How To Set Actionable Goals and Succeed

One of the main habits of successful people is that they set goals.  They not only set goals, they make those goals tangible by writing them down.  Okay, so this means that anyone can think of a goal, write it down, and they will achieve that goal.  Um, no.

Successful people not only write their goals down, but they believe in their goals with every ounce of their being.  They live nad breathe their goals.  Goals are not just words on a piece of paper to these individuals.  People who make names for themselves make plans to achieve their goals.

How does this relate to the Middle Age Money Man?  A lonely guy working a 9-to-5 and a few side hustles to achieve financial independence?  Good question.  

I want to be successful!

Like so many people, I began journaling daily and writing my goals.  These goals were for both personal and business.  I wanted to become a better a person, a better husband, a better father, a better worker.  I wanted world peace.  Oh wait, that is from when I competed in the Miss America pageant.  

I wanted to achieve financial independence.  Along with that goal, I wanted to create a website and blog that would help share my knowledge, successes, and failures with others on their path to financial independence and I wanted people to actually read what I wrote.

My List

  • Be a better friend
  • Be a better husband
  • Be a better father to my children
  • Go the extra mile and stay focused at work
  • Increase income
  • Reduce Expenses
  • Finalize Website/Blog (Monetize)
  • Create intriguing blog content

That list is okay, but….

As you can see, my list is pretty straightforward, but it is lacking some detail and motivation.  I kept looking at this list and thinking, “Yeah, that is great, but how?”.  I finally got so frustrated at looking at this same list every day that I figured out what was missing.

The Missing Piece

I realized that these were merely words on a page at this pont.  They had no substance or meaning in their current form.  They were great thoughts and I really wanted them to happen, but I really didn’t have any actionable plan to set into motion.

One night, while I was at my computer, like I always am, I decided to look at my list again.  Getting frustrated, I was about to close my laptop in disgust because I still haven’t achieved any of my goals, but stopped.  For some reason, I decided that the time had come to figure out how to make these things happen.

Get “Pumped”

I started doing some research, getting myself pumped up about each item on the list.  Figuring out it was about each item that I was passionate about.  What made me put it on my list?  Why did I want to achieve that goal?  What motivated me about that item?  The creative juices started flowing again and I felt myself really becoming emotional about my list again.  The list took on life and was no longer merely words on a page.

Develop A Plan

At that point, I began to develop a basic plan for accomplishing each item on my list.  It wasn’t detailed at this point, but it included a few bullet points with steps on how I could achieve success.  A plan that could be tweaked along the way.  I forget where I heard it, but a wise person once told me that it is better to start with something, than over think and never start anything.

Stay “Deeply Excited”

In order to become and stay “deeply excited” about my goals, I began to visit websites that would show me how to create better content, do more research on F.I.R.E. and personal finance, listen to podcast after podcast, interact nonstop on Twitter and Facebook, and just absorb as much blog knowledge as possible.  Visiting other personal finance blogs and becoming friends with the owners is invaluable.

This has become a habit that I follow every single day so that I never lose sight of my goal.  It has to stay in the front of your mind at all times.  You have to eat, sleep, and breathe it in order to achieve it.  

This can also involve writing social media posts, pinning to Pinterest, posting on Twitter, Instagram, etc.  

Set Small Goals

You could also set small, achievable goals right away to track your progress.  Let’s say you want to get 1,000 page views this month or you want to write 2 articles every week this month.  If you can achieve these goals consistently, then increase the goals, you have a steady plan in place.


The takeaway from this should be that your list of goals is more than just a list.  Your goals are things that your are deeply excited and passionate about.  That means that you need a solid plan to achieve them and you need to stay excited about them during your journey.  

You don’t need a complete plan before moving forward, the basics will do, but you need to move forward.  The only way to move forward and succeed is if you stay focused and excited about your goals.  Keep them in the forefront of your life and know that they are always fluid.


I challenge you to list your goals and a few bullet points on how you can achieve them.

What My Job Taught Me About Financial Freedom

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