Interested in setting annual goals? Every December, Michael Hyatt opens up his popular course, Best Year Ever. I highly recommend it. Watch three FREE videos from him about goal-setting here.

It’s no secret that I love me some productivity hacks. So last year, I was all smiles when I stumbled upon a wonderful productivity resource: the Beyond the To-Do List Podcast. Since that time, I’ve listened to dozens of Erik Fisher’s podcast interviews, and have learned quite a few things about how many influencers around the world organize their days for greater productivity.  Recently, Erik came out with his first ebook, touching on one of the most common themes that arises in his podcast: Goals.

You have ’em. I have ’em. We all ’em. But we don’t always know how to set ’em, or how to actually complete ’em.

His new ebook, Beyond the To-Do List: Goals, is a great daily primer for getting you to think bigger, and to think concretely, in order to get such goals truly checked off. One of Erik’s main points is that goals are really very different than priorities — even though many people lump the two together. I asked Eric for more on what he meant on this provocative point. In response, he provided three simple steps you need to take to break down your priorities into goals:

  1. Define your success. Let’s say you have a “priority” of family. Fine. But what relationships make up that family, and how would you define what success means for those relationships? More specifically, if you are married, what would having a “successful” marriage look like? What characteristics would it have? Think about it and write down your thoughts.
  2. Make an action plan. Go over what you’ve written down and be honest about what needs to take place for this success to happen. Continuing with the example of marriage, if success is defined as having clear communication, quality time, and deeper intimacy, you need to choose actions that foster the growth of those attributes. In this case, scheduled date nights, family business meetings, and other ideas specific to your marriage will make this success a reality. Be sure to communicate clearly with those who will be helping you make these changes. It is really important to have support from others. You can’t just change an important area of your life overnight.
  3. Put it on the calendar and do it. Jerry Seinfeld became a better joke writer by writing daily. To maintain discipline he used a wall calendar which has the whole year on one page and hung it on a prominent wall. After he did his work, he used a big red magic marker to mark each day he’d done his task. Can you do that? Or something similar in your own life?

Make sense? So the first step, of course, is defining that success. And it’s not always such an easy question.

Have you stopped to think about what you really consider success in your life? If so, how can you translate your idea of success into actionable goals that will help you reach it? 

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