Goal Setting to Be Happy!
(Part Two):

Creating Your Goals


“Goals are not only absolutely necessary to motivate us. They are essential to really keep us alive.”
- Robert H. Schuller

Part One of this action-oriented, goal-setting process lays the foundation for setting and achieving your goals, which if taken seriously and done properly, will help maximize your chances of success – both for your goals AND for your life. 

So if you haven’t gone through Part One, don’t proceed with Part Two until doing so. It is critical to do the entire process. So read, or re-read, Part One by... clicking here.

Now, having completed Part One – laying the foundation for the successful achievement of your goals – here’s Part Two, which is the actual goal-setting part of the process. After finishing Part Two, Part Three will go through some steps designed to maximize action and ensure your success.




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So, just to summarize, here’s the whole BeHappy! goal-setting process from start to finish:

  • Part One: Laying the foundation and creating positive expectations for the futre (you’ve done this, right?)
  • Part Two: Creating and organizing your goals (you’ll start this in a minute) 
  • Part Three: Taking action and achieving success (don’t go to this part until you’ve completed Parts One and Two first)

So let’s start creating your goals...

What Do You Want?

Have you set goals for this year? What about for the next twenty years? If so, you must review them in light of the foundation laid in Part One. If not (and especially if you are not in the habit of setting annual goals), we’ll be starting today – actually right now – by using what you did in Part One to begin establishing the most important things you want to achieve, short-term and long-term. 

And it's important to have both short- and long-term goals. It's all part of your ultimate happiness. Because, just like with your Definition of Happiness (see below), you need to know your ultimate destination before you can create goals for the short-term; otherwise, you could be heading in the wrong direction with some of your short-term goals.

So, whether or not you already have a list of goals for this year and for your life, consider – right now - what do you want for your life? 

What is most important to you? Is it having children - or if you already do - financing their education? Or what about remodeling your house (or getting a new home)? 

“When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live life.”
- Greg Anderson
The BEST goals are created as S.M.A.R.T. Goals; which are:

Specific: What do you want to achieve? How will you achieve it? Why is it important to you? Clearly define the outcome you want.
Measurable: Establish concrete criteria for measuring your success. Use actual numbers, target dates, or specific events to indicate when your goal has been achieved.
Achievable: Your goals should push you past your comfort point but you should still be able to attain them with effort and commitment. Likewise, you should have the ability to directly impact them. Don't set goals that aren't significant or that you can't do anything to impact achievement.
Relevant: Your goals should be important to you and the outcome should impact your life.
Timely: Your goals should have a time element established. This will keep you on track and prevent you from simply pushing a goal off infinitely into the distant future. It should matter now and you should have a sense of urgency about it.

Is it learning to play a musical instrument or a new language or going back to school to start a new career? Could getting out of debt be an important accomplishment? Do you have some “luxury” goals, like getting a new yacht or a second home in the country or on the beach? Is just getting through a current financial crisis a goal for this year? Or maybe you have some spiritual or contributory desires to fill – like helping people in need or just making people happier.

Whatever you consider important life achievements that will improve your quality of life and/or the quality of life for those you love could be the basis for some meaningful goals – both for this year and forever.

And the word meaningful is important because – if they are not meaningful to you - they will not be compelling enough to get you to focus sufficiently and take action towards achieving them.

Meaningful goals, in my view, consist of two general components: (1) They are consistent with your Definition of Happiness, and your identity, purpose, and passions (as described in Part One) and (2) they follow the S.M.A.R.T. philosophy of goal-setting (see the box to the right).

Putting it in Writing

The first thing to do is this ... on a blank piece of paper, write down whatever achievements, accomplishments, life improvements, or material things you want. Just quickly write whatever comes to your mind that you want, or feel you need, in your life. At this stage, time frame is not important. They can be short- or long-term desires. In fact, it's not even important that they are written as S.M.A.R.T. goals yet. It's just important that you get down on paper what you want. Make sure you have your Definition of Happiness and the characteristics of your identitypurpose, and passions from Part One with you – either in your mind or, better yet, on a piece of paper next to you as you create this list.

Take the time right now to do this. Don’t go on until you have a list of everything you can imagine for yourself and your loved ones – whether for this year or for your entire life. 

We’ll refine things as we progress through Part Two - and even as we move to Part Three.

OK. Do you have your list? If not, keep writing (or start if you haven’t even tried). Please do it. Your happiness depends on it.


“Committing your goals to paper increases the likelihood of your achieving them by one-thousand percent!”
- Brian Tracy

Your initial list, once complete as described above, might look something like this:

  • Become wealthy, with enough money to never have to worry about it
  • Create and maintain the best possible relationships with family and friends
  • Be able to provide my children the best education possible
  • Be able to travel and create adventure in my life
  • Stay healthy, vital, and happy to a very old age
  • Look and feel great
  • Learn to speak Spanish fluently again
  • Get back to playing music
  • Get our "ultimate" yacht
  • Have a home in Tampa and Newport Beach
  • Keep a regular presence in Vancouver
  • Stay out of debt that is not helping us create cash flow
  • Contribute to people's happiness
  • Establish my new career
  • Continue creating multiple streams of income
  • Develop my spiritual life and contribute to the lives of others more Organizing Your Goals

  • As you can see from the example list above, these "desires" are in no particular order and are quite general in nature. That's fine at this stage.  

    Now, with this initial list complete, the next step is to make sure every one of these “desires” (goals) is consistent with your Definition of Happiness, and with your identitypurpose, and passions (review these concepts from Part One again if necessary or just click on this Definition of Happiness link to get a brief "primer" on the topic). A full chapter in my book, BeHappy! helps you create a meaningful Definition of Happiness.

    To ORDER BeHappy! NOW click here (or get it free by clicking on the "Order Free Now" in the box to the right)

    Here’s an “exaggerated” example of making your goals consistent with your Definition of Happiness and your identity, purpose, and passions: Let’s say your Definition of Happiness consists of (1) living a very “simple” life, (2) with your basic needs (food, clothing, and shelter) handled, (3) a strong spiritually-focused existence, (4) surrounded by a large, close-knit family. Also, let’s assume your identity is strong on being “laid-back” and non-aggressive; your purpose includes being a mom; and your biggest passion (aside from your children) is gardening. This set of personal attributes would not generally be consistent with goals such as starting your own business, creating a billion-dollar net worth, traveling throughout the world, and having 3 homes, two yachts and a fleet of luxury cars. These are usually goals more appropriate for someone whose Definition of Happiness includes financial freedom and adventure (and not “simplicity”); whose identity involves risk-taking and leadership; whose purpose includes building something of great value; and whose greatest passion includes the thrill of business negotiations. You might want these things (the billion-dollar net worth and the yachts), but because your Definition of Happiness and your identity are not aligned with the consistent actions required to get these things (being a leader, competing, taking significant business or financial risks, etc.), it might not be best to pursue these goals – at least not right now or by yourself. [IMPORTANT NOTE: Nothing is absolute. And I would never discourage anyone from following their dreams, regardless of the circumstances. This is just a general - but important - guideline and anything is possible. So use this as you see fit for your own individual purposes.]

    At this point, if your goals are not consistent with these "personal life attributes", go back through the list and either eliminate those which are not consistent, or revise them so that they are consistent [NOTE: it’s usually not recommended that you go back and change your Definition of Happiness or alter your identity, purpose or passions descriptions since, theoretically, these are “set” – unless you didn’t do the exercise of creating those definitions properly].

    OK, have you aligned all these initial desires with your personal attributes? Are you comfortable that these desires will - in some way - make you happier by helping you achieve your Definition of Happiness? Are you confident that they are consistent with who you are?

    If so, once your desires (and ultimately your goals) are consistent with these personal attributes of your life, the next step is to separate the list into some major – more manageable - categories.

    Below are the categories I use to organize my goals. You can use these same categories or create your own – whatever works best for you. These are YOUR goals after all, and they will be affecting YOUR life - and ultimately, YOUR happiness. So use what works best for YOU. And if you haven’t quite completed your list yet, you can use these categories to help spark your thinking:

    Relationships: These are goals for your family, friends, and other relationships. Do you want to meet and marry your soul mate? Do you want to be a parent? If so, how are you going to be an excellent parent? How do you want your partner or family members to perceive you? What do you want for your relationship with your spouse, children, parents, siblings, and friends?


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    Physical: These are your health and fitness goals. What are they? Are there any physical or athletic goals you want to achieve? Do you want to live to be 100 years old with excellent health and vitality? How do you want to look physically? Do you want to lose or gain weight? Are you a smoker who must quit?

    Financial: This relates to material wealth and/or income. How much do you want to earn by what age in your life? What do you want as your Net Worth? Do you want to be financially free? If so, by when? If you are in debt, do you have a goal about this?

    Education: This is one of the personal growth areas of your goals. Is there specific knowledge you want to acquire or some area of study that you would like to pursue? Do you want to learn a new language or learn to play a musical instrument? What about a specific college degree (and this goes for anyone at any age)?

    Career: What level do you want to reach in your career? Is it your goal to own your own company, or do you want to be the president of someone else’s company? What job do you want?

    Service: These are your contribution goals. Do you want to make the world a better place by your existence? If so, how? Do you want to help people in need?

    Creative: These are goals partly related to your passions, your talents and your strengths. Do you want to achieve any creative goals? If so, what are they? Do you want to write a book, paint a masterpiece, or write a song, for example?

    Attitude: These are emotional goals. Do you worry too much or feel stressed frequently? Does your own mindset hold you back from succeeding? Is there any part of the way that you behave that upsets you? If so, set a goal to improve your behavior or find a solution to the problem.

    Pleasure: These are “luxury” or material possession goals. How do you want to enjoy yourself? What do you want to own that will improve your lifestyle and make you happier? Do you have travel or “free-time” goals? You should ensure that some of your life is geared toward making yourself happy for no reason other than being happy.

    “The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.”
    - Bill Copeland

    Use these categories – or make up your own – and organize the list you’ve created previously into these categories. This will help you keep everything in perspective. Ideally, the list is somewhat balanced. In other words, it’s best to have 2 to 5 “goals” in each category. It would not be ideal, for example, to have five goals in the financial category, and none in several other categories. It's also best not to have too many (like 10 in any particular category). Too many goals can be a set up for failure.

    These are just guideline, though. Everyone is different. Just make sure your goals work for you - and will make you happy by achieving them.

    Here’s how mine looks at this stage of the process:

    Relationships:

    • Maintain a loving, fun, passionate relationship with my wife, Jill
    • Raise healthy, happy, balanced, productive successful, creative children
    • Pay for Joie's college education in advance
    • Maintain great relationships with family and many friends
    Physical:
    • Maintain a lean, solid body weight of 180 pounds
    • Learn to play golf
    • Live to be an active, healthy, vital, and mentally sharp 94-year old
    Financial:
    • Become financially secure by 2012 (NW > $10MM)
    • Reach financial independence by 2014 (NW > $15MM)
    • Achieve financial freedom by 2019 (NW > $20MM)
    • Get back to a minimum of $700,000 in annual income
    • Remain free of “negative” debt
    Education:
    • Get back to being fluent in Spanish
    • Learn to play piano
    • Learn to invest successfully in real estate and trade stock options
    Career/Business:
    • Retire from medicine/biotech by the age of 50 (2008)
    • Derive our largest income from behappy101.com, writing & speaking (>$500,000 annually)
    • Grow our MarketAmerica business to >$200,000 annually
    • Grow our CommGeniX/MedXcel business to >$20,000,000 annually (with >$2,000,000 in annual profits)
    • Grow our Carsmetics business to 25 locations generating >$22,000,000 in annual revenues
    • Have all businesses sold
    • Speaking monthly for large income
    Service:
    • Establish a comprehensive “happiness system” that improves the lives of millions of people annually
    • Help friends and family build greater financial security
    • Get involved in global outreach missions
    Creative:
    • Write at least 10 more books
    • Get back to playing the sax regularly
    • Have photographs displayed in a gallery
    Attitude:
    • Maintain passion and excitement in our lives
    • Eliminate any “scarcity mentality”
    Pleasure:
    • Upgrade to a 64-foot Yacht
    • Spend 6 months in Europe (Italy and Spain)
    • Have a large house on the beach in Newport Beach


    As you can see by this list, I have used the items I wrote down initially and made some of them more specific (the first part of S.M.A.R.T.) and then listed them under each of my personal categories for goals. I've also added a few extra items to the list (not on my initial list), which are essentially more measurable components of the general initial list I created first.

    I hope my example helps you create your initial goals list. Notice, however, that these “goals” are not yet in fully finished form. There’s more to do to refine these into meaningful goals, complete with time lines. More importantly, each of these goals will need an action plan (which will be addressed in Part Three of this BeHappy! Goal-Setting series).

    For now, though, just make sure you have a list something like the one above. If you do, then let’s take the next step...

    The Timing of Your Goals

    There is obviously a lot to do if you have a list of goals like this for your life. So, the next step involves setting some time-frames for each of these goals. This will help determine which require immediate action (for example, goals for this year) and which just require some initial, preparatory, or low-level activities at this time (such as 20-year goals).

    So, next, we’ll be determining which are 1-year goals, 2-3 year goals, 5-year goals, 10-year goals, and 20-year goals. Also, I use a category I call “Perpetual Goals” – which are generally goals I need to achieve (or have achieved), which then must be maintained for life.

    So, to categorize your list according to this system, start by putting a ‘1’ next to each of the items on your list which you feel you need to achieve within one-year. Put a ‘3’ next to those you want to achieve within the next 2-3 years, a ‘5’ next to each that you feel is a 3-5 year goal, a ‘10’ next to those goals you must achieve within the next decade, and a ‘20’ next to all those goals you want to achieve within the next 20 years. Also, put a ‘P’ next to each of the “perpetual goals” on your list. Some could have both a number (‘1’, ‘3’, ‘5’, ‘10’, ‘20’) and a ‘P’. Also, for those of you who have previously been setting goals and have already achieved some, put ‘DONE’ next to them (it's good to document what you have achieved in your life).

    Doing this with my list above looks like this:

    Relationships:

    • Maintain a loving, fun, passionate relationship with my wife, Jill (P)
    • Develop healthy, happy, balanced, productive successful, creative children (P)
    • Pay for Joie's college education in advance (3)
    • Maintain great relationships with family and many friends (P)
    Physical:
    • Maintain a lean, solid body weight of 180 pounds (1)
    • Learn to play golf (20)
    • Live to be an active, healthy, vital, and mentally sharp 94-year old (P)
    Financial:
    • Become financially secure by 2012 (NW > $10MM) (3)
    • Reach financial independence by 2014 (NW > $15MM) (5)
    • Achieve financial freedom by 2019 (NW > $20MM) (10)
    • Get back to a minimum of $700,000 in annual income (3)
    • Remain free of “negative” debt (P)
    Education:
    • Get back to being fluent in Spanish (1)
    • Learn to play piano (3)
    • Learn to invest successfully in real estate and trade stock options (5)
    Career/Business:
    • Retire from medicine/biotech by the age of 50 (2008) DONE
    • Derive our largest income from behappy101.com, writing & speaking (>$500,000 annually) (3)
    • Grow our MarketAmerica business to >$200,000 annually (3)
    • Grow our CommGeniX/MedXcel business to >$20,000,000 annually (with >$2,000,000 in profits) (3)
    • Grow our Carsmetics business to 25 locations generating >$22,000,000 in annual revenues (10)
    • Have all businesses sold for a large return by 2028 (20)
    • Speak monthly for large income (20)
    Service:
    • Establish a comprehensive “happiness system” that improves the lives of millions of people annually (3)
    • Help friends and family build greater financial security (1)
    • Get involved in global outreach missions (10)
    Creative:
    • Write at least 10 more books (10)
    • Get back to playing the sax regularly (1)
    • Have photographs displayed in a gallery (10)
    Attitude:
    • Maintain passion and excitement in our lives (P)
    • Eliminate any “scarcity mentality” (1)
    Pleasure:
    • Upgrade to a 64-foot Yacht (3)
    • Spend 6 months in Europe (Italy and Spain) (3)
    • Have a large house on the beach in Newport Beach (20)

    Do this with your list - because once you have your ‘1’, ‘3’, ‘5’, ‘10’, ‘20’, ‘P’, and ‘DONE’ designations, you will be better able to see what requires the most immediate actions. Later, the "Action Plan" to achieving all these goals will be developed in Part 3 of this series.

    For now, what I believe is important to do is to create a means by which to review and monitor these goals on a regular and frequent basis. And if your list is anything like mine – and if you’re a "big picture", "visual" person like me – it’s important to be able to look at all your goals at once. So, personally, I need to have quick access to my goals in a simple, comprehensive, visual format. So, here’s what I do to organize my goals (you can create whatever method works best for you):

    This type of summary has everything on one page. It’s a reminder of all my goals – for the next 1, 3, 5, 10, and 20 years. And I look at this every week (at least once).

    I also have my goals list on my PDA/cell phone (which is almost always with me) so I can review it whenever I want.

    So, take all the steps above to create an action-oriented list of your goals. Remember, this is really all about happiness. And since you are reading this article, the achievement of goals is likely one means to a happier life for you (since everything we do, in one way or another, is an attempt to make us happier). That’s a good thing. To make it really good, you need to do it right. And if you’ve done everything in Parts One and Two of this BeHappy goal-setting process, you should be starting to feel more optimistic about the future and more positive about your prospects for creating the kind of life you want to have. You might even be feeling excited about what's ahead for you. You also may be feeling a bit “overwhelmed” by the scope of it all and questioning how you’re going to accomplish everything. That’s normal. And that’s what Part Three will help to manage; because in Part Three, we’ll address strategies and techniques to keep your goals in perspective and to improve your chances of making them all become a reality - no matter how aggressive they may seem.

    "People who don't make goals end up working for those who do."
    - Jack Canfield

    I've built a couple of templates for the "goal summary" sheet above (one with my categories already filled in and one completely blank so you can fill in everything yourself). Use these if it makes things easier for you. To access these templates, click here. You can then either fill it out electronically, or print it out and fill it in by hand.

    Make sure to get these first two parts of your goal-setting process done right. Don’t go on to Part Three until you have a list like the one we created above – and have re-written the list in the format I’ve suggested. This will set you up to boost your results in Part Three.

    BeHappy! my friends


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