Set your goals to design the future you want

“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”



Written in Meiringen, Switzerland

For the last couple of years, I’ve kept my goals on the front of my fridge.

I have five Post-it note size pieces of paper on there with the headings:

  • This week
  • This month
  • This quarter [dates]
  • This year
  • Someday

Every time I go to get food – which is a lot of the time – I see them. When I have people over, they invariably comment on them. So the goals written on there are very hard to forget about. They stay right at the front of my mind. Because of this, I need to make sure that I have the important things on there.

I switch things up quite a lot. Just because something is written on there one week, doesn’t mean it’s going to be there the next.

I sit down at my kitchen counter every week to set my intentions for the seven days ahead. To do this, there are a few good things you can do:

1. Turn your ideal life into concrete next steps

  • Look at your ideal life description and see what you’re still working towards.
  • Check that the end-goals are reflected on your “big” Post-its (usually the Someday and This yearnotes).
  • Next, chunk it down on the smaller notes (This quarterThis month, and then This week).
  • With every week, more and more steps towards the end-goals are pulled forward into concrete actions for this week.

When you do this, you’re always chipping away and moving closer to your big audacious goals.


2. Do a quick audit of where you are in key areas

To do this, you can revisit the Life Audit guide.

How would you rate the following right now?

  • Mind
  • Body
  • Love
  • Community
  • Creativity
  • Work
  • Money

What area most needs your attention right now? Add a small task to the week ahead for this.

Also, think about how your This month (and onwards) goals will help you get out that rut – are they currently aligned, or do they need some changes?


3. Think about what’s going on for you right now

  • What are you working on right now? What projects do you need (or want) to get finished
  • Are there any events (e.g. your boyfriend’s birthday) that you want to remember to make great?

Add these to the list for This week or This month.


4. Cross-check everything with your values

This will get easier with time, as you keep thinking back to what your guiding principles are. But when you’re setting goals, it’s a good reminder to double check that everything matches up. If security is really important to you, maybe don’t make it your goal this week to quit your job with nothing else in place just yet.


5. Prioritise

You might have more than you can fit on your Post-its right now. Prioritise the 5 most important goals to go on each note, cut the rest out. Think about what’s really the important stuff right now.

You can save the drafts (including goals that didn’t make the cut) and come back to them during your next weekly goal check-in. Then ask: does anything that didn’t make the cut last time make sense to add now?


Set 5 goals each for:

  • This week
  • This month
  • This quarter [dates]
  • This year
  • Someday

Display them somewhere you see often, like the front of your fridge or bathroom mirror.

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