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Goal setting like a boss

Jan 07, 2022

Vision > Values > Goals, in that order.


Last week I talked about reflecting on the past year and new year. If you missed that, you can read this tweet and get the gest of the message.

After I've reflected on the lessons I can learn from the past year, I now turn my focus to setting goals for the future.

Here is the thing though: most people set horrible goals. But, before we jump into setting the right type of goals, let's back up a little bit.

Before I start thinking about my goals, I zoom out and think about my vision and values.


I do this by asking one simple question: What do I want my life to look like (personally and professionally) in 25 years?

If you can't wrap your mind around that, change it to 5 or 10 years.

To break it down even further, in each of those areas ask these questions:

  • What challenges need to be overcome?

  • What opportunities need to be captured?

  • What strengths need to be leveraged?

Once you've wrapped your mind around this, it's time to talk about values.


Your values are things that are constant, no matter what else is going on in your life.

There are plenty of ways to do this, so feel free to google and find a way you'll enjoy.

For me and my wife, we have a deck of cards. We shuffle the cards then lay them on the table. We then pick out our top 10 values and then narrow them to our top 5.

We then compare our top 5 to each other and talk through any differences. We discuss and decide on a top 5 for our family, as well.

Once you're done with this, you should have a clear vision (where you want to end up) and values (what you stand for).

It's only now that we're ready to talk goals.


When setting goals, I ask one question: understanding where I want to be in 25 years (or 5 or 10), what do I need to achieve this year to stay on track?

I focus on 3 things when creating a goal.

Long-term versus Short-term

If I'm viewing things through the lens of my vision, I need milestones along the way. I'll create a 5, 10, or 20-year goal, but then also a short-term goal that can be accomplished this year.

Habit versus Achievement

Each goal I set is one of these two. A habit goal is some pattern I'm trying to instill in my life. Each area, or life domain (see my life domains below), can only support one habit goal. So, I have to be careful.

SMART framework

The smart framework stands for the following:

  • Specific (simple, sensible, significant).

  • Measurable (meaningful, motivating).

  • Achievable (agreed, attainable).

  • Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).

  • Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).

You want each goal you set to meet all 5 letters.

A bad goal: I want to lose 25 pounds.

A good goal: I want to lose 25 pounds by 12/31/2022

This is specific and measurable... we know when you've won. It's achievable at less than 1 pound per week. It's reasonable because you have that much you could lose. And it's time-bound because you have an end date.

A better goal: I will work out at the gym 4 days a week (on average) for 30 minutes through the end of 12/31/2022.

Pair the workout goal with a clean eating goal and you've got yourself a recipe for achieving your weight loss goal.

How many goals are appropriate?

This is going to be a different answer for everyone, so it's a hard question to ask. First, you have to ask "how difficult is the goal?" If you're trying to achieve something extremely difficult, it'll limit your overall goal count.

I try and stick to 1 habit goal and 2-3 achievement goals per life domain.

What are your life domains?

I split my life into 7 life domains. These are just areas of focus. They are:

  • Hobbies & Recreation

  • Work/Career

  • Spiritual

  • Family

  • Self-Development

  • Health

  • Community

A good way to measure your progress in each area is to use the wheel of life. You would rate yourself in each area to see where you have a "flat tire."

Setting good financial goals

If you're interested in setting some financial goals, I released a podcast episode this week that talks about 10 financial goal types/ideas.

Don’t let 2022 be just every other year, where the goal never makes it out of January!

In 2020, only 38 percent of adults in the U.S. had specific financial goals, according to research from the Lincoln Financial Group.

Goals are extremely important. They help you break down intimidating things that you can’t accomplish immediately and create the steps for you to reach them.

In this episode, we'll break down how to set good goals, the SMART goal framework, and give you 10 suggestions for financial goals you could set.

Question of the week

What is the goal you have for 2022 that you're most excited about?


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