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Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about and clarifying what you want to achieve in the future.  The process of setting goals in business and life helps you get clear on what you really want and gives you a specific, measurable destination to reach. 

If you want to achieve, you need to set goals.  Without goals it’s easy to lack direction and focus.  Goal setting provides motivation, direction and a clear plan and path to follow each day to achieve your goals.  

The process of setting goals starts with intentionally choosing a measurable result you want to achieve and establishing a deadline in the future you want to achieve the goal by.   Setting goals provides inspiration and motivation, and allows you to develop a specific action plan to help you reach your goals. 

Why set goals? People who want to create a bigger and better future for themselves all set goals.  Setting goals gives you a long-term vision to work towards and provides short-term direction and focus. 

The process of setting goals gives your life direction and purpose.  Goals boost your motivation, intentionality and self-confidence.  Goal setting gives you a powerful system for constantly clarifying your future and provides the measurable framework  for achieving your goals. 

In this article I will share the importance of goal setting and outline 8 tips for goal setting that will show you how to set goals and how to achieve your goals. 

Why is setting goals important?  Discover the 10 benefits of goal setting

Goal setting definition

Goal setting is the act of setting clearly defined goals and then working towards goal achievement every day.

These clearly defined goals should be something you want to achieve in the future with a clear date to achieve the goals by.

Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about and creating your ideal future.

To set a goal think about something specific you want to achieve in the future – this must be a number or an event.

Then set a deadline for achieving the goal in. 

Why is goal setting important?  

Setting goals gives you a set of clear, specific benchmarks and goals to work towards everyday.   Goals help align your motivation and focus providing the framework to be more productive and manage your time effectively.   

You can start setting SMART goals to ensure your goals are specific, measurable and achievable.

When you commit to goals and learn the steps to achieve goals, it creates powerful actions that act as a guide to help you make progress on your goals each day. 

Read my guide on how to achieve your goals.

Want proven tips and strategies to achieve your goals in the most productive way?  Sign up to my Weekly Newsletter to get the best tips and strategies to achieve your goals in less time.

How to set goals

When setting goals it’s important to decide on your goal and then define your goals with measurements and deadlines.  When setting goals, ensure they clarify the results you want to create in the future and are exciting enough for you to want to take action to achieve them. 

If you want to achieve your goals, first consider what you want to achieve, and then commit to it.  Set goals that are clear and well defined.  Choose goals that you are emotionally and intellectually engaged in.  

When you set goals, ensure you are excited and motivated about the outcome of the goal.  Motivation is key to achieving goals.  When you set your goals, get clear on what achieving the goal looks like and feels like. 

Understand the difference achieving the goal will make in your life. Break your goal down into an action plan to help you realise your goal.

Ensure that when you think about the steps to goal setting, your goals must be specific, a number or an event, and your goal must have a deadline attached to it. 

Discover why writing down your goals is the key to goal achievement.

Want more tip on how to set goals and achieve your goals quicker?  Sign up here for the Time For What Matters newsletter.   

Goal setting quotes

I have selected a few goal setting quotes that have been very useful in helping me set goals.

“If greatness is your goal, it can only be achieved today.” – Dan Sullivan 


“Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.” – Earl Nightingale 


“One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals.” – Michael Korda


“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” – Zig Ziglar


“You can do anything if you set goals.  You just have to push yourself.” – RJ Mitte 


“The way to measure your progress is backward against where you started, not against your ideal.” – Dan Sullivan

Goal setting: how to set and achieve your goals 

Use this 8 step goal setting process to set your goals and achieve them.

1. Decide on your goals 

Goal setting starts with seeing something in the future that doesn’t currently exist.  Your goals are a future you that is your ideal, across your business and life.

To get a true perspective of what this future looks like, visualise your goals in as much detail as possible.

Get a sense of what achieving your goals looks like and what achieving your goal feels like.

Then be clear on the action steps needed to make your goal a reality.

Once you create a vivid picture of what goal achievement looks like, this is where your mindset kicks in.

The more clarity you have around the details of your goals, the more your mind will take ownership of the result.

Steps to goal setting success 

Your goals helps you gain clarity on your direction of travel.  Goals help you build a picture and articulate your biggest desires.

Goals are an anchor and guide that you can continually refer back to, clarifying your focus and ensuring you are heading in the right direction.

With your goals be clear on exactly what you want to achieve.  Be clear on when you want to achieve your goals.

Ensure your goals have clear measurements in place because your goal setting process becomes the framework for creating the kind of bigger future you want to achieve.

Ensure they are your goals, not created or defined by anyone else.  When followed day after day, your goals become the foundation of your personal growth and freedom.

Read also: The importance os setting measurable goals

2. Define your goals 

If you want to achieve your goals it’s essential to define your goals with measurements and deadlines.  If you don’t clearly define your goals you won’t have a destination to reach or direction to reach that destination. 

When you set your goals choose a deadline for your goals.  This could be a short-term goal or long-term goal.  Your long-term goal could be 12 months into the future, 3 years into the future, 5 years into the future or even 25 years into the future.

By having a clear deadline for your goal, you can work backwards setting defined short-term goals that are timely and measurable.  

Read more about setting short-term goals.

3. Write down your goals

Writing down your goals is crucial is you want to achieve your goals.  People who actually write down their goals are more likely to have success achieving their goals.

There is a personal commitment and emotional investment at play when we physically write down our goals.

When you write down your goals, the goal is embedded in your mind and subconsciously your brain loos for every opportunity to work on achieving your goal.

The written goal also gives you a place to refer back to if you are having a challenging time.

This can help you reset, get more focused and motivate you to push on towards achieving your goal.

Read more about the benefits of writing down your goals

4. Set measurements for your goals  

With goal setting, it’s essential that you set measurable goals with deadlines to help you track progress and measure success.

With goals, your mind needs a realistic deadline, and measurement, to take the goal seriously.

Having measurable goals also makes you more accountable to actually achieving the goal you’ve set.

Otherwise you may feel “you’ll get to it when you can” and you won’t be properly emotionally invested in the outcome or result of your goal.

The measurements you set for each goal should be challenging, exciting but also feel achievable.

Think about the impact of achieving each goal will have on your business and personal life.

People often fail with goal setting because their goals aren’t measurable.  Discover 10 other goal setting mistakes to avoid. 

5. Hold yourself accountable for your goals

Accountability is key when you set your goals and is crucial for achieving your goals. This can start by telling someone you know about your goals to help you stay accountable to stick with them, and make them happen.

You can set your goals and work towards goal achievement with an accountability partner, friend, family member or colleague.  To clarify your goals, and to stay on track towards goal achievement, you can also work with a mentor or business coach, like me.  

Staying accountable to achieve your goals provides real incentive and motivation to push forward, do what you say you’ll do and take action on achieving your goals.

There are always obstacles on the way to goal achievement.  Having someone hold you accountable will help you overcome obstacles, eliminate distractions and ensure you stay committed.

Accountability will motivate you to dream bigger, up your game and achieve goals you thought were impossible.

Being held accountable pushes you further and gives you the added incentive of making your goals happen.

It also pushes your productivity and creativity.

You come up with new ideas and new ways of thinking because you’re supported by someone you trust and respect.  

Read more about the benefits of working with an accountability coach

6. Break your goal down

This is crucially important for big goals.  Defining your goal and putting measurements and deadlines to your goal is just the start.  If you want to achieve your goal, you have to break your goals down into actionable steps with clear measurements. 

Achieving your goals should be enjoyable, stimulating and drive you forward every day. But, if you have no clear action plan, it will be difficult to make progress.

When you set your goal, ensure it has a future deadline.  Then come back to the present day and identify the obstacles that will stop you reaching your goal.  Then, identify strategies you can use to overcome each of the obstacles.  Finally, identify each action step you need to take.

This insight will allow you to lay out a clear action plan to take every day.

Read also: 4 steps for working towards a goal

7. Use goals to take control of your future 

We can use goal setting to take control of our future.  We are personally responsible for our future and must take ownership of what we can become and have belief in the ideal future we want to create.

When you are not in control of where you spend your time and what you want to focus on others will happily distract you.

When you set goals, you clarify where you are right now and where you want to be in the future.  By creating a vision of your future with desired results, you become more in control of where you are right now.  In this present moment.

By sitting in the present with a clear view of the goals you want to achieve, you can take complete control of every aspect of your life.

Through goal achievement, you’ll have more freedom in every area of your business and life.  Read more about how to leverage time

8. Use goal setting in all areas of your life

Goal setting and learning how to achieve goals is not just about your business.

It can be the fuel for achievement in every aspect of your life, be that health, finances, relationships, fitness or personal growth.

The key to achieving your goals is to set measurements and deadlines for your goals.  When you set your goals, get clear on your motivation and desire for achieving the goals.

You can ask yourself:

“Why is the goal important to me?

“What will it feel like when I achieve my goal?

“How will achieving my goal make a difference in my life?

When you have this clarity on the outcome of your goal, it becomes much easier to set goals that align with your bigger vision.  


Setting goals gives you a long-term vision and short-term focus.  Goals helps you clarify exactly what you want to achieve in life and give you a specific plan and path for achieving them.  In this article I’ve shared an 8 step process for achieving your goals.  

Remember, that goal setting is a process that starts with careful consideration of what you want to achieve in the future, and has specific measurements and deadlines against the goals.  

Setting goals that are important to you, and that are you are motivated to achieve, will give you the best chance of achieving your goals. 

Now I’d love to hear from you.

What’s your best goal setting tip?

Let me know in the comments.

Read also:

How to set goals that matter 

SMART Criteria: How to set smart goals 

Productivity: Tips on how to be more productive

The importance of writing down your goals 

8 time management tips to manage time effectively

A simple guide on how to be more productive 

About Mark Pettit 

Mark Pettit is a time management coach based in Colchester, Essex, UK.  He is the Founder of time management coaching company Lucemi Consulting.  Mark provides time management coaching programs and accountability coaching to entrepreneurs and leaders in London, Essex, Suffolk, East Anglia and across the UK.

He also provides online time management coaching programs to business owners in the US, Canada and Australia. 

Get more tips, tools and strategies to achieve your goals on the blog.

Sign up to the ‘Time For What Matters’ newsletter to get the best tips and strategies to help you achieve your goals quicker. 

Download my Free 1-Page Daily Planner to help you prioritise your most important tasks each day so you can make confident progress towards your goals. 

Get clarity on your goals in 30 minutes 

As a time management coach I specialise in helping entrepreneurs and leaders clarify their goals and creating a clear path and plan to achieve those goals.  If you want to achieve bigger and better goals in less time, schedule a 30-minute clarity call with me today. 

You’ll come away with greater clarity on your goals and an action plan to achieve your goals,  Use the button below to schedule your call.

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