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Two Steps for How to Set Goals in Life and Stick to Them

Sep 10, 2023

In our journey towards personal growth and achievement, we often find ourselves trapped in failure habits that hinder our happiness and success. But fear not!

Just as these habits can hold us back, we have the power to transform them into success habits that propel us forward. One essential step in this process is learning how to set goals in life.

Today, we'll explore the concept of failure habits, share personal experiences, discuss goal-setting theory, and provide practical steps to help you identify and replace these habits with success-driven goals.

So, let's dive in and unlock your potential to create a life filled with purpose and achievement!

What are Failure Habits? 

Say you have a BIG task to complete, but instead of getting it done, you say, “it’s alright; I can just do it tomorrow.” But guess what—you don’t. I’ve totally been there! This is just one example of a failure habit. 

These are repetitive actions/choices you do that work to hinder some aspect of your well-being, such as your happiness and success in life, much like an ax continually picking away at your positive outcomes. These stop you from achieving success and ultimately you fail to accomplish goals. But no need to worry; transforming failure habits is my jam, and you can start by learning how to set goals in life.  

Now I know what you're thinking: how do I start flipping my failure habits into success habits? Your mind has been conditioned to clench onto those bad habits, but it is possible to remove that iron clench in favor of successful habits to gamify your life with time and persistence.  

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The positive side: once you break through those old habits, the success habits that have replaced them will have just as much of a grip on you, but they will work to help build your momentum instead of tearing it down. This begins with routine, and learning how to set goals in life is a part of that success. :) 

You can listen to the entire podcast episode on Personal Excellence

Taking My Own Advice: The #1 Failure Habit I’m Trying to Crush 

2020 was a difficult year for everyone—I was no exception. I was (and have always been) a dawdler. It’s something I’ve attempted to get through, and I have to some extent.

But this year hit me like a ton of bricks (and oh boy, did it hurt)! I had no clue how to set goals in life, and I began giving it to dawdling again over things I couldn’t control.

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I was able to sell my business, Doorstep Delivery, in 2019 for $321 million. With this, I gained a half-stock purchase—something that should have only been joyful but instead brought me stress because of my occupation of worrying over it. 

During six months when the stock could not be sold, the price per share dropped drastically (and I mean drastically). I knew there was nothing I could do to control the impossible, but my prominent failure habit shined through, causing me to worry—all for no reason. I needlessly spent so much time growing grey hairs only to find they started to climb back up.  

When failure habits get the best of us, the first step is to climb back up. While the stock isn’t exactly where it used to be, it’s getting closer and closer every day, just like how I’m getting closer and closer to perfecting how to set goals in life every day. I’m pledging myself to only check the stock once a month (and maybe once a year eventually)! But baby steps; it’s all about sticking to a goal! I also learnt how to stay away from losing financial trends

Speaking of dawdling—In 2020, I spent a little too much time worrying over my son’s educational growth. I know, “Will, don’t worry and DON’T compare your son to the other kids,” you’re probably thinking. 

You’re right, but I just couldn’t help it because I allowed my failure habits to take hold. I used to be able to find myself doing it and stopping, but my fixed victim culture self steadily began to let it seep through the cracks. This was in fact one of the major barriers to effective decision making. The lack of control I had begun to eat away at my failure-focused self.  

For 2023, my #1 goal is to break this failure habit. I don’t need to worry about things out of my control, especially when I feel bad about my son’s development. 

Instead, I’ll practice setting goals in life by turning those negative thoughts into proactive ones. Rather than dawdling on everything I’m scared about, I’ll focus on pushing him to search for HIS interests and strengths.  

Checkout our Podcast with Dr. Josh Axe on Ancient Nutrition

I’ve already started this mission, and WOW, the results are already amazing! One of my son’s main areas of focus is that of cognizance and perception, and so I looked online for some fun and engaging ways to build up his success.

I quickly discovered a popular game (dubbed “The Marshmallow Game”) in which you lay a marshmallow down and tell him that you’ll be back in a moment. You tell him not to eat the marshmallow, and if he doesn’t, he’ll get another. 

I tried this, and it worked! I was beyond proud of his self-control not to eat it, and the growth in his behavior was thoroughly noticeable! By considering how to set goals in life and applying them to my son, I found something that worked! 

Hey there, 2023; watch out because I’m crushing it (and so can you)! 

So How Can Learn How to Set Goals in Life Help Create Success Habits?  

Now that you know what failure habits are and what they need to be replaced with, only one thing remains—the best ways to get started. Goal setting is one of the most important aspect of life. But how do you achieve Life Goals or Personal Goals? Here’s what you've got to do to Level Up in Life

Step 1: Identify the Potential Obstacles

The first step for how to set life goals that yield results is to know what exactly stops you from reaching them. You can’t crush a failure habit unless you’ve identified it!

Start by creating a list of all the things that hinder you from getting that dream job or completing that homework assignment. It can be anything, to lose weight, to get back on track with diet, to stop impulse buying, or to fix body language. You can use a clear habit journal to track down these habits.

Step 2: Transform Failure Habits into Success Habits

Now that you have a clear understanding of the obstacles, it's time to transform those failure habits into success habits. Start by prioritizing the habits that have the most significant impact on your team's success and your personal well-being. Focus on one habit at a time that you want to achieve and actively work towards changing it for the better.

For example, if your team wants to achieve challenging goals, you can begin by fostering a growth mindset and promoting effective face to face or remote communication among team members. As you consistently progress, your success habits will replace the old ones, creating a deeper sense of satisfaction and subjective well-being for you and your team. 

Step 3: Set SMART Goals

To effectively pursue your team goals and career goals, it's essential to set SMART goals — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Break down your larger aspirations into smaller, actionable steps you and your team can work on regularly. This approach makes your goals more tangible, attainable and helps you track progress.

For instance, if your team wants to complete challenging projects, set SMART goals such as dividing tasks, establishing clear deadlines, and regularly evaluating progress.

Also make sure these SMART goals are achievable goals as well as complete goals.

Step 4: Track Your Progress

To make the journey towards your goals even more engaging, gamify your teamwork! Use technology to your advantage by incorporating tracking apps or progress boards to monitor your team's progress. You can also try using our habits tracker app. Celebrate milestones and reward your team for overcoming obstacles and achieving milestones.

For example, if your team successfully completes a project ahead of schedule, treat yourselves to a team outing or a small celebration. By turning your progress into a game, you'll find motivation and excitement in your collective efforts.

Step 5: Cultivate a Supportive Environment

Surround yourself with teammates who uplift and inspire you. Share your goals and aspirations with supportive colleagues, mentors, or supervisors who can provide guidance, encouragement, and accountability. Engage in communities or join professional groups with similar career goals and interests.

By cultivating a positive and supportive environment, you'll create a network that helps you and your team stay motivated, focused, and committed to achieving team goals and personal growth.

Step 6: Embrace Continuous Learning

The journey toward success is a continuous learning experience. Embrace a growth mindset and commit to ongoing development. Seek opportunities to acquire new skills, attend workshops or conferences, and stay updated with industry trends.

Encourage your team members to engage in learning activities and provide them with resources to expand their knowledge and skill sets. By fostering a culture of continuous learning, you'll empower your team to adapt, innovate, and achieve even more significant goals.

Step 7: Adapt and Evolve

As you progress toward your life goals, it's essential to remain flexible and adaptable. Embrace change, learn from setbacks, and use them as opportunities for growth. Encourage your team to approach obstacles with a problem-solving mindset, seeking innovative solutions to overcome challenges, and learn multitasking skills.

Stay open to new possibilities and be willing to modify your approach when needed. By adapting and evolving, you and your team will develop resilience and the ability to overcome any obstacles that come your way.

By following these simple steps, you’ll elevate your Personal Values or Cores to live a happier, more fulfilling life. You can even take things a step further by to gamify your life using success habits

For example, if you go a week without giving in to a failure habit, you can allow yourself more time on social media. By gamifying your life and letting technology work FOR you instead of against you, you can grow to become your best self. 

By doing that, you’ll be crushing how to set goals in life in no time. If you transform your habits, you’ll be prepared to take on 2023 with no problem!  

Let’s gooooooo! 

One Last Goal:

Want to know where you stand in the five values of life tied to happiness (Your 5 Cores)? Take this two-minute Core Values Quiz to get your core score in the five values of life.


Will Moore is a gamification, habits and happiness expert.

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