Knowing what you want – and having a plan for achieving it – is a big part of living well. However, even though laying out your life goals might sound straightforward, many of us really struggle to do it.
All of us are capable of realising our goals, however – we just need to be clear about what we want. So here are some simple steps to help you figure out what you’re working towards – and how you’re going to get there.
1. Identify your life goals
The first, essential step is to work out what you are looking for in life. It’s easy for this to feel like an intimidating task, but it doesn’t have to be. For one thing, the life goals you set out today don’t have to stay the same forever – they’re just there to guide you through and give you focus, and can always be changed.
To determine your goals, consider what an ideal version of your life would look like. If you’re not sure where to start, write a list of the things that are most important to you right now. Common things include family, career, travel, health and relationships, but anything and everything goes – this is your life, after all. Then think about specific things you’d like to achieve in each of those areas.
Look at the list you’ve written, and pick out all of the things that you simply couldn’t live without doing – the ones that feel most essential. Next, make sure that all of those goals have a clear target and ideal outcome – some may have more than one. Think about what your life would look like after you’ve achieved them.
3. Make a plan
A highly effective way of figuring out your route to a goal is the Simpleology system – which starts by picturing the very last step you’d need to take to achieve any given goal. So if your goal is to write a book, it would be typing the final full stop.
Once you figure out what that final stage will look like, work backwards – what would you need to do to reach that point? Then hink about what you’d need to do to achieve those things. Keep going backwards, one step at a time, until you get to where you are now.
4. Set milestones
Pick a goal that you want to work on first, and decide how long you need to achieve each step. Mark the dates on a calendar, and set aside time to get everything done, working from a real-world idea of your schedule – if you only have an 30 minutes free every day to write, don’t aim to get two hours of work done. Setting realistic goals and expectations for yourself will help to keep your motivation and morale high.