Goal-setting: How to set and reach your goals NOW

What if you could set goals and never fail at achieving them?

Today I'm writing about something I learned a couple of months ago that has helped me as an author and (aspiring) creative entrepreneur immensely. Here are the rules for goal-setting that will help you get your life in order and become happier, more productive and reach your life's ultimate goal.

But first, what is your ultimate goal? Have no idea? Check out my blog post about Finding your passion.

1. Commit

If you can't commit, you just can't get anywhere. Sorry, but it's true. You say you want to write a book in 2017. Okay, awesome! But then there's also school and work and family... and you aren't really sure if you have the time or energy, and it's just so hard. You'll get to it tomorrow, no problem.

But that is a huge problem. You aren't committing.

Saying that you'll do it some day, because you're so stressed now is not commitment–it's an excuse. And excuses are a no no.

If you just make the commitment by writing it down on paper or telling someone else about it–by making it a concrete, real thing–you're one step further to succeeding. It's all about determination and the will to work. If you really want this, then you're stopping at nothing to get it.

2. Be realistic and know your limits

We're not superhumans, mutants or robots. We're not perfect and we make mistakes. We don't have an endless amount of time and energy, not to even mention lack of money and other resources. We have a lot of things that limit us. Your job is to know your limits and work with them, instead of against them. Push yourself, but don't throw yourself down a cliff--that's dumb. 

Be smart with how you use your energy and how you time your projects and working hours. If you work from home, keep your work and free time separate to make sure you're as effective as possible. This is also incredibly important in order to stay sane, which I always don't.

3. Be specific and set smaller goals

Don't just set goals every New Year. You need to do it consistently and with shorter periods of time in between, or you'll lose track of your progress and just waste a lot of time. Most people fail or give up on their New Year's resolutions half way though January. Don't be one of those people.

Get up and do the work, but first make a list every 2-4 months of smaller goals that are related to one bigger goal. For example, if you want to write a novel this year, decide to write 30K words every month, and you'll have a first draft just by writing one thousand words every day for less than three months. It's amazing what planning and dividing big goals into smaller chunks can do. We all can achieve anything!

4. Get feedback and track your progress

It's hard to get feedback on your goals from other people, but it works just as well to do this for yourself. After every achievement, evaluate how the process went, writing down your thoughts on what you could've done better and what you need to keep doing in the future. You don't want to reinvent the wheel every single time you set goals, right? Use feedback to push yourself and get to know yourself better.

Get a separate notebook just for your goals, and you'll be able to see and remember how much you've progressed. It's truly amazing to see the change after just a few months. This really works!

5. Reward yourself

Rewards are awesome. Some people just see the achievements themselves as rewards–but hey, chocolate exists, so why not eat it? I reward myself with drawing, movies, long walks and diving into new, shiny story ideas. If it works for you, you might even want to try punishing yourself if you don't reach your goals. Personally, I react much better to happy, nice things. But we're all different: do what works for you.

Now set goals and get working on that amazing story!
Em :)

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