How to Set and Achieve any Goal you Have in Life – with the Goal Pyramid

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Team Rob N. Zweerman

Rob Zweerman is a rising entrepreneur from the Netherlands. He’s a speaker, business coach, and digital marketing consultant. He specializes in helping people and corporations position their brands by using the power of the internet to build strong relationships with present, past, and potential customers.


Hey, everyone. Robert Zweerman here. Today I wanted to get this video out to you talking about goal setting. It has been a while since my last publication. I certainly haven’t been as consistent as I wanted to be here on YouTube and on my blogs. Therefore now I think today is a great time for a new video about goal setting because we are in January 2020.

Welcome to a new decade, guys! January is usually the time when people are setting new year’s resolutions, where entrepreneurs, for those of you who are in business, are re-evaluating their goals, setting themselves up for success. Most people are pumped in January. The holidays are over. It’s time to get back in the game, right?

What We Are Going to Cover:

So this is the question I’m being asked over and over again by my team and by my students, how do you set effective goals that are achievable? I’ve experimented with this a lot. And it came down for me to a very simple framework that I currently apply to our teams and whenever we set internal goals for the business and for my students when we work on their business and we set specific and measurable targets for them to achieve so we can work on the results. It comes down to one simple framework that I call the goal pyramid. 

I’ve drawn it out on the board here. And I know my drawings are probably not the best. So I want you guys to just go along with it, consider this a goal pyramid with a top and a bottom, and the action steps in between. Very simple but highly effective. And I’m going to jump in this shortly. But let me start off by saying I believe that no person should set more than 3 goals. I will repeat that. 3 goals at a time. The reason for this is that I see constantly, over and over and over again, that people come up with this list of 8 to 10 goals, because they’re in this creative process, and they have all these ambitions and dreams and things that maybe they didn’t accomplish in the years before, so they think they will just throw that in there. So that adds up to a list of 8 to 10 goals.

The problem with that is that time is passing so quickly and a lot of these goals are probably not the ultimate goal, it might be a goal that is part of a larger goal. Another problem with that is that most of these goals are not realistic. This is human nature. The more we add to our plate the more overwhelmed we become and the more we tend to give up. Right? So I have experienced this myself and over the years, I was able to perfect it.

So I’m going to provide the framework from my perspective. And you’re free to apply this to the best of your ability. It is what works for me. This is what works for my teams and my students as well. So set no more than three high-level goals. 

I mentioned this early, not a smaller goal that is part of some larger outcome. No. High-level goals. And once you accomplished those three high-level goals, obviously, feel free to add another goal or a couple of goals to that. But start off with three. Why? Because it is measurable. It is achievable. You have to make sure that goals are formulated realistically. And they should be time-bound. Another part of motivation, we need to feel motivated. We need to be able to work towards the rewards, to feel some sort of internal satisfaction in order to stay on the path, right? Life is already as complicated as it gets. So we don’t want to be distracted along the way. So that’s why I focus on three high-level goals.

From The Top Down – Reverse Engineer Your Goals:

Write them down here at the top. I call it “high-level goal” here at the top in the goal pyramid. And what we’re going to do with this framework is we’re going to reverse engineer that guy. It’s so effective because the next follow up question that you should be asking yourself, “What do I need to do? What actions steps do I need to take in order to accomplish my high-level goal?” And that’s exactly how this framework is designed to do. It’s you start with your high-level goal.

And for this example, let’s use a financial example. I think in January, the holidays are behind us. Those are expensive times. And everybody is probably pumped to get back into the game, whether you’re in business or you’re currently employed, working for a company or your freelancer, right? Everybody can use some extra money in your pocket. And if you haven’t achieved it already, I think that 10K monthly income is very realistic. It’s something that everybody can achieve. Whether you are in a company or you’re starting your company or you’re already in business. So let’s run with that number. Imagine writing down 10K here in the top. 10K is your high-level monthly goal. 

Now, the next question is what do you need to do next? How are we going to break this down? So this is where the first step of the goal pyramid comes into play.  I call this right here the small milestones. What small milestones do I need to achieve that will lead up to my next set of milestones, which are called the medium milestones, and ultimately, the larger milestones? And if all of these are accomplished, that will help you achieve that 10K monthly income? I hope you follow me until this point. I hope that makes sense. So let me give you a couple of examples…

Small Milestones Go At The Bottom 

Here at the bottom, this is where we talk about how we get from where are you currently at, whether you’re making two, three, or four thousand dollars per month, it doesn’t matter. Where you’re at today, what actions you need to take that will lead up to the next row, which is called the medium milestones. 

So here are a couple of examples. You could consider paying off your debt. So if you have a bunch of credit cards, if you have loans, if you have payments to make, you know that you’re accruing interest, right? So you probably want to take a financial deep dive and see with the current income that you have, how can you save some money by paying debts because besides the principal loan amount, you are paying interest on top. I hope everybody understands that, right? But otherwise that will be a topic for another video. But for now, pay off some of the depth so ultimately, that cash flow becomes available and can go towards your monthly income. Paying off debt could be added as a small milestone that will contribute towards you high-level goal. 

Another item that you could consider adding is investing in learning new skills. For a lot of people, education stops when they finish high school or college. But I believe that education is an ongoing process. And it goes on until the day you die. We always want to be curious and want to be learning new things because the world is changing so rapidly. We’re in 2020, right? Everybody can probably remember a decade ago. Just think about how technology has evolved over time how a lot of jobs are changing. So, as a human being, you have to evolve. You have to follow along with the trends and see what is happening around you. You cannot be stuck. You cannot be the same person in 2020 and expect different results. So learning some new skills is probably the greatest investment that you can make in yourself. So you could put that on the board, Learn new skills in 2020. 

Another thing that’s you could add is to create additional income streams. If you’re currently having an income, a salary, for example, if you’re working for a boss, a company, you’re getting a fixed salary. You’re trading time for dollars. Or maybe you’re an entrepreneur. Maybe you offer a service or products and in exchange, you get money back. So you could consider creating additional products or services that create or produce other income streams. So expanding your income stream will add more money to your monthly income. So that could be another milestone that you have here at the bottom. Finally, investing in networking is another big one. A lot of people they actually say, “I’m not such a social person. “I’m not really a networker”. All of that may be true, but the truth is business and creation happens through collaboration, right? The more you exchange, the more you produce, right? Does that make sense? The more you exchange, the more you produce. So invest in your network. And you’ve probably all heard this expression; your network is your net worth.

This is totally true. It happened for me. The moment I realized that I need to be among influential people. I need to invest in my network to see where I can add value, the more it open doors for me, and the more you exchange, the more you exchange value, the more that reciprocates, the more of that value comes back. And that value can be in the form of money. So invest in your network, invest in people, be among a lot of relationships and exchange value. So all of that goes into the bottom row. Now, when you filled this out, you have a couple of pointers to go into detail. 

Next, You Design Medium Milestones 

So the next row, the medium milestones are really meant to be more specific. That’s why they’re called medium milestones. Those are some of the larger actions that you have to take that will lead up to the large milestones. So let’s say, learning new skills. We talked about this earlier, right? I’m a big believer in education and personal development on an on-going basis. You should always be innovating to become the best version of yourself. So invest in new skills. Nowadays, there are many great online courses available. There’s tremendous value online. And you don’t even have to go somewhere physically. You could invest in a course and then take the course online in your own time, behind your computer, and learn new skills. So that could be on the board. 

You could think to yourself – I will teach myself new skills that will add more value to either my company or the clients that I serve, or the people that I meet. Another way is, for example, we talked about creating additional income streams, right? So what could you do? Let’s say if you’re in a job right now, and you work from nine to five or whatever the hours may be, you could consider adding additional value in the evening, so let’s say, “I have one fixed income right now. I’m trading my time for dollars. So how do I expand my means and income? I could decide to start teaching at night, if there’s something I’m passionate about or if there’s something I’m knowledgeable about, then I could go and teach that in the evening in exchange for additional dollars. 

So those are just some examples that you’re completely free to brainstorm and to make up your own. I think you get the point. This goes onto the medium milestones.

What Larger Milestones Can Seriously Move the Needle?

Now, moving on to the larger milestones. The larger milestones are really the one that can make the difference. And usually the larger milestones, they’re also the ones that requires more effort, discipline and time. So just to give you a comparison, if there’s a car that is parked, and I’m asking you to move this car just with your hands, without any help, at the beginning, it will feel like you won’t be able to move it. It feels like concrete, a block of concrete. This car is unable to move. But if I help you put this car in motion, and I help you push it. And at one point, the car starts rolling slowly, and now you start accelerating your pace, and you see that this car’s moving faster and faster. That’s called momentum. That’s called momentum. 

So now that you’re in this upwards momentum, that’s really how your goals work too. First, you decide on your small action steps, then you accomplish your medium action steps. And now you have momentum on your side. And that’s the time where you accomplish these larger milestones, which usually make up 80% of the result. You have momentum on your side. Now it’s time to nail these larger milestones because the end result of those actions will lead up to the 10K income, right?

And here at the larger milestones, you definitely want to be specific. So for example, we talked about increasing your source of income. It’s always a good idea if you have only one source of income to get a second and a third income stream. Of course, you need to plan them. You would want to talk to people, be creative, see whatever you can do, additionally, to increase that income. One way if you ever wanted to write a book, guess what? A book offers value, right? If you put all your efforts into that book, and you know that with your knowledge and your experience you can help a lot of people, then writing a book becomes value. It’s an asset. You can actually sell that book and exchange value with the market. So you sell that book in exchange for dollars because with that value and that knowledge that you packed inside that book, you can actually help other people achieve the same.

So writing a book is a big step. But that’s why it’s considered larger milestones. It will require you more time, more effort, more input. But the results are also so much greater. Write a book. Sell the book. Supplement your income. They all contribute to that 10K monthly income goal that you’ve set in the beginning.

Now, another thing. Let’s say if you’re a business or work as a freelancer, you want to invest in your network. So what does that mean, invest in your network? You could attend more network communities, meet-ups. There are so many platforms nowadays where you can get in the room with like-minded people or potential prospects for your business. So one of the larger milestones could be, as of January 2020, you need to close on additional clients per month.

If you currently have one client and it’s not enough to hit the 10K mark, consider throwing yourself out there and start networking, attending meet-ups, etc… Make sure you are specific when you formulate your milestones. 

How many meet-ups should you attend? How many times per week? How many follow-ups? How many business cards do you collect? That’s all very, very specific and measurable. Consider your larger milestones could say “closing additional two clients per month from those meet-ups, from those network initiatives because it will contribute to the 10K monthly income”.

Finally, Small, Medium, and Large Milestones Help You Achieve your High-Level Goal

That kind of concludes the breakdown of the goal pyramid. And every milestone, you always want to date it. Put a date on it. Because a plan without a timeline is still considered a dream. And a dream is a great thing to have. You should be able to dream big and create a vision for it. But if you don’t make that measurable and specific and put it a deadline behind it, then it’s still a dream. So make sure you date these and hold yourself accountable. Hold yourself accountable to those dates.

You will have to create a system for yourself. Rewards and punishments. Or, let’s replace that word, punishment, call it a consequence. Rewards and consequences. What do you reward yourself with, what do you do for yourself if you manage to accomplish these goals by the said deadline date. What is your reward? 

Or on the opposite side, what is the consequence for not hitting your milestone? We all thrive on reward and consequences. Therefore you need to be held accountable for your own actions. So what is the consequence by not achieving this goal? Because now you’re jeopardizing the rest of your year because everything is connected. Remember momentum that we talked about earlier? Now, look at your milestones all combined, look at all the smaller actions you will take which leads you to accomplishing your 10K high-level goal here at the top of the pyramid. Does that make sense?

A final tip. If you think you are not disciplined enough to hold yourself accountable to following-through, if you think you won’t be able to honor your own deadlines, get an accountability partner. Whether you’re in business and you have a partner, simply propose the idea to them to hold you accountable. Present your plan, present your vision and your goal pyramid to an accountability partner and ask him or her to hold you accountable for those milestones. Having accountability in place and honoring the agreements that you have written down inside this framework, you will be able to nail these goals, one by one.

The Wrap-Up

Here’s the wrap-up of today’s video. First, only plan three goals only to get started. Use this framework to break down these three high-level goals. And I promise you, in 2020, your business and your life will change if you learn how to honor these agreements with yourself. And if not, seek some outside help. Get an accountability partner and present them this concept. Because this is the way forward and this will give you purpose. Allow your goals to pull you forward in 2020.

So that’s all for now, guys. I wish you the best of luck, lots of success and prosperity. I’m excited. So it’s time to get back to work right now. So leave me any suggestions, questions or comments in the comment section below and I will answer these personally. Thank you for watching and I will see you in the next video!

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