there in time. There’s just too much goal left to accomplish before my goal date.

Or worse yet: I set a goal without a clue as to how to get there from where I am. And each day that passes and I’m not one step closer to reaching that goal, I feel utterly terrible.

NO MORE!!! STOP THE INSANITY!!

Instead of setting goal, after goal, after goal…

that leave me feeling like a failure…

over and over…

I have decided to set a “purpose” instead.

A PURPOSE?!?

That’s right! A purpose will constantly drive me forward.

A purpose will reveal to me the next destination on my journey — at JUST the right time too!

No more trying to “figure out” what to do next. (I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent reading, learning, digging, plodding, trying to figure out how to achieve my goals.)

With a purpose, I won’t be stuck feeling like I’m spinning my wheels. Because every single bit of movement in the right direction makes me feel like I’m getting somewhere. It starts to build, and build, and build, until it begins to feel amazing!

And when you feel amazing, that energy is contagious!

With a PURPOSE, I have energy that I’ve never felt before. Because my purpose keeps calling me to push on, to reach higher and to HELP HARDER.

What I’ve discovered is…

A purpose is OTHERS focused.

But a goal is ME focused.

When I’m focused on ME, I’m already set up for failure.

When I’m focused on OTHERS, I’m going to be able to add VALUE. And by adding value to other people, I will find happiness and success.

And some of that success will help me achieve those crappy goals I tried to set in the first place.

Every single time I focus on myself, I fail. Miserably.

In fact, I’m climbing out of a long run of failures as I type this. For too long I have focused on what I need. Not on what others need. I have been focusing on my goals. Not on how I can help others.

In what universe does focusing on one’s own goals achieve anything useful? None. It doesn’t.

Goals are totally SELF CENTERED! Bleh.

A PURPOSE is centered on helping others be successful. Hurray!

My PURPOSE is to focus on providing as much value to others as I can, using the unique abilities and insight that I have been given. And it’s already starting to pay off with increased happiness.

And with some amazing new opportunities!

I’ve totally ditched the goals.

Instead I’ve set my purpose. Because purpose is what’s going to keep me going through the rough and tough spots, the late nights, the tears and the triumphs. Purpose is what makes the world a little better place, day by day.

And (for me) it’s only just begun.

Colin KlinkertColin Klinkert

Serped.com // Twitter

~ Internet Entrepreneur, SEO Expert & software developer.

There are 3 main types of goals to set:

  • Personal ( incl. family, health, personal development, friends etc.)

  • Financial (I put this by itself as it is too important to be rolled into others)

  • and Business.

Financially, I check and track income and expenses on a daily basis, I set sales goals both in total numbers and also in growth % for the month on month.

I also set expense goals (limit the growth of certain expenses such as refunds) and goals on max cancelations and this helps me really stay focused.

If you don’t track intensely, you can’t improve. I often don’t hit my goals, but at least I know what I am aiming for and what I must increase as the month goes to reach the monthly goal.

For business, my team and I use a task management application called Asana. We recently switched to another one called Jira, which is a better fit for developers: better for bug tracking, etc.

I found Asana by searching for task management applications.

I was looking for ways to better manage projects and tasks. We tried a few ones, and ended up using Asana.

As for Jira, I read about it on a blog, and it was recommended to me by several high-level developers working on our main SAAS business.

This allows us to track the issues and progress as well as time taken in each sector.

The whole team runs on a software called TimeDoctor to track the time taken on each task. I also personally use it as well to see my time breakdowns as well, it is not just for monitoring and managing the team.

I also use Google Calendar, to set reminders for meetings, small tasks, etc.

I really like Google Calendar because if you use Gmail (as part of Apps for business like we use over at my company blog), it’s easily accessible, and it’s very unlikely that you miss a notification.

If like me you have your mailbox open all the time, you will never miss anything. Postponing a task is also quite easy, even if that’s something I try to avoid doing.

Finally, Personal...

I have goals in every aspect of my life, that I check my progress on monthly. But they are just that, personal! Yours will be different from mine, just be sure to write them down and check that you are heading towards them.

When you meet them, set a new one!

Good luck and enjoy, because goal setting betters you and pushes you and is a ‘life improver’!

Andrew FortuneAndrew Fortune

GreatColoradoHomes.com // Twitter

~ REALTOR® in Colorado Spring, technology nut, wannabe graphic designer, website junkie, marketing enthusiast.

For me, the “secret” to goal setting is to choose a realistic time table to the equation. It’s common to hear business owners say “I want to make (or sell) $x,xxx,xxx this year!” A lot can happen in one year though.

As a small business owner in Colorado Springs, I like to make quarterly goals based off of previous experience, rather than yearly goals. I will make yearly goals as well, but I am much more focused on my quarterly goals.

This allows me to take time off once I’ve met my quarterly goals early enough, or put some extra hours in next quarter if my goals weren’t completely met last quarter.

Over estimating your potential is easy to do on long term goals.

If I were to tell you that I can sell your house in Colorado Springs in 10 days, and your house is still on the market 2 months later, you’re going to be disappointed.

It’s no different with personal goals. Be realistic about your personal goals and break them down into smaller time tables to gain more control over them.

I’ve learned this over the years of running my own small business and it has helped me maintain a healthy work/life balance.

For my daily tasks, I use Evernote to keep a running ‘to do” list of things that need to be taken care of.

Evernote is great because it syncs with all of my devices. Every day before I end my work day, I update my to-do list with all of the details of the day.

Before I started doing this, I would lay awake at night worrying about missing details that need to be taken care.

Now, I get everything out of my head and onto my list and my stress level goes way down. I sleep much better now and all of my tasks get taken care of.

Josh-Coffy.Josh Coffy

FlightMedia.co // Twitter

~ Fully-Caffeinated. Social Strategist. Blogger

Goal setting is the 1st step to greatness.

If you aren’t setting goals, you have no vision, your team has no vision, and everything you do is a shot in the dark–hoping something hits.

Every year, our team at Flight Media spends a week (typically in December) reviewing accomplishments from the current year and setting new goals for the upcoming year. 

As we achieve each goal, we celebrate. Recently, we reached our YEAR goal of working with 50 clients daily. It took us 5 months to achieve, so we celebrated and upped the ante to 100 clients for the remainder of the year.

Along with team/company goals, we have systems in place that set goals and milestones for each employee.

When they hit those goals or milestones, they get raises & bonuses, then receive higher goals and milestones.

Each system is first documented in a Google Drive Doc, then converted into screenshare videos, using Screenflow. 

In Drive, we have an entire sector called Flight Media University. Within that folder, there are various subfolders, for different departments, with screenshare videos, as well as the written process documents.

Having them makes new hire training a very fast process–seeing as it takes virtually no training time for our managers!

Setting goals creates vision. Having vision creates unity. Unified vision drives success.

Andy CrestodinaAndy Crestodina

OrbitMedia.com // Twitter

~Web strategist and co-founder of Orbit Media (@orbiteers). Speaker, content marketer, environmentalist and author:

Visibility equals accountability …so I visually track progress against my goals.

I use a spreadsheet that shows all my goals, divided into categories. 

I have this spreadsheet up as a “pinned tab” on my main browser at all times. It’s in my field of vision almost continually, serving as a reminder to do the important things, not just the urgent things.

Andy Crestodina goal dashboard

If your goals are really big, break them down into smaller goals. So rather than “write a book,” add “write book outline,” “write draft of first chapter,” etc.  

Use dashboards or spreadsheets to make your progress visible, and make sure the goals are small enough that you’re showing progress at least once every few days. This will keep you both accountable and motivated.

So dream big! Then crush those goals day-by-day, week-by-week…

Andy-KinseyAndy Kinsey

SeoAndy.net // Twitter

~ #SEO by Day, #Coffee Lover by Lunch, Labour Councillor for Hyde Werneth 24/7

Whether in life or in my own business, I tend to mull over goals for a few days – I let them form and reform – then I discuss them with someone who isn’t really connected with my life or my business.

In essence I bounce the idea around the goal off another person, sometimes the person has reached the goal themselves and other times it’s just a sounding post.

The important thing is to talk about the goal, why it’s a goal and why it’s important. Those three things will help you to not only set achievable goals but also to realise when a goal is actually a marker on the way to your real goal.

Take for example a recent project I launched, SubscriptionCoffee.org, it originally had about 10 goals – each measurable, simple to check on progress of and easy to understand why it was a goal. It launched with those goals.

Two weeks after launch I was sat with a client (not related to the new site) and told her about the site & what my goals were.

Within 10 minutes of talking to the client it became clear that actually there are only 3 goals for the site, the others are just markers pointing towards those goals.

Driving traffic is a marker to website growth, as is regular content creation, the end goal is lead capture (of one kind or another).

The secret to setting goals is to be realistic and not jump in at the deep end – if you’ve a new site and you are capturing email addresses (for example) then starting with 10 emails a month as a target is a great starting point, once you reach or near the target extend it.

Your goals shouldn’t always be finite in nature, goals evolve all the time (in life and business), reaching the goals is about the journey and what you learn, not the destination.

Ashley FaulkesAshley Faulkes

MadLemmings.com // Twitter

~ Online Marketer, specialising in WordPress & SEO combined with awesome content.

Achieving your goals is always a challenge and anything that can help you do that is something you probably want to learn, right? 

Over the years I have always been self-motivated so I am not going to talk to you about that aspect of achieving your goals, but instead, one small and one large thing you can try that have helped me immensely.

One of the most useful things I do to achieve my goals is to write down a list of the most important tasks you want to accomplish each day.

Whether you do that the night before (recommended, so you can start straight away in the morning) or the next day, is up to you.

But having clear priorities for each day helps to keep you on track and focused when things like social media and youtube are inviting you to waste your time.

It could be that you don’t achieve everything on your list each day, in which case move those tasks to the next day’s list, if they are still important. But having the list is very helpful indeed and should be by your side every day.

(Tip: you can find even more small productivity and goal achieving tips in this podcast)

Another area where I have really gotten a lot of benefit out of in the last 6 months is forming a mastermind of like-minded people.

The idea of a mastermind is to hold a weekly meeting and help each other build our businesses.

But one very important side-effect of this kind of group, is the accountability.

By having to set weekly goals, and report on them to a group each week means you will absolutely try to achieve them. This is by far the most helpful goal achieving tip I can give you – make yourself accountable to someone else.

And if you want to form a mastermind, you might want to check out Patt Flynn’s podcast on the topic which gives some great tips on what to do and how to do it.

Ben WynkoopBen Wynkoop

BenWynkoop.com // Twitter

~ SEO Consultant focused on local search and link building. @USMC veteran interested in caffeine, cats and mixed martial arts.

Goal setting in business and life starts with a vision and all goals should reinforce this vision.

An excellent, popular approach to goal setting is the SMART framework that says goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.

While I wouldn’t call it a “secret,” one of the most valuable pieces of advice I received from a mentor was to practice rapid implementation.

Multiplying your efforts by hiring others is the most productive way to complete projects, but initially you may have to do it yourself.

Blunder:

One of the initial mistakes I made when trying to hire others was buying the most inexpensive work possible on sites such as oDesk.

Outsourcing to these cheap contractors often created more headaches than benefits. Since then I have been successful by paying what I need to hire self-starters who don’t need to micromanage.

As a professional marketer I track campaigns using multiple key performance indicators to not rely on one metric or perspective.

I see many fail with personal goals such as fitness because they don’t measure their goals in multiple ways, despite doing so in business.

For example, even a fancy scale that measures: body fat, water weight, and lean mass isn’t always accurate, so track other metrics such as the amount of weight and repetitions during resistance training.

Bill-GassettBill Gassett

MaxRealEstateExposure.com // Twitter

~ One of the top 5 RE/MAX agents in MA for the last decade. Social media/SEO junkie.

This may sound strange but goal setting for me in business and life has not come with a set plan in mind.

In other words, I don’t have some fancy chart or written step by step methods on how I am going to achieve my desired results.

Instead I just go to work and try to make it happen. It comes from an inner desire to make sure I succeed at whatever my goal my be.

So far so good as getting what I have wanted has come fairly easy to me. This is not to say there has not been hard work along the way.

For example one of my goals over the last five years has been to take my real estate blog, Massachusetts Real Estate Exposure and make it one of the most popular blogs for real estate on the net.

I would say for an individual Realtor my goal has been reached.

More people know me online because of my blog.

In fact due to the attention it has drawn, I am now writing for some major real estate publications including the National Association of Realtors, Inman News, RIS Media, Point2, Placester and others.

Bishal-BiswasBishal Biswas

ViralBlogTips.com // Twitter

~ Award Winning Internet Marketer & Writer, helping companies to grow organically.

I prioritize the works into 3 categories:

1) What needs to be done urgently.

2) What can be done afterwards.

3) What can be neglected.

For if you’re not prioritizing the works, everything would then be seemed to be done urgently. And thing’s would mess up.

Another thing I keep in consideration while I’m setting up my goal is — “I be focused on 1 particular thing at a time“, for if I am trying to achieve too many things at a time, might not get any success.

And truly what I believe is — If you’re really wanting to achieve the BIG thing, listen to your heart. Things would be absolutely fine in life.

Brian LangBrian Lang

SmallBusinessIdeasBlog.com // Twitter

~ I am a small business owner since 2002 and blog to give free business tips and ideas.

The most important thing about goal setting is to pick your #1 goal and focus only on that.

It’s harder to do than it sounds because there are many distractions and sometimes we get bored with what we’re doing and want to try something else.

In order to move towards the goal, we have to plan out and establish a routine, then keep repeating that routine until it becomes a habit.

Sometimes I use Yahoo Calendar reminders to remind me to do certain tasks.

It sends an email reminder directly to your email and you can do one time reminders or recurring reminders, like weekly or monthly. Google has a similar feature for Gmail users.

Chris-MakaraChris Makara

ChrisMakara.com // Twitter

~ Interactive Marketing & Digital Strategist. Skilled in #SEO, #SocialMedia & #InteractiveMarketing. Football Fan, #Bacon Lover & Ambidextrous Bowler

While there are many things that need to happen for me in order to reach my goals, one of the keys to accomplishing my goals has to do with my process.

When it takes several steps to reach a goal, there are some people who like to tackle the easiest items first and essentially procrastinate on the more difficult items.

I operate the complete opposite way.

Instead, I prefer to tackle the most difficult tasks first.

Typically, they contain the most unknowns, take the most time, and frustrate you the most. However, by getting them out of the way early in the process (when possible) it makes the rest of the way to the goal a breeze.

Several years ago I came across this quote:

Eat a live frog every morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” – Mark Twain

Which pretty much sums up the approach I take. In essence it aligns with my approach of attacking the most difficult task first in order to make sure nothing more difficult/worse/frustrating should happen the rest of the way. 

For me this applies in both business and life and works pretty well for me in getting things done.

For the most part, I keep the end goal in my mind but like to use Google Keep to jot down general to-dos as well as miscellaneous tasks that I need to do.

I like to list the most pressing/urgent task at the top of my lists when it comes to my to-dos. 

Chris Makara google keep

What’s nice about Google Keep is that you can create itemized lists, text, or even images. I use it to jot down all sorts of stuff I just need to remember.

Plus you can set reminders, color code items, or even share your tasks with others. It syncs across your phone/browser.

Dave SchneiderDave Schneider

NinjaOutreach.com // Twitter

~ Cofounder of NinjaOutreach, an innovative new Blogger Outreach software for marketers. He writes about business and entrepreneurship @ SelfMadeBusinessman. Enjoys travel.

Honestly I think if there is a secret to goal settings it’s to actually do it. 

Most people don’t set goals and therefore tend to achieve less.

I can’t remember where but I read about three groups of Yale students, one who didn’t have goals, one who had goals in their head, and one who had goals and wrote them down.

The last group achieved the most. 

So setting goals and  writing them down is probably the number one step to achieving them.

Outside of that – try to break your goals into miniature goals, like monthly as opposed to yearly, so that it is easier to measure your progress.

Dave UrsilloDave Ursillo

DaveUrsillo.com // Twitter

~ Writer, author and yogi. I teach, travel, lead workshops and help self-starters make their stories shine. I believe that self-expression is service.

Rather than setting goals that are strict or hard-lined (“3,000 words of writing every day!” or “10,000 site subscribers by 2016!”) I try to set goals that continually honor my core values, beliefs and intentions...

  • “Write better”

  • “Amplify my message”

  • “Serve more widely, more directly.”

That way, the means to achieving my goals is fluid, creative, allowed to change.

I value that flexibility. It makes the process more important than the outcome.

Anyone can set a goal and stop at nothing until they achieve it.

What good is that?

Achievement ought to be directed toward outward service, and focusing on how you maneuver will remind you of your impact on others’ lives in business, and in your everyday life. 

Dennis-SeymourDennis Seymour

LeapFroggr.com // Twitter

~ Full Stack SEO | Digital Marketer | #Muggle Born | @LeeapFroggr Co-Founder.

I wasn’t raised or taught to set goals, so growing up, I approached things like this:

I just had a vague “goal” and I kinda did things to get to it.

That method also makes it easy to quit and pursue something else, which is why goals are never hit. Being a happy-go-lucky guy, well, let’s just say that it’s not a good mix. I’m sure that I’m not the only one that has experienced this though.

It’s been a long process. I honestly feel like I still need to learn more and have ways to go.

I made big strides this year when it comes to setting goals. I highly recommend reading Think and Grow Rich first, then move to other goal setting books, then fixing your own productivity system (like GTD) to work towards those goals.

I had to learn it. Actually, “force myself” to learn seems to be the better way to put it.

I still continue to work on it. Take incremental steps towards big goals. Strip them down to smaller, attainable goals within a time frame.

Journaling has also helped motivate me and keep myself in-line.

Podcasts are goldmines for little nuggets to improve my methods but I only apply things to test them. Treat it like “versioning” your goal setting methods.

My productivity system is currently at the 3rd version. It started with a GTD style.

I use Things for Mac though Todoist can be used as well. I also use a Pomodoro timer. I target 8 Pomodoros in a day at least.

The simple version I tested last time went like this. I recently added new things and tweaked my system further to incorporateEnergy” levels and “Themed” days.

I noticed that I performed better when I’m doing tasks that are in the same category, hence the Themed days. For example, my Friday is blogging day.

Whatever happens in the day, because sh** will happen, I know I’ll go back to work and blog.

I tag my tasks with High or Low energy so that I can still get work done even if I’m mentally struggling at that certain point in the day.

I’m still testing it but it’s been working out well for me so far. I’ll be posting about it soon.

Doc-SheldonDoc Sheldon

DocSheldon.com // Twitter

~ Proud member of the VaynerNation, hustlin’ for all I’m worth!

Goal setting in business and in life are quite different processes in one regard.

In business, we normally have data available to indicate which direction we need to go in and at least some of the steps necessary to get us there.

In life, though, we’re more often led by intuition, guesswork, misguided advice or desperation.

Unfortunately, too many people make their business decisions the same way they do their decisions about life… with their gut.

To me, that’s like rushing into a library to find a book on marine microbiology, and refusing to use the catalog system or look at the section labels. Good luck with that!

It’s also a problem that most people don’t know how to set goals that are realistic, achievable and measurable, while not self-defeating.

“Lose weight” may sound great, but smaller chunks are more measurable and considerably less daunting, because we can see constant progress.

How about “lose two pounds per week” instead? That makes it much easier to measure progress and to maintain our motivation, even in the face of the inevitable occasional setback.

So I set multi-level goals… first, the macro: “get down to my ideal weight with 10% body fat” (which, trust me, for me, is a very long-term goal, if it’s even achievable).

Then I set other supporting goals like “reduce my caloric intake to a maximum of 1200 calories per day”, “stay under 15 grams of fat per day”, “work out for an hour at least 3 times per week”, “eat five meals per day”, etc.

I’m a bit old-fashioned, I suppose. I keep a notebook on my desk to scribble notes in and refer back to it when I need something (yes, there are still people that actually write things out by hand now and then).

For scheduling and tracking, I use my Google Calendar and check it constantly (email and popup reminders are your friend).

For keeping track of projects, assignments of our writers, invoicing and general tasks, I put Excel to good use. I’ve been doing that with spreadsheets since Lotus 1-2-3 first came out, and I’m too old to change now.

One of these days, when I have a little extra cash to throw around, I’ll hire some underworld figure to kidnap Annie Cushing and bring her to my mountain lair to teach me how to really use Excel!

Those supporting goals are tailored to always take me closer to my macro goal, and should be equally supportive of each other (too often, people set goals that actually compete, rather than complement).

Then, my decisions along the way all share at least one key factor in common:

“Will doing this take me closer to my macro goal?”

If the answer is no, then that may indicate it isn’t a wise thing to do.

That’s not to say that I never do anything that doesn’t further my progress toward my macro goal. But anything that might slow or reverse my progress has to have a tremendous upside to overcome that, or I just don’t do it.

Although it made perfect sense to me from the time I first read about the process, I found it surprisingly difficult to change my way of thinking about things to always include that one key question.

We do most things in a particular way by habit… and not necessarily because they’ve always worked in the past. Sometimes it’s just because it’s easier than trying to do it a new way.

So I had to force myself to form a new habit – of always asking that question before making a decision. This has worked well for me, both in business and in life.

Dr-Paul-JohnsonDr. Paul Johnson

ALuxuryTravelBlog.com // Twitter

~ Blogging on all things luxury travel

My goal is very simple.

Sure, I like to see my business develop and become more profitable

I like to see the number of visitors to my website grow, and for those people to stay on the site for longer; and I like to see my social media statistics continue to go from strength to strength (over half a million on Twitter and a quarter of a million on Facebook at the current count).

I like to see us continue to develop quality content that people will want to read, and to have a growing team of contributors that are capable of delivering that content.

But, above all this, my number one goal is to simply enjoy what I do.

As a luxury travel blogger, many of my friends believe I’ve got ‘lucky’ and landed the dream job, but the reality is that it’s a career I’ve actively pursued because it’s something I enjoy doing, and I’ve been very determined to be doing a job that I love.

Harris-Schachter.Harris Schachter

Optimizepri.me // Twitter

~ Content Marketing & SEO @CapitalOne. Owner of OptimizePrime LLC. Hybrid marketer, mountain biker, technologist, fan of caffeine & #PrimesPicks

Great question! What I like to do is start with the end-state in mind and work backwards from that.

I visualize what the project or life goal will look like at a high level; only doing into detail for the crucial parts or solutions to ongoing problems.

Then, I get tactical with the steps it will take to get there and try to put a timeline to it.

When you start with the end goal in mind, it becomes easier to create the step-by-step methods to get there and helps you stay motivated by constantly aligning back to it.

Henneke DuistermaatHenneke Duistermaat

EnchantingMarketing.com // Twitter

~ Irreverent marketer and copywriter. On a mission to stamp out gobbledygook and to add sparkle to boring business blogs.

That’s a tricky question! Here’s my answer…

Some people say you need to set your goal, then multiply it by 10 to seriously challenge yourself. This totally demotivates me.

Rather than focus on goals, I try to focus on the activities required to make progress. For instance, when I started my online journey, I had zero subscribers and virtually no online presence.

My goal was to get 10k subscribers, but that would have felt impossible in the beginning. So to stay motivated, I focused on optimizing the tasks to build my list. In my case, guest blogging has driven most subscribers to my list.

So I would focus on writing guest posts each week. And I would review which guest posts and especially which host blogs performed best in terms of generating subscribers.

Rather than focusing on a distant goal, I enjoyed the journey.

Joao-LeitaoJoão Leitão

JoaoLeitao.com // Twitter

~ ? Nomad Revelations ? Travel Blog with Adventure Ideas & Exotic Narratives to Inspire Independent Travelers.

I own a hotel called Dar Rita and a travel website – which is the main tourism, information and organized tours Moroccan travel website for Portuguese and Brazilian market.

My business career has a very peculiar story. I never did quick jobs or changed my life at a certain period of my life. I already built my way since early age.

I always set my goals high and I deeply think you have to Dream Big and work hard until you get what you want.

I guess my secret is that I always knew what I wanted, and always worked towards to build my own company rather working or invest my time for someone else.

My business started from the scratch and due to my hard work and a hard selection of life priorities I end up having my business and success set.

I don’t have any method of anything in life. But I try to keep fit – which keeps me focused, and probably my big secret to cope with a lot of work is to make a healthy fruit juice everyday.

I mix orange juice, raw almonds, oats, banana, dates, chick-peas, honey, dried figs. 1 liter of this every day, man,… and the world is yours!

Jock Purtle.Jock Purtle

DigitalExits.com // Twitter

~ Business Owner, Health and Fitness Enthusiast, World Traveller

I print out my yearly goals. They sit beside my computer.

I break them down into three categories:

  • Health

  • Wealth

  • and Love.

Then I also answer the question; “Three words that describe me in 2015” and “What am I afraid of doing this year” and “If this was my last year on earth what would I be doing”

I have three goals for each category and then 1 sentence for each question.

I repeat this each year and also keep a record of goals each year.

I like to stretch myself with goals that I can’t achieve. I actually stole this from Noah Kagan in terms of strategy and it has been amazing ever since. 

Daily tasks. 

Is a lot of emails and phone calls. 

I personally don’t use a specific system. 

I do however have a note on all the projects that I am working on at the moment and do a weekly review

I love this guys writing.

I do however engage in a modified version of this.

Jonathan TavarezJonathan Tavarez

JonTavarez.com // Twitter

~ Internet Marketer helping startups and small businesses succeed online. Recent Godfather. Toastmaster. I’m the coolest #nerd you’ll ever meet, I promise.

There are a few things that work well for me in goal setting for both business and life in general.

After educating myself on most of the Getting Things Done principles, it seems that one of the most important things to do is to first write down everything I want to do.

Doesn’t matter what it is, just write it all down until you feel you can’t think of anything else.

The second thing is circling the items I can do in a few minutes, crossing off the ones I don’t believe are worth investing time in at the moment, and doing the ones that take a little longer or delegating them.

It becomes a lot easier to set goals when you develop a simple system that provides near immediate results.

In order to get in the habit of setting goals and getting things done, it’s important to do one thing consistently for 3-4 weeks.

Studies show that it takes at least 21 days to build a permanent habit. That’s just 7 days, 3 times.

Jonathan Tavarez stay productive

I find this to be a great tool to building habits and setting goals.

My daily tasks are written on a to-do list which is typically on a sticky note I put on my computer monitor or on an app like hiTask or Complete which adds a social element to task management, therefore, helps keep you accountable.

The cool thing about Complete is that others are able to contribute or make suggestions on your tasks. Sometimes exactly those people that are most qualified to help!

Whatever tasks can be done in under 2-5 min, I put on top of my list as priorities. Those that take longer and I can delegate come next, then those I can do myself are last.

This helps get everything done by end of day versus waiting last minute to delegate.

I admit, this is still a work in progress and I am by no means even close to where I’d like to be in terms of productivity, but this system has helped me stay focused.

Ready, Set, Goal!

Kyle-HiscockKyle Hiscock

RochesterRealEstateBlog.com // Twitter

~ Actively tweeting great content relating to popular #realestate related topics

Goal setting in both business and life is extremely important.

People who know how to set goals are traditionally the most successful.

The most important thing to me when it comes to goal setting, both professionally and personal life, is analyzing the previous year(s) results.

Goals are meant to be challenging but not unobtainable so analyzing the previous year(s) results is a good way to know at what level the upcoming goals should be set at.

By analyzing the previous year(s) results you can see which goals you obtained as well as what goals you fell short on.

These results should be the benchmark for setting up coming goals.

It’s always important to remember when setting goals and attempting to achieve them that you do not get discouraged if you happen to fall short.

Again, goals are meant to be challenging but not unobtainable!

Adam ConnellAdam Connell

Purcus.com // Twitter

~ Founder of @BloggingWizard . Fan of Firefly and Chinese takeaways.

For a long time, I had no particular goals. Not in business and not in life.

I was content to let the winds of fate carry me like a leaf on the wind.

But, when I think about it, it seems crazy that I allowed anyone other than myself to have control over my future.

While working at a marketing agency, my boss and mentor Jason Brooks told me to write out a 5 year plan and include everything I wanted to achieve, both professionally and personally (I explain more about this in this post).

Soon after writing out this 5 year plan, I started to make progress.

Just the act of writing it down on paper seems to have helped.

I’ve found that my plan has had to remain fluid.

Things change, people change and so does everything else so we have to be open to the idea of changing our plan. Sometimes we just have to adapt.

So if you haven’t already, put together a plan.

Let your vision guide you.

Be prepared to make mistakes but ensure that you take the lessons you learn on board.

Marc AndreMarc Andre

ProfitBlitz.com // Twitter

~ Internet marketing blogger

When it comes to goal setting I prefer to use action goals that focus on things I need to do rather than just using milestone goals for what I want to accomplish.

For example, rather than just having a goal of making a certain amount of money in a month I will usually set goals for things that I want to accomplish that will help me to get to a specific milestone.

Those action goals might include getting 3 new influential affiliates to promote my products, finishing a new product that I can sell, landing 2 new clients, or whatever it is that will get me to where I want to be.

Actions goals are useful because they lead you to success and because it can give you a clear idea of what you need to be working on and how you should be spending your time.

Once I know what major actions I need to take I will break it down into smaller, specific actions and steps that I will put on my to-do list for each day.

So if my action goal for the month is to release a new product I may have….

1. The first two weeks devoted to creating the product (obviously, the amount of time needed will depend on the product, this is just an example)

2. Then in the remaining two weeks I would focus on tasks like…

  • creating a website or landing page for the product

  • creating images and graphics to market the product

  • looking for promotional opportunities like ideal affiliates or guest posting opportunities

  • creating documentation for the product

  • and anything else that is needed to get the product live.

So basically it is just breaking down the steps that are needed to accomplish the bigger action goal for the month, spreading them out so I can focus on each part one at a time, or outsourcing parts of it.

McKinzie BrocailMcKinzie Brocail

StdCheck.com // Twitter

~ Senior writer and social media specialist for brands.

Many people will tell you to “go big or go home” and to “reach for the stars,” but in setting business goals, I have a different approach.

Have a grand end goal, but take small, efficient steps to get there.

Have an incredible dream, but be realistic about how you’re going to obtain it.

Break that goal down into however many tasks or steps needed to make it reachable to avoid being easily overwhelmed or frustrated.

People like to have these massive goals, but don’t like to strategically plan how they are going to obtain them.

Learn your intentions and design how you will achieve them.

Setting life goals allows for more spontaneity than business goals.

Business is supposed to be structured, whereas life allots more room for adventure.

For example, take that dream vacation — with 80 percent of it researched and itinerated, and save 20 percent for exploring without bounds.

I learned this ideology of goal setting from previous failures caused by lacking a sufficient game plan and watching others do the same.

Always dream big, but then devise smaller dreams to get you to it.

Anything that makes internet life a little more efficient is on my list of favorite tools.

Right now, I’m particularly fond of ToDoist for ordering and prioritizing projects and tasks.

I think Viral Content Buzz is nothing short of awesome.

PikToChart makes creating graphics and infographics a breeze for those of us who aren’t graphic artists, and Clipular is a great replacement for Microsoft’s Snipping Tool for anyone who doesn’t work on Windows OS.

Peter SandeenPeter Sandeen

PeterSandeen.com // Twitter

~ Value proposition and conversion optimization expert

I’m pretty simple with goals. I figure out what I want my life and business (and myself) to be like.

I set goals that reflect what I want. I work toward those goals.

Sure, I have smaller goals to mark progress, but I’m looking pretty far ahead most of the time.

If you set goals without having a clear idea of where you want to get to, you can’t expect good results. I did that for a long time before I realized how detrimental it was.

Rashelle IsipRashelle Isip

TheOrderExpert.com  // Twitter

~ Organizing, Time Management and Productivity Blogger, Consultant and Author of How to Plan a Great Event in 60 Days

I find it extremely helpful to include specific, quantifiable information in my goals.

Adding in the details not only makes it easier to plan the steps I need to take to reach a goal, it’s also a great way to track whether or not I’ve actually reached my goal.

For example, “Write more blog posts,” is a vague goal. What does “more” mean? More posts than I wrote last week? More posts than I wrote last month?

You’ll notice I didn’t give any description as to the type of the blog posts I need to write, nor did I set a deadline for the goal.

Conceivably, I could reach this goal tomorrow, in two months…or in five years’ time!

A better, more descriptive goal would be something like, “Write three, original,  500-word blog posts on the subject of productivity by 6 P.M. this Thursday.”

You can clearly tell…

  • What I need to do (write blog posts)

  • What type of posts I need to write (500-word original posts on the subject of productivity)

  • How many posts I need to write (three), and when my work needs to be finished (6 P.M. this Thursday).

If I don’t meet all of my goal descriptions, I can easily tell I haven’t reached my goal. 

I learned this technique through trial and error.

I’ve found the more detailed I am about my goal, the more likely I am to complete it.

Rick-RamosRick Ramos

RickRamos.com // Twitter

~ Online Marketing Expert With 18 Years Experience, Blogger, and Author of Content Marketing

Don’t Just Dream, TAKE ACTION!

Though my life I’ve had friends that come up with big ideas but never move forward. They will share with you over drinks their latest goal and you wish them well in reaching it.

Two weeks later, you meet up with them again and you ask them about their goal.

You’ll start to hear excuses and not a single step forward into making them reach their goals.

Look, goals worth reaching are always hard. They should be!  Don’t let fear of failure or laziness get in the way of reaching the life you want to live.

Take the first step, then the next.

Even if you fail to reach your goal, you’ll always learn from the process.

When I decided to write my first book, the idea seemed daunting at first. I’ve actually never written something so big in my life.

I think in college, the largest paper I wrote was 25 pages, so the idea of writing so much seemed like Mount Everest to me.

I just broke the project down and set daily mini-goals for myself.

I estimated that it would take me 120 pages in Word to share what I wanted to say. I wanted to finish my book in 6 months, so I set myself a goal of writing two pages a day.

Most days I accomplished my two page goal, some days were a complete failure when life got in the way. Other days, the subject matter slowed me down or I just wasn’t feeling it.

Occasionally, the writing gods would take over my body and I would write 5-7 pages in a single setting. I ended up finishing my book on time and it’s done well in the marketplace.

The whole point is just start taking you first step. It’s the biggest one but push yourself!

Sue-Anne-DunlevieSue Anne Dunlevie

SuccessfulBlogging.com // Twitter

~ Helping beginning bloggers succeed online. Follow me for a free eBook on How To Attract 1000 Subscribers in 30 Days

One of the advantages of growing older is that you know the “secret” of what works and doesn’t work in your life!

I know that I personally dislike S.M.A.R.T. goals – I learned how to set them when working in corporate American and I have since realized that they just don’t work for me as a solopreneur.

I find that the very best way for me to reach my goals is to:

1. Brainstorm what I want to achieve in the next several months

2. Decide on the 3 most important goals and eliminate the rest

3. Plan out the daily behaviors I have to do so that I can arrive at the outcomes I want

I find that planning out my behaviors gets me to the goal that I desire (almost) every time.

Thomas-SmaleThomas Smale

FeInternational.com // Twitter

~ Co-founder of FE International, brokering the sale of online businesses to clients all over the world. Columnist at Entrepreneur.com

Set a combination of short and long term goals. There’s no point just having one long term goal as it will feel like you are never making progress.

My goals are set: monthly, quarterly, yearly and overall life goals.

There’s no secret – I used to just focus on short term goals but found I would often lose focus with what I need to be doing longer term, so the combination of both is important.

On a daily basis, I use a combination of our internal CRM (similar to Salesforce) to keep on top of leads/clients and Todoist.com to manage my to-do list, which I organise into different projects related to the different goals I have.

Tyler-ZeyTyler Zey

EasyAgentPro.com // Twitter

~ I write awesome real estate marketing tips @ Easy Agent Pro. Hobbies: Coffee, Clarinet, Classical Music

The key for me is to have one number or metric as the goal. For example, I’m currently focused only only growing traffic by 20% each month to my real estate website.

The focus of one number allows me to easily decide what I should (and shouldn’t) be working on.

Anyone in business, knows that it is really easy to fall into decision fatigue. And having one goals helps me stay away from fatigue because I have a predetermined point of focus.

In terms of learning this secret, it came to me after reading several books around the topic.

Emyth is a great book for newer entrepreneurs, and they can help you see the value in focus.  There is also a newer book on the topic called “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.”

I can’t recommend these books and this tool to business owners enough.

I used to “focus” on over 10 goals at once. And nothing substantial would ever be accomplished.

I use a prescribed schedule everyday. And I manage it through Evernote. This means I can be on my phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop. And my schedule will always be there. Google Apps are also a must for our business. All of our main documents are managed on Google Apps.

HOW TO ACHIEVE GOALS

I want to hear from you.

What works for you when it comes to setting goals in life and business?

What will you do differently from now on?

What did you learn today that will make a significant impact in your daily activities and results?

Share your comments below. Get heard!

Comments

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18 thoughts on “How to Achieve Goals that Bring Success in Life and Profits in Business. 35 Experts Reveal their Goal Setting Activities & Secrets

  1. Hey hey hey 🙂 Honored to be featured along with other great online entrepreneurs. Zac said something that’s extremely important: “clear out all of the clutter and make sure I limit my distractions.”

    He also mentioned the importance of focusing on YOUR OWN BUSINESS. That means saying NO to many things, people and opportunities that keep you away from reaching YOUR OWN business goals.

    In fact, this happens to be true with current clients as well. There are times that we must “fire” our own clients, especially if we are planning on launching our own product line. Often times, our clients are provided a service that takes so much of our precious time, and of course, it takes us away from focusing on our own business – ironically.

    Great post 🙂

    • Great comment Ricky – and very true! Thanks for dropping by HWA! 🙂

      On a bigger note – thanks SO MUCH for being part of this weeek’s round up
      series, you rock!

      • Zac, you’re probably the most active blogger, commentator and expert roundup participant I’ve dealt with in my 14-year online career 😉

      • Very true, Zac. Often times, those shiny objects (opportunities) might seem attractive and sometimes, they seem to make sense… but that’s why our business goals need to be very clear and we always must have our priorities in check – to avoid getting caught up with distractions.

      • Hey Zac, just want to say that I appreciate you! You have been fantastic – and always willing to be in our round up expert articles sharing your expertise.
        Keep rocking my friend…

    • Yeah, I sometimes have to fire myself, and allow others handle some tasks (e.g. outsource them to the right candidate)

      What can I do ? Am I too perfectionist? 😉

  2. Thanks for the inclusion! I’m thrilled and honored! There are tons of goal setting gems here, and it’s great to see that some of our strategies are somewhat similar, yet still varied in their own ways.

    I couldn’t agree more with Josh Coffy– “If you aren’t setting goals, you have no vision, your team has no vision, and everything you do is a shot in the dark–hoping something hits.” Spot on, Josh!

  3. This is an awesome list. Some great stuff here! Thanks for including my thoughts as well!

    Dave Ursillo, I love this: “Achievement ought to be directed toward outward service, and focusing on how you maneuver will remind you of your impact on others’ lives in business, and in your everyday life.”

    I couldn’t agree more, Dave!

  4. Thanks for the inclusion here. I picked up a lot of other things here to further optimize my current “setup” to reach those long term goals.

    In terms of productivity towards goals, I’m a sucker for the next shiny software…it took me a while to get that off my system and stick with something long term. Seeing the other replies here, I guess Im not the only one that has tried a lot of different things until finally settling with something that works for me.

    Thanks again for this opportunity to contribute. 🙂
    Dennis Seymour recently posted…Local SEO Schema and How It Helps with On-Page SEOMy Profile

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