Why do we set goals? A goal is a destination and without knowing our destination, it is almost certain that we will never get there.

The purpose of this article is to provide some effective advice on how to define your goals.

Firstly, all goals should be SMART, ie. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timebound. But what does this mean?

Specific – be descriptive. If it’s to buy a new car, we’re talking about the make, model, year, colour, inside trim. If it’s a house, what suburb, what street, how many rooms, is it brick or weatherboard or render, does the driveway go to the left, the right or straight up to the front door, how many windows are on the front of the house, what colour is the front door? You get my drift.

Measurable – how do you know you’ve achieved your goals, but also how do you know you’re on track?

Achievable – you might want to earn $1million this month, but unless you know something I don’t, it’s unlikely you’ll achieve it. Make your goals challenging/make them a stretch, but not impossible. Feel free to contact me at secret.solutions@bigpond.com for some useful tools to help stretch your mind over time and allow you to re-evaluate what you think is possible.

Relevant – your goals must be something you feel strongly about/are passionate about. You must be emotionally involved with your goals. Why? I define a goal as “something you are willing to give up other things in order to move towards". Know WHY you want to achieve your goals so strongly that no other why’s matter. That way, if every time you have to make a decision that will either take you towards or away from your goal, and you always choose to move towards your goal, the inevitable conclusion is… that you will achieve your goal.

Timebound – set a time limit/end date. Saying you want to earn $1m is a very different goal dependant on whether it is over 30 years, 10 years, 5 years, 1 year, 1 month, 1 week, 1 day.

So, here's a handy exercise to help define what your goals are - the 50 goals exercise.

1) Write 50 goals by asking yourself the 6 questions:
In the next 10 years…
…what do I want to see?
…what do I want to be?
…what do I want to do?
…where do I want to go?
…what would I like to have? and
…what do I want to share?

You should be able to get to at least 50.

2) Go through your list and assign whether the goal is to be achieved in 1 year, 3 years, 5 years or 10 years. Put a 1, 3, 5 or 10 accordingly next to each goal.

3) Review your list to ensure that they are in balance, not all 1 year or all 10 year, etc.

4) Go through your list and pick 4 from each category, i.e. 4 x 1 year goals, 4 x 3 year goals, and so on. If you have trouble, ask yourself the question, if I could only do 10, if I could only do 8 and so on. Whittle down by deduction. Also, look out for goals that are precursors to other goals – one will be achieved by the achievement of the other. E.g. making a goal of earning over $100,000 in a month and a goal that you will buy a Lexus for cash when you earn over $100,000 in a single month – the precursor (earning $100,000 in a month) has HAD to happen in order to achieve your goal of owning a Lexus.

5) Go through this list of 16 goals and write a DETAILED description of what it means. Remember, the S part of SMART - Specific.

6) This is the most important step. Go down your list and write out at least 2 sentences on each goal as to WHY you want to achieve that goal. Let’s go back to our description of a goal. A goal is something that you are willing to give up other things in order to move towards. You need to know why. If you can’t define why you want to achieve an item on your list, it isn’t a goal. I might be an affirmation, or a want, but if you don’t know why you want to move towards it, you will be unlikely to make hard decisions to give up other things in favour of it. Go back to your original list and pick another.

OK, so we’ve set our goals. Now, how do we get there?
The key is action. Once you know your goals and have a vision, the next step is to ask yourself, "What actions can I take today to move towards my goal?"

And if you don't have a ready answer to that question, your first action should be to go to www.secretsolutions.biz or email me at secret.solutions@bigpond.com and we can mastermind some options.

Author's Bio: 

Ryan Rogers is the owner of Secret Solutions, a company dedicated to Leading the Way to Freedom. He specialises in showing people who are looking for a change in their life how to move towards their goals and aids aspiring entrepreneurs to create a successful home business.