Some time ago I heard that you should always have at least 100 goals set at any given time. Doing this is supposed to increase the quality of your life; life may not be easier, just better. This idea resonated with me, so I gave it a try. At first, the concept of setting 100 active goals seemed daunting. Would the goals dictate my every move and turn me into a robot?
My concerns constructed a mental barrier that didn’t need to exist. It took setting those goals and understanding how the process worked to realize this, though. Here’s what I learned from that experience.
Why you should set 100 goals
Setting 100 active goals takes effort, so clearly you need to understand what you stand to gain from undertaking this exercise. In a nut-shell, goal-setting helps you understand what you want from your life and what you want to leave behind when your life concludes. People rarely spend focused energy to consider this; they typically just live their lives and try to enjoy it in the moment.
But there’s something else that you gain from this process: You program your brain to achieve those goals. By thinking about each goal and looking at them every day, you start taking actions to achieving them. That helps you begin believing in your ability to achieve them. All of a sudden, your goals don’t look so scary—even super difficult and big goals become part of what you know you can achieve.
Tips for setting your 100 goals
Setting 100 goals is easier than you might think if you follow these tips:
1. Find a quiet place. For many, a quiet place in nature may work best. Make sure that no one can disturb you, turn off your phone, and think about your life, your family, and your work or business. Consider other aspects of your life, including what you like or dislike. Contemplate what you should change, improve, or even cut out of your life.
2. Get inspired. Don’t spend time thinking about how you will achieve any of the goals. Just reflect on the final results. Trust your feelings. Listen to your heart.
3. Write down your goals with a pen or pencil. Write them all down non-stop, in one sitting. Allow four to six hours to complete the task.
4. Stay fueled and hydrated. Bring snacks and water; it’s hard to stay inspired and creative when you’re thirsty or hungry!
How to begin
When writing your goals, think about what would you like to have, who you want to be, and what you want to be able to do. Your goals should all start with the following phrases and follow this general format:
I want to:
- Be (a business person, leader, parent, etc.)
- Be able to (make money online, swim, do 500 sit ups, etc.)
- Have a (house, car, family, etc.)
Use one page for each goal: 100 goals equals 100 pages.
The first third of your goals might relate to material possessions you want to have, like a nice house or a car. Maybe you want to purchase a home for your parents or buy an expensive watch for a loved one. Don’t feel bad for wanting these things. We are all humans and would like to live better lives and provide nice things to those we love.
For the next third, set up goals around activities you want to do, like parachuting, deep sea diving, or race car driving. The sky’s the limit, so maybe one goal could be to take a trip to outer space!
Another third could be spent on goals related to learning something. For example, set goals to learn to speak Italian, do 100 pull-ups, or operate a motorcycle.
The last 10 or perhaps even as many as 20 goals can be about what you want to leave after you die. These are very important goals because if you achieve them, you can make the world a better place.
What’s your goal-setting mindset today?
It’s likely that only a few of you have tried to write down 100 goals. Some of you may keep a few goals in your head, though. Some of them may be easy to achieve or nice to have. Those that you think about regularly, you’ve probably already achieved. Perhaps you already have a written list of 10 to 30 goals, but you find the rest of your goals difficult to remember. You might think about some of them once a year or even less. That’s just human nature.
How to proceed after you finally have them in front of you
So you’ve taken the challenge, and you’ve done the work of writing down 100 goals. It probably feels pretty good, but that’s just one part of the process. Here’s what you need to do next:
1. Add more context to every single goal. That’s why you needed a whole page. This may take some time, so don’t try to do this while writing down the goals. Add a description and try to locate images that visually support those goals. For example, if you set a goal of buying a Tesla, find a picture of a Tesla with the exact color and rims that you imagined. Perhaps you want to bungee jump off a bridge over a river in New Zealand. Find a picture of someone bungee jumping in New Zealand and attach it to the goal. Spend a little time on this. It’s important.
2. Keep your list of goals in a few places. On your notepad and somewhere online where you can always access it.
3. Check in regularly. Open the file or notepad every month or two, read your goals and think about them. Record your progress toward meeting them.
Setting 100 goals is about living a better, more successful life
Doing this process doesn’t guarantee that you will reach all of your goals, but it really can help you improve your life and feel more fulfilled. It might look tough, but it really isn’t. Much like when you first start to go to a gym, over time you develop a habit that becomes second nature.
Make setting and achieving your goals a habit. It’s a great process for reaching high levels of success on so many fronts. Don’t put off doing this—within 48 hours of reading this post, set aside the time and start writing your goals. I know you can do it. I’ll help you with your first goal: set 100 goals!