3 Secrets to Setting Goals You’ll Actually Achieve

It’s not easy to set goals and achieve them consistently, if you’re setting BIG goals…

So what’s the secret of goal-achieving ninjas who seem to be able to do anything?

Well, you’ve got the traditional approach:

Step One: Set Goals

Decide what you want and write it down.

Step Two: Create Accountability

Tell someone the goal you’re working towards so you are accountable.

Step Three: Break it Down

What steps do you need to take to reach your goal?

Step Four: Step by Step

Do step one.  Then step two.

Cross off all the steps/pieces and you’ve hit your goal.

Step Five: Reward Yourself

Celebrate – mission accomplished!

Easy, right?

Except when it’s NOT.

There are three KEY THINGS most people are missing – and these are the real secrets to hitting your goals.

Secret #1: Surround Yourself with REAL Support

It’s more than just someone asking, “Hey did you get this done yet?”

Accountability is key and exponentially increases the chance you’ll hit your goal.

But any goal worth achieving will be a fight.

There will be moments where you’re frustrated, confused, or feel like you’ve fallen down.

You need support around you who “get it” and who can not only encourage you, remind you of why you’re working towards your goals, AND help you strategize the smartest approach for your goals.

Support for me includes my business friends, my community, my family, my coach and my mastermind group – they all fill different pieces of the support I need.

I love my family, but if I go to them asking how best to market my membership programs because I’m stuck on messaging or technical aspects… well, that’s not going to solve my problem.

And I love my coach, but if I need a shoulder to cry on and someone to remind me of my purpose, my family or a close friend is a better choice.

When you’re stuck or discouraged, stop and think – what kind of support do I need right now, and who is best to help me?

If you’re not in a mastermind group or working with a coach and you keep finding yourself frustrated… you might be looking for some types of support like strategy or mindset in the wrong places.

Secret #2: Grow into Your Goals

You’ve got to not only believe you can and will achieve your goals, but become the person capable of the goal you’ve set.

It’s about mindset.

Who do you believe you are?

What do you believe is possible?

Don’t be afraid to set big goals that motivate (and require) you to grow!

Be okay with knowing that reaching your goals is a long-term game.

And remember to surround yourself with people who are what you desire to be.  Find the circles where they hang out.  Figure out your way in.

How bad do you want it?

Secret #3: Forget the Goal, Create the System

Wait… what did I just say?

Forget the goal.

Create the system.

There’s a system, a process, that will get you to your goal.

When I decided to get healthy and set a goal for myself of going from 200+ lbs (at barely 5 foot tall) down to a reasonably healthy weight… sure I could have written down “lose 80 lbs” and then said, okay I’ll lose 2 lbs a week for the next 40 weeks.

But how frustrated and discouraged would I have been attempting to achieve my goal that way?

Instead, I looked at what it would take, what habits would I need to create, to get there.

Daily exercise.  Daily choices in what I ate.

And then I attacked those habits.  Those were within my control.

I hated exercise (seriously, gym was the only class that screwed up my perfect A streak in high school… okay, and Jr. High… and maybe elementary school too where I got a dreadful “S-” more than once).

So I had to find a way to create a system where I could love the process.  For me?  Watch movie on my Kindle while I was on an elliptical machine–and no movies/TV any other time.  If I wasn’t on the elliptical, there would be no Star Trek happening.  Motivation?  Check.

And when I lost enough weight and could change my system, I adjusted to hitting the gym daily.  Now I lift weights.

Because you’ve got to create your system, but keep it flexible.

Know your goal, but keep your focus is on the system.

The daily actions.  The step by step.  What you CAN control.

Every day wins.

Not just the future focused feeling of “I haven’t hit my goal yet, I’m not there yet, I’m not good enough yet…”

Forget that.

Win today.

Forward momentum.

Daily progress.

You’re on your way – and it’s about the journey, about each step forward.

When I decided to set a goal of 100 new members in my Insider Club… right as I was coming back from a 2+ year break in my business… oh boy.  If I’d only focused on “100” I have gotten discouraged.

Instead I looked at the actions it would take to get there.

Reach out to at least 3 people every day with an invitation.

Send one email a day to my list.

Blog consistently.

Keep.  Making.  Offers.

Find a way to add more value every day.

I focused on the actions that I knew would lead to achieving the goal.

And I did it.

Because that’s how you achieve the goals you set.

What’s your best goal setting tip or strategy? What’s worked for you?

What might you adjust or change as you think through what I’ve shared here?

Leave a comment and let’s chat!

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  1. My best goal setting comes from the mastermind meeting. Before the meeting I know you are going to ask me about my next weeks goal so I review what must be done to allow me to take a step forward. That way I already have a plan when the question comes up. You are forcing me to think about my goals every Monday and then review them during the week so that when you ask me what I am celebrating for this week, I will have achieved most of or all of the goals set last week.
    I think the takeaway is to forget the large goal and make a few little goals that as they are achieved become part of the answer to the big goal. If the big goal is to make $5,000 a month then I would work to develop a system that makes $500 a week, rinse and repeat until I have enough systems in place to reach the monthly goal. After that I can increase my base goal. For now, I am still working on the first system.

  2. Inspiring! I think the idea about focusing on the system is great. Of course, you start with the goal but then you create a system and focus on that. Congrats on the weight loss and 100 members!

  3. James Clear says the same thing, “Forget About Setting Goals”. He focuses on the systems that get you to the goal.
    It’s like running a 5k. You don’t start out running the complete race. That’s why there are programs like the couchto5k. It slowly builds up your endurance over 8 weeks. Before you realize it, you’re running 5k and you’ll run and complete the race.
    Momentum is good but I find I must never take it granted. I can slip and fall at any moment. What will I do then? Will I stay down, quit completely, or will I start over (or at least where I left off)?
    Sara Beth recently posted… What Makes a Good Day?My Profile

  4. Great article Michelle! You hit all the perfect points! You and your work are amazing!

  5. Thanks for sharing, this is perfect for me because I am trying to find more sources to get inspired. I appreciate you taking the time to make this post. – coimbatore to shirdi flight package, shirdi flight package from coimbatore

  6. Hi Michelle,
    I really enjoyed this post.

    I especially agree with the part about developing systems. If you focus on getting the system right, the goal achievement part is inevitable.

    In both The 4 Disciplines of Execution and The 12 Week Year the authors suggest working on lead indicators (step to goal achieved?) rather than lag indicators (goal achieved?).

    I think working out what a good set of lead indicators of progress is and then accountability around completion of those tasks leads to success.

    Mark recently posted… The Productivity Podcasts I Listen to Each Week (2018 edition)My Profile

  7. Hello, Michelle!

    Some very awesome and brilliant tips! :)

    Creating the goals is so easy.

    But… It is so hard to actually keep knockin’ it down and on the persistent level.

    Goals’ achieving is the habit. The clear habit where you’re NOT pressed and come into the pressure.

    So, your tips are definitely the problem-solving towards goals’ setting and achievement.

    Thanks again for that, Michelle! :)

    ~ Adeel
    Adeel Sami recently posted… I Do NOT HELLA Care!My Profile

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