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My step by step guide to set your life goals – Part 2

Life goals 2

Welcome to part 2 of “My step by step guide to set your life goals”. It is part of little series I created around setting life goals. In case you’ve missed part 1, have a look here.

Remember the steps:

Life Goal Process

Once you’ve completed the steps from part 1, it is about strong Why’s to follow through. Your goals need to be realisitc and it needs the right actions to achieve them.

Step 4 – Why

You need good reasons to keep track.

Everywhere in life, it’s the same. Let me give you one example.

You need to get up at 5 am in the morning. Under normal circumstances, this takes you huge efforts. At least it does for me. 🙂

But imagine the following.

You always wanted to fly in an A380. You always wanted to get to the Silicon Valley. It’s something on your bucket list. It’s a must for you. It excites you. It gives you energy even when you think of it.

You’ll be awake in no time and you’ll be ready to start this adventure, wouldn’t you?

Why? Because that’s a great reason to get up. It motivates you from the inside. You ignore the time. You ignore that you are tired like hell. You are going to fulfill one of your dreams!

Maybe you had this kind of experience already. Then you know what I’m talking abut.

For me, I’m actually on that A380 right now. 😉

It’s the same with your life goals. You need strong reasons to follow though also in tough times.

One of my goals is to ensure that I’m always able to pay our bills. And that I can afford the best education for my kids.

Behind is a very strong why. If I don’t achieve this goal my kids won’t have the same chances that I had. If I don’t have enough money to pay our bills, my family would struggle. We would be in trouble.  Under all circumstances, I need to avoid those kind of things. That are the strong reasons behind some of my goals.

Now, take again a sheet of paper and define your Why’s. Write them down.

Why is it important for you that you achieve your goal?
What are the reasons that make you jump out of your bed, no matter what time it is?
What is your motivation, short-term, and long-term, to reach the new standard you’ve just defined?

You don’t nencessarily have Why for every goal on your TO-BE list, but a bunch of them related to the whole life theme are necessary.

Define the Why’s honest. Define them properly. If you can’t find a good Why, kick out the goal. You won’t give these goals the needed priority to follow through in your daily life.

Take the goals with the great reasons and go on to the next step.

Step 5 – Reality Check

The Reality Check or cost estimation will help you to determine the costs of your goals.

How much time and money do you need to do everything you defined in your TO-BE?
How much time do you need to achieve your goals?
How much time do you actually have?
How much money do you need?

Don’t get me wrong. Only because your dream costs you 5 Mio. EUR it does not meant that you should take it off the list. It does not mean that it is unrealistic!

It only shows you how much money you need to make to achieve it. Basically you put a price tag behind your TO-BEs.

This knowledge helps to focus. It will help you to bring your goals into the right timely order. Or to kick some goals from your list. It helps you to prioritize.

It gives you a realistic pciture of the efforts behind each goal. And you need to know the efforts.

Knowing the efforts is part of letting a dream become reality.

Let me give you an example.

These are some of my TO-BEs in the Hobbies/Sparetime life theme:

I paint a picture every moth.
I learn new things about wine every week.
I bake cakes every month.
I do mountain biking regularly.
I go inline skating.
I read books every week.
I spent time with my wife every day.
I spent time with my kids every day.
I develop this blog further every week.
I dedicate time to investing money every week.
I create books with vacation photography.
I go swimming regularly every week.
I go sailing regularly.

I estimated the costs in time units for every activity:

I paint regularly. 4h per painting
I learn new things about wine regularly. 1h/week
I bake cakes regularly. 2h per cake
I do mountain biking regularly. 2h per ride
I go inline skating. 2h per ride
I read books regularly. 1h/day
I spent time with my family. 2h/week
I develop this blog further (posts, videos…) 2h/week
I dedicate time to investing money. 1h/week
I create books with vacation photography. 1h/month
I go swimming regularly. 2h/week
I go sailing regularly. 1h/month

That is what I want to do and what it would cost me.

Now, let’s see what I can do:

My goal is to sleep 8h a day. That makes 16h available for work, family, partner, hobbies, money, health/body.

My current job takes 11h (to get there + office time). Leaves 5h.

Getting ready in the morning including breakfast: 1h. Family life after work: 2h. Leaves 2hs on an average day.

With kids, you rarely have average days…

I travel multiple days for work. I leave the weekend completely for the family. I am on vacation….

On average, I might have 2h of time on 3 days a week. Sums up to 6h a week for ALL the things above.

You can see the problem coming…

By calculating that I knew how much time I would need to fulfill all my TO-BEs.

There are two ways to makes this happen. Either I cut my working time. Or I prioritize my TO-BEs. I cannot cut my time at work. But I can reduce it to the necessary. I did that. And I prioritized my TO-BE’s.

I chose the things, that were less important for me. I put the things with the weakest Why’s onhold.

Same for the costs.

If your goal is to buy a 100.000 EUR car. Calculate what it takes to get this amount of money. Calculate how much you need to put aside / earn every month to buy that car in, let’s say, a year from now.

Or you want to travel the world three times a year. Let’s assume the costs for four people to 5.000 EUR, makes 15.000 EUR per year. Calculate how much you need to put aside / earn every month to get this amount of money.

Now, do the same. Take the next sheet of paper. (Template coming soon.) Where every possible calculate the time and money efforts for the TO-BEs you’ve defined within a life theme.

I did this extensive calculation mainly for the Money, Dreams and Hobby life themes. Not so much for the others.

If you have any difficulties to get your calculation done, just let me know. I’m glad to help you to do that.

Step 6 – Action Plan

We will define proper actions, or a massive action plan, how Tony Robbins calls it. Without defining proper actions, you’ll not succeed. An action plan is the basis to follow through. It is your basis to succeed.

Take the next sheet of paper. Chose a life theme. Put the TO-BE paper next to you, so that you can see it. Start to write down the necessary actions to achieve your goals.


You want to earn 10.000 EUR a month. Write down the very next steps to get there. This could be (only an example, explicitly not a recommendation):

To earn more money you need to generate several income streams. The usual ones are: salary and/or income from your own business, stock market dividends and rental income.

So, the very next action could be to create an investment portfolio and add 5.000 EUR to it till the of end of the month.

And/or to scout the appartment/housing market for good investments.

And/or to collect ideas to start your own business.

Put a due date behind every action. Create SMART actions. Do this for every life theme and you have your massive action plan.

That’s it. (With this article I accomplished one of the actions on my TO-BE list. 🙂 Great feeling!)

You should end up with a bunch of pages.

life goal papers
My life goals

This is the baseline of what you want to be and become in your life. This is your starting point as of today.

It will evolve over time. Some goals will go down in priority, some up. Some new will be added. That’s how it goes.

For me, this exercise was really a journey. It helped me to discover what’s important and what not.

In any way, it concentrates focus and energy to the things we want to achieve. Having it written down makes it even more real. It makes our goals tangible.

Important is a regular review, though. A regular review ensures that the goals stick in your head. The best way to constantly work on your goals are rituals. I’ll create another article about my Life Goal Achievement Rituals soon.

If this too much for you in the very beginning, start with the life themes that are most important for your first. Don’t be overwhelmed by the amount of work.
In any way, this time you invest today into your future will pay dividends your whole life.

I wish you all the best for your journey!

If you need help with this, let me know.

Take care.


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