My Dad taught me how to set goals when I was about 15 years old and I’ve been doing it ever since. The way he taught me that’s stuck so well for all these years is to only set goals in these four categories:
- Faith (including spirituality)
- Family & Friends
- Finances (including learning and work)
- Fitness (including diet, exercise, and rest)
I’ve had goals in each of these areas, or pillars, of life every year for over 15 years now. Setting this number of goals has helped me stay focused on what’s most important, not get overwhelmed, and much more.
Here are just a couple of reasons why you should only set four goals too.
1. When You Focus On Less You Can Do More
One of the biggest problems that I hear about when people are setting goals is that they set too many and overwhelm themselves. They want to change so much about their life, and they want to do it all right now.
Wanting to improve is fantastic, but you’re not going to get anywhere if you try to do it all at once. What you need is focus.
You need to figure out what the most important and impactful things are for you to improve on and go after those with all your heart instead of giving a half effort on many things.
This is the reason that thinning fruit trees yields better fruit. If my cherry, peach, and plum trees have too much fruit on them, the individual plums, cherries, and peaches don’t taste as good because the tree is spreading its resources too thin.
By strategically removing fruit, I can help my trees make the sweetest and biggest fruit possible. Strategically remove certain goals, and you’ll be able to focus on being the best you can be at the most important ones.
Try cutting down your goals to only one in each of the four categories I mentioned above. Here they are one more time:
These are all you need to succeed, and we’ll talk about why next.
2. 4 Goals Is Enough to Cover All the Vital Areas of Life
Everything you do falls into one of these areas of life. Think about a typical day and you can trace each action you take back to either your spirituality, relationships, finances, or fitness.
By consolidating everything you know and do into these four vital areas, you make life a lot easier. And you make it more likely that you’ll thrive.
Think about the people you know that make you go “I want my life to be like theirs in every way.” Every one of these people successfully balances their spirituality, relationships, finances, and health. People that are struggling in one of these areas aren’t the kind that make you think you want your life to be like every part of theirs.
Take Jeff Bezos, for instance. He might be great with finances, even if he is far too greedy, but his love life is less than desirable. I’d guess that this is a source of misery for him and all that money can’t compensate for his loneliness.
You wouldn’t want to have nearly unending wealth but be alone, would you? You wouldn’t want massive success in any of these areas if you were failing in all the others. That’s how you stay miserable.
Instead, by setting only one highly-focused goal in each of the areas I’ve described, you set yourself up to thrive in all of them. That’s because they all build on each other.
If you’re spiritually at peace with yourself and mentally well, your relationships are healthier. You can also work harder and earn more money. And it’s a lot easier to exercise, too.
When you get your relationships right and are good to other people, your spirit is happy, your mind is sharper at work, and you have more motivation to stay fit.
Getting your finances in order and earning enough to cover your expenses and then some lets you have more time and money to serve others. You can spend more money on dating or taking your family out on vacations. And it’s a lot easier to pay for a gym membership, buy a treadmill, and eat healthy when you can afford those things!
And finally, staying physically fit is proven to make you better at focusing at work. It also helps you regulate your mood better, which helps your relationship goals. And when your body is well, it’s a whole lot easier to keep your mind and spirit well too.
If you’ve read this far, thank you. I’ll be honest, at this point in this blog, I’m not sure how many people get to the end of my articles, so I’m really grateful that you’ve stuck around this long.
To be honest, I had to whip this article up quickly at the end of a long and busy day. But I still put my best effort into it, at least what I’d consider “best effort” for this day!
More importantly, I firmly believe that what I’ve shared here will make a positive impact on your life.
I know that focusing on these four goals works because I’ve been doing it for over 15 years now. Filtering everything I do into these categories has helped me focus on what’s most important in life, which has made me far happier than I’d be otherwise.
It’s helped me stay spiritually strong, get married and start a family, start two companies and grow my income, run a marathon, and much more.
Give it a try and I’m willing to bet that you’ll start to see some amazing things happening in your life too.