Goal Setting 101: 5 Characteristics of a Perfect Goal

Rik Nauta
My name is Rik Nauta and I’m studying a Master in Science in Engineering Physics. I’m originally Dutch but I live, study and work in Sweden. I love photography and filming, you can find some of my work on rxminus.com.

Goalsetting… and achieving with Todoist

Most people spend more time planning their vacation than they do planning their life. One of the greatest skills you can learn is taking control of your inherent dispersed attention and focusing on what’s truly important. Through the process of goal-setting we can start to take control of our lives and direct it to what we want it to be instead of bargaining for what life offers us.

I’m going to show you how Todoist works together with some life changing methods and how to use Todoist’s amazing tools to multiply the effect of these principles. Combining them into an everyday lifestyle will skyrocket your productivity, so read on!

Goal-setting 101

I want to start by giving a short summary of the principles this article is based upon. I’ll leave the task of explaining the details of these methods to two amazing books, “Think & Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill and “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Cophey. Seriously, read them!

Let me ask you a question, how do you set your goals? A couple of times a year, or maybe a couple of days a month you think “I would like to be rich someday!”, or “I want to travel the world”. Sadly, these are mere vaguely described wishes and don’t provide any power for your mind and soul to actually achieve them. For a goal to be effective it must have the following characteristics:

  1. It must be written down
  2. It must be in first person, present, positive
  3. It must be specific
  4. It must be measurable
  5. It must be at the top of you conscience

Does it seem a bit excessive? Read the two books and you’ll understand why these characteristics are so important. They are what turns a mere dream into an achievement! So here’s what our actual goals look like, can you spot the difference?

“On December 31st 2014 I have $100.000 dollars saved”


“In July 2014 I return after having travelled to 15 different countries in Asia, Europe and South-America”

Todoist, meet my goals

So how does Todoist help me with this process, every single day? First of all Todoist allows me to quickly capture my desires and dreams as they flash into my mind during the day. I always have my phone with me, which means I always have Todoist with me! Adding a new task is such a quick process, and I simply assign a “dream” label to all of the new goals so I can find them later during the day when I have time to work out the details.

Once I have time, which usually is 15 minutes before I go to sleep I fire up Todoist on my laptop. I then turn all new dreams into Todoist projects, written down in the way that I showed you earlier. I also add the first task to the project…the “do celebration dance” task at the specified completion date.

Now, the power of organizing this way is that I can get a quick list of all of my projects anytime, anywhere and read through them to remind me what I’m aiming for. By keeping these goals at the top of my conscience, ideas will start flashing into my mind how I can achieve them.

Whenever this happens I quickly fire up Todoist and jot down a new task in the appropriate project. Later I can go back and assign subtasks and more specific dates or notes. Todoist is so quick to use and it makes the whole process feel as natural as quickly writing something down on a piece of paper…with the added benefit of cloud sync of course! For instance: I made a recurring saving task, “set aside $100 each Monday”, which simply required me to set the due date for the task to ‘every week starting monday’ and Todoist does the rest! Quick, easy, done!

Now, another unique tool that Todoist offers is karma. It’s so simple yet so persuasive! It’s one thing to have your goals correctly written down and in your attention, it’s another to actually do them. Somehow karma always seems to give me that little extra push to break through the barriers of procrastination and laziness and get those extra points to get me past the 2000 mark. This is something you don’t get when you use the goal setting principles with other software or a piece of paper.

Lastly Todoist not only helps me achieve my goals, it enables me to quickly keep track of my process. Goals need to be measurable so that if we are slacking behind we can quickly accept the fact and step up our game, and if we’re on schedule we get a feeling-awesome-moment.

So there you have it, Todoist is an amazing and quick app that functions brilliantly to help me achieve success in my life I only dreamt about a couple of years ago. I hope my little behind the scenes look gave you some inspiration on how you can use Todoist to start building your future!

Want to organize your tasks with the best task management app and online to-do list? Todoist can help you on 10+ platforms! Get Started - It’s Free or Learn More.

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