Make sure you have your One Page Life Plan within reach when filling in your Personal Goals Spreadsheet. Go through this chapter and review the scientific information on setting personal goals. This review will help you set your own goals.

You are free to use the spreadsheets I have created, but you can also make your own version of it.

Tip: when you work in a specific field in the spreadsheet (for example, 5 Years in the Relationships column) and you want to set a new goal on a new line within that field, hold ALT + ENTER to drop the cursor down one line but stay in the same field.

Pillars of Self Development

If you have entered your own personal items in the Pillars of Self Development, please remember to update it in this spreadsheet. The base version will let you create goals for Relationships, Achievements, Health and Wealth.

You’ll find that some goals might be placed in two of these pillars (or columns in the spreadsheet). Don’t worry about this — the important thing is to include your own personal goals.

If you’re unsure of which column to place your personal goal, just distribute them evenly in the list.

With goal-setting, everyone tends to create goals to do new things or improve on existing things, but don’t forget to think about things you possibly want to STOP doing. Some habits or personal relationships might be destructive and hold you back in your journey toward long-term personal growth. It might be good to include goals to stop wasting time in a relationship or to stop a bad habit.

Five-year to one-year

This spreadsheet is structured to include goals five years from now, and then zooming in to three years and one year. Goals in the five-year row will typically be a bit more generic, but the closer you get, the more specific the goals will become.

You’ll see that you’ll have fewer five-year goals than three-year goals and one-year goals. This is because it’s harder to be specific for five-year goals, as a lot can happen along the way.

By creating intermediate steps for your five-year goals and putting them on the three-year and one-year goal lines, you can see that all your five-year goals are within reach — you just need to take some smaller steps to get there.

Priority goals

The personal goals spreadsheet contains a section where you can write down your priorities for the year. Chances are you’ll end up with 10 to 15 goals for the upcoming year — or even more, if you feel you have the capability to achieve them with the right effort and focus.

My advice is to select one or two of these one-year goals as your priorities. The most important goal gets most of your time and attention. Write them down, and link rewards to those top goals.

The spreadsheet shows a traffic light system with three colors — red for when an outcome has not been met; orange for achieving your goal within the target timeframe; and green for achieving your goal ahead of the target.

Write down a reward for yourself for all three of these options. At the end of the year (or directly after the goal has been achieved), reward yourself for the time and effort you put in.

For example, you set a goal for yourself to change your job to one more meaningful to you by July. You can create a list of outcomes and rewards as following:

  • GREEN: Changed job before June = Take a trip to another country
  • ORANGE: Changed job by July = Weekend away in another city
  • RED: Changed job after July = A nice dinner out

The better the result, the better the reward.

Always celebrate!

It is important to always reward yourself for achieving your priority goals, even if you hit the “red zone.” You’ve put in the effort and developed yourself along the way.

More importantly, actually reward yourself! It’s easy to shift focus to a new goal once you have reached the first one, but a lot of us fail to recognize success when it arrives. When you work on achieving something for a long time, the effort becomes second nature. It can be difficult to interrupt this to recognize what you have achieved and to take time to congratulate yourself on a job well done.

Some degree of disappointment and stress is inevitable in daily life, but you don’t have to allow it to take center stage. Take time to focus on positive things and you will become much more motivated in your pursuit of the new goal you set for yourself. By congratulating yourself and recognizing success you will become a happier, more self-assured person.

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