Goal Setting: Are we doing it wrong?

WHEN I look back on my goals for last year, I realise something that would once have sent me into a spectacular tail-spin.

I didn’t achieve a single goal I set last January. Not one. Zilch. Zip. Nada. None.

Now, before you deem me a failure or send emergency remedies of wine and chocolate for my depressive state, I must tell you that I feel okay about this. In fact, I really couldn’t care less. It might even feel good.

You can still send wine and chocolate if you wish.

The thing is, last year I set goals I felt were expected of someone in my position, things that would be good for me to do. For example, lose 10kgs, achieve XYZ in business, meditate every day, blah blah blah, but in fact, they meant nothing to my heart and I now realise I have been doing this goal setting business all wrong.

You see, when our goals have no feeling or meaning connected to them, and they come from a place of fear rather than following our nose to what we love to do, then those goals are bound to fall into the refuse tip of broken dreams and discarded New Year’s resolutions. Or even worse, we might spend all year blindly slaving over pointless, empty stuff we don’t even care about.

So, why do we bother setting goals at the beginning of the year? Is it really because we want to do and achieve more? I think not.

I believe it’s because we want to take a fresh opportunity to feel more, be more and contribute more. With me on this? Then read on.

All the feels…

I’d argue we wish to start afresh each year because we desire to feel differently – about our work and ourselves. When we recall the relatively short-lived moments of success from last year, or as we’re ticking off our career to-do list, we might notice that it seems like a whole lot of striving in return for a few rather fleeting moments of accomplishment. Lots of “feel bad” and not enough “feel good”.

When we set our intentions, not for what we want to do, but for how we want to feel and be, everything changes for us. If we want to feel a sense of progress in our role or business, then we will focus on things that carry us forward. If we want to feel competent and capable in our leadership, we choose to take on challenges that lead us to learning and growth. If we want to feel connected with our purpose, then we must choose to shed the daily distractions and focus on the work that truly lights us up.

So, let me ask you: how do you want to “feel” this year? Start by identifying three to four key feelings you’d like to carry you through this year, and then map your planned goals and activities back to those feelings.

Insert meaning here…

At the start of the year, we can be prone to melancholy reflection and searching for the meaning in our work and careers. We might wonder what the point of our work actually is, what, or who, it’s all for (and do they actually care?), and perhaps to question whether we’re making an impact at all.

Be warned though, searching externally, in places outside of yourself, work, business or partnerships, for those answers is a trap and a complete waste of time.

Instead, when it comes to finding the purpose of our contributions this year, we must go inside ourselves. This means filtering out all the expectations of others, and quietly asking ourselves a simple question: what lights me up?

So, insert your own meaning into the contributions you choose to make -no searching required. By the way, if the way you spend your waking hours doesn’t light you up, well… you’ve got choices. Make them.

Plan from a place of love, not fear.

Finally, nothing brings better feels or meaning than working from a place of love. So, what does that mean, and how do we do it?

I always start by identifying the contrast – this means that sometimes it’s easier to know what makes us feel bad, fearful or heavy. From there, we can more easily determine that “if I don’t want more of this, then I do want more of that”. The things we want more of will be the things we love, that allow us to feel light, happy and as though our contribution is meaningful.

The funny thing is what you want, and what you don’t want, are the two opposite ends of the same stick.



This article was written by ANGELA KONING

Your Goals – Stay On Track For Slow And Steady Accomplishment

Getting side tracked from our goals is the easiest thing we can do.

Daily life is so full of little obligations, and our goals sometimes seem so far out there that it’s easy to think “I’ll get back to this tomorrow,” and let those other obligations fill our precious time.

Sometimes you have no choice. Just this week I was in the middle of working on a project when the dogs needed to go out. I stopped for just a minute to attend to them, and ended up spending my midnight hour washing skunk smell out of three furry creatures.

Most of the time, however, those little obligations are the things that can and should be put off until tomorrow. So what if you don’t get the windows washed? Will that matter a month from now?

What if you miss your favorite TV show? Will you really have missed anything?

What if you just don’t answer the phone for one or two evenings a week?  Will your friends abandon you?

What if you get up a half hour earlier, or stay up a half hour later? Will you perish for lack of sleep?

No, but if you put off working on your goals, it will matter next month or next year.

With that in mind, I offer some advice from two marketing gurus:

  • Mike Littman says “You don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going.”
  • Michael Masterson gives the same advice when he says “Ready, fire, aim.”

Action creates action, so once you’re in motion you’ll be hard to stop. On the other hand, inaction creates inertia, so if you’ve been putting off getting started, you may have to get tough with yourself to get going.

What can you do when your time is limited? It depends on where you are in the process.

If earning extra money is your goal and you’re just thinking about starting, why not decide which way you’ll jump. Will you create and market your own product? Will you set up an affiliate site? Will you create adwords sites? If you haven’t decided, do a little research into how each one works.

If you know which you’ll choose, why not start today by thinking about what interests you most and then researching the keywords you think will lead people to your niche. If you have a broad area of interest you might narrow it down by seeing what subject matter is most in demand.

For instance, if you love gardening you might learn that more people want to know about growing Clematis than Peonies. If cars are your thing you might learn that more people want information and advice about engines than about body work. (And no, I didn’t research those, they’re just examples of what you might find.)

If you’ve already started and have gotten stalled, take some action to get things moving again. Write an article, post to a forum, write a blog post on your own blog – or start a blog, or work on your web page.

Maybe your goal is more personal, and has nothing to do with making money. You still won’t get there until you get started. And you still will get there if you take one step at a time.

Do you want to learn something new? Start today to research classes you can take – on line or off line. Get on line and read some of the free lessons on your subject. If you already have course work sitting there, set aside just a half hour every day (or even 3 days per week) to do it – and let your family know that you’re unavailable for that short 30 minutes. They’ll get along, honest!

If your goal is to de-clutter your house, start with one drawer or one corner of a room. You’ll find that it doesn’t take long when you bite of a small chunk.

If you want to start a garden or do a crafts project, decide on one first step – and just do it. The trick is to take the next step tomorrow and the next day – and the next.

I think you’ll find that once you force yourself to work on your goal for 15 or 30 minutes, you’ll want to stay longer and you’ll really accomplish something. So get busy.

Do something, no matter how small it seems. Then tomorrow, do something again. And remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect – it just has to be a step forward.


It is better to gain a foot than to stand still,

even when you seek to gain a mile.

Hubert H. Humphrey (1911 – 1978), Senator and U.S. Vice President





This article was written by Marte Cliff, a Freelance Copywriter who specializes in making people feel good about buying products or services, or donating to worthy causes.

Developing Outcome Focused Sub-Goals or Sub-Tasks to Accomplish Big Goals

It is easy to think that once a few goals for the year have been established for an individual, he or she can simply “get on with it” and just “check-in” when they have a question from time to time. Unfortunately, big goals can be both large in their scope and complex to achieve and may therefore need a lot more detail before an individual feels comfortable enough to pursue them. If this is not the case, many people will just see an ultimate target as being “out of reach” and give up before they start.

In many circumstances, a longer term objective may need to have additional detail to help shape potential actions in the short term. This might mean developing somewhere between 4 or 6 sub-goals or sub-tasks that reflect what needs to happen to achieve the overall goal or outcome you are seeking. Less than 4 sub-goals is appropriate if only simple tasks are involved but any more than 6 may over complicate or confuse people who may be expected to help or contribute in achieving the larger goal. Hence, an objective to “reduce waste by 30% within 2 years” for one individual might have the following 4 sub-goals:

  1. ‘document all the types of waste in the first 3 months’
  2. ‘measure current levels of waste in each category within 6 months’
  3. ‘form waste management teams to address waste targets by end of the first year’
  4. ‘develop supplier relationships to jointly address future consumption needs in the second year’

It is also important to remember to ensure that sub-goals need to be specifically developed or written up in ‘outcome’ rather than ‘input’ focused manner. An example here might be in setting an overall objective to “double the hits on the company website within 12 months by posting more relevant articles.” Input goals are usually things like “write a new article a week” or “invest 10 hours of time a month in tracking article hits.” However, these input-based goals may or may not mean that you achieve your target. Instead, you may want to develop goals that are output focused such as “achieve double the number of site visits or page impressions within 6 months” or “increase customer visits to the site from article postings by 25% in 3 months.”


This article was written by Dr. Jon Warner, a prolific author, management consultant and executive coach with over 25 years experience. He has an MBA and a PhD in Organizational Psychology.

5 Simple Rules To Set and Reach Your Goals

Goal setting is the closest thing to magic you can find. It works way better than the ‘hope plan,’ wishing on a star or playing the lottery.

Like most good things, there are rules to follow, and as long as you follow the rules, you’ll reach your goal!

Here are the 5 rules to setting goals…

A Goal Must Be Realistic And Achievable For You.

That means no highballs. If you’re in sales, that means the salesperson sitting next to you may be able to double their sales tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean you can. Nor does it mean you can’t double or even triple your own sales. ‘Realistic’ for you just means set goals you can reach with a ‘targeted’ effort.

Realistic is determined by two things: effort and time. If you’re selling 8 units now and you’re willing to put in the effort it takes to improve, you can easily double your sales within 90 days.

Doubling your sales would be totally unrealistic, though, if you aren’t willing to develop your skills, and if you aren’t willing to do more demos, etc.

Always remember this quote…

“If it is to be, it’s up to me.”

Write Your Goals Down.

  • Only three percent of the people set and reach their goals. Writing them is a rule.
  • Those three percenters earn 10 times as much in their lifetimes as the ninety-seven percent who don’t set goals.
  • Ninety-four percent of written goals are achieved.

If you want to hit your goals, stop saying, “I know what I want – I don’t need to write it down.” Instead put your goals on paper today.

You Must Have A Written Plan.

Imagine you’re in Chula Vista, CA, which is about the furthest southwest point in the U.S. and heard fishing was great in Quoddy Head, ME, almost at the furthest northeast point.

If your only plan for your seven-day vacation is to take a nice drive and just “head northeast,” I don’t care how much enthusiasm you have, without a map (the plan), or even with one, if you don’t follow your plan (the map), you’ll probably never make it, at least not before your vacation ends.

Why? Because whether it’s a trip or a goal, you’ll have dozens of unexpected twists, turns and detours along the way to slow you down. So set a goal, map it out, and follow your plan.

Like I said in the beginning, you can do anything, but you’re going to have to put together a rock solid ‘targeted’ plan to make improvements rather than just working harder.

Follow Your Plan!

Even people who take the time to set realistic and achievable goals, write them down, and even write out their plan, often don’t follow through on the plan they write.

Yep, just like New Year’s resolutions, people do a great job for a few days, but usually not long enough to develop their skills or change their habits.

Self-discipline is critical. Without discipline, or some incredible ‘good luck,’ you may get started, but you’ll almost always miss the pot of gold that’s right in front of you.

Please Note: The only thing wrong with ‘luck’ – it’s usually never there when you need it the most.

Make A Commitment

You’re changing skills and habits that will benefit you for life!

Read Your Goals and Check Your Progress Every Day!

We learn and develop habits through repetition. The repetition of reading your goals and reviewing your progress keeps you focused on your goals.

Pick your battles (your goals)…

You can’t focus on 10 major goals, so keep those BIG goals to a maximum of two or three a month and review your progress (tracking) every day.

Put your top three goals into daily reminders on your smartphone. Or, print them out and put them where you will see them several times a day (refrigerator, bathroom mirror or wallet).

No real rocket science – just five easy steps to get what you want.

“A dream with a deadline…”

Most people just daydream about the things they want, but never turn those dreams into reality.

Don’t just be a dreamer, turn your dreams into achievements. You just have to make changes in what you do, so you can get what you want.

Not just in business, but in everything you do.

Life is too short, so get ahead of the game in sales and stay there instead of always trying to catch up.

Since we’re at the beginning of 2018, it’s good to get on track now…Get my ‘Goal Setting’ book at JoeVerde.com/store – it’s free and get to our class to start reaching those important goals in your life.

Do it – you’ll be glad you did!




This article was written by Joe Verde, who as worked in the car business since 1973 and in dealer, management and sales training since 1985. His workshops and online training emphasize common sense solutions to challenges in selling more vehicles, earning more profit and retaining customers for life. 

7 Expert Motivation Tips for When You Just Can’t

Starting the new year motivated can be difficult. And many of us can relate to a post-holiday comedown, which experts coin ‘The Blues.” This term is a psychological term that is often used to describe feelings of disappointment and deflation following returning to normal everyday routines after a period of holiday, partying and fewer responsibilities. Sound familiar? Thought so. Here’s how to cultivate and sustain motivation… especially when it feels like you have to dig (really) deep.

1. Power pose

It might seem strange but our body language can affect the way we feel. Research into confidence found that people who stand in the power pose for at least two minutes have increased levels of testosterone, a body producing chemical associated with confidence, and creates a reduction in the production of cortisol, our stress hormone. If you want to feel motivated from the inside out, stand up straight, chest out, lifts your arms above your head like a V and keep your legs hip distance apart.

2. Stay committed

While we all think motivation is the number one ingredient for success, the truth is commitment is the real foundation. Research into elite athletes found, that just like us, athletes have days when they are flat and motivation is at an all-time low, but the difference between successful, elite performers is that they maintain their commitment – however difficult it might be.

3. Routine and rituals

Incorporating a daily ritual or routine that creates calm and relaxation within your body and mind can help build a foundation of mental clarity. Motivation and focus occurs when we are relaxed and having a routine every day incorporates activities or rituals that help create calm. This morning walks, reading or cooking – these all help us gain clarity and calm down.

4. Goal setting

Goal setting is directly correlated to task performance and motivation. Research into the field of employee motivation found that when people create predetermined goals and are working towards them through fixed deadlines, motivation and performance increases. A way to cultivate motivation is through S.M.A.R.T goal setting. This acronym stands for goals that are Sustainable, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-sensitive. Pick resolutions or goals that are specific and not vague, that can be measured so that you can track your progress, attainable as well as realistic and that have a time frame or deadline associated with them.

5. Visualise goals

It’s important to define your goals, but also to visualise them physically. Yes, you’ve heard of mood boards, and it’s time to create one for 2018. Sitting down to physically collage your 2018 goals can help you find clarity around what you are wanting to achieve and manifest for the year ahead. Research into goal setting has shown that those who write down or collage their goals are more likely to achieve them than those who just think or talk about their goals.

6. Reward yourself

Yes, you heard us right! Rewarding yourself for achieving goals is singly one of the best ways to cultivate motivation. Studies into exercise and fitness programs found that those who had external reward incentives such as money for working out had higher attendance and motivation to finish the fitness program. This suggests that not only is it important to map out each goal and aspiration you have in 2018, you should also link them to a specific reward for once you’ve achieved it.

7. Acceptance

Be kind to yourself, it is normal to feel down after holidays. Holidays are a time to recharge, refocus and rest. It is often an opportunity to help us gain some space in our life to see whether there are things we want to change or add into our life to create more joy and less stress. When we come back to our everyday routine after having this period to recharge, we may feel a bit deflated as things have not changed and we are coming back to old habits and behaviors that we may want space from. Be aware that nothing happens instantly. We all have good days and bad days, and having compassion for yourself can help you bounce back from the bad days, faster.




This article was written by Jaimie Bloch, an accredited practicing psychologist who has been working with youth and adults with developmental and mental health difficulties since 2007.

This 1 Question Will Prepare You to Tackle Big Goals

This is the time of year when people pause to think about what they want to be different about their lives, or what specific goals they want to achieve in the coming new year.

Thus they make resolutions year after year to be better, fully optimistic that this will be the year their dreams become their reality. But unfortunately, most new year’s resolutions fail. Data shows only 9 percent of people achieved success with what they set out to achieve.

That abysmal number can often be chalked up to folks not going deep enough when it comes to making a plan for how to reach their goals.

For instance, most people’s strategy for changing their behavior is relying on their willpower. They think simply deciding to do better will be enough to actually help them. But willpower and motivation have proven to be unreliable allies over the long-term when it comes to impacting your behavior.

As such it is understandable why so many people abandon their resolutions within the first few weeks. No bueno.

This doesn’t mean that goal setting isn’t fruitful. It just means you need a smarter strategy that will support you in your journey to success, rather than working against you.

The key question that sets you up to actually achieve your goals

It isn’t enough to just know what you want to achieve. You’ve got to go one step further in your planning to get a view of what will be required of you to make your goal a reality and to sustain it over the long-term.

Thus a key question that needs to be integral to your planning is this: “Who do I need to become to reach my goals?”

So if your goal was to lose twenty pounds, and of course keep it off, then an answer to your “who do I need to become” question might look like this:

  • I need to be someone who works out for 30 minutes at least 3 times a week
  • I need to be someone who eats homecooked meals 5 to 6 days a week
  • I need to be someone who preps healthy meals in advance, so I don’t make poor food choices out of convenience

And if your professional goal is to publish a book, then the output of your “who do I need to become” exercise could look like this:

  • I need to be someone who writes at least a thousand words a day, 5 days a week
  • I need to be someone who reads at least twenty minutes a day every day
  • I need to be someone who is able to engage in at least one hour of deep work 5 days a week (for efficiency)

See how that works?

By connecting the attainment of your goals to specific behaviors that will enable you to achieve them, you can chart a clear path for what will be required for success.

I’ve seen the benefits of walking through this exercise in my own life. When I set a goal to take surfing lessons, I knew I had to first become someone who was able to swim well. So I signed up for private swim lessons and then had a weekly swim workout on my own to improve my skills.

And when I decided I wanted to put a cap on the number of hours I worked each week, that meant I had to become someone who was more productive. For me, that meant blocking off two days a week with no meetings, so I could dedicate time on those days to do creative work. And now it means scheduling planning and research time into the calendar, so when I sit down to work on projects, I already have the information I need to complete the task efficiently.

There are a number of entrepreneurs and business leaders who subscribe to this approach. As a result, they are quite prolific in consistently producing high-quality work.

For instance, in his book On Writing, famed author Stephen King noted that if you want to be a writer, you have to read and write a lot. He recommends four to six hours of reading and writing a day.

And in their international best-seller The One Thing, authors Gary Keller and Jay Papasan encourage readers to follow their lead to time block the first four hours of every day to focus on working on the work that makes the biggest impact.

You can reach your goals. But you’ve got to be willing to consistently engage in the specific actions that will help you achieve them. A smart way to get started is by asking the essential question that helps you map out what key changes need to be made in how you operate.




This article was written by Sonia Thompson, a marketing strategist, consultant, and author who helps businesses get the customers they want and keep them coming back for more. 

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