Proven Formula to Actually Crush Your Goals
This is the proven formula that helped me leave my 9-5 job, move to Costa Rica, and land the job of my dreams.
Proven Tested Formula
Over the years, I’ve tried so many different tips, tricks, and hacks to achieve my New Years goals and almost none of them worked. I’d make big, audacious goals – and after a few weeks, would feel swallowed by the enormity of actually achieving them.
Then I discovered this formula combining many different proven methods and it changed my life. Seriously, I don’t say that lightly. This is the guide that helped me leave my 9-5 job, move to Costa Rica, and land the job of my dreams.
It works, and the proven formula has plenty of built-in mechanisms to not only make it easy, but enjoyable as well.
This guide is for you if:
- You want to crush goals – not just make resolutions.
- You’re ready to transform but aren’t quite sure where to start.
- You’re ready to stop talking and start doing.
- You’re ready to actually follow through.
This process was developed by the best goal crushing business in the world, Best Self. I’ll touch on them more later but they developed an entire journal around crushing goals and a brilliant roadmap to get there.
I also draw upon the methods & secrets of experts such as Tim Ferriss, a highly successful goal crusher celebrated for his efficiency and high level tactics to get shit done.
Step 1: Reflect on the Year
Step 2: Visualize the Life You Want
Step 3: Create Goals
Step 4: Find Your Why
Step 5: Map Out Four 13 Week Roadmaps
Step 6: Create the first 13 Week Roadmap
Step 7: Weekly Action Plan
Step 8: Win the Day
Step 9: Reflect Back
- Reflect on the year: spend 30 minutes reflecting on 2017 and write out 3 things: what went well, what didn’t, and who you should/shouldn’t be spending your time with
- Visualize the life you want: spend 3-5 minutes writing out the things you want in life from the following categories: relationship, family, experiences, wellbeing, environment, career, finances, personal development, creativity, spirituality, and any other categories you want to focus on in 2018
- Create goals: plot your visualizations into a timeline of 13 weeks, 1 year, 3 years, & 5 years & shape them into goals
- Find your why: for each of your goals, answer the question of why you want to achieve them in order to develop a stronger personal attachment to them
- Map out your four 13 week roadmaps: break down your goals for the year into four 13 week chunks
- Create your first 13 week roadmap: map out what the next 13 weeks look like to keep you on track to hitting your goals
- Weekly action plan: break down what needs to happen each week in order to stay on track
- Win the day: stick to your daily plan and execute
- Reflect back: at the end of the day, reflect back on what went well and what didn’t and make note of it
Want a pdf version of the guide? Download it here & share it with your friends.
Step 1: Reflect on the year
Before you get too ambitious and set a bunch of goals for 2018, you need to reflect on 2017.
This is important for two reasons:
- You will have a better idea of what you really want in 2018
- You will gain an understanding of what went well and what didn’t
Tim Ferriss, the bestselling author of the Four Hour Workweek & host of the #1 rated podcast The Tim Ferriss Show, utilizes the following process to reflect on the year. I highly recommend you do the same.
- Grab a notepad and create two columns: POSITIVE and NEGATIVE.
- Go through your calendar from the last year, looking at every week.
- For each week, jot down on the pad any people and activities that triggered peak positive or negative emotions for that month.
- Once you’ve gone through the past year, look at your notepad list and ask “What 20% of each column produced the most reliable or powerful peaks?”
- Based on the answers, take your “positive” leaders and schedule more of them in 2018. Get them on the calendar now! Book things with friends and prepay for shit now! That’s step one. Step two is to take your “negative” leaders, put “NOT-TO-DO LIST” at the top, and put them somewhere you can see them each morning for the first few weeks of 2018. These are the people and things you *know* make you miserable, so don’t put them on your calendar out of obligation, guilt, FOMO, or other nonsense.
As you can see, this is pretty detailed but it should only take about 30-60 minutes to complete -- which is a great investment of time considering what you will get out of it.
If you don’t keep a calendar (#2) with your detailed schedule, don’t worry about it. You can also go through your social media posts throughout the year to spark your memory. Or, simply do a mental rundown of each month in your head, jot down notes, and proceed through the steps.
When you’re done, you’ll be much better equipped to make informative goals.
AND by understanding what went well and what you don’t want to do, you’ll have a much better roadmap on how to get there.
If you want to dig deeper into this process, check out Best Self’s version where they tweak Tim’s model just a tad. Either way, this reflection will help your goals become more than just your imagination.
Step 2: Visualize the life you want
Now that you’ve reflected back, it’s time to visualize forward.
There’s no holding back but let me be clear here: by ‘no holding back’ that isn’t to say if you visualize making $10 billion dollars it will come true. It can, of course, but that isn’t the point of the exercise.
What I mean by no holding back is don’t let your psyche get in the way or try to talk you out of things you want in your life. When it comes to this visualization process, let your mind roam free without fear of failure (or success). Don’t be bogged down by limited beliefs – or the fear of change getting in the way.
Instead, think about your dream life: what are the ultimate things you want to achieve?
If these dreams are important enough to you, we’ll set goals (Step 3) and then deconstruct them into a navigational roadmap that will put you on the road to the life you desire.
Use the following chart (from Best Self) and spend 3 minutes in each category (10 categories) writing down whatever comes to mind. You may find you’re writing down huge, concise dreams, or small broad ones – it doesn’t matter. Just let your mind and pen flow.
After you’ve spent 3 minutes on each category, write out any other categories you want to focus on in 2018 and perform the same exercise spending 3 minutes writing down any visualizations/dreams that come to mind with no holding back.
Now that we’ve reflected and visualized, it’s time to set some concrete goals.
Step 3: Create goals
Now that you have all your dreams written out, it’s time to figure out how to make them a reality.
The first thing is to plot the dreams onto a timeline. This process takes your dream out of the ether and begins to shape it into a goal.
The best way to map out the timeline for your visualizations is to divide your dreams up into the following chunks of time: 13 weeks, 1 year, 3 years, and 5 years.
Some dreams may require more time (traveling the world, for example) and that’s okay, mark them accordingly. But keep in mind, you’ll likely want entirely new goals in 5 years so it may be best to just focus on the shorter term goals since you know for sure they’re things you want to bring into your life.
When you’re done, each of your visualizations should be assigned a time when it will be achieved. We’ll break these down further later, but first let’s ignite some passion behind these goals.
Step 4: Find your why
Setting goals isn’t enough, you need to attach some emotion behind it.
If you want to maintain the discipline to follow through with your roadmap, you need motivation.
Answering the “why” is the fuel.
Want to make $100k in 2018? Answer why that amount of money matters to you. Money has no value in an of itself but a means to an end. So you need to answer what it is you intend to do with the money and why it’s important to you.
Fall in love with the why and let it fuel the discipline to make it happen.
For each of your goals, describe why they matter to you. Then, refer back to these reasons for constant sources of motivation and reminders as to why you’re working so hard.
Step 5: Map out four 13 week roadmaps
Now it’s time to map out the year. Don’t get intimidated, this will be easy.
There are 52 weeks in a year. Divide 52 by 4 and you get 13. Hence, the 13 week roadmaps. But there’s more to it than just math. Research has shown humans aren’t very good about planning far into the future but by breaking things a whole year down into quarters, we are much more capable of visualizing and executing our plans.
As you can see, we are starting to focus on the goals we want to achieve this year. To keep us accountable, we need to be sure we’re staying on track throughout the year, and that our tasks are bite-sized enough that we can actually complete them.
Let’s say in 2018 you want to start an online business from scratch. Your four 13 week roadmaps could look something like this:
- 13 week map #1: decide on business name, website url, branding, and get an LLC
- 13 week map #2: begin website development, research seo, create social media pages
- 13 week map #3: launch website, publish content, share with friends & family, grow social media to 1k followers, set up payment processing
- 13 week map#3: finalize pricing of items, determine shipping costs, launch online store, create ads, start making a profit
As you can see, the big goal of creating an online business from scratch is simply broken down into 4 sections that will allow the person to achieve the goal by the end of the year. Again, this process not only keeps us on track, but makes us feel as though our goals are achievable.
Just make sure when you look at each 13 week roadmap, you feel as though you can complete the listed tasks. And keep in mind, you may want to leave yourself a little buffer room. If you find you need more or less time, just schedule accordingly.
Step 6: Create first 13 week road-map
Now that we have an idea what the year looks like, it’s time to get specific on what the next 13 weeks look like.
Here is where the Best Self Journal really comes in handy. The journal is literally built for 13 week roadmaps and it does a really good job providing you with the tools you need to stay on track.
Essentially, you need to identify what big goal you want to tackle by the time the 13 weeks is over. Then, you will write down 3 progress goals that if reached, you will hit your goal. From there, you will break each progress goal down into 3 daily actions that will enable you to reach your progress goals.
If it sounds confusing, it’s not. Again, you can get way more detail with this free pdf version of a 13 week roadmap, or you can purchase the Best Self Journal to really keep you on track.
Here’s an example of what this step looks like based on an example from Best Self. Let’s say the goal is to make $25k for your product launch by the end of the 13 weeks. The first thing you need to do is identify 3 progress goals that will help you get there.
- I will increase my website traffic by 20%
- I will increase my sales conversion by 15%
- I will increase my email list by 5,000 subscribers
Now you’d curate 3 daily actions based on each progress goal.
Actions for progress goal #1:
- Create an editorial and social media calendar
- Create outreach process & contact 10 bloggers/week
- Hire a part-time content creator/writer
Repeat this for progress goals #2 & #3 and you will be ready for step 7.
Step 7: Develop a weekly action plan
Look how far we’ve come. We’ve formed our dreams into goals, broken our goals down into 13 week chunks, generated progress goals to get there, and then created daily actions steps.
Now it’s time to develop our weekly action plan and get to work.
Each week, you will have 3 milestones you need to complete to stay on track.
From there, you can curate your weekly action plan to get there. I recommend getting a big pad of paper and blocking off the following 6 sections: priority, project, task, due, time estimated, & E/N/D (energizing, neutral, draining).
It should look something like this:
By setting a priority level (1-3), you will categorize tasks to help you prioritize and execute it an optimal way. The project section will remind you of the larger progress goal and the task will keep you focused.
By having a due date, you won’t procrastinate and the time estimated section will help you budget your time effectively.
Finally, the E/N/D formula will help you organize your energy efficiently and you can schedule your day around the tasks that energize or drain you.
Step 8: Win the day
Now that you have deconstructed your dreams down to bite-sized chunks - it’s time to execute.
First, start with today’s targets: what 3 action items could you take towards your goal that would make you feel as though you won the day? Write those down.
Then, based on your weekly action plan, write out the day’s schedule. Don’t leave any blank spaces and make sure you plan accordingly (use the time estimated for each task from your weekly action plan).
Remember, you want to schedule in your fun and your breaks too. Be realistic. Don’t pack up your day so much you forget about food, exercise, or life. Try to have as few blank spots in your daily calendar as possible.
Step 9: Reflect back
Okay, the day is done. Now, it’s time to reflect back to see what went well and what didn’t.
For this exercise, write down 3 wins you had. In other words, 3 things that went well.
Then, write down 3 lessons you learned from things that perhaps didn’t go so well.
This step is critical. Not only will you start receiving positive feedback for your efforts, you’ll be able to see how your work is paying off. Furthermore, you will quickly begin to see what is and isn’t working.
Spend your time doing this at the end of every day and it will be one of the best investments of your time.
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