5 Simple Ways to Make Your Goals Unforgettable

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The right goal, consistently worked on, will change your life. If you know how to set goals and stick to them, you can be, do, and have anything you can imagine. The trouble is, sometimes it’s hard to remember your goals. Today, I’m going to show you some of the best ways to not forget about your goals.

Here are 5 easy ways you can make your goals unforgettable:

  • Make them exciting
  • Set less but better goals
  • Write your goals down where you’ll see them every day
  • Track them
  • Work on your goals every day

I’ve been using each of these myself as part of my goal-setting journey for the last 15 years and I know that each of them work. Not only that, but they also make the goal-setting process more enjoyable and each one will significantly boost your ability to stick to your goals and change your life. 

I can’t want to get into these with you, but first, let’s talk about why you might forget your goals.

Why You Forget Your Goals

You forget your goals because you aren’t committed to them. And you aren’t committed to them because you don’t know how to make them exciting, prioritized, simple, clear, written, tracked, or personal. You set the goals that society says you should have instead of what actually lights you up inside.

Say you set a goal like “run 3x per week.” If you hate running, it’ll never stick. You’ll forget about your goal because it’s not something you want but what you think you should want. Or what you need to do to get to where you want.

You mistakenly think that running=healthy, when there are a lot of other options for reaching your health goals. There are ways to lose weight that are actually fun.

This works for every area of life, whether it’s relationships, finances, spirituality, or health. Find what you have in common with the people you want to get closer to, focus on what you’re good at to be successful at work, and meditate or pray in the way that works for you.

Regardless of how fun you make your goals or how well you do all of these other tips, at some point working on your goals gets boring. Routines and habits are the keys to greatness, but people most often quit because these get monotonous.

This quote sums up what I mean:

“We are kept from our goal not by obstacles but by a clear path to a lesser goal.” ― Robert Brault

This is true not just for lesser goals but for new goals as well. You get stuck in the boring middle part of a goal when another, more enticing one comes into your mind. It’s easy to forget your initial goal because you’re lured by the novelty of a different one.

You are kept from your current goal not by obstacles but by a clear path to a newer, more exciting goal.

But you progress faster when you focus on continuing the goals you already have momentum on. Whether it’s weight loss, a blog, or a new business, you’ll get where you want faster if you stay the course, even when it gets tough. 

As my good friend Niklas Göke once put it:

“Happiness is loving the boring days.”

The tips that follow will not only help you remember your goals but also make it so it’s easier to be happy on the boring days.

1. Make Your Action Steps Intrinsically Motivating

When people say they’ll go running 3x per week they usually want to lose weight. But running isn’t the only way to shed extra pounds. Dancing, walking, playing sports, and even intermittent fasting are all fun ways to help you get to your ideal weight. 

Any form of movement that you enjoy will be better for you because it will actually make the habit stick. If it’s something you like doing, you won’t forget about it.

This works for any area of life whether it’s relationships, finances, fitness, or spirituality. 

The principle at work here is called intrinsic motivation, and it’s when you enjoy something without any external, or extrinsic reward. It’s dancing because you like dancing. Or reading because you have fun doing it. 

Nothing is purely intrinsically or extrinsically motivated, we always get external benefits even from the things we enjoy doing. 

But by finding what you like to do just because you enjoy it, you make it easier to remember your goals.

“When doing what we most love transforms us into the best possible version of ourselves and that version hints at even greater future possibilities, the urge to explore those possibilities becomes feverish compulsion. Intrinsic motivation goes through the roof. Thus flow becomes an alternative path to mastery, sans the misery.” — Steven Kotler

2. Set Less but Better Goals

“Good design is as little as possible. Less, but better, because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.” ― Dieter Rams

In marketing, there are three core markets that every business serves:

  • Health
  • Wealth
  • Relationships

These work because they’re also the three major desires that we all have. Think about it and this is true for each one of your goals, almost.

There’s a fourth desire and core market that often gets overlooked but is actually the most powerful. It’s the desire we have for spirituality and faith.

It’s the desire to believe that good things are coming, whether it be by God or some other force. The power of manifestation, visualization, and hope comes from working on our thinking and believing patterns.

This is where we get the 4 pillars of a happy life, which are the areas in which you can set your goals:

  • Faith
  • Family
  • Finances
  • Fitness

If you set just one highly-targeted goal in each of these areas, you would be happy and successful. I know because I’ve been doing it myself for over 15 years. The reason it works is that each one lifts all the others higher.

When they work together they put you into an upward spiral that makes you unstoppable.

Your goals will be easier to remember if you focus on a single goal in each of these areas of life. And that will get even better if you hone in on the one thing in each area that will make the biggest impact. 

Use this question to guide you:

“What’s the One Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” — Gary Keller, The ONE Thing

3. Write Your Goals Down

A 2010 review of previous scientific research identified that students are much better at achieving learning goals if they are taught how to take effective notes.

One of the studies before everybody had laptops showed that college students who took hand-written notes retained knowledge better and performed better on exams than those who simply reviewed the material.

If you write things down, you’re more likely to remember them, especially if you write them by hand. 

So if you write your goals down, you’re going to improve your chances of remembering them. This goes hand in hand with our next tip, which will make it easier to find ways to write your goals down.

“Write it down. Written goals have a way of transforming wishes into wants; cant’s into cans; dreams into plans; and plans into reality. Don’t just think it – ink it!” — Michael Korda

4. Track Your Goals

Every Sunday I have a weekly review of my progress. I ask myself questions about how I did and what I want to improve on and write out the answers on a Google Sheets spreadsheet. 

This simple habit helps me remember my goals more than anything else I’ve recommended. It’s especially useful because it lets me decide if I need to adjust a goal, either the action steps or outcomes, to be more exciting or effective. 

It works not only because it reminds me of my goals, but also because it helps me adjust my goals to constantly make them more memorable.

To track your goals, you must review your progress daily and weekly. Set aside a time for this and do it at the same time every day and week to make it a habit. Five minutes a day and 20 minutes per week will do. And set a reminder on your phone so you don’t forget!

You need to use a goal-tracking method that works for you. If it’s not attuned to your personality, it won’t stick and you’ll just keep forgetting about your goals. 

I love using a spreadsheet to track my goals. It lets me have freedom in how I set them up and in what I track. I can include formulas to calculate what percentage of my goals I met each day and week. And it’s the perfect place to keep all of my weekly review questions. 

You can see a copy of the spreadsheet I created here and if you want to use it yourself, simply click on “File” then “Make a copy.”

Another option if you don’t love spreadsheets is goal or habit-tracking apps. The reminders these can give you are extremely helpful, especially if you’re having trouble remembering your goals! I like that they keep you committed to working on your goals daily. 

What I don’t love about apps is that they tend to focus only on the shallower parts of goal-setting, like the action steps. They don’t have a way for you to account for outcomes and your long-term vision for changing your life and becoming your best self.

You can also use a physical journal to track your goals. These take advantage of the enhanced memory retention that comes from writing things down by hand. A journal is also a nice way to have a physical reminder of your goals. You can put it somewhere you’ll see regularly so you don’t forget to write about your progress.

The downside of journals, though, is that you have to follow the author’s goal-setting process. They don’t leave you much room for creativity in tracking your goals. But that might be a good thing if you don’t want to set up your own system or aren’t sure how.

“Write your goals down in detail and read your list of goals every day. Some goals may entail a list of shorter goals. Losing a lot of weight, for example, should include mini-goals, such as 10-pound milestones. This will keep your subconscious mind focused on what you want step by step.” — Jack Canfield

5. Work on Your Goals Every Day

In Charles Duhigg’s book The Power of Habit, he begins by telling the story of a woman who went from being an unhappy, relationship-troubled, smoker to running marathons, getting promoted at work, and traveling the world. How did she do it?

All it took was one change, a single daily action. A “keystone habit” as Duhigg puts it, which he describes as “small changes or habits that people introduce into their routines that unintentionally carry over into other aspects of their lives.” For this woman, it was exercise, but it can be different for everybody.

The greatest force in the world is consistent actions over time. And it has to be the same actions to have powerful results. 

Think of how rivers carve gigantic valleys between mountains from staying their course for thousands of years. Or how tree roots can push up massive concrete sidewalks from years of slow growth in the right direction. 

If you want to remember your goals and reach them, you need to work on them every day. If you have a habit of tracking your goals and writing them down, and if they’re exciting, then this step should be easy. 

When you commit to your goals every day, even if it’s just for 15 minutes at a time, you solidify the habit of excellence. It’s okay to start small and even stay small because consistency matters more than intensity. 

One of the best ways to do this is by taking a personal growth challenge. To make one, simply commit to one high-impact action in each of the areas of life every day for 12 weeks (84 days) straight. 

I’m working on one right now and I’ve finally gotten out of the rut that the pandemic and craziness of 2020 got me into. I’ve been consistent at waking up early, exercising, writing, working on my spirituality, and spending time with my family for over three weeks so far, and it’s been life-changing.

I know that if I keep going then it will be like that little stream that cuts deep valleys over time. 

Small, consistent actions keep your goals front and center in your mind and make it nearly impossible that you’ll forget them.

“Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.” ― E. James Rohn

All You Need to Know to Remember Your Goals

If you remember your goals, you’ll stick to them and they’ll change your life. Here are the best five ways that I’ve found to remember your goals:

  1. Make them intrinsically motivating
  2. Set less but better goals
  3. Write your goals down where you’ll see them every day
  4. Track them
  5. Work on your goals every day