If you want to achieve your dreams, you need to know what you want first. The best way to prevent yourself from drifting through life is to set goals that are meaningful to you.
Meaningful to you is the hard part. You can't use someone else's goals. You need to search your feelings and discover those goals for yourself. There are no shortcuts.
I spend a lot of time thinking about how to help people achieve their life goals and this free life goals app is a step-by-step guide using the best techniques that I've found. You can keep reading to learn how it all works, or just press the red button below to dive in.
I would not recommend starting on this journey if you are not going to take it seriously or you do not have the time at the moment. You need between 20 minutes to an hour to properly complete this guide.
The more seriously you take it, the more you will get out of it and the longer it will take. If you really think about your answers and visualize your future at each step, you will walk away with something that could be profoundly beneficial to you.
The quickest way to get a sense for the guide is to click on the "Watch a preview" button above and watch the 45 second video. But if you would like to keep reading I will explain in detail how everything works and the motivation/research behind the tool.
Here are 4 main steps that you will go through. Click on the step to read why they are important.
Step 1 You will describe who you want to be. Using your obituary as a framework to express yourself. I have included some suggested answers at each step but you can and should write your own answers where appropriate.
Step 2 You will create four life goals for different aspects of life, based on who you decided that want to be in step 1. Your obituary will guide you when deciding on your goals by setting your frame of reference for what is important in life.
Step 3 For each goal, you will think about the reason that you want it. How would it will affect your life if you achieved that goal?
Step 4 After thinking about why you want to achieve your goals you will visualize the opposite. By describing how your life if you fail.
Step 5 You will then set one milestone, twelve months from today, which will be a stepping stone towards achieving your goal.
To discover your life purpose and goals in this app, the first thing that you will do is write your obituary. It might sound a bit morbid but it is the best starting point and I’ve made it as easy as possible for you.
Imagine that you are an observer standing behind everyone at your funeral. What would you want people to say about you? Who do you want to be there? How did you impact their lives? And how do you want them to remember you?
If you can answer these questions honestly and with clarity. You know how you should live today. You know how you should treat people. Considering how people perceive you can be toxic, especially in our Instagram-able world. But, if done in a balanced way it can inspire you to live your life the right way.
The most likely reason that you have not achieved your goals in the past, is that you did not figure out explicitly WHY you wanted those goals. Goals are only powerful if you have articulated a meaningful reason that you want them. Without a compelling reason, goals are impotent. Do not underestimate the power of why.
This is another counter-intuitive step in life planning and goal setting. You should be crystal-clear about what your life would look like if you do not achieve your goals.
Looking at your goals from this perspective reinforces the reasons why you do want to achieve your goals and can be a tremendous motivator when times get hard.
For that reason when setting goals and milestones using this guide, I will ask you to visualize failure. The clearer you are about your emotions and how you would feel to fail, the more powerful your motivation to succeed will be.
We will only set one milestone for each goal in this guide, but I do encourage you to set more. You need to set points in time where you can check your progress to encourage action today.
Milestones are the most effective way of doing this. They do need to be realistic and measurable. In the business world, the term "SMART goals" is very common. It stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. But for personal life goals, I believe that you should have "SMART milestones" instead of goals because your time-frame is significantly different.
The primary angstrom.life application is built around the "life-plan hierarchy" that you can see on the right of this page (above if you're using a mobile). The "life-plan hierarchy" is my working title. It’s not as catchy as Maslow's hierarchy of needs but you get the idea :)
The image below shows the steps of that hierarchy that we will use in this free guide today. Define who you want to be. Set goals based on that and create milestones to help you achieve the goals.
The full process for achieving your goals in life should include breaking your milestones into projects and your projects into tasks that you take action on today!
If you already know your goals in life, you are way ahead of most people. But, if they are not written down and reviewed, they might as well not exist. My advice to you would be to start getting granular. Set 1 year, 3 year and 5 year milestone. Be detailed, use visuals if you can. Describe how success would feel at each milestone and also how you would feel if you failed to achieve the milestones.
Then move down the "life-plan hierarchy" and create all the projects that will need to complete to hit your 1 year milestone. Once you have all the projects, move down the hierarchy again and create all the bite-sized tasks needed to complete each project.
As the joke goes, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time".
The answer to this is simple. Without having a dartboard you are just throwing darts at a wall. You can't be happy if you don't know if you hit a triple-twenty or a bullseye. You can't feel a sense of accomplishment or improve without the board telling you how close or far away you are.
Life goals are our dartboard. We measure our progress against it across different dimensions of our life. If we don't have these goals and the why behind them we will measure our life against other people and how they are doing (or how pretty their Instagram photos are). That is why I feel this guide is important.
For the last year, I have been building an app that helps you achieve your goals. It is more like a life design app or life planner than just about your goals. One feature that was sorely missing from the app was a way for users to find their life goals in the first place. I am regularly asked "what life goals should I have?".
I started researching how to help my customers figure out how they can set their goals. I realized that there were no step-by-step guides out there so I decided to try and build one myself. I came to the conclusion as I built the feature that it could do people a lot good.
I decided that I would not put only give it to my customers but I would also make this feature free to anyone who wanted to use it. I will continue to develop this free app as I get feedback from people like you. So please do email me with any thoughts that you have, good or bad. I have thick skin, unlike Tom Cruise in a Few Good Men, I can “handle the truth” :). My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
All too often in life we start by thinking about projects that we need to complete. We then take out a piece of paper or one of the thousands of project management apps and list all the tasks that we need to do to finish the project. In my opinion, this is the wrong way to think about things. You should start at the top of the pyramid to the right and work your way down from there. Not start halfway up and only head down.
Lots of people inspired this guide! I read as much as I could on the subject. The most important influences that I need to mention are: Tony Robbins a lot but I think that he has some genius ideas and I respect what he has achieved a lot. Gabriele Oettingen and her some of her research papers. Stephen Covey’s books and his extremely famous saying ”Begin with the end in mind”. I also have to give credit to Angstom.life users for asking deep and intelligent questions that forced me to really think about this problem. Hopefully, it lives up to their expectations and yours.
If you feel that there are people you know that would benefit from seeing this guide. Please do share it with them.