You Don’t Have to Goal Set Like The Experts Say

The other day I did a presentation at work about goal setting and I figured it would be helpful to share it here.

I have have been goal setting for about 7 years and I have tried many techniques. Over the 7 years I have found what works for me from bits and pieces of many different programs.

Like weight loss programs, many goal setting programs will work but you need to find what works for you.

Some goal setting programs tell you to look into the future and ask: where you want to be in 5-10 years and work back from that. For me, that a good exercise but it is hard to motivate myself to action with a goal that far in the future so I do something a little different.

I have taken the time to identify my ideal life and I use that is my guiding light. I have defined every detail of what I want it to look like. Over time I have changed some things I thought I wanted in my ideal life and I have matured and my tastes have changed. I make sure that I am always making steps toward my ideal life and that is what I use to define my goals.

In addition, I set goals that I am interested in. In the past I have set goals trying to be like other successful people but I was not interested in them and I did not care enough to achieve the goal.

Every year I define what I want to accomplish and from there I choose a hand full of the things I am going to work on for the first  30,60,90 days. This is enough to keep me motivated to action.

Also, every year I define a theme based on how I felt about last year. This year is about only doing activities that I enjoy.

If you think about it, we are essentially chasing an emotion. For instance I want to have a lot of money because I want the peace of mind and freedom it will bring me. Consider this when you are defining your goals

Many people set resolutions but they are vague and don’t tend to drive action

Goals are SMART

I use 7 areas of focus to to help me to target my goals

  • Financial
  • Physical
  • Personal development
  • Family
  • Spiritual/emotional
  • Social
  • Career

Some goals are activity based and some are accomplishment based. For instance, I have a goal to meditate 4 days a week which I call an activity goal. But if I set a goal to lose a certain amount of weight that is an accomplishment goal.

Review your goals periodically to keep them in focus. I review mine on the first of every month.

Here are some concepts to help you stick to your goals:

  • We can use carrots or sticks to motivate us. Sticks tend to work better.
  • Use accountability groups to help you stick to your goal.
  • A free online tool at is great for helping you stick to a goal. Especially, if you put money on the line. You will understand what I mean if you check out the site.


Remember that just because you don’t reach your goals you still have improved. If you have a goal to lose 10 lbs and you only lose eight you have not failed you have lost eight lbs.

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