How To Escape The 9-To-5 Grind – 4 Secret Tricks Of Meaningful Goal Setting

When it comes to how to escape the 9-to-5 grind, setting goals is one of the major important tasks you have to master.

There are so many books written and so many articles published that it may seem totally obvious that there isn't any need of having even a single more blog post about it.

Funny as it is though, when I sat down and set my own goals for 2019 I instantly got the feeling that if I set my goals like I had done it before (according to books and other advices) I would certainly fail again.

It took me some time to figure out what it actually is I was missing. But as soon as I found out, I had discovered 4 secret tricks to meaningful goal setting; the only way to make your goals powerful.

Trick #1 - Relate Your Goals To Your Current Life

I assume you've also read about setting goals and what to take care of to do it effectively so that you'll have a chance to reach them. Your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, time-framed and so on. These are all good advices but I want to bluntly declare them all second choice and in vain as long as you deny the following.

You need to relate your goals to your current life and not to the life of your dreams.

What I did differently this time was that I didn't set marks that relate to my dream life but to my current every day life.

I didn't look at others and what they were able to accomplish. I didn't want to basically copy-paste somebody else's goals; I wanted to give my goals meaning for my personal life.

So when you look at the monthly revenue numbers I've set, there are some crucial marks to be found. March is a stepping stone for me, just like August and also November.

Noooo, simply don't ask further - these are mine and I won't share them in detail ;). I'll let know when time's up.

But here are some examples what it could be for you:


  • Generating the mortgage for your house or the rent for your appartment
  • Being able to pay the study fees for university for your child(ren)
  • Making the monthly rate for the new car meaningless
  • Replacing your monthly income
  • Earning the money for the price tag of your desired vacation trip
  • Etc.


Give meaning to your goals by correlating them to your personal life.

Trick #2 - The Power Of Small

A very wise Indian named Alma once wrote:


"By small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise."


In my life, many so-called trainers, team leaders, bosses or coaches tried to imply a totally different approach to goal setting. They all said that one should set (very) big goals and then go about to achieve them in smaller fractions.
That's not wrong for itself - it just never worked out for me.

I am able to imagine achieving big goals and makling them a reality. I can literally picture myself in a different environment living a completely different life. That's not difficult for me at all. I can even get to a point when it seems real and my real current life appears to be as sitting in the wrong movie as we say in German. That's not the point.

The point is that it's not making my conscious and my unconscious unite.

So I knew I needed to make a change in setting my goals. As I've mentioned in the previous trick relating your goal to your own current life is also key for this trick, with a little twist to it.

Now I decided to absolutely start small with a very low 3-figure monthly revenue goal. That boils down to a small 2-figure weekly number which ends in a very small 1-figure daily flag.

Let me round up this trick by sharing a common answer the footbal coach of my favourite team Borussia Dortmund, Lucien Favre, uses to give when asked about the future plans in the season (analogous):


"So what are you going to do when you will win this season's championship?"
"It's still November. We're in the first half of the season. I'm only planning for and concentrating on the next match to come."


Here's my question for you: Could their team win anything at all if they focus on the end of the season they cannot influence rather than by focussing on the next small goal ahead?
If they can't win the next match, they're going to descend to the next weaker league.

And once you reach this small goal and the next bigger small goal, your conscious and unsconcious will strengthen your efforts. Your mind will have naturally adopted what you've planned because it "sees" that's possible to reach.

Trick #3 - Lengthen Your Stride

As soon as you've reached the frist small goal and the second and also the third, your mind wants to make you feel like you can reach ever goal in the world. Now let me give you a word of caution here.

It's important to believe in yourself and in the goals you set. No doubt abut it.
But it's as important to keep your wheels on the road and don't strt thinking your car could fly like an airplane.

The best thing you could do to strengthen this experience and make it last is to lenghten your stride by scaling up challengingly.

I'm not talking getting mad about what you're able to chieve in this very moment, I'm talking about the next bigger small goal with a direct correlation to your current life (month, year).

I must admit: I know generating 5-figures even in your first year of a new business (e.g. blog) is possible. I'm friends with people who have done it; and they are still evolving. Nevertheless, for me this is realy challenging although it's based on the next bigger small goal (see here).

This is what I mean by lengthen your stride.

Trick #4 - Force Yourself To Take Daily Action

Now, with the concepts mentioned above there's still one trick left to share with you which is key to success. If you deny this, you'll cheat on yourself and everything else will be in vain.


"An idea [or goal] not coupled with action will never get any bigger than the brain cell it occupied."


- Arnold H. Glasow - [square brackets added]


As soon as you start taking action on your goals, you're making your mind aware of them. And you're implanting them to your unconsciousness. So you'll also start believing from within whcih will lead to more self-confidence and self-awareness.

But as soon as you start taking away from this action by simply not giving it the daily focus for example, you're conditioning your unconsciousness to disbelieve and working against you. Guess what's going to happen?

Sometimes you may need to force yourself to take daily action. Then do it; there's no way around it.

Even if everything doesn't fall into place and your monthly goal may seem to become unreachable - stick to it and give it all your best. Then you'll be still better than staying like you are now.

Anik Singal is adding to this in his latest book "eSCPE". He's explaining that by sticking to his goals he and his team finally reached every monthly goal​ last year even if it appeared to be unreachable the day before the end of the month.

You owe it to yourself.


With that said, I just want you to adopt my advice to yourself and personalise it.

Everybody is different in the end, everybody is an individual. So take what you feel is necessary for yourself these days and start applying it.

Concerning myself, these 4 secret tricks are already helping a lot.

Enjoy your life,
Veit H. Kölln
Founder of

If you like this post and find it helpful, feel free to comment below and share this with others. I would appreciate your thoughts.

Veit has a great passion for being a digital entrepreneur. That's why he named his blog Digital Passionist. He’s conquered many so-called failures and made them stepping stones for his business and personality. Now he’s helping others to establish their own brand and escape 9-to-5.
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Hi Viet!

Loved the article. I agree with all of your points. In order to achieve the lives we want, we have to push ourselves to take daily action on our current lives.

We can dream of the future all we want but unless we make the small steps each present day to get ourself out of that 9-5 grind, we will not get there!

Thank you for these wonderful tips.


Hi Veit, these are some really great goal setting tips you’ve shared. I especially liked your suggestion of setting goals to your current situation rather than the life of your dreams.

I think I’ve made this mistake before, and I find myself copying and pasting someone else’s goals and trying to make them mine, but they never have any meaning to my personal life.

I will definitely put these suggestions into consideration when I map out my 2019 goals.

Thanks for sharing!

Michael Cook

Awesome post Veit.

I agree that goal making is important and how you go about creating this is also just an important — but if you don’t take any action then they are nothing but wishful dreams.

So like you said, I think one of the keys to success is to take daily action no matter how small to work toward your dreams.

Overtime this small steps will eventually grow into something bigger and better, and within a year or 2 down the link you can easily be making a full time income. 🙂

Evan Cruz

Hello Veit, fine post here about goals. You are absolutely correct that it’s all about mindset. It starts with that and then consistent action towards the goal. Thank you very much.

Jasmin Thompson

Hi, Veit.

Thanks for this insight on setting goals. I know I am not disciplined to work at it everyday because there are just sometimes when I am so overwhelmed and I need to take that break then get back in the saddle. I do believe that we need to set goals based on where we are and grow from there. This I believe will eliminate frustrations.

Wishing you all the best.

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