Setting Goals 101 – How to Win at Life

pocket watch in front of a waterfall

When working toward general or financial independence, a great starting point is to set a goal. 

How is this achieved successfully? There are actually essential steps that need to be taken towards creating goals that are attainable, reasonable, and lofty. So where do you begin when setting goals?

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Identify a need or desire.

man reaching towards the camera

Every goal comes from a specific ideology or need. It is pretty simple, ask yourself “Where am I?” “Do I like the place that I am at?” If not, “where do I want to be?” “How do i get to where I want to be?”

These are just a few examples of ways that you can navigate a starting point to setting any goal.

Set guidelines.

road sign and a sunset

Once you find your desire or need, there needs to be a plan. This can range from a very structured list, to a quick mental note of if/when/then. The guidelines will help keep your behavior aligned with your goals. For example: If you are trying to lose weight, a guideline could be to avoid eating more than 20g of sugar per day. 

The most important thing to remember in relation to your guidelines, is that you need to stick to them.

Be realistic.

man walking on the beach

To go along with your guidelines, remember to not be extremely restrictive with yourself. Restriction runs the risk of beginning to feel deprivation, and that opens the door to fear/ failure, and even rebellion.

If a goal is small, be kind to yourself. Realize that any given goal or outcome that we work towards can look completely different than any expectation that is attached to the initial idea. Check out this post to for tips on keeping your motivation alive.

Being realistic can also look like setting multiple smaller goals in order to reach a lofty goal. This way, it doesn’t feel as though you are constantly working towards an unattainable finish line.

Set timelines.

pocket watch with a chain

This is the most important step in setting a goal. Without a timeline, you are doing a disservice to yourself. Without a timeline, your finish line is floating in an ether of procrastination.

Setting a timeline solidifies a date of resolution, thus aiding in the creation of  blueprint that will allow you to complete each task associated with said goal. This is where you start to feel productive, and motivation as you move forward.


These are the 4 steps that I use in my goal setting process. I didn’t learn how to effectively set goals until well into my college career. 

Luckily for all of you, there are resources out there that provide excellent and attainable guidance! So what are your thoughts? How do you set goals? And do you use the same method? Let me know below, and I will see you in the next post. Thanks for reading!

 – Bo

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