How to effectively set your goals?

For many years, I behaved like a parabola. The mechanism was simple: 1. I realized I needed a change in my life. 2. I set a dozen New Year’s resolutions. 3. I started working on all of them. 4. After a few days, something always went wrong. 5. I gave up on my resolutions and felt hopeless.

Most people want to change something in their lives. They have bursts of motivation but lack consistency. It’s pleasant to set, plan, announce goals to friends, and even start working on them. However, they quickly realize that the desired end result is delayed, and small daily steps become boring. That’s when they give up.

The result is achieved through small actions repeated every day

It took me many years to understand that nothing happens overnight. I observed the launch of a new iPhone and realized the immense effort Apple employees put into preparing the device. However, I forgot that hundreds of people were working on successive generations of such devices many years earlier. Or I saw fit people on Instagram, then worked out and didn’t feel as strong as they were. I forgot that they were once in the same place but didn’t give up, and over time, their results improved.

How to effectively set your goals?

Everything changed when I discovered Mirek Burnejko and his approach to goal setting – the Three Levels method.

It involves setting a main goal with an expected completion date, then breaking it down into 3 smaller levels – each with its own deadline.

  • Level 1 is about 30% of the main goal.
  • Level 2 is 50% of the main goal.
  • Level 3 is 100% of the main goal.

This method includes a reward system for achieving each level. A bottle of wine, a restaurant dinner, a trip – you choose. Set rewards in advance. Create a separate budget for them. Never forget about them.


Main goal: Reach 1000 followers on Instagram
Completion date: 2025
Level 1: Reach 300 followers on InstagramLevel 2: Reach 500 followers on InstagramLevel 3: Reach 1000 followers on Instagram

We start working on the first level, which is reaching 300 followers by the end of 2023. Excluding August, we have 4 months for this, which gives us 75 followers per month, or about 3 followers per day. By consistently working on this goal every day, by 2025, I’ll likely reach the 1000 followers level on Instagram.

It’s important to work on goals every day. If you forget that you need to gain 3 followers every day, the entire plan will be delayed and the goal won’t be achieved.

We break the main goal into 3 levels. Each level is broken down into monthly, weekly, and daily goals. Set aside time at the end of each day, week, and month to analyze your progress. It’s challenging but very effective.

If you want to see more examples of goals set this way, the method’s author has publicly listed goals on their website: (in Polish language). It’s a great source of motivation!

Levels – my iOS app for setting goals using the Three Levels method

Similar to keeping a journal, I also created my app for setting goals that suits my needs. It’s a simple app displaying a list of goals in various areas of life:

  • spirituality,
  • health,
  • work and finances,
  • social life,
  • personal development,
  • relaxation, hobbies, and free time,
  • family,
  • possessions.

Upon entering each goal, a brief description and levels with expected completion dates are displayed. After completing a level, you can “check it off,” and the progress bar for all goals in the main view is automatically updated.

There’s also a “Summary Notes” module, which allows you to add notes and photos to each goal. This functionality is used to create daily, weekly, and monthly summaries.

The app is not ready yet, so if you want to download it first – follow my social media accounts!

Plans change

In this method, you must also consider change. We change, our lives change, often things won’t go as planned. In a sample goal, I set out to gain 1000 followers on Instagram, as I currently find it important. But what if, after some time, I find it tiring and want to disconnect from social media? That’s okay, then I modify or completely remove the goal.

However, it’s valuable to stick to the principle that regardless of everything, you should achieve level 1. The point is not to confuse lack of satisfaction from achieving a goal with laziness. You reach 300 followers, then decide whether to continue with the goal or resign.

There’s nothing wrong with that. Let’s say your goal is to build a house in the countryside. As level 1, you can set that you’ll rent a house similar to the one you dream of for a month, to test your goal (we often think something is our dream, but reality turns out to be different). If it turns out that this isn’t the direction you want to pursue, you simply give up the goal and be thankful you didn’t invest your life savings in building a house in the countryside. You gained new experience, so achieving level 1 was entirely justified.

Remember, it’s the journey that matters. The value isn’t only in reaching the goal but also in the journey leading to it. Focus on the journey as a source of joy and personal growth, not just on reaching the goal.Liked this article? Be the first to know about upcoming publications! Follow me on Instagram and on X.