Goal Setting: My Personal Approach

I’ve never been one for new years resolutions. In fact, in the 19 years of my life I’ve never made any resolutions for the start of a new year that I plan on sticking to. This isn’t because I don’t like setting goals, it’s just that I’ve always tended to know in my mind where I want to go and what I’m working on. This year is different, and not because it has just turned 2009. No, this year is different because I’m not getting a job (I leave my current job in 4 weeks), I’m not going back to college and I’m not staying in South Africa. I’m going to the UK to see if I can make a full-time income with blogging and affiliate marketing.

Why Does It Take a Number?

This month there are going to be more people joining a gym than any month ever. This month there are going to be more people setting goals than any month to come in 09. Why, though? Why does it have to take a new calendar season for people to start to take control of their lives? In reality, January 1st 2009 was just a day like December 31st and any other days of the year. The only difference is how we label it; the only difference is that it is marked as an important day in our calendars. That’s not to say I don’t love New Year; in fact, I’ve just spent 3 days in a forest listening to trance music with some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. More people will join gyms than any other month this January, but by February I’m sure more people will have given up on gyms than any other month to come this year. I’m not against anyone making new years resolutions; just don’t feel like you need an event such as a New Year to start making changes in your life. If you do quit the gym in February you don’t have to wait till 2010 to start some new resolution that you “really will stick to this year“. New years resolutions, which I’m just going to refer to as goals from here, are all about going for the things you want. You don’t suddenly decide you want to change an area of your life when the clock strikes 12. I actually think one of the reasons most people fail their yearly goals is simply because they only really made them for New Year, it’s not something they are prepared to go at and do. Hopefully this blog post is going to help put you on the right path this year, or at least you can see what my personal approach to goals and goal setting is. I also want to share why I’m doing what I’m doing so that you can understand my mindset and maybe incorporate some of my practices into your life.

Why Set Goals, And How to Do It

If I’m completely honest, I never really tend to set goals either. I do, however, have an end result in my mind of where I want to ‘be’ and I’m constantly working towards that. That is going to have to change, now that I’m going to HAVE to make money online and become successful. This year I’m setting a few goals for myself, and yes this is going to be a yearly goal. It’s not because I want to join the New Year’s resolution crew, I just see a year as a good time-frame to get a lot done and then some. A year is also a good time frame to make a big change in your life with 12 (months) good checkpoints along the way to keep track of your progress. I’m setting myself goals this year because I want to become successful, I don’t want to become a success. To me, becoming a success implies that I’ve stopped and I’ve reached a peak in some area of my life. I want to be successful in all areas of my life and that is something which is ongoing. This quote from ‘Psycho-Cybernetics’ says it better than I could… Rightly speaking no man should attempt to be “a success,” but every man can and should attempt to be “successful.” Trying to be “a success” in terms of acquiring prestige symbols and wearing certain badges leads to euroticism, and frustration and unhappiness. Striving to be “successful” brings not only material success, but satisfaction, fulfillment and happiness. The reason I’m setting goals is because I want to become successful, and because I have the opportunity to make those goals into results. I realise that the 6 months I have to make a real living online is an opportunity I shouldn’t take for granted. There are people working dead-end jobs in a financial crisis who would kill for this opportunity, so I’m going to make the most of it. If things don’t work out for me this time I’m going to go out and get another job and keep working on it part-time until I’m successful. I’ve pretty much been doing that this year though and I think I’m ready to take the plunge. Setting goals is quite simple, sticking to them can be the hard part. There are some things that could stop me and YOU from becoming successful in my opinion and these include:
  • Procrastination – It actually worries me how much time I waste just browsing the internet on sites like Digg looking for some brief entertainment. It’s unproductive and it really doesn’t add much to my life. It’s actually not much different to wasting time watching TV, which I haven’t done for a whole year now .
  • Limiting Beliefs – I’m so confident in my abilities as an affiliate marketer / blogger / webmaster that I believe I can make over 1 million dollars in the next 2-3 years. I’ve made tens of thousands of dollars already (and over $1,000 last week) so I know the potential of the industry and I trust in my abilities. If you stop believing that you can achieve a goal because you aren’t ‘X‘ where X could be any limiting belief then you aren’t even going to try to keep it up for long. You are enough, you have unlimited potential, you can learn everything you need to learn. Your thinking small doesn’t do any good for yourself or the world, make yourself proud and show yourself and others what you can do
  • Living Someone Else’s Dream – I’ve been fortunate enough to have parents who have pretty much given me free will to do what I want with my life. They trust me enough to let me make my own decisions and I definitely think that independence I’ve gained has helped me grow. In fact, I’m going to do the exact same thing for my kids and if you have any I recommend you do the same. However, I know some people are in a situation where they are being pushed towards a certain career path and university course by others when they know it isn’t for them. If that’s you then you either need to get out of that situation or come up with an alternative that keeps you and those pushing you happy. You can’t live your life simply to please others; you have to do what you love.

My Goals & Goal Plan

I have a number of goals that I’m making for myself this year and I want to share them with you all so I’m publicly accountable. My Goals
  1. Learn French – It has always been a dream of mine to be able to speak multiple languages. I’ve studied French in school and still remember quite a lot so I think this is the best language to learn for me. In order to achieve this goal as well as I can within a year I’m going to have to immerse myself fully in the French culture.
That being said, my plan is to take multiple trips to the country over the course of this year, even if it’s only 1 week at a time to get as much knowledge as I can. If all goes well with my internet marketing plan I would love to stay there for a few months.
  1. Wake up Early – Because I’m going to be working from home I know that it’s going to be all-to-easy to stay up late and wake up late. I know that because that’s exactly how I used to be. Part of my appreciation for having a job now is that it keeps me organised and productive i.e. I don’t go crazy on week nights because I know I have things to do the next day.
By early I mean 7am and for anyone who knows me they must think I’m joking. I’m known to sleep till 12am if there is nobody to wake me up . I think this is going to be very difficult for me but as always…I’ll enjoy the challenge.
  1. Earn a Full-time Income Online – This is the most important to me and something that is going to affect my other goals. If I can earn a full-time income online then it will be easier to travel to the likes of France to immerse myself in the culture and pick up the language. However, other goals I have will also affect this one i.e. if I wake up early I can get more done each day and getting more done means more chance of income success online.
Once I’m earning a full-time income online I know that I can start to ramp that up and make a really wealthy living. My goal isn’t to become rich, my goal is to make money doing what I love and then be able to help others in the process. I have four websites that I’m focusing on strongly, I’m sure most of you are aware of two of them but the other two are private fun projects that have a lot of potential.
  1. Work Out – Weight loss is probably the most common goal being set by people this New Year, for me it’s the opposite. My plan is to work out more and eat more so that I can start to bulk-up and improve my shape and health. This is a goal that is totally for myself, if you are losing / gaining weight for others then it’s going to be hard to stay motivated and focused on the challenge. This should totally be about what you want to do because it’s you that is going to take the journey and be left with the end results.
My Plan My goal plan is actually ‘stolen’ from one of my best friends. He’s had a very successful career as an actuary, he’s 24 years old and is now a self-made millionaire through playing online poker. I look up to him because I know for 2 years straight he was playing poker from 8pm to 4am with a full-time job before he started making a great income. That kind of dedication and ethic is what I respect because I realise how difficult it can be to keep working on something when you aren’t seeing results, especially something that needs a lot of time spent on it. His / my plan goes a little like this:
  • Every Sunday you write down all the tasks you would like to complete for the week ahead. They can be as specific or as broad as you like, as long as they are going to help keep you productive and on the right path
  • Everyday you try to complete all tasks, if you can’t do them for whatever reason i.e. family crisis, going out with friends or something important comes up then you still try and complete it some time in the week
  • If you skip a task for whatever reason or you don’t want to do it then you ask yourself “Do I really want this?” All goals you write down you should at least know why you want to do them. I want to wake up early because I want more time in each day to give myself a chance of success making money online. If you are skipping your tasks then don’t expect to meet your end goals
  • Every Sunday morning, before writing down next weeks plan, you look over your week to see how it went. You should be looking for areas you can tweak or improve and also looking at things that have worked well for you that you should keep doing. There may be a lot of things in common for each weeks plan but there should be some variation in there to keep things creative and interesting
This is EXACTLY how I’m going to be spending the next ~6 months in the UK, or at least this is exactly how I want to be spending my time. Having a weekly plan and tasks for each single day. If I want to skip a task or do something else then I really have to ask myself how badly I want the end goal. Thankfully I love what I do so this shouldn’t be too difficult. Finally, remember that no matter how long your goals take to achieve, the time is going to pass by anyways. I would much rather be doing something productive than constantly putting things off due to impatience. What about you?

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