Life Planning Part 3

Life planning and goal setting are a key part to becoming successful. In this post I show you the third part of my way of setting goals and how you can do the same

Welcome to Life Planning Part 3. This will be the second in a series of posts on goal setting, ambition and achieving your potential (or higher purpose as I think of it). There will be a lot of information to process which is why I have broken it up into Life Planning Part 1, 2 and 3. If you are yet to read Life Planning Part 1, Life Planning Part 2 I suggest you click the link and read it before this step.

What, Check, Why, Check, Then How?

In a business you have a mission statement (basically why it exist), its aims (long term thoughts on direction) and its objectives (short term achievable goals).

Your vision from part 2 is equivalent to the aims of a business.

From your vision, we must extract shorter term objectives, which when summed up, will direct you to your vision. Simple right?

We will use a method successful people use to set goals called back from the future thinking.

Back from the future thinking

So imagine you have achieved you perfect life.

What have you done to get there?

Take this question and right down the answer for each part of your life (think health, wealth, relationships and higher purpose). See the example below for help with this…


Say in your vision you are super fit and can run marathons with ease.

How do you do this? Write the answer as though you are telling someone in the future…

“I go running everyday for 5 miles to keep my self in shape.”

Now bring it back from the future, imagine telling somewhere how you got to that point… In my head that goes something like this…

“I remember starting out and only being able to run for 10 mins, but I made a promise to myself that I would keep at it, and each time the distance got further and further, until today where I love running marathons”


The back from the future thinking, will have shown you the path to your vision.

Now your challenge is converting that into goals.


Another idea from the business world to help you set goals is SMART. It stands for:

Specific – The more detailed the goal the better. As the more you will have to think about why you can’t live without it, the more compelling your reason for achieving the goal will be

Measurable – Put numbers on it!! This will help keep you in line and you will then be able to check on your progress.

Action-oriented – Make it action oriented, this will create “forward momentum”. If the goal is very passive and you don’t have to do much, one you’re being under ambitious, two you will not achieve it because you will not find the drive to want to achieve it.

Relevant – The goal is helping you to achieve your vision…

Time-specific – Putting a deadline in will force you to do this and not constantly put it off

Easy in theory…

Setting SMART goals is difficult. Here are some tips to make sure you do… Read the example afterwards to see how I have done…


Go back to your vision, describe it clearly, and then your why, think of why you love having this, and put this into the goal


Instead of saying “I want to exercise more” say I will go to the gym 4 times a week at least. You have something then to measure against.


Again taking the exercise more example, using go implies and action, try and incorporate this into all of your goals.


Take your vision and back from the future thinking. This will show you if your goal is indeed relevant.


I set goals in different time scales depending what I think is achievable.

My times are 30 days, 90 days, 1 year, 5 years and 10 years +. You can have anything to be honest as long as you have a time scale.

Lets go back to our example

Say in your vision you are super fit and can run marathons with ease.

“I remember starting out and only being able to run for 10 mins, but I made a promise to myself that I would keep at it, and each time the distance got further and further, until today where I love running marathons”

Therefore your 30 day goal would be:

I will run twice a week for at least 1 hour, using a 10 minute run, 5 minute walk system, to improve my fitness so I can play with my children and not feel exhausted or have to rest.

This is (in my humble opinion) a very compelling goal.

Your 1 year goal could then be:

By December 31st 2015, I run three times a week for at least 1 hour. This will improve my fitness so I can run for charities that have good cause.

Check out this site for more:


One penultimate tip

Write your goals with compelling words and make them present tense like you have already achieved them.

Take the above goal add this last thing and you get:

By December 31st 2015, I easily run three times a week for at least 1 hour. My fitness has improved greatly and this allows me to be charitable and run marathons for good causes.

One ultimate tip – This makes all the difference

You must write these goals somewhere where you will see them everyday…

I have a whiteboard in my room and shortened versions of my goals are there. This will keep them in your mind at all times.

That’s it!

You should now be able to say with absolute certainty you know what you want… Don’t worry this can change, but its a start.

More Info

If you would like to know or have a question more please email me at

Or drop a comment below any post and I will get back to you asap

Your friend,


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26 Replies to “Life Planning Part 3”

    • Greg Post author

      Thanks very much, I find it hard to get everything out that i want to say on topics like goal setting and stuff because there is just so much you can do. I try and draw out the key bits and condense it as best I can. I will keep at it 🙂 Greg

  1. Jeremy

    Hey Greg. These are some great tips for setting goals. I really like the idea of putting your goal list somewhere you can see it every day. I’m always setting goals, but never take the time to write them down anywhere. Thanks for sharing. ~Jeremy

    • Greg Post author

      Some people sit down everyday and write out their goals on a piece of paper, this may also help you keep focus. As long as you are constantly reminded of them, thats the key.

  2. Scott

    Hello Greg,

    I guess you could say that I know where I want to go…
    but have never sit down and planned it out ” from the future” I will be trying this soon!

    Thanks for a great idea

    • Greg Post author

      It will make a lot of difference having clear concise goals. I will do a big planning and monitoring session once per month to keep me on track. Greg

  3. Sandi

    I really like your back from the future idea, I think it’s an excellent way to paint a compelling picture of what achieving your goals looks and feels like. I can feel a post about this subject forming. Do you mind if I quote your article?

  4. Sarah

    So, what about contingency plans? We may be able to plan our life and goals best we can, but how do you suggest we overcome things that aren’t planned that can throw our goals into chaos?

    • Greg Post author

      I suppose you will have to be somewhat dynamic and hope for the best. I would suggest doing a life plan anyway and then adapting to the challenges that come up.

      I say this because you can’t predict the future and whats going to happen, thats outside your control. What you can control is your reaction to life’s challenges. If you have built up a good positive momentum in your life through achieving goals and create the perfect life, then you will be more emotionally steady for when circumstances come along that test your mental strength.

      This is the best advice I can give at the moment, hope it helps. I will be sure to read around this subject and come back with an in depth post later in the year.


  5. Ramzi

    I, too am in the process of improving my life. Day-to-day, little steps really add up. These are some great mental maps to help me on my journey. keep up the good content, will bookmark your site.

  6. Margot

    Greg, you’ve posted some great advice here. I use a whiteboard myself also and found it has come in very handy. Certainly much better than the seat of my pants planning I used to do. Thanks for some great inspiration!

  7. Marie

    Thanks for sharing. I love “SMART”. I will be able to remember that word, and by remembering it I will remind myself to specific (I tend to be not specific enough), have measurable goals, take action, be relevant and have a time-specific to make sure the work gets done. Thank you for making it so easy for me to remember.

  8. Dan

    Great site, I like your theory on Back from the future thinking, it’s kind of like reverse engineering the life you want to figure out how to get it. It’s a neat way of thinking about it.

  9. Sylvia

    Hey Greg!
    I finished 3 parts of your life planning post, very inspiring!
    I really like the SMART idea.
    Never thought of putting numbers on goals, I think it’ll make the goals more clear and easy to achieve.
    Thanks for sharing!

  10. shannel

    I lOVE this post, Greg. what an inspiration. I may get my daughter to try this, she is doing her exams atm and i think this would be so helpful for her.

    well done keep up the good work

    • Greg Hannam

      Yeah this helped me through my exams last year because I could see the path I needed to take. I wish her the best. Greg

  11. Pingback: Life Planning Part 2 | Personal Evolution

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