In 2021 alone, I’ve written 186 articles, read 45 books, and completed 17,200 kettlebell rows. I’ve gotten a full night’s sleep 176 times and since March I’ve done 105 24-hour fasts.
And I still have a month and a half left in the year.
I love goal setting. I write about it, talk about it, and do it in my own life. As of this writing, I have something like 18+ goals that I’m currently working on. I use goal setting as a means of cultivating fulfillment in my life. It’s not just about going to the beach more. It’s about what going to the beach more creates for myself: Fulfillment.
Here are 50 short rules I’ve learned during my many years of goal setting. Feel free to use them in your life as well.
- Believe achieving them is possible.
- Set goals within your control. Read two books a month. Not: read more than my partner.
- Write your goals down.
- State why you want to achieve them.
- Update your progress with them each day.
- Keep all of your goals in one place. I use a Goal Tracker.
- Create a schedule for your days. Map out where your goals fit into that.
- Do the work today. Worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.
- Set either habit goals or achievement goals. Habit goals repeat (run a mile each day). Achievement goals don’t (run a marathon by August 1st).
- When you make a mistake, decide what you will do differently next time.
- When stuck, talk to people who have successfully done what you’re trying to do. Read this book to help you cultivate those kinds of relationships.
- If you’re not yet confident in your abilities, keep your goal a secret. A new goal is a fragile thing. To start, only talk about it with experts in that field.
- Write down what fulfillment looks like to you. Direct your goals towards that.
- Keep trying. The first goal you set may not be it. Iterate, test, (try to) be patient.
- Be open to being wrong.
- Set your goals when focused and well-rested. It shouldn’t be done on a whim.
- Take your goals seriously.
- End a goal if (when) it no longer adds fulfillment to your life.
- Your goals aren’t set in stone. Change them whenever you want.
- Set new goals now. Don’t wait until January.
- Your goals don’t need to solely revolve around money or weight loss.
- You don’t need to aim for the moon if you don’t want to. Test out what feels right for you.
- Achieving them doesn’t have to be difficult. A good system will produce good results.
- Don’t sacrifice one goal for the sake of another. There is room for all.
- Choose your goals by yourself. Don’t make it a panel discussion. Discussion causes delay.
- If you struggle with follow-through, find an accountability partner. My friend runs this app you can check out. *Not an affiliate link.
- Set goals that you find fulfilling. Not ones your boss tells you to set.
- Give yourself breaks. Seven days a week is too much to start.
- Give yourself guilt-free outs. If there’s a special occasion, eat cake if you want.
- Spend five minutes each day being grateful. It will help morale.
- Ease into larger challenges. Meditate for one minute in week one. Then two minutes in week two. Add on more gradually.
- Motivation is unnecessary. Again, a good system will produce good results.
- Some days will be better than others. Some effort is better than no effort though. So long as you show up, it’s a win.
- Productivity won’t help you if you’re lost. Decide what you want first.
- Remove friction. Keep your running shoes by where you work.
- Add friction. Make temptations harder to get to.
- Accept what happens along the way. Make your next move based on where you are.
- You’re going to eat a lot of dirt at first. Practice humility.
- Accept full responsibility in every situation. It is my fault. Here’s what I will do differently next time…
- Visualize what you want. Train your mind to believe in its possibility.
- Reflect on how far you’ve come.
- Lower your expectations of how easily and quickly it will happen. It may be quick and easy, but don’t expect it to be.
- Get excited about what you don’t yet know. That’s the fun part.
- It’s a cliche, but the journey is the reward. Reading one book a week is brag-worthy, but the fulfillment comes in the reading of that book.
- Read books about resilient figures. This too will help morale. I recommend A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell.
- Get time under your belt. Results accumulate with it.
- Show up for yourself. Treat it like a job you are paid to do.
- Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Don’t stop walking.
- Take care of yourself. Practice balance. Try not to overload one area of your life.
- Know that so long as you keep showing up, it will all work out.
I practice what I preach. These are all rules I abide by. They’re what’s helped me develop my goal success system. They’re also the rules that allow me to achieve my goals again and again. Some of the rules are hard-learned, some came naturally.
Regardless, they are rules that continue to help me in my life.
Feel free to use them in your life as well. They may not all resonate, but one or two of them might. And those one or two may make all the difference. Whether your aim is to go on a monthly date with your spouse, be more physically fit, or experiment with fasting, the same rules apply.
I’ve published 186 articles, completed 45 books, and done 17,200 kettlebell rows. All in 2021 alone. I’ve gotten a full night’s sleep 176 times and since March I’ve done 105 24-hour fasts. Entirely with the rules above.
I can’t wait to see what you are able to create with the same playbook at your disposal.