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Do you love setting goals?
I totally do. 🙂
The only thing I love more than setting goals is achieving them.
I wasn’t always a goal-setter, though. I only really got into the goal-setting habit a few years ago when I started building my freelance writing business.
Having goals gave me direction and helped me get serious about growing my business and improving my finances.
But I know that goal-setting can be overwhelming for some people.
Because where do you even start? And how do you stay focused?
(And if you’re ready to start a blog of your own, I recommend signing up for hosting with Siteground starting at just $3.95/month. They are seriously the best host around!)
I wasted no time in sharing the simple formula I’ve used to nail some HUGE goals over the last few years.
(By the way, Nadalie is the queen of goal-setting! If you’re looking for a goal-planning resource, she’s put together a truly EPIC 60+ page guide to get you started.)
The tips I offered Nadalie were included in part of an awesome round-up post you should definitely go check out.
But in case you don’t have time for that, I thought I’d share my secret sauce formula for goal-crushing here too.
How to Crush Your Goals Every Single Time
Before I dive into the two simple tricks you can use to crush your goals, there are a couple of things I need to tell you first.
One, from my own experience, I can tell you that these two tips can work for big goals and small ones of all kinds.
I’ve used them to:
- Seriously scale up my freelance writing business, including doubling my income three years running.
- Pay off all of my debt (except my mortgage).
- Save over half of my income for the past several years.
- Buy a house!
- Lose weight (and commit to healthier habits).
These tips can work for you, no matter what you’re pushing for.
Now here’s the second thing to know: You need an action plan to really nail down these two tips.
I’m a huge believer in visualization and seeing myself achieve my goals in my head before I actually do it.
But, I also know I have to show up and do my part to make it happen.
Still with me? Awesome! Here are the two super-easy, yet super-powerful tricks you can use to crush your goals.
Crush Your Goals Tip #1: Develop a Mantra
So right now you’re probably having one of three reactions.
You’re either thinking yes, I love mantras!
Or, mantras are for yogis and spiritualists, which is totally NOT me.
Then there’s the third option: What’s a mantra and how does that help me with setting goals?
Let me just tell you what a mantra is first if you don’t know. It’s an easy-to-remember phrase or a slogan that you repeat to yourself.
Mantras are usually associated with meditation, prayer or yoga. But you don’t have to do any of those things to make a mantra work for you.
Your mantra is your self-talk. It helps you get your mind focused on a single thought.
But how can a mantra help you crush your goals?
Simple. Having a mantra helps you stay focused on your goal.
And when you’re able to stay focused, it suddenly becomes so much easier to do the things you need to do make your goal happen.
It also helps you keep your “why” in sight.
Your “why” is your reason for pursuing your goal in the first place.
Using a mantra helped me build a six-figure freelancing business
When I first became a single mom, my biggest fear was not being able to take care of my kids financially.
I knew that I was just not cut out for working a regular 9 to 5 job again after being a SAHM. And I wasn’t cut out for being broke, either.
But I didn’t want growing my business to be the only thing I ever did.
I still needed to be there for my kids. And in those early days, it was exhausting.
So I thought about it — what was really my goal?
And the same phrase kept coming back to me: Earn more, work less.
It was such a simple thought but once I got it into my head, I couldn’t let it go.
From that point on, I knew that my ultimate goal was to grow my income while shrinking the amount of time I spent working in and on my business.
Earn more, work less became my mantra and it dictated the actions I took.
- More of my time started going to pitching clients in a higher pay range.
- I gradually started increasing my rates and became more confident about turning down lower-paying work.
- I worked on connecting with editors and content marketing managers at the brands I wanted to work for.
- And finally, I committed to becoming the kind of writer that editors want to work with to create long-term (and lucrative) relationships.
And all the time, I kept repeating my mantra on a loop in my head.
I said it to myself every night before I went to bed and every morning when I woke up.
When a client was making me crazy or I didn’t land the gig I wanted, I repeated it again.
I said it even more often when things were going well. I wanted to make sure that the universe was hearing what I was putting out there.
And…I really believe that it worked.
I’m five years into freelancing full-time and I’ve gone from working 40+ hours a week to around 20. I’ve increased my income five times over since my first full year of becoming my own boss.
If you’re doubting whether a mantra can really help you crush your goals, my best advice is this: Just try it.
Use it as a way to challenge yourself and see what you’re really capable of.
How to choose a mantra to crush your goals
Creating a personal mantra around your goals is a pretty easy process. It involves three steps:
- Get clear on your ultimate goal
- Pick a simple phrase that reflects your goal
- Put it on repeat
The key is to pick a mantra that sums up exactly what your goal is.
For example, I’d been thinking about starting a blog for over a year before I actually did it.
(P.S. If you’re going to blog and turn it into a business, you need a strategy. That’s one of the most important lessons I learned as a new blogger.)
Anyway, I struggled for the first couple of months to figure out what I was doing with my blog. (And I still don’t have it all figured out, obvi. 🙂 )
But eventually, I realized what blogging really meant to me and why I want to do it.
I love freelancing but the kind of writing I do (stories about finance and business) feels like work a lot of the time. The writing I do on my blog is more creative.
I really enjoy writing the stuff I publish here, even if no one’s reading it. Because unlike freelancing, it doesn’t feel like a job.
So, my mantra for blogging reflects my goal: Do work that doesn’t feel like work.
Of course, I’d love to turn this blog into a profitable business, instead of an unpaid side hustle.
But if that happens, I still want to approach blogging every day with the same enthusiasm that I do now when I’m not making a dime.
As you think about your mantra, spend some time thinking about your “why”.
Then shape your mantra to reflect your purpose and the ultimate destination you want to reach.
Goal-Crushing Tip #2: Change Your Passwords
The other tip I’ve got for you to help you crush your goals is as straightforward as the first.
Are you ready?
Here it is:
Change the passwords to your online accounts to reflect your goal.
Here’s what I mean by that.
Say your goal is to lose 20 pounds by your 35th birthday, which is six months away. You could change your password to your email account or bank account to a phrase that sums up your goal, like lose20#by35.
That way, every time you log in and you have to punch in your password, you’re getting a reminder of your goal.
Sounds a little crazy right? But this totally works.
When I came up with my mantra of earning more and working less, I chose a specific monthly income goal I wanted to hit. I changed all my passwords to include the dollar amount I was aiming for.
Within six months, I hit that goal. So I doubled it and changed up all my passwords again.
Then I hit my monthly income goal again. So I increased my goal, this time to making $100,000 a year, and updated my passwords.
After I hit the $100k mark, I increased my goal and changed my passwords yet again. I’ve since passed that goal and now I have a brand-new income goal I’m working towards.
And guess what? I’m using my password to keep it firmly in sight.
How this small change can help you slay your goals
Changing your passwords to reflect your goals works because it’s a mental reminder of what you’re chasing after.
Think of it as a form of visualization.
The more times you tell yourself you’re going to lose those 20 pounds or buy a house or make $100,000, the more you begin to believe it.
Once you believe it, it’s just a short step to making it happen.
I didn’t invent this technique; I first read about it in a Medium article forever ago. But it totally changed the way I approach goal-setting.
And it can change the way you approach your goals too if you’re willing to give it a shot.
How to Get Goal-Setting Right
Besides using these two simple tricks, there are a few rules to keep in mind about goal-setting.
The first time I thought about making six figures from freelancing I was in the car with my mom. And I said to her, “What if I could make $100,000 a year from writing?”.
It seemed crazy but the more I thought about it, the more I began to realize that it was actually doable.
I did the math and figured out how much I needed to increase my monthly income by to hit that goal. And even though it was kind of scary, I committed myself 100% to making it a reality.
Whatever your goals are, make them as specific–and doable–as possible.
It’s a lot harder to crush your goals when they’re vague or you’ve got no real timeline for achieving them.
If you’re brainstorming goals, start with a broad view then narrow it down. Get as granular as possible about what you want, then go all in.
Then, nail down individual action steps you need to take to reach your goal. Again, be really specific and drill down to what absolutely has to happen for your goal to work.
Give yourself a time frame for reaching your goal. Having a deadline is an awesome motivator to push hard for what you want.
Keep track of how you’re doing. When you get down about not making progress fast enough (and if you’re like me, you totally will) reflect on what you have done.
It’s a little mental reminder of how far you’ve already come.
- Make sure the goals you’re setting are achievable and realistic.
- List the action steps you need to take to reach your goal.
- Give yourself a timeline for crossing off each action step.
- Track your goal progress weekly, monthly or quarterly.
- And most importantly, embrace your goals completely.
What Are You Doing to Crush Your Goals?
Have you ever tried using a mantra or changing your passwords when setting goals?
Do you have your own secret hack or tip for achieving your goals?
Head to the comments and tell me about it, then please pin and share this post if it helped you!