Reverse engineer your life

The new way to set goals

So you have some big goals and plans for your life. Or maybe you did, but you’ve given up on your dreams because they seem so unrealistic and out of reach.

Setting goals is about bringing your dreams into reality. The easy part is brainstorming. Taking consistent action towards your goal, on the other hand, is not as easy as it sounds. If there is no intentional action, your dreams will stay just that, dreams. Without a solid plan to bring your dreams into reality, they will always stay a figment of your imagination. You don’t need me to tell you that’s not where they belong!

You didn’t come here to be a passive bystander in your life, just letting life happen to you. The only person who can change your life is you. The power to design your life has always been yours, and you do that by creating goals, a plan and then taking consistent and intentional action to bring it into reality. So grab a pen and paper, and let’s get started creating a life you love.

Most of us map out our goals from where we are now to where we want to go. There’s a better way, and it’s called reverse engineering. Like it sounds, you map your goals starting from the end to where you are now, working backwards to create a doable plan to bring your dreams to life. .

So where do you start? What do you want to achieve? What are your goals? Your dreams? Think big. Your brain can handle it, and it thrives on imagination, creativity and problem solving. Put it to work and write it all out – the good old fashioned way, with pen and paper.

How to reverse engineer your goals and life:

  1. Brainstorm and reflect- what are your goals and dreams? What are your values? What are the things you are not willing to sacrifice in the pursuit of your dreams? These are important reflection points, as you don’t want to get to the end and realize that the important things were sacrificed on your path to success.
  2. Now that you have your goals and end results laid out, it’s time to start taking action. A SMART goal formula is easy to follow, serving as a guideline for creating measurable and meaningful goals.
    1. S- Be very specific. What exactly is it you are trying to achieve? Is this goal something that aligns with your long term vision for your life?
    2. M- Make your goals measurable. How will you know you’ve achieved your goal? Identify your unit of measurement. If it will take a few months or longer, break down your goal into smaller chunks and milestones that are easily measured. Tracking and celebrating the small wins along the way is an important piece in your success.
    3. A- Make sure your goals are attainable and achievable. Is it realistic? Is it aligned with your long term vision? Do you have the skills and resources needed to achieve them? If not, identify what else you may need and how you can acquire it.
    4. R- make sure your goals are relevant to your life. Is this important to me and my future success? Is it worth my time, effort and sacrifice?
    5. T- Write out your time frame. Have a deadline as to when the goal will be met. Remember, your brain loves solving problems. Putting a time frame on your goals will help further cement that in for the brain to get to work. Make sure your deadline is realistic, and be specific about the steps and timeline.  

A goal should inspire and motivate you. If it doesn’t, it’s probably not a worthwhile goal to have right now, and you may need to rethink your values, your goals and long term vision for your future.

A few reminders:

  1. Write out a step by step guide. Use it as a check list, and cross things off as you go along. Every time a step is finished, it is a small win. You are one step closer than you just were. Celebrate your progress and use the gained inspiration to keep pushing forward.
  2. Commit. Your dreams matter. You were given them for a purpose that you may not fully understand right now. Commit to bettering yourself and to the future You that is depending on you to keep going.
  3. Check in on your progress daily and as often as you can. How’s it going? Do changes need to be made? Are your goals still relevant? Make adjustments as needed, and carry on. You’ve got this!
  4. Identify your Why for when things get tough. Keep this front and center in your mind when you’re not feeling motivated and doubt creeps in. Why do you have this goal? Perhaps you have kids and you want a better life for them. Whatever it is, by identifying your why, it serves as a powerful tool you can go back to when times get tough, you’re unmotivated and’ would just like to throw in the towel on your dreams
  5. Your future is a daily commitment today and everyday. It matters, so don’t give up on your dreams. You didn’t come here to play small. Commit and take action every day, no matter how small, to bring your dreams into reality. Don t get to the end of your life filled with regret over all the dormant dreams inside of you that you never brought to life.