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The simple act of setting goals can transform your life if you learn how to achieve goals that are important to you in the right way.  Many people set goals but they are generic with no clear measurements or deadlines attached to the goal.

They struggle with goal achievement because they aren’t intellectually engaged when setting goals and have no real emotional connection to reach a goal.

In order to be learn how to set goals and achieve your goals, your goal setting process needs to be exciting and scary.  When setting goals, the goal must be exciting enough to move you into action and stay in action.

This requires long-term goals, short-term goals and ongoing monthly goals. 

If you want to expand your goal setting ability, this article will show you how to set goals and how to achieve your goals using a proven goal setting process with a clear focus on goal achievement.

The importance of goal setting

Written down goals that harness your emotional energy, and that you commit to achieving, are one of the most powerful actions you can take to achieve the success you want in business and life.

But many people fall at the first hurdle.  They’re unsure how to set goals and achieve goals.

They want to get better at goal setting, talk about reaching a goal but fail to follow through and take the action of setting specific, measurable goals.

Other people set goals, but they’re not emotionally connected to the end result.  The goals are just not exciting enough.

Many set goals are too broad and not specific enough such as “I want to lose weight’ or “I want to increase revenue”.

Which camp do you fall into with your goal setting ?

How to set goals  

When learning how to set goals, remember that for you to emotionally and intellectually engage with the outcome you want, the goals must be specific, measurable and have a deadline.

Your personal goals and business goals must be emotionally compelling enough to really take action on.  Otherwise they will fall by the wayside.

Some people set goals in their mind but they’re not written down or committed to.  If you want to learn how to set goals and achieve your goals you must be emotionally invested in them.

They must have clear, measurable outcomes and a specific deadline to achieve the goals in.  The measurable element must be a number or an event and the deadline is a specific time period you want to achieve your goals in.

The key to goal achievement

The key to goal achievement is you need to be emotionally invested in a future, desired result that is important to you.  If you are not emotionally invested in a measurable future result, your goal achievement will fall by the wayside.  Your goals must be clear and well defined.  The goals must be measurable so you can track your progress.  Your goals should be attainable to give you the confidence of goal achievement,.

When setting goals follow this simple five step goal achievement process:

  1. Set a goal you want to achieve which is specific 
  2. Make that goal measurable which is a number or an event
  3. Set a deadline to achieve your goal in
  4. Decide on the first step to take towards achieving your goal
  5. Continually measure your performance against your original starting position 

How to achieve your goals

If you want to know how to achieve your goals, and make goal achievement a part of your daily life use these 8 tips to help you learn how to set goals and start achieving goals that are important to you. 

1. Get clear on what you want when setting goals 

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

To get a true perspective of what this future looks like visualise it in as much detail as possible.  Get a sense of what it looks like, what it feels like.

Then be clear with yourself on what needs to happen to make that vision a reality.

Once you create a picture of this ideal future, this is where your mindset kicks in.

The more clarity you have around the specific details of what you want to achieve, the more your mind will take ownership of the result.

The importance of long-term goals 

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

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

When you think about how to set goals, the best action is to write them down and get clear on when you want to achieve the goals by.

Ensure you have clear measurements in place.

Your goal setting process becomes the framework for creating the kind of bigger future you are looking to achieve.

Ensure they are your goals.

They are not created or defined by anyone else.

When followed day after day, they can become the foundation of your personal growth and freedom.

2. Set goals you want to achieve

If you don’t know where you’re going how will you know when you get there?

Some of the most successful entrepreneurs will build a business and personal vision 3 years into the future, 5 years into the future.

Some will look 25 years into the future.

Goal setting theory 

They lay out exactly what goals they want to achieve and then work backwards setting specific goals that are timely and measurable.

In my experience setting quarterly or 90 Day goals is the key to success, and constantly reviewing is a cornerstone of success.

They are a clear ‘stepping stone’ towards the bigger vision but feel very achievable.

Many of the clients I work with will have 5 specific SMART goals they want to achieve in 90 Days.

This will be a mixture of financial goals, strategic goals, relationships goals, personal goals, goals to free up more time etc. but they focus the mind.

Once achieved, goal setting starts again for the following 90 days.

3. How to set goals: write them down

Do you still use a pen and paper to make notes or write down your latest idea?

People who actually write down their goals are more likely to have success getting to where they want to go.

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

A goal is embedded in your mind and subconsciously your brain is looking for every opportunity to work on achieving the goal.

The written goal also gives you a place to refer back to if you are having a challenging time.  You can then break things down into shorter SMART goals.

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

4. Focus on goal achievement  

When people ask me the keys to goal achievement, I talk to them about two crucial elements to goal setting:

  1. The goal must be measurable
  2. The goal must have a deadline

To achieve your goals it’s essential that you set realistic deadlines and metrics to measure success.

Your mind needs a realistic deadline to take the goal seriously.

It 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.

The deadline 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.

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5. Always be working on achieving goals 

This is a big one.

If you work by yourself or feel the weight of total responsibility on your shoulders, then holding just yourself accountable can be difficult.

From my experience as a Business Coach working with successful small business owners, I understand that accountability really is the key to success.

Working on how to achieve goals with a business coach, mentor or sharing your goals with peers, your family or team members provides real incentive and motivation to push forward, do what you say you’ll do and really take on.

You really feel accountable and committed.

It also motivates you to up your game still further and reach for things you didn’t think were possible.

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

It also pushes your creativity.

You will come up with new ideas, new thinking because you’re surrounding yourself with someone or people you trust and respect.

6. Set short-term goals 

The more powerful your goals and the more emotionally invested you are in achieving your goals, the greater the end result.

Your progress towards your goals gives you the ability to transform every aspect of your business and life based around your desired outcome.

The simplest way to make progress quicker is to set short-term goals.  This could be setting goals that are 90 days ahead, monthly goals, weekly goals or even daily goals.

Set a goal that is specific and measurable and track your progress regularly to measure your performance towards achieving your goal.

Start your day clarifying your goals and end the day celebrating the progress you’ve made towards achieving your goals. 

This goal measurement will help you see the transformation you’ve made in the area of your business and life that is important to you. 

7. Use goal achievement to take control of your future

We are personally responsible for our future and must take ownership of what we can become and have belief in creating the ideal future.

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

Through goal setting you become clearer on what has led you to this moment.

You understand your past and have learnt lessons, both positive and negative.

There is a vision of your future with desired results so 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 your desired future you can take complete control of every aspect of your life.

As a result, you’ll have more freedom in every area of your business and life to think about how to achieve goals.

8. Achieve your goals in all areas of your life

Goal setting is not just about your business.

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

As we have discussed the key to thinking about how to achieve goals is to understand your motivation and desire for achieving them.

Why are they important?

What will it feel like when I achieve the goals?

How will it really make a difference?

When you understand this it will play a significant role in aligning you with your goal and getting you to change some habits that are required to fully achieve your goals.


If you want to achieve your goals in business and life the goals must be exciting but also scary.  Goal setting is about seeing yourself in the future as you really want to be and then setting goals with a clear, measurable plan and path to achieve your goals.

When you are emotionally and intellectually engaged in a bigger and better future you are excited and energised to take the action steps needed to reach your goals.  

The best goal setting techniques combines having a long-term goals and short-term goals to help you stay motivated and excited.  Having these two goal achievement measurements helps you stay focused on what you want and ensures you are always making progress towards achieving your goals.

Over to you.

What are your best goal setting tips?

Further Reading:

Goal setting: how to set and achieve your goals 

SMART criteria: how to set SMART goals 

The importance of writing down your goals 

The importance of setting measurable goals 

About the Author

Mark Pettit is a small business coach to business owners who want to simplify their time, energy and focus so they can multiply their freedom, impact and results. 

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