It’s the end of the year and many people start thinking about their new year’s resolutions and what they want to achieve in the next 365 days. Although I am convinced you can make a new beginning every single day and don’t need to wait until the end of the year, it seems to be the perfect time of the year for many of us. To make sure you are really going to achieve your goals, you should be more professional about it and use a proper goal setting strategy. This article teaches you step-by-step what you need to do in order to be successful with your digital nomad life or whatever goals you want to achieve.
What is goal setting?
Pretty simple, goal setting is the act of selecting an objective or target that you wish to achieve.
But more than that, it is not only what you want but also includes how you get there. What are you willing to sacrifice, what do you like to do in order to get there and how much pain are you willing to take. You need to have a system if you want to achieve your goals.
For example, an athletes’ goal is to run a marathon. But this also involves how much he is willing to train to get there. A newbie digital nomad has the goal of making 500,000 USD. In order to get there, he must think of a strategy for how to make this much money, which could be a sales strategy.
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Importance of a Goal Setting Strategy
I guess we all know the struggle: You want something, you even set a goal in your mind to achieve it, but in the end, it is never going to happen. Either your plan doesn’t work out or you forget about it after a while.
Especially as a digital nomad, it is so easy to get carried away with your lifestyle. Many nomads live in cheap places, like Chiang Mai or Bali. You don’t need much money to get along. A few freelancing gigs here and there are all you need.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s great to have an easy life and don’t have to work much. But I have met quite a few people who used to be full of dreams and ambitions but that got somehow lost along the way. In the end, many might regret choosing an “easy life” because they could have achieved so much more if only they were more determined.
That is why a professional goal-setting strategy is so important.
Goals without a plan are nothing but dreams.
And they won’t come true unless you work for it. You need something you can work towards to. You need to stay focused.
A research project even found out that you are 2 to 3 times likelier to stick to your goals when you have an actual plan for it.
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If you want to find a remote job, become location-independent, and travel the world, or if you are already doing this but struggle with productivity or are a bit lost and need a motivation kick, read on! You will learn all the steps you need for an ultimate goal-setting strategy.
Goal Setting Steps
Although it might look easy, a proper goal setting strategy session can take up quite a bit of time. It involves more than simply thinking about what you want to achieve. Have a look at the following steps and plan some time for it.
1. Visualize Your Goals
How do you imagine your life one year from now (or whatever timeframe you want to set your goals for)? If you are just starting out with your digital nomad life, you could think of income sources or countries you want to visit.
Try to think of many different factors such as physical properties, financial, social, or emotional goals.
2. Make a List
Now you can start making a list. Write down every goal you can think of that you want to achieve in your given period of time.
Also, try to think of things that you don’t want to achieve and turn them into a positive goal. For instance, you don’t want to sit home alone and never go out socialize with other nomads. So you could write down that you want to go out and participate in social events at least once a week.
3. Eliminate Goals
Yes, now that you have a massive list with many goals, you go through your list again and eliminate most of them. A mistake that many people make while goal setting is that they focus on too many goals at the same time.
Although they might all seem to be important to you, you will struggle to achieve them all.
They will compete for your attention, energy, and time.
That’s why it is important to set priorities and focus on one goal at a time.
When you choose your most important and first goals, apply the Pareto Principle: 20% of the things you will do, account for 80% of the results. So don’t bother with the small things that don’t have a significant impact on your overall goal.
4. Specify Goals
If you simply set “Become a successful digital nomad” as your goal, you probably won’t achieve it. Not because you are not able to become one but because your goal isn’t specific enough. That is why it is important that you set so-called SMART goals:
Specific: Be as specific with your goals as you can. Think of the 5 W’s: What, why, who, when, where. Instead of saying “I want to make more money with my blog.” Say “I want to make 30% more money by joining 5 more affiliate programs and publish 10 more articles focused on affiliate partners within the next 4 months.”
Measurable: If you can’t measure your goals, you can’t tell if you have achieved them. Let’s say you set your goal to “Write more articles”. How do you define “more”? Will you have achieved your goal when writing 1 more article per week or do you actually want to write 3 more articles every week?
Achievable: Being optimistic is absolutely essential when you want to succeed with anything in life. But also be realistic. Making 1 million USD in your first three months of being a digital nomad is definitely a motivating goal. But it is also achievable?
Relevant: You can set the most perfectly worded goals. However, if they are not relevant to your career or your dream lifestyle, they won’t get you anywhere. For example, learning French should probably not be your first priority when you want to spend the next year in Central America.
Timely: Set a timeline for your goal. Make milestones for action items and set a deadline when you want to be done with your goal. If you don’t set any dates to it, you might drag them along forever. Again, be realistic.
On top of that, you might also want to set sub-goals. If you have a very big goal, it is definitely a good idea to break it down and list what you need to do step by step. Make sure to phrase every single one of these sub-goals as SMART goals.
5. Identify Obstacles
When you have set your goals, try to think of all the obstacles that you might approach. Where are the limitations? What is restricting you from achieving your goal? Maybe you have always wanted to reach that goal but never made it. If so, why not? What is the reason why you haven’t achieved it yet?
Set a plan for how you can remove those obstacles. Make sure that this time they won’t come your way.
6. Change Your Mindset
A very important step of your goal setting strategy: Make sure you change the way you think about your goals and their implementation. Here are some ideas on how you can do so:
- Become aware of what happens if you don’t achieve your goals. What are the consequences? Will you end up broke and have to move in with your parents again? Make sure you have a clear picture of the purpose of your goals.
- Truly believe that you can do it. Trust your own abilities. When you have set realistic goals and made a plan on how to overcome your obstacles, there is no reason you cannot achieve them. You only have to believe in yourself.
- Remind yourself (daily) about it. Stick a note to your fridge that tells you why you need to eat healthy from now on. Change your desktop screensaver to something that reminds you why you need to save money. Make sure you are always aware of your goals.
- Tell your family and friends about it. On the one hand, your goals become more realistic when others know about it. On the other hand, it is a good idea to hear a different opinion about it and to get some support. Promisorpay even states that you are 33% more likely to achieve your goals when you tell others about it.
7. Review and Adjust
A professional goal-setting strategy also involves the act of monitoring your goals. Set a time, let’s say once a week or once every two weeks when you sit down and review your achievements so far.
Take one step back and look at the bigger picture. What worked well since the last review, what didn’t. Is that what you are doing really helpful in achieving your overall goal? Make adjustments if necessary to get you back on track.
Bonus Step: Train your Mentality
One reason why you want to become a digital nomad might be the fact that you are tired of your boring daily routines and want to break free from them. However, not all routines are bad ones. As a matter of fact, when you practice specific behaviors on a regular basis, you will perform better in your big goals, too.
There is a reason why so many successful entrepreneurs and digital nomads practice a certain daily routine. For instance, simple morning routines can do wonders to your mindset and improve your ability to work towards goals. That can be a short run after you got up, a healthy breakfast routine, or a meditation session before work. These habits are not only healthy but can train your brain to stick to your goals.
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Now it’s up to you. Make time in your schedule for a proper goal setting strategy. Sit down for a couple of hours and think carefully about your goals for the upcoming year. What will help you to become more successful in your work life? How can you make sure you are happy with your lifestyle choice?
Be structured when you plan your goals and stick to the given steps. Especially big goals, such as becoming a successful digital nomad need planning. You can wish for it as much as you want. If you don’t have a strategy on how to achieve this goal, it is not going to happen.
I know it takes some time and effort. But having proper goals and an actual strategy on how to achieve them will make a massive difference. Do your future self a favor and take the time. Trust me, it is well worth it.
What about you? Do you have any more tips on how to achieve your goals? Let us know in the comment section below.