Life Design

Design your dream life – Goal setting in 2022 for ambitious multipassionates

We’re getting towards the end of the year, and that means it’s time to think about our goals for 2022.

Over the past years, my view on goal setting has changed a lot. And that is why I am going to start this blog by saying this: don’t set goals when you believe that the achievement of those goals will make you happier. If you attach that much value to your goals, I have another assignment for you: find out what makes you happy.

If you do enjoy the process of working towards your goals, and you realize that after achieving a goal, there will always be new ones to chase, congrats! You are ready to continue.

Start with your big vision

Goal setting doesn’t start with randomly picking some things from your bucket list… Bucket lists are great, but the problem with them is that we often forget to revise them over time.

If the 10-year-old you wanted to get a pilot’s license, it doesn’t mean that this is something that you want to pursue at 25. Maybe you don’t even like planes anymore. Or you realized that flying emits a lot of C02 and it just doesn’t fit in with your value system anymore.

Maybe you wrote down ‘start a business’ because it seemed it was what all the cool people were doing… But before you blindly start chasing that goal, think if you are the kind of person that wants the insecurity and responsibility that come with it.

So how do you make sure that you do not chase old dreams or other people’s goals?

By checking in with your big vision.

Your Vision = Your ideal version of the future.

Many of my clients look a little puzzled when I ask them about their ‘vision’. They believe it means they need to have some sort of Hollywood movie in their head of exactly how their life is going to look like.

Some very driven and visual people might have a picture like that in their heads. Most of us don’t.

What I mean when I say ‘vision’, is a gist of what you want in the long term in all areas of your life.

Where do you want to live?

What kind of work do you want to do?

What’s important to you?

What projects would you like to do?

You can go as specific as you like, and stay general where you don’t know the details yet.

And as a multipotential human being, I am sure you want to succeed in all areas of your life, not just professionally. So you are going to need a vision for all parts of your life that matter to you.

Step 1: Decide on your big life themes

The first step is to figure out which life themes are important to you. If you have ever done the wheel of life, you can use the same categories. If you haven’t, here are the categories that I use:

1. Health
2. Relationships
3. Work
4. Play & Creativity
5. Personal Growth
6. Lifestyle
7. Wealth

Step 2: Create a vision in each category

There are many ways to “create” your vision. Here are my personal favourites:

– Meditate on it
– Visualize it
– Journal about it
– Create a vision board

Ideally, you want to write down a few sentences answering the following questions:

1. What is important to you in this area of life?
2. What do you want your life in this area to look like?
3. What are your biggest dreams in this area? (if you have trouble dreaming big try this thought experiment: if there were no limitations…. if I could choose… if I had a magic wand… what would I wish for? )

Time to set some big-ass goals

Now we’re going to get more specific. What goals do you need to achieve to make your vision(s) a reality? The difference between a vision and a goal is that the vision is all about feeling. The big picture. And the goal is a way to get there. It tells you something about the HOW and the WHAT. It makes your dreams more real, and the achievement of them measurable. I personally like to set SMART goals.

Step 3: Brainstorm your big goals

For this step you can take a piece of paper for every part of your vision, and write down as many goals as you can think of that will help you achieve this vision.

Here’s an example of my 5-year vision on physical health:

Vision: Become a super lean yoga chick and advanced surfer.

Big goals:

– Own my own surfboard.
– Move close to the ocean.
– Buy an apartment at the ocean
– Buy a van to travel to good surf spots.
– Learn how to catch a 2m wave.
– Follow a yoga teacher training course

Step 4: Set your 1-year goals

Step 4 is to choose one goal from your brainstorm that you think you can achieve in 1 year. The perfect 1-year goal is challenging but possible. It pushes you out of your comfort zone, but is attainable enough to motivate you to make it happen.

An example of a good 1-year goal could be: Learn how to catch a 2m wave.

How to decide on your yearly projects and tasks

We’re getting more and more specific now. Although goals are more concrete than your vision, you never have 100% control over the achievement of them.

What if you try to catch a 2 meter wave, but you break your leg and you can’t surf for the rest of the year? What if the weather conditions for the surfing haven’t been good? What if, even with your hardest effort, you just don’t manage? Or, you get scared?

However, a project is a well-rounded set of tasks that you have almost perfect control over (with the emphasis on almost, since life isn’t perfect, and certainly not 100% certain).

Where goals help you move towards your vision, your projects are the building stones to help you achieve your goals.

Step 5 – Decide on your projects

Here’s an example of projects to help you catch that 2-meter wave:

– Follow a 1-week surf course in France
– Plan a 2-week surf vacation in Portugal

As you can see, both things are perfectly realistic (as long as you have a little budget of course).

Step 6 – Define your tasks

The last step is to define the tasks you need to do to complete your projects. Over the years teaching multipassionates about productivity and time management, I have met many who make this common mistake: treating projects like tasks…

Creating a website

Completing a course

Planning a surf holiday…

… Those things are NOT tasks. And they should never be written on your task list…

Why not?

Because this is the reason you keep procrastinating on those things that look like mountains to climb. This is the reason you don’t feel accomplished at the end of the day because you haven’t been able to cross things off your list.

A task is a small, one-off action you can perform within the course of a couple of hours (or half a day max).

Examples of actual tasks:

– Writing your about-me page
– Completing 1 module of a course
– Booking the hotel for your surf holiday

When you have your list of projects, you can define a set of tasks that will make your project complete.

Now you might wonder if it’s necessary to write down all tasks for each and every project in 2022 already. Don’t worry, it is not!

I usually don’t work on more than 5 projects at the same time (my professional life and personal life combined). When I have time to start a new project, I take some time to plan out the next one, define all tasks, and schedule them into my productivity tool (Notion).

Why you didn’t stick to your New year’s resolutions – About Habits

Now there’s one more thing I want to talk about: your habits.

A habit is a recurring task that you perform (ideally) in set intervals. Every day, every week, or every month.

I bet that in the past, maybe even last year, you have set your New Year’s resolutions. You want to work out more, eat healthier, start a new hobby, keep your house tidy, and start a vegetarian diet.

New year’s resolutions are mostly about changing habits. The problem with them is that we want to change too many things at the same time. If you know how hard it is to stop smoking, try changing 3 of those hard habits all at once… Big chance you’re going to give up after a few weeks.

Another reason we often don’t manage to stick to our new year’s resolutions is that there is not enough intrinsic motivation behind them. We want to start running because we want to lose weight, but we hate running. We want to start a painting class because your friend seems to make such beautiful pictures, but you are actually not that interested in art.

Your habits should support your big vision, and when they do you will be more likely to stick to them.

Step 7 – Identify 6 habits that support your big vision

They say it takes about 2 months to implement a new habit. One year has 12 months, divided by 2 is 6. That means you can implement at least 6 new habits per year.

Can you write down 6 habits that will help you achieve your big vision in your life’s areas?

You can choose 1 habit for each life theme, or if you have more than 6 categories, make sure you choose a habit that will help you move forward in multiple areas.

Here’s a list of habits that will help me towards my big vision:

– Practice yoga daily (HEALTH)
– Plan a date night every week (LOVE)
– Track my income daily (WEALTH)
– Perform 5 sales activities every day (WORK)
– Read 1-hour every day (GROWTH)
– Schedule 4 hours of playtime every week (PLAY)

Make sure to choose the ones that will have the biggest impact with the smallest effort (moving the needle activities). And keep in mind that you can always add more when you realize it’s easy.

Let go of attachment

I recently heard about a book that explained the concept of unhappy achievers.  The secret of happy successful people is that they love the game of life. They love the process of challenges. They love seeing progress. They look at how far they have come while being excited about how far they will go. They do not compare themselves to other people. They do not focus on how far they are from where they want to go. They do not expect happiness to come from achieving their goals. They know that they will never be done.

The biggest lesson I learned on goal setting is not the step-plan I just described. It’s detaching from the outcome and finding joy in the process. Life is a game, learn how to enjoy playing instead of winning, because it makes life satisfying even when you feel like you lose. Plus, nobody likes a bad loser.

Your Life Design Dashboard in Notion

I created a Notion dashboard to help you design your life in 2022. This board includes all elements of the life design process discussed in this blog. I also included a video to help you fill in the Template and change it to your wishes. This dashboard is literally the coming together of everything I learned from my mentors, working with clients- and my experience using Notion to organise and plan out my life. You can preview and buy the template here.

Your Life Design Dashboard in Notion

Do you want to plan out your year? Do you want to have a clear overview of your goals, projects and tasks while keeping track of your habits? This Notion Template is everything you need to design the life of your dreams.