The correct way to set goals

Setting GoalsAs you know from my last past, I am on a quest to find out how to set goals the correct way. My knowledge of the goal setting prior to this quest is the emphasis of writing goals down in the  SMART(ER) format. Giving emphasis to writing down goals as the most important step of the process is wrong and can actually lead you to fail.   I have since discovered that writing down your goals is the end result of the goal setting process and not the starting process, if you start by writing down your goals as one of the first step without going through a discovery process then you are likely to fail.

Let me explain, most discovery process start with the following elements in mind, the elements are universal and familiar. I have discovered that you must conduct the goal setting process in the following order.

1. Why
2. Who


3. What – Smart Goals
4. When
5. How
6. Where


I have deliberately created a space between the first 2 elements to demonstrate a natural gap. As you know I have looked at a number of goal setting programs. I have settled on

1. Success Wizard

2. Storylife

I have spent about 6-8 hours on the programs and both programs include and extensive discovery component on why and who.

Goal setting reflectionMy observation so far:

1. New Year Re-Solution

(RE-creating a Solution for the NY). For most of us this ends up in failure,  only 2-3% of NY resolution succeed and I am determined not to go down this familiar road. I think most of us fail because we concentrate on What and spend only a few minutes on Why and Who. We have all been pre- conditioned to the SMART Goal format as the area of concentration, the most difficult steps in the goal setting process is to look at Missions, Values, Beliefs and Self discovery are simply glossed over. The programs I have subscribed have emphasized on Who and Why as the first step,  so far I have spent 6-8 hours on this process.


2. Knowing your identity (who) and your mission (why) is the most important factor to goal setting

I came across this concept through reading Covey Life Mission and Storyline and both resources quoted using parts of Victor Frankl work on observing survivors of concentration camp in WWII.

Man’s Search for Meaning is a 1946 book by Viktor Frankl chronicling his experiences as an Auschwitz concentration camp inmate during World War II, and describing his psychotherapeutic method, which involved identifying a purpose in life to feel positively about, and then immersively imagining that outcome. According to Frankl, the way a prisoner imagined the future affected his longevity’s_Search_for_Meaning


If you think  successful entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Thomas Edison, it was their mission that drove them and not their goals. One of Job’s mission was to have  “computers for the rest of us”.

“Don’t sell products, services, or jobs, sell dreams and a vision”

“A vision is how you will make the world a better place.”

Steve Jobs


3. Fall in love with the journey (process and systems) rather than the goal
For you to keep going,  you have to love the process, you have to love how it makes you feel.

Here is my example – Running – the first 1 km is always a struggle because my run is uphill and it is not the most enjoyable part however the 2nd km is slightly downhill, I get to see water, I get to breath and fill my lungs with cool morning air. This is the part I love. I also love pushing myself to improve that 1% and getting a PB (personal best). The feeling I gain is the most enjoyable part of the process. You have to find things you love about the process, otherwise you will quickly abandon the process.

“Passion is the emotional fuel that drives your vision. It’s what you hold onto when your ideas are challenged and people turn you down, when you are rejected by ‘experts’ and the people closest to you. It’s the fuel that keeps you going when there is no outside validation for your dream.”

“Passion is meaningless without vision.”

Steve Jobs


James Clear wrote a great article on goal setting – Forget About Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead. It explores the notion of loving systems rather than goals. From my experience of 5AM wakeups and habit stacking, I would have to agree with James.


4. Momentum

Your number one goal when starting any program is building momentum. The secret to momentum is to

1. Start ridiculously small (so small you cannot fail)
2. Make it a habit

It sounds simple but in practice it can be difficult journey. Check out my 5AM Club posts 


5. Change your identity

I think this a secret ingredient to achieving goals and why many of us only make it part way to achieving our goals is the lack of transformation.

Let me give you some examples :-

If you want to to be rich you  have to see yourself as a successful business person.

To exercise regularly you have to drop the couch potato image and replace it with a Warrior image.


Change you identity to achieve your goals.

Whats next?

After my discovery phase, my next steps is to create my mission statement, which I will give examples in my next posts.


NY Resolution, Blog Posts and Goal Setting Programs to watch
PURPOSE - Motivational Video

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