Setting goals is essential for getting ahead.
They give you direction and they give you purpose. Unfortunately, not everyone has cracked onto this. Out of the 7 billion people on this earth, only 3% of adults actually write down their goals.
If you’re sitting in the group of people who have written down their goals, congratulations, you’re already ahead of the majority! The next step is creating a positive mindset to give yourself the highest probability of reaching those goals.
Without a positive mindset and the drive to want to achieve your goals, you can guarantee you’ll fail.
Anyone who’s created a half assed New Years Resolution will know this. You pick out a goal from the achieve of things people want to achieve, hit it hard for a couple of weeks and then give up.
This happens time and time again and it’s because people miss or don’t know about one critical stage that is needed when chasing their goals.
It’s called developing a positive mindset.
Without a positive mindset, you’ll struggle to push through the ups and downs of chasing your goals.
A positive mindset keeps you going. It enables you to look at the positives of all situations and it helps you to visualize your goals, ultimately resulting it reaching them.
Why Do People Miss This Step?
It’s a question I often think about and the answer becomes apparent when I look at my own track history with goal setting.
It took me 4 years before I actually acted on my goals and decided to relentlessly chase them but what changed?
When I consider those 4 years I can bring it back to 2 things:
- I became so fed up with not going anywhere, that achieving my goals became a need not a want. I needed to get out of the rut I was in. I needed to make some changes and I needed to stop being a drop kick. Before I made the decision to chase my goals, I was drinking almost everyday and spending all my money on partying. So it was easy for me to say I was going to set goals and then live in a fantasyland of thinking I would one day achieve them. Alcohol is really good at developing false realities. So it was only a matter of time before I realized I wasn’t making any progress and was completely bullshitting myself.
- I was ready. It comes down to reaching a certain maturity level. When I first came up with my goals, I was young and immature. As you can tell from point one, I just wanted to be young and carefree. Including all the partying and time off. I worked during the week and that’s all I was ready to commit to.You need to reach a certain maturity level if you’re going to make that change.Which includes making some drastic sacrifices, this is what stops people from going to that next level.If you honestly think you can achieve your goals and not make any changes or sacrifices, you’re going to be surprised a thousand times over.Reaching your goals means sacrifice and I wasn’t ready or willing to do that until the beginning of 2017.The following are the things I did to create that positive mindset you need in order to set yourself up to achieve your goals. We’ll start at the beginning.
What’s Your Purpose?
The first thing you need to do in order to create a positive mindset is to figure out why the hell you need a positive mindset in the first place. This means, you guessed it, creating goals.
As I already mentioned, without them you will lack any form of direction and have no need to change your mindset.
1. Develop Your Goals
Your goals determine exactly where you want to go. So they need to be measurable and specific.
As an example, here’s my main goal:
$1,000,000 by 03/12/2020
Notice how I have an exact amount and an exact date. This gives me something to work towards. It tells me how much I want and when.
I have since developed this goal and changed it a little, to be less about the money and more about giving back but for the purpose of this article, lets keep it simple.
If you need help finding your goals, here are a couple of tips to remember:
- Your goal needs to be exactly what you want. Not what you think you’re capable of or what you think you should do or what other people want from you. If it’s not exactly what you want, you’ll lose interest in the process and fail.
- Make your goals SMART (Minus the ‘A’).
S — Specific: Write out exactly what you want.
M — Measurable: How are you going to measure progress and determine milestones?
A — Achievable: I don’t like this one. I think it forces people to put boundaries on what they can achieve. You can do anything, just look at Elon Musk.
R — Relevant: For personal goal setting, this means creating a goal that gets you where you want in life. Take it back to developing a goal that’s exactly what you want. It’s important to do this right. For example: don’t set a goal of wanting to travel the world if you want to have a certain amount of money saved by X date. Your goals need to line up.
T — Time Limited: This is critical to achieving a goal. Without setting a time of when you want to achieve it, you allow yourself to procrastinate. With an exact date, you’re locked in.
2. Find Your Why
Bang! You’ve got your goal but why did you choose it?
Why do you want that much money?
Why do you want to lose weight?
A lot of people think their why is their goal but it’s not. It’s the underling reason for getting up in the morning. It’s the reason they keep pushing and the reason they want their specific goal.
As I mentioned, I’ve developed the goal I stated above. That’s because I found out that my goal was hollow. It didn’t have any depth. It had no purpose.
Working towards that goal was fun to start out with and it ended up changing my life but as time went on, I started to lose interest because I had no emotional attachment.
I didn’t have a why.
After a long brain storming session I finally came up with my true why.
When I first started writing, I had the want to motivate people with chronic illnesses and teach them that just because they have these health issues their lives don’t have to end and they don’t have to give up on their goals. But it wasn’t that easy for me to share my illness with the world.
It would mean I would have to be fully open about all my experiences with chronic illness. I was also worried that if I shared my story, I’d have trouble getting a job or people would judge me and treat me as if I was dying.
So I backed out and pretty quickly writing lost that edge and my want to reach my goal of $1,000,000 through writing, slowly started to fade.
Eventually, I spoke to a couple of people and they convinced me to share my story and as expected, I got my spark back.
I had my why.
I wanted to help people through my stories and my writing.
My goal is the money. My why is to help.
3. Make The Decision
Now that you’ve got your goal and your why, it’s time to jump.
Before you even think of making a plan, you need to make that critical decision to chase your goals.
This is where everyone gets stuck and where most give up.
Excuses start flowing and you talk yourself out of it. I’m going to list the 3 most common excuses and provide my answer to them:
- Now is not a good time.It will never be the perfect time to move on your goals. There’s always something you could use as an excuse. Work commitments, family issues, not enough savings, haven’t mastered the skills you need yet. Here’s a hint; There’s no such thing as the perfect time. At some point you need to take on some risk and that starts now.
- What will other people think? The Fear of Judgment is huge when you’re first deciding to chase your goals. I’ll be completely honest with you, I haven’t gotten it before but I know it affects a lot of people who are looking to do something different. I’m going to tell you something that I refer to when I’m about to do something different. As a warning, it’s pretty brutal. No one cares! No one gives a shit about what you’re doing and no one is watching you. People act like they’re on some pedestal where everybody is monitoring their every move. Well surprise, no one is watching and no one ever will watch, if you keep following the pack. You haven’t even done anything worth paying attention to and you already think you’re the centre of attention? Stop worrying about what people think and start focusing on what will make you happy.
- What if I fail? Back when I was in year 7, I went through a stage where I failed all of my exams (it lasted most of high school). After a string of failures, my dad sat down with me and asked why I wasn’t trying. My response? I’m scared I’ll fail, so why even try? My dad looked at me and said that was the stupidest excuse he’d ever heard and that it was complete bullshit. He was right and from that day on I never used it as an excuse. Imagine actually thinking that if you put in 100%, you’re going to fail anyway? Thinking back now, it is stupid and anyone who uses it, as an excuse, doesn’t really want their goal.
4. Develop The Plan
Rant over, now it’s time to develop your plan.
You’ve pushed though all the thinking and have made it to the final stage of developing a goal.
Now it’s time to figure out how to get there.
At this stage you need to break your main goal down into smaller goals.
I break it down like this:
Main goal, Yearly goals, 6 monthly goals, Quarterly goals, Monthly goals, Weekly goals, Daily goals
By breaking my main goal down so much, it does 2 things:
- It tells me exactly what I want to accomplish everyday, in order to reach my goal. Making my to-do list a lot easier and quicker to develop.
- It makes my goal seem attainable. If I was to look at my main goal, $1,000,000 by 03/12/2020, it would seem impossible but broken down, my daily goal is something like ‘write a blog post’. Much more achievable.
Now that you’ve set up your foundation, it’s time to create the positive mindset you need.
Creating a positive mindset
To create a positive mindset you need to consider 2 factors:
- Your physical environment
- Your mind
They both work together and without a healthy balance of them both being at 100%, your goals will suffer.
Which is exactly what recently happened to me. I had a positive mindset but since leaving my full time job, my physical environment was negative. I was working from my bedroom and the line between relaxing and working blurred and they both mixed. I couldn’t separate the two.
Not to mention it got very boring and very lonely.
Which resulted in a burnout.
You need both those factors to be positive, if you’re going to reach your goals.
1. Physical Environment
It’s much harder to develop a positive mindset in a negative environment. So you need to start with your physical environment first. As you get going and start improving the spaces around you, you’ll actually notice your mindset will start to change with it.
So it’s a win, win to start here.
I also want to point out before we go any further, if you thought you were already making sacrifices from the previous points, you haven’t even scratched the surface. You didn’t think it would be easy?
These changes are huge and they’re tough and they take a while but in the end, they’re worth it.
You’ll be thanking yourself you pushed through when you get there.
Start With People
Jumping right into the deep end and starting with the most difficult sacrifice you’re going to make.
The people around you.
You’re the product of the 5 people you spend the most time with.
I’m sure you’ve heard this quote but how many have actually put it into practice?
Who has actually gotten rid of the toxic people in their life and replaced them with people that make up for their weaknesses and compliment their strengths?
It took me years to do this and when I finally did, my life changed.
I’ve told you the story how at the beginning of 2017, I decided to relentlessly chase my goals. This included doing a ‘friend clean out’ where I got rid of anyone who was toxic from my life.
At the time, this was almost my whole friend group.
I stopped talking to all of them. Just like that. No warning, no excuses. I just stopped. I didn’t owe them anything.
Yes, it was hard and yes, they bitched and started rumours but it didn’t affect me because I was working towards something bigger.
This is the first thing you need to do when chasing your goals. Go through the people you hang around, decided whether they’re helping you or bring you down and then get rid of the ones who add no value.
The people you hang around are ruining you.
It’s time to move on.
Now that you’ve done the most difficult thing, it’s time to do something a bit more relaxed and a bit more creative.
You need to change your surroundings so they inspire and motivate you.
I’m talking about your bedroom, your house, your car, your office and even where you hang out.
They all matter.
Sitting in your bedroom all weekend working is going to have a negative impact on your mindset. It’s not healthy, as I discovered.
You need to get outside and do something active.
As for your work and relaxing areas, consider these tips, which will help you improve your environment:
- Put your goal everywhere — Write it in places you will see it often. Here’s where I have it written; my cork board next to my bed, the white board at my desk, on a card in my wallet so I see it whenever I buy something, my desktop background and my phone background. Constantly seeing it embeds it in my subconscious mind, which has helped develop a mindset where I can’t stop thinking about my goal.
- Bright light — wherever you’re working from, make sure it’s bright. Dim lit areas are depressing and will bring your mood down.
- A vision board — in my bedroom, I have vision board. It’s where I keep everything that matters to me; goals, quotes, drawings of me in a mansion. It serves as a reminder of where I want to be.
- Clean — Make sure your areas are clean. There’s nothing more depressing than working amongst your own filth. Take a bit of respect for yourself and clean up.
Doing these 2 things is critical to creating a positive environment and ultimately, the right mindset to achieve your goals.
Your mind is the most important tool you have. It determines how you feel, what you do and where you go.
So to have a positive one, is critical if you want to see your goals come to life.
There’s 2 parts you need to work on when creating a positive mindset:
- Positive Habits
- Goal orientate subconscious mind
One works on the action side of your mind and one works with embedding what you want into your thoughts, to ensure the best possible outcome.
Create Positive Habits
Creating positive habits is essential to reaching any goal. They’re what keep you on track and keep you away from your old ways.
People say that to create a new habit it will take about 60 days. I think this is bullshit. You can create a habit from day one, if you want it bad enough.
Take when I quit smoking for example (I wasn’t a hardcore smoker, just every now and then). It took me a total of 1 day to quit. Once I decided I didn’t want to any more, I never went back. I didn’t get cravings. I didn’t get side effects. This is because I knew exactly what I wanted and I knew exactly why I was quitting.
People make it out like it’s some huge hurdle and is such an achievement when they quit smoking (or achieve any habit) but it’s really not. The people, who relapse, didn’t have a why and they didn’t want to quit bad enough.
It’s easy to develop a habit, if you have your why.
Another one is waking up early. It’s easy if you have that goal or that one thing that gets you excited for the day. If you have a purpose in life, you’ll wake up early to work on it.
It all comes down to consistency.
Just keep doing it. Keep waking up early. Don’t go back to smoking. Keep saving instead of spending.
Creating positive habits is easy if you know why you’re doing it.
Don’t go in blind. Figure out your why. Then figure out what habits you need to develop to get there.
Create a success mindset
This is the last step in the process to developing a positive mindset and it involves a lot of repetition and a lot of consistency. You need to develop some habits here that feed your subconscious mind.
I briefly mentioned it before, you need to constantly be reading your goals so that they become all you think about
Thoughts become things
If you’re constantly thinking of your goals, you’ll constantly be working and looking for ways to achieve them.
This is why you need to have them written down everywhere.
Like I said I have them in these places:
- My bedroom
- My office
- In my wallet
- In my car
- On my computer
- On my phone
These are the places I spend majority of my time. The constant reminder forces me to always be thinking of my goals and always on the lookout for new ways to achieve them.
In addition, I have them written on a piece of paper. Which I read as soon as I wake up and when I go to bed, so they’re the first and last thing I see everyday.
Overtime, you won’t need to read them. You’ll just be thinking about them all the time. It will consume you. I’m at the point now where I can clearly visualize my goals. I can feel how I will feel when I’ve achieve them. I can see it all so clearly.
You’ll get there. You just need to put in some work.
Creating a positive mindset is essential to reaching your goals. Without it, you’ll never take the jump that’s needed to achieve them but like any process, you have to actually do it. It’s not enough to read this post and stop there. It’s also not enough to act on just some of the points.
You have to do them all and be consistent for a long time before you’ll get there but in the end, it’s all worth it.