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How to Properly Set Goals

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Make 2017 the best year of your life. 2016 had a lot of low points for the world at large, so we're due for an uptick, but you have to look at it as if the entire world is depending on YOU to take action.

Most people have already broken their New Years Resolution (hit the snooze button instead of running a mile everyday before work). When it comes to goals, there are so many areas where you can improve (investing, accounting, organization, planning, cooking). When you focus on too many goals, you don't focus on anything. You get overwhelmed, you feel like a loser, that you don't have the skillset to do it, and you crumble. You feel broken.

Good news: you're not broken, you're just evolving. You're someone who's getting better.

Arel looks at everything in his life and asks: if I only improved in one area, what would have the most impact in my life? (look at what's causing the most pain, what did I do wrong consistently to cause that pain?) That's the area to improve.

"Career" is too big of a category, and simply choosing to improve your "career" doesn't make it clear about what you're improving. You don't achieve the goal because you don't know what goal you're hitting. A better goal is: "I want to get a promotion this year. Choose one reason why you want that promotion, such as more prestige, more money, or more responsibility.

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"Career" or "promotion" still doesn't quite get to the root of what you really want. Drill it down to the smallest possible incremental change that has the most impact on your life. It becomes more realistic, and therefore more do-able, and then more exciting.

In his personal life, Arel decided he needed to improve on the financial "reading" of his books. He used to think that if he ran into financial challenges, he needed to simply make more money. He found that it's not always about how much you make, but how much you keep. If you spent two million dollars to make one million dollars, you're one million dollars in the hole.

He didn't have a clear grasp on his bookkeeping numbers and reports. He had to get his "grown man" on. He wants to better understand his financials and make better decisions. That would mean he drastically improved as an adult. There are other big goals, but this is Arel's ONE primary goal. He has other goals and plans to launch courses on book writing, starting conversations, and creating scalable exponential impact with online learning. But nothing is more important than understanding his financials.

Many of us make this mistake: I want to set 15 or 16 goals. If you try to do too much, you do nothing. Have you been planning to lose the same 15 pounds for the last five years? Moving to a new city, starting that new job, starting that new business, writing that new book? You would have been better off writing a chapter a year for the last 10 years.

Many people have big dreams, but they don't take any steps and are slaying too big of a dragon. Instead, go for incremental change. Choose a small goal. Write one chapter or choose a title. Those small actions compound over time.

Imagine when you were 21 years old. Every year, you had a goal, you learned something and you cranked away. You would have integrated a skill and moved onto the next thing. Instead, many of us want instant gratification. Ten years from now, you'll be ten years older. Focus on one thing you can do right now.

"Fitness" is too big! Tell yourself you'll drink water during meals. That becomes a part of who you are. Once that's integrated and you go from conscious competency to unconscious competency, you don't have to worry about it, because it's part of your nature. Then move onto the next small thing. The key is to make this a more likable year.

Scale BACK your resolutions. Dream big, but work and plan small. Have big visions but know that the journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step. Don't be in the same place next year. What makes you different is when you DECIDE to make incremental change and IMPLEMENT.

Ask yourself, "What's the one specific area (i.e. bookkeeping instead of finances, promotion instead of career, drink water instead of fitness) that if you improved, it would eliminate the most pain in your life, or be the most beneficial?" You might have three or four things. Choose one, and that's your main conscious competency for 2017, so that it becomes an unconscious competency in 2018.

When you first learned how to tie your shoes, that was conscious competency and took a lot of energy. As an adult, it's unconscious and you don't have to think about it. With a new skill, develop that unconscious habit through practice.

Choose something specific, work on it until it's integrated, then move onto the next thing. You'll achieve more during your lifetime compared to someone else who plans "too big" and achieves nothing. Make 2017 epic because you are awesome.