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How to Set Goals

Chances are you’ve heard of goal setting.  You’ve probably even set a few goals for yourself in the past.  And without a doubt, you’ve possibly failed to achieve many of those goals you set for yourself, if not most.

How do I know?    Because goal setting and missing the mark is a very normal phenomenon that happens to most people, including myself.

The great news is this, setting goals doesn’t have to be a fruitless activity.  In fact, if done right, it eventually leads to better things, like more success, increased happiness, and a better life.

Truly, goal setting is a powerful tool that is freely available for everyone to use to achieve what we desire in life. Unfortunately, way too many people think that setting goals doesn’t work at all.  But typically, it is not so much that goal setting doesn’t work, it’s that they don’t work.

My apologies if that sounded harsh.  But, goal setting works.  It really does.  Of course you won’t hit every single goal you set, but you will hit some of them.  And hitting goals and making progress is what success is all about.

So, if you want to discover a step-by-step strategy that can help you set and achieve more of the goals you set for yourself, we’ve got just the thing for you.

Follow through on the seven goal setting steps outlined below,  and there’s no way you won’t start making more progress on the goals you decided to strive to achieve.

7 Powerful Goal Setting Steps to Help You Achieve More

Goal Setting Steps

1. Start With Your Vision and Purpose

The first step is the most important of all because it lays the foundation for achieving your goals. So, start with your vision and your purpose.

Here’s how you do this; Imagine you are now living in the future, what do you see and what kind of life are you living? What kind of lifestyle do you want to have?

Starting with a vision is important because it serves as the ‘”lighthouse” that points you in the right direction.

Tony Robbins, the famous personal development guru describes the journey of life like paddling through a raging river.

He said that most people jump into the river without ever deciding where they want to go. And they simply follow where the current brings them.

In other words, they go with the flow. They become parts of the general masses who are directed by the environment rather than making progress to reach the destination that they desire.

Eventually, when these people are five feet away from the Niagara Falls, only then do they realize the boats that they are in are without oars. For these people, it will be too late for them to make any change. Sometimes they suffer an emotional fall, sometimes it is a physical fall, and sometimes it can be a financial fall.

However, such events can be prevented by having a clear vision and purpose for your life. When you know exactly what you want to achieve, you create the conditions for living a proactive life rather than a reactive one.  And when you live proactively, it’s much easier to respond the inevitable challenges that life will throw at you.

Action Step:

Visualize and see yourself in the future. It can be ten or twenty years down the road. See yourself living the kind of successful life you want. Imagine the success you desire and then find out your purpose why you want to live that kind of lifestyle.

2. Turn Your Vision and Purpose Into Concrete Goals

This second goal setting step is vital.  After you have identified your vision and understand the purpose behind what you want to achieve in life, it is time to turn them into goals.  And you do this by writing your goals down.

Some people prefer to write their goals on a piece of paper and some prefer to write them in their journal or notebook. For me, I prefer to do this using Word document so that I can include pictures and make my goals fun and interactive.

Whatever you do, make your goals tangible. And to make them tangible, you can either write them down or print them out, like I do.

You have to be serious and committed when doing this step.  If you are just trying to imagine your goals and keep them in your head, it shows that you lack commitment. And in all honesty, most people fail because they are not serious and are not truly committed to their goals.  If you need more convincing, here are 7 powerful reasons you should always write down your goals.

Here are some tips to help you in this step:

  • Make your goals tangible by writing them on paper.
  • Set both long-term and short-term goals.
  • Make sure your goals are as specific as possible.
  • Include measurable factors to your goals so that you can easily track and record your progress.
  • Don’t forget to put a deadline or time-frame for your goals.

One important key to remember is that you must make your goals as exciting as possible. If your goals are not exciting to you, you will never bother to do anything to achieve them. In other words, your goals must also be something that you truly want, not just something you’d love to have.  Similarly, it can’t be something that others want from you or for you either.  It must be something you truly and deeply want for yourself.

Action Step:

Turn your vision into goals by putting them down onto paper. Remember to make your goals specific, measurable, and include a deadline for them.

3. Transform Your Goals Into Actionable and Measurable Steps

The third step is to transform your goals into actionable and measurable steps. Goals can sometimes be too big, and when they are if can leave you feeling like you as if you have no idea where to start.

Therefore, what you need to do is to create an action plan that can help you know exactly what it is you need to do to start making progress on your goals.

You can start by spending some time brainstorming all the possible action steps you can do to reach your goals, and then writing down every step that comes to mind.

For instance, if you want to build a successful blog, here are some of the items you can include in your plan:

  • Identify a profitable niche
  • Register a domain name
  • Create the blog with WordPress platform
  • Come up with 10 content ideas
  • Write the first content
  • Buy a logo from Fiverr
  • Create a Facebook fan page
  • And more

Make sure your tactics are specific, clear, and actionable. Vague action steps will only confuse you and make you procrastinate.

The more specific and the more actionable your tactics, the easier and more likely you will be to act on them.

Action Step:

Create your action plan to achieve your goals. Identify all the possible steps you need to take to reach your goals.

4. Commit to Your Big-3 and Take Consistent Action

The only way to achieve your goals is to take action. There is no other way around it. Success is not going to fall down from the sky and money will never go into your bank account accidentally.

When you study the success stories of highly remarkable people, you will see that all of them work extremely hard to accomplish the amazing results they desire in life.

As such, you should be doing the same.  So, commit to taking consistent action. Follow the Big-3 rule by taking 3 action steps each day. And remember this, what you do every day matters more than what you do every once in a while.  Consistency is critical.

Regardless of how big or small the steps you take each day, as long as you are making progress, you will eventually reach your goals.

Action Step:

Identify 3 action steps you can take each day and commit to completing them. Make sure you do something to make progress toward your goals every day.

5. Condition Your Goals into Your Subconscious Mind

This is a goal setting step most people don’t do.  And unfortunately, it is what causes many to fall short of reaching their aims.  Typically, when most people first begin setting their goals, they’re so motivated and committed to taking action. However, after a reasonable amount of time elapses, their motivation fades and they start losing interest in their goals.  The culprit?  They didn’t sear their goals into their subconscious mind.

When your goals become part of your subconscious, your actions will become a habit.  And your habits will determine your destiny.

Most people fail to persist consistently because they rely solely on motivation. Now, motivation is great, but it comes and goes. Habits, however, are more reliable.

You brush your teeth each morning after you wake up, right? And how much motivation do you think you need to brush your teeth?  Exactly, none.

So, program your goals into your subconscious mind and turn them into habits.

Here are some quick tips you can follow to help you condition your goals into your subconscious mind:

  • Create vision boards and practice visualization each day.
  • Review your goals and imagine that you are already living the successful life you desire.
  • Practice affirmations and repeat them daily

Here are some quick tips to help you turn your actions into habits:

  • Repeat your actions every day in a similar manner. Do it at the same time and place.
  • Develop schedules and use time-blocking method to take action each day.
  • Use the habit stacking method by stacking your action on top of your regular habit.

Action Step:

If you want to have the long-lasting motivation, develop habits and tap into the power of your subconscious mind. Make sure you review your goals daily and develop productive habits to take action.

6. Track and Review Your Progress

Another important step that should be taken is to track and review your progress. A lot of people have this misconception where they think that goal setting is a one-time thing. But this is not the case.  Goal setting is a continuous process that requires constant review and tracking of your targets.

Look at it like this.  If you don’t track your goals, you will lose yourself in the buzz of your day-to-day life and slowly forget about them. When this happens, you’ll undoubtedly lose your momentum and eventually, you’ll lose your motivation.  And lost motivation usually leads to lost goals that never get reached.

The key to achieving your goals is to focus on them. And tracking is one of the most powerful methods to focus on your goals.

Not only that, tracking also allows you to understand your progress. You can tell if you are on the right track and whether what you do is moving you forward or away from your goals.

Thus, create a tracking system or a scoreboard to measure your progress.

In the sales industry, a company usually will send out sales numbers to encourage their employees to focus and perform better. This is one effective form of tracking and measuring too.

Action Step:

Create a tracking system to measure your progress. You can use a simple table scoreboard to do it.

7. Adjust and Improve Where Necessary

The final goal setting step…adjust your strategy as you go.

By now, you should have at least a crystal clear goal to achieve, a solid plan, and a tracking system. Without a doubt, as you take action and progress toward your goals, you’re going to face some setbacks.  But you can’t let that stop you.

Don’t fret when you make mistakes or even fail to create the result you want. Just adjust and improve your strategy to do better as you go.  Learn from your mistakes and treat your failures as feedback. This is how highly successful people learn and are able to produce remarkable results in their lives.

And if you ever get discouraged, just remember that when a baby learns to walk, it falls down many times. But, just because it falls down doesn’t mean it gives up in it’s attempt to walk.   Thankfully so, else none of us adults we be able to walk.  So, keep on striving for you goals, regardless of the detours and shortcomings you’ll inevitably face, and sooner or later, you’ll reach your aim.

In short, keep on learning, turn your failures into stepping stones, and improve along the way.

Action Step:

Do not be afraid of making mistakes and failures because they are inevitable. In fact, the more you do and venture forward, the more likely you are going to fail. Hence, make it your principle to learn from your past mistakes and failures.


Setting goals and achieving them doesn’t need to be difficult. The key is to make sure your goals are clear and that you are willing to take the necessary action steps to reach them.

When in doubt, just follow the 7 steps detailed earlier and outlined below:

  1. Start with your vision and purpose
  2. Turn your vision and purpose into concrete goals
  3. Transform your goals into actionable and measurable steps
  4. Commit to your Big-3 and take consistent action
  5. Condition your goals into your subconscious mind
  6. Track and review your progress
  7. Adjust and improve where necessary

There you have it, 7 powerful goal setting steps you can implement today to help you achieve more.

And, now that you know how to set goals, you should be ready to achieve more of them.  But, the real question is… are you ready to start setting some?

Till next time,


PS – If you enjoyed this post, then you’ll really love this one on how to achieve your goals.

Shawn Lim is the creator of and he’s a passionate blogger in the personal development industry who has inspired thousands to pursue their dreams and follow their passions. You can learn more about him plus download a free copy of his guidebook, Reach Your Goals on his website.