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EPISODE 15 - Planning Your Future By Setting Goals

Updated: Sep 20, 2021

In this, the final episode of season 1, I’ll be talking about one of the most powerful weapons in the productivity-ists arsenal GOAL SETTING.

Before I go into that though, last week’s episode introduced 5 free productivity apps which I do encourage you to try. I chose to highlight 5 but I could probably have found 25 if I’d put my mind to it. For every great productivity app though there are 100 more that will steal your time and slow you down and distract you, and even with productivity apps you can get too much of a good thing. One of the very best productivity tips I can offer is to switch your phone off every now and again. Try and form the habit (listen to episode 13 for advice on that one) of restricting your phone use for an hour before you go to bed and an hour after you wake up. This will allow you to focus on all the things you should be doing instead of checking Facebook, or twitter, or getting lost in click bait, watching YouTube videos or opening up your work email.

The American motivational speaker Daymond John believes that “the last thing I read at night will likely manifest when I'm sleeping. You become what you think about the most.” Unquote…

So take a bit of time out to relax and enjoy life while you can, avoid the phone at night. If you banish the phone form your bedroom in fact you’ll sleep better as a result. Oh and if you use your phone as an alarm, as I often do myself, putting it in another room will give you very good reason to get out of bed sharpish the next morning.

Now with Season 2 coming up soon, I’m very interested in including your thoughts and comments within it. I’d love to hear what productivity techniques you are adopting or what matters that you are struggling with out there. You can send me your thoughts via the contact page at or by catching me on Twitter @filmproprodpod.

Book Recommendation: Your Best Year Yet! A Proven Method for Making the Next 12 Months Your Most Successful Ever.

This book has come very highly recommended. If you'd like to support the copy please purchase through one of my Amazon affiliate links :-)




Mark Twain wrote that: “To live a fulfilled life, we need to keep creating the "what is next", of our lives. Without dreams and goals there is no living, only merely existing, and that is not why we are here.” Unquote.

When I first set out to create this podcast and I know I’ve referred to it before here - but I FAILED. I would say I failed because I was unspecific and uncertain in what I wanted to do. More recently though I dusted myself down and I tried again, and I did a few things differently.


Secondly - I GAVE MYSELF A DEADLINE, and I have to say that date that you know is looming ever closer, really puts a rocket up your backside when it comes to drive.

Next - When I assessed the goal I was trying to achieve I created a tactical action plan to achieve it, and I stuck to it.

And this endeavour has not been easy at all. It’s been far more costly than I’d thought possible, the learning curve has been sharper than I’d imagined and, and it’s taken far more time too. Researching and recording a single episode doesn’t take just a few hours – it takes days… but I did it anyway.

YES - This is a vastly time-consuming thing for me, but the last main reason that I think that I have succeeded is because – well - I WANT TO - because I absolutely believe that it WILL HELP creatives, filmmakers, and other film professionals to move toward a BETTER, HAPPIER LIFE, and that in turn gives me great satisfaction.


Have you thought about what you want to be doing in five years' time?

Are you clear about what your main objective at work is at the moment?

Do you know what you want to have achieved by the end of today?

The world renowned motivational speaker and life coach Tony Robbins says that “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” –

I’ve left the topic of goal setting till now as it is such an important part of the productivity landscape that it deserves its place in the final episode of the series. Goals are essential, and whether they are large or small, daily, weekly, hourly or for life - without them we tend to meander along and settle for where we are.

With New Year just around the corner, and a whole load of productivity lessons behind us, I figured this would be the ideal time to delve into the topic.

I covered it to some extent in episode 11, THE TWELVE WEEK YEAR, but let’s look a little bit closer.

The SMART acronym which is also known as the 5 GOLDEN RULES OF GOAL SETTING is where we will begin. SMART translates to:






By SPECIFIC we of course mean that your goals must be clear and well defined. Without a precise direction to travel in, you will get lost trying to pin down your vague, unspecific and ever changing goals - and that will simply mislead you and short circuit your endeavour. By defining precisely where you want to end up, you have much more realistic chance of getting there. An example of a specific goal might be, to write a first draft of your new film by a date exactly 6 weeks from today. That goal in turn could be part of a larger specific life goal.

And your goals MUST also be MEASURABLE. Unless you are precise about each element of the goal, and include dates, potential costs etc then you will find it difficult to measure the degree of your success. If your goal is simply defined as "To lose weight" how will you know when you have been successful? Without a way to measure your success you miss out on the opportunity to celebrate your win.

The SMART acronym says that you MUST also set ATTAINABLE Goals. In Episode 13 I talked about Stephen Guises MINI HABITS. In that system he aims to ensure that the habits you set out to create are achievable as the damage caused by failure, can be very destructive to your will power – your willingness to try again. But Stephen Guise was talking about HABITS and that’s NOT what this episode is about. We are talking about GOALS – And although you can certainly aim small and achieve the little wins, the goals I encourage you to consider should make you want to "raise the bar" and aim for greatness.

I think I have probably use this Peter Drucker quote before but it’s a very important point - He said that “Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.”

I mention this as these goals MUST be RELEVANT to the direction YOU WANT YOUR LIFE AND CAREER TO TAKE. You simply cannot allow yourself to get distracted by the unimportant. You must engage your Higher Level Thinking and narrow down your focus. If you don’t you will waste your time and mental energy on the unimportant.

As Bruce Lee once said - “‎The SUCCESSFUL WARRIOR is the AVERAGE MAN, with LASER-LIKE FOCUS.”

Finally your goals must be TIME ORIENTED. So set a deadline for the specific goal: for next week, in three months, or six months. Setting an end point for the goal gives you a clear target to achieve. Remember Parkinson’s Law though - "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion". – Make your time frames realistic but don’t let them be too flabby. Push yourself a little. When you are working on a deadline, your sense of urgency increases and that gives you drive.

Put it in WRITING

I’ll follow up the SMART system by urging you to write your goals down. makes this point a follows.

“The physical act of writing down a goal makes it real and tangible. You have no excuse for forgetting about it.”

As you write, Mindtools tells you to use the word "will" instead of "would like to" or "might." For example, "I will produce the pilot episode of my next series by the 1st of February next year” not "I would like to produce the pilot episode of my next series by the 1st of February next year " The first goal statement has power and you can "see" yourself shooting that episode, the second lacks passion and gives you an excuse if you get sidetracked.”

They also suggest that you write yourself a TO-DO LIST that has your goals written at the top of it. You can do that in the TO-DOIST app I mentioned last week btw. You can create titles for each list, and they can be your goals.

I’d add to this that when you set goals for yourself, it is important that they motivate you, that they are important to you, and that there is some value to you in achieving them. If you have no interest in the outcome then the chances of you putting in the work to achieve these goals are very low.

As Elon Musk said though, “If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.”

Can I suggest too that you build in reminders to keep yourself on track, and make regular check-ins to review your goals – put them in your diary – I have them in my Google calendar app and they pop up every 6 months. Sometimes perhaps through changes in circumstance you may even alter your long term goals along the way – that’s perfectly fine – just be sure to re-define the new goals and keep on moving. Your GREATER GOAL may remain similar over the long term, but your strategic action plan to achieve it might change significantly. That’s just life. It’s OK.


I hope that this episode has been helpful because without goals you will undoubtedly lack focus and direction.

I’d now like you to consider your GREATER LIFE GOALS. These are the larger outcomes you will achieve when you dedicate YOUR TIME and YOUR THOUGHTS and YOUR PASSION to reach them.

Tony Robbins sets out three steps to setting these larger goals. You may want to re-listen to this section when you aren’t busy, and have a pen in hand.

· In Step 1 he says: Take 6 minutes and brainstorm a list of anything you’d like to achieve, create, do, have, give and/or experience in the next 20 years. Write as many things down as fast as you can in this time.

· In Step 2 he asks you to go back through your list and write 1, 3, 5, 10 or 20 years next to each goal to indicate how long it will take to achieve them. You have a minute and a half to get this done, so be quick and go with your gut.

· In Step 3 he asks you to then review your list. Choose your top four 1-year goals. These are goals that make you really excited. Write a paragraph for each goal explaining why you will absolutely achieve this goal within the next 12 months. This should take you about 15-20 minutes total.

Now, if you have the chance to share what you’ve written down with a friend, family member or other person you trust, do so. If not, just say them out loud to yourself.

Tony Robbins is at the top of his game in this field and it’s for good reason - I’ll put some links to him in the show notes.

Now achieving these goals won’t always be easy -

Booker T. Washington said that “You measure the size of the accomplishment by the obstacles you have to overcome to reach your goals.”

So things will get tough - but goal setting will allow you to navigate the correct path and provide you with a benchmark for determining whether you are actually getting there.

I’ll finish up now with the words of CS LEWIS “You are never too old to set a new goal or to dream a new dream.” Having goals is for everyone, it’s not just a game for the young.

In whatever path you take and whatever goal you set out to conquer I wish you well.


So that is now the end of series 1. I encourage you to look back over the previous episodes and see if there’s anything that you missed. This season has been kinda structured to help those that are feeling overwhelmed in their life and work, and much of it has been aimed at stemming the flow of lost time and energy. In episode 1, I introduced the concept of HIGH LEVEL THINKING, and the principle of working ON your life and career at the same time that you find yourself living and working IN it.

By now, I hope that this concept has had a bit of an impact on you and that you have been able to, at least in part, take back control of your life.

In season 2, I’ll continue to introduce even more productivity topics. I’ve got a good idea of where I’m heading with it, but I’d love to include YOUR thoughts and comments within it. If you want to help, please let me know what you are struggling with by leaving short voicemail message on the speakpipe recorder on the contact page. You can always send a written message but if you leave a voicemail I may include it in future episodes.

I feel that before I go I should explain perhaps why I’ve chosen the seasonal format. That fact is that in order for me to avoid my own OVERWHELM, and to allow me to go and SHOOT my OWN new CREATIVE PROJECTS, I just can’t commit to delivering an episode of this show every week of the year.

And it’s a choice I made before I started. My SPARE time, my days off between paid fight contracts or the stolen hours on shoot days when I find myself hanging about waiting to be called to set, when I’ not writing risk assessments, is currently dedicated to researching and writing these episodes. I now HAVE to commit these lumps of spare time to a DIFFERENT creative project.

As if I did say yes to releasing a new episode EVERY week, I’d be saying NO many other opportunities.

But don’t worry – I will be back. I will return in just a few months with a new 12 episode season.

If YOU would like to SUPPORT this podcast, then please buy from one of my AMAZON AFFILIATE LINKS listed in the show notes. I think the way it works is that you don’t have to actually buy what I suggest, but if you go to Amazon through my links and buy anything at all, I get a supportive bump for directing you there.

You can even hit me up using the DONATE button on the website too. It’s at the bottom of each page.

Just as important though, I’d like you to keep telling people that the podcast exists, keep leaving awesome reviews and generally spread the word. Knowing that this podcast is helping people is perhaps the greatest reward of all.

For now though - take control of your own destiny, keep on shootin’ and join me next season on Film Pro Productivity.

· The music you can hear right now is Adventures by A Himitsu

· You can view the show notes for this episode at

· Please follow me on Twitter @fight_director or follow the show @filmproprodpod

· Finally I’d like to thank fellow podcaster Stephen Rowan, of THE STEPHEN ROWAN SHOW who produced the 1st two episodes for his knowledge and advice in guiding me to a better podcast. I’d also like to thank The DAVE BULLIS PODCAST, PODCRAFT, SCHOOL OF PODCASTING, The NO FILM SCHOOL PODCAST, The FILMMAKERS PODCAST, and INDIE FILM HUSTLE for the inspiration.

· Thanks for supporting the show by subscribing, spreading the word and leaving an AWESOME review.

Thanks: A Himitsu

Main Photographs taken on the Giordano UK shoot by Bryan Larkin.

Music: Adventures by A Himitsu Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported— CC BY 3.0 Music released by Argofox Music provided by Audio Library ––– • Contact the artist:


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