You Got This: Goal Setting For the 2020s

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There are few spaces scarier to occupy than one of regret.

You’ve been there. The amazing girl or guy you wished you approached. The raise you should have negotiated with your boss. The extra “I love you” that was never uttered to a person you adored. The New Year kicked off with unexpected calamity and catastrophe. From the seemingly never-ending fires in Australia to the tragic death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, we’ve been surrounded with constant reminders of the importance of maximizing the time we have—or as Bryant would famously say, adopting the “Mamba Mentality” to lean into our best selves. What else will you miss?

READ MORE: What Kobe Bryant’s death teaches us about living emotionally richer lives

While there are many things that are out of our control, goal setting, fortunately, isn’t one of them. As we roll through 2020 it’s fine to conceptualize what you want for the year, but thinking bigger, like where do you want to be in 2030, is the true game-changer. Maybe January didn’t work out quite as planned. Need a do-over? Let’s set some goals for the decade! 

Setting a combination of short and long term goals not only helps you become laser-focused, but it also combats the fear, apathy, and indifference that accompanies the sadness many folks experience when dealing with large scale traumatic events that have been out of our control. A plan that targets where and how you want to move over the next decade will make you feel empowered, optimistic, and purpose-driven.  Oh yeah, it will also help you get things done.

Many people have ideas about what they want to achieve or how they want to live, but organizing a blueprint with action steps, milestones and strategy will separate the dreamers from the achievers. Ready to win? Here’s how you create goals that will make the 2020s your best decade.

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Be Courageously Honest About Your Desires.  Big goal setting isn’t the time to think small. You’re planning ahead so time is your ally. Make a list of the big things you want to accomplish, and be super specific. Now, this doesn’t mean list that you want to become a doctor if science isn’t your thing. Instead, think about your strengths and/or ideas that you know to be true to you—the things you think about late at night or early in the am—and rack them up.


Think About All Facets of Life. Your goals should hit all sectors of your life that have value. Where do you want to be financially? What do you want your familial life to look like? Where do you want to be in your spiritual journey? What about mental and physical health? How’s the love life looking? Considering all of these factors helps paint of better picture of what, when and how you need to hustle.  It will also help you pace your choices and milestones. Remember, the goal isn’t just success, it’s happiness and that’s a 360 game.


Go Big, Then Small. Once you identify your larger objectives it’s time to chisel them down, first by 3-5 year milestones, next yearly, and finally quarterly.  Your smaller objectives should tally up to hit your yearly then 3-5 year milestones. All goals won’t require the same treatment. Some goals may require shorter execution timelines, but all should have timed, outlined steps for success.  For example, if you want to have a business that nets $250k annually by 2030, what are the steps you need to take quarterly and annually to get there? Don’t forget to include the soft skills goals, such as networking, wardrobe updates, etc. that impact success.


Make It Sexy. Making a list (this should be tiered and detailed) is a standard prerequisite for success, but what else will help keep you motivated and inspired to take action when things are challenging? A sketch of you living your goal-centered life? A framed 2030 vision board? A poster that reminds you of your desires? Do whatever it takes to help visualize and push for your happy.


Accountability is a Thing. The right tribe is a big key to success. Find a space, or spaces, where you can connect with people who have similar and/or bigger goals that are being actualized and become an invaluable addition. Determine who and how you will hold yourself accountable for missing smaller milestones to ensure you stay on track. Learn from challenges (yours and those around you) and celebrate your wins.

S. Tia Brown is a journalist and licensed therapist. Follow her on IG @tiabrowntalks.