We all know that goals are essential. But do you know how important writing them down can be? A Harvard Business Study found that 3% of graduates from their MBA who had their goals written down ended up earning 10 times as much as the other 97% put together, just 10 years after graduation.

That’s a pretty significant statistic! 

Creating goals can start to feel overwhelming. “Your goals need to be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound to be ‘real’ goals.” That’s a lot to handle, especially when life and work are coming at you. It can feel so time-consuming that you might even say, “Screw it” and skip goal setting altogether. 

I want to share an alternative goal-setting route that I learned about after reading a post by Vishen Lakhiani. Start by asking yourself these three questions:

  1. What human experiences do you want to have?
  2. What will help you grow and become the person you want to be?
  3. In what ways can you contribute to others and the world as a whole?

Once you’ve asked yourself these questions, start writing down the answers and your thoughts. Think of it as a bucket list of sorts. For me, I’ve simplified it to:

  • Experiences
  • Growth
  • Giving back 

 I think about them this way:

  • How do I want to experience myself, health, meditation, fitness, relationships, and work? I include experiences that I want to have and places I want to go. Seeing the Dodgers win a World Series, seeing the Packers win a Super Bowl, and going to Bora Bora with my wife are a few of mine.
  • For growth, I write down books I want to read, things I want to learn (and how I’ll learn them), and how I can become the best version of myself as a dad, husband, coach, leader, and communicator.
  • Are you giving money, time, and/or energy to people and causes that you care about? Neighbors and co-workers: are you there for them? Also, one of the best ways to get out of a funk is to give back and help someone else. It’s hard to wallow in your self-pity when you’re focused on others. 

They say in business, if you aren’t growing, you’re dying. I think that’s true for us humans too. 

If accountability is an issue, tell others about your goals, and have accountability partners. One step further? Announce it on social media. It’s much harder to flake on your goals if you’ve told others about them. And don’t forget to reward yourself. If you reach a goal, make sure you do something special just for you!

The most important thing to do, if nothing else, is to write your goals down! 

Life is good.


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