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How to plan (and actually achieve) life-changing goals

How to plan life-changing goals

When you’re ready to plan life-changing goals for yourself, you immediately face two challenges.

What should your plan look like?

And how can you implement it in a way to actually achieve the goals you set up?

How can you actually achieve those life-changing goals?

Get the process started by determining what life-changing goals you want to achieve.

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What are your goals?

What goals would change your life if you could achieve them?

Lose 10 pounds?

Make some extra income to help pay your bills?

Double your Twitter following?

Well, those are not really goals.

They are milestones to much bigger goals.

I suggest that for anything you start to list as a “goal…” you then add the word “because”.

Something like this

I want to lose 10 pounds… because…

Now, after the “because” you will add your REAL goal.

I want to lose 10 pounds… because… I think that would make me look more attractive.


I want to lose 10 pounds… because… I feel so tired all the time when I’m 10 pounds over my ideal weight.

You see, wanting to lose 10 pounds is only a milestone to what your really want.

In the above weight-loss case, what you really want is “make myself more attractive,” or “increase my energy level.”

Why did you choose these goals?

But now, you can take this a step further.

Why do you want to be more attractive?
Who are you trying to attract?

And then the Big Goal….
How will it change my life to reach this “attractiveness” goal?

You see, the real goal in this case is NOT “lose 10 pounds” but “be more attractive.”

Why do you want to raise your energy level?
What do you want to use that increased energy for?

And then the Big Goal might be…
I want to start a new business, but I don’t have the energy to do what it takes… so…
I want to have the energy to start a new business.

So really, the deeper you go into the process, the more you can refine what it is you Really want vs. what you only Think you want.

Usually, what you Think you want, is just a milestone along the path to what your Really want.

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When you figure that out, you will know what your Big Goals, or even just a single Big Goal… should be.

Plan the right milestone goals

Once you have a list of life-changing goals you want to achieve, you need to decipher which ones are the right milestone goals.

So, your goal for blogging might be…

Get my Domain Authority from 23 to 30 or more.

You might think that would change your life because your blog would get ranked higher in the search engines.

But why do you want to get it ranked higher in the search engines?

Just so you can brag about that?

Or because you want to get more traffic…

comprised of people…

who will buy stuff from stuff you promote on your blog?

Well, if the Big Goal is to is to sell more stuff on your blog, then improving your Domain Authority from 23 to 30 or more might not be the right goal.

It might be a milestone along the way.

  • But is it the right one?
  • Or, is it the best one?

Should it even be counted among the top 10 milestone goals you want to pursue?

Or might there be better ways to achieve what you really want?

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For instance, maybe writing guest posts would be a more effective way to get more traffic to your blog.

Or possibly, increasing your activity in Facebook groups might result in driving more traffic to your blog.

And don’t forget, you don’t just want traffic, you want sales.

So maybe a more effective milestone goal would be something like “Get more people to join my email list.”

Make sure to plan the right milestone goals to achieve your life-changing goals.

How to actually achieve life-changing goals

It’s one thing to plan life-changing goals.

But it’s another thing to actually achieve them.

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So how do you actually achieve life-changing goals?

Don’t stuff your cart with goals

Well, the first thing you have to resist when you plan life-changing goals, is stuffing your cart full of things.

Don’t see this as a wish list.

Goal planning is not about dreaming up everything you can imagine.

It’s about making a commitment to doing something you can achieve.

Most of the students I work with in private coaching get overwhelmed with goal planning.

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That’s because they see it as an opportunity to plan everything they ever wanted.

Things like this…

“in the next 60 days I want to post 60 YouTube videos, write 10 guest posts, do a webinar to promote my service,” etc.

This is not really planning to achieve a goal, it’s dreaming about doing all the things you’d love to do…

  • but know you can’t.
  • or at least, you never will.

Goal planning is not the time to stuff your shopping cart with everything you ever wanted.

It’s a time to carefully select just a few things that you feel confident you can actually achieve within your specified time frame.

Don’t focus on tasks you are comfortable with

One sure sign that you will fail, is if you plan to achieve your life-changing goals by doing mostly things that won’t require you to change your life much.

Let’s say that you really like making images, and sharing them on social media.

This is your preferred method of driving traffic to your blog.

Creating images is one of your strong points.

You feel good doing them.

So you put a lot of time and effort into them.

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You may even have been doing it pretty consistently for a while.

Doesn’t it make sense then, to use this method to drive more traffic to your blog?

Well, yes and no.

It makes sense if it’s a strategy that has been working really well for you.

But, if that’s the case, then you’re probably not going to be scratching your head over how to get more traffic.

You’ve already been doing that.

Just keep it up.

But if that strategy has not delivered the results you want, then why would you try to plan life-changing goals by implementing it even more?

The reason is simple.

  • you feel good making images,
  • and you’re good at it, and
  • you already know how to do it.

So you probably have access to software that helps you create good images.

And you already know how to use it.

In other words, you are comfortable making image creation the main task to implement in order to achieve your goals.

The problem is this.

People usually plan “new goals” around “old strategies” because they are comfortable with them.

But just because you’re comfortable doing something, doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do.

In fact, just the opposite is true.

Things you don’t want to do

It’s the things you don’t want to do that will be more likely to fuel your growth.

You see, growth by definition means moving into new territory.

It requires you do new things.

Try new strategies.

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Learn new software and technology.

Hire a coach.

Buy some new training to study.

Try some stuff you are unfamiliar with.

Do things you are completely uncomfortable doing!

That’s the best way to achieve your life-changing goals.

Change the way you do things in order to change your life.

And in order to achieve goals that always seem beyond your reach.

That’s because, by getting outside of your comfort zone, you’ll be extending your reach.

You will be moving into new skills, techniques, relationships and strategies that can take you to new levels of accomplishment.

How to plan (and actually achieve) life-changing goals

So think about your blog.

Or your business.

Think about your life, in fact.

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What changes would you like to make?

Tell me about them, in the comments below.

Is it time to plan (and actually achieve) life-changing goals for yourself?


PS: Id much appreciate you sharing this post on your social sites 🙂

Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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18 Responses to How to plan (and actually achieve) life-changing goals

  1. Gopal Roy January 19, 2020 at 5:01 am #

    I love this post! I’m setting up a new blog right now and the idea that each new post doesn’t need to be 2,000 words is a mighty relief! Thank you for all the tips

  2. Amar Kumar January 2, 2020 at 3:38 am #

    Hello Donna,

    Goal setting is a fantastic skill to develop, and how you design your own future.

    Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future and for motivating yourself to turn your vision of this future into reality.

    What I believe – goals must me measurable and how we can track progress it helps you in rowing in the right direction.

    Thanks for motivating us.

    With best wishes,

    Amar Kumar

  3. Amit Garg
    December 25, 2019 at 4:33 am #

    Hi Donna

    This is actually great stuff.

    4 months back I had plenty of free time, so I was thinking of starting a blog, So I started my first blog 2 months back and it was like I have achieved something. Now the blog has been started, set up properly, posted a few articles also.

    Now, the next goal is to bring the initial traffic and to achieve this I have to make some strategies, some of them will work , some of them will not.

    Again when this goal will be achieved, there will be new goals.

    I think this is a lifetime process.

    Anyways, thanks for sharing such a nice post.

    Amit Garg recently posted.. Blog Description For Top Niches [Proven Tips With Examples]

  4. Moss Clement
    December 24, 2019 at 11:51 am #

    Hi Donna,
    Planning your objectives is the first step in achieving your goals. That is because without a plan, it becomes challenging to reach you desired goal. And as Ryan Biddulph pointed out, your target gives you a direction and a focus. In that way one can quickly accomplish he or her objectives. For 2020, I have set a for increasing my monthly revenue and to invest more into my business.

    Moss Clement recently posted.. How to Use Google Analytics to Generate Content for Your Blog

  5. Mitch Mitchell
    December 24, 2019 at 10:46 am #

    You broke those down well Donna. Plans, goals, affirmation… all are connected in some way but all aren’t the outcome one is looking for. Answering the “why” can be powerful towards reaching that life goal, as you explained above. I haven’t set mine for 2020 yet but I’m working on it.
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted..You Can’t Just Be “Comfortable”My Profile

    • Donna Merrill December 29, 2019 at 9:18 pm #

      Hi Mitch

      As you say, understanding “why” you set the goals you do will go a long way toward achieving them.

      Good luck setting… and achieving… your goals for 2020 🙂

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Blogging trends in 2020My Profile

  6. Gaurav Kumar
    December 22, 2019 at 1:29 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    It is surely not easy to change life but if you can’t plan for it you can never do it. To change life you need to plan for achieving some life changing goals. It is better that you should start it right now.

    Thanks for sharing this!
    Gaurav Kumar recently posted..How to Make Money Online with Affiliate SitesMy Profile

  7. bishal tiwari December 21, 2019 at 4:45 am #

    Great advice as always Donna. With my passion for resilience, it’s probably no surprise that I immediately zoned in on your point about going beyond the things you’re comfortable with, and you are spot on about how discomfort is a sign that there is an opportunity for growth!

  8. Sajan Kota December 20, 2019 at 5:56 pm #

    HI Donna

    This is a very useful blog post.

    I totally agree with you. Setting up goals and writing them down daily has helped me achieve my goals and it has changed my life drastically.

    Whether it is personal goals or business goals, I have made it my habit to write down them down daily twice, once after i wake up and before i go to sleep.

    Sajan Kota recently posted.. How to Outsource WordPress Projects Effectively

    • Donna Merrill December 29, 2019 at 9:02 pm #

      Hi Sajan

      What a great habit to get into.

      Write… yes write… your goals down twice a day.

      To start your day, and to end it.

      That will certainly keep you on target.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Blog the easy way – or the hard wayMy Profile

  9. Lisa Sicard
    December 20, 2019 at 6:42 am #

    Hi Donna, I love this! Making the whys will be harder than making the goals. I will be working on this next week. I do want to do more but in less time so I’m not sitting as much! (Then I can feel better and do more in other ways!)
    That’s one of my biggies!
    The other is to help more people with my knowledge and experience. I often forget what I know until people start asking me questions. Then I realize that they are too busy running their businesses to know the latest changes on social media or SEO, etc.

    Thanks for this most needed advice Donna. I hope you are staying warm up there!
    Lisa Sicard recently posted..How Quora Can Help Your Business Grow Online Over the TopMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill December 29, 2019 at 9:00 pm #

      Hi Lisa

      You’re so right about the difficulty of coming to grips with WHY you set the goals you do.

      It’s much easier to create goals for your business than to define exactly WHY they are worthwhile goals.

      It’s a challenge, but a task necessary to undertake.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..How to pull your blog out of the dumpsMy Profile

  10. Marquita Herald
    December 19, 2019 at 11:12 am #

    Great advice as always Donna. With my passion for resilience, it’s probably no surprise that I immediately zoned in on your point about going beyond the things you’re comfortable with, and you are spot on about how discomfort is a sign that there is an opportunity for growth!

    As long as we are growing there will be invisible doors that will either stop us in our tracks or reveal the next leg on our pathway to fulfilling our vision for life. The discomfort, self-doubt and even fear will resurface every time we challenge ourselves, but one can learn to recognize those feelings and effectively put them in their place. The best rewards (far beyond tangible goodies or social accolades) come from challenging ourselves to fulfill our true potential!

    An inspiring way to start the day, thanks Donna!

    Marquita Herald recently posted.. Hitting the Pause Button

    • Donna Merrill December 29, 2019 at 8:33 pm #

      Hi Marquita

      If you stay with what’s comfortable, then you’ll be getting exactly the results you are now.

      If you want more than that, you have to accept bigger challenges.

      That means exploring things that lie outside your zone of familiarity and comfort.

      Like you say, this causes discomfort in all it’s many forms, but also greater rewards and fulfilling your “true potential.”

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Why did you start bloggingMy Profile

  11. Ryan K Biddulph
    December 18, 2019 at 7:53 pm #

    Excellent Donna, excellent. The reason behind why we choose goals determines our direction. The GENUINE reason, more so. Get super clear on why you do what you do. I barely set goals. I hold an intent and proceed. This is one reason why I appear to do this effortlessly. I am not tethered down by goals. Sure I have a vision but it is about helping a set group of folks more than anything else. Get clear, know why and be genuine in why you wish to reach goals. You will always reach your goals the more genuine you are…unless a goal more in line with your soul pops up along the way. Then, you re-adjust.


    Ryan Biddulph recently posted.. Pro Blogging Tip: Ignore Twitter Trending Topics

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