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Successful goal setting

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Successful Goal Setting

Are you planning something in the near future? Have you set proper goals for yourself or your business? Are you struggling with your goals? Read on to find out how to be a success in goal setting and maintain momentum

First things first – Set your goals

Yes we all know that we need to make lists – but I am talking about something different. Goal setting can be an arduous but profound experience. I have a very detailed blogpost on my own site on SMART Goal setting if you would like to give it a try. Once your goals have been set, it’s important to maintain momentum and flair!

Don’t be just normal

Aim high and try to stretch above the norm. Imagine yourself as a strong elastic band, a really strong elastic. Imagine stretching that elastic and watch it grow in size – that’s what we do when we learn and grow. There is no limit to our elasticity, because each time we grow, our elastic band regenerates itself to grow more.

If you do not stretch yourself, then what you have set is not a goal. It is just a task like any task we do daily. It is a true goal if it tests and pulls you out of your comfort zone. So get out of your own way and push yourself to stretch that elastic and be above normality. Normality is comforting. Ask yourself how LONG do you wish to stay in your comfort zone???

A good indicator of this is frustration – that question we ask ourselves “there must be more than this?”. If you are asking that question about any aspect of your life or career, then it’s time to move on and up.


You want an automatic BMW 5 series??? In Silver with alloys and 6 CD changer??? Start imagining yourself driving that exact car. Imagine yourself struggling with the low profile tyres and that feeling of power behind the wheel. Imagine listening to your favourite music with the great sound system.

Imagine not having to change gear and leaving that left foot relax on the floor as the car changes gear for you. Imagine coming out of the music shop and walking towards that silver BMW (just washed), and realising “Ooh, I OWN that beauty. Feel those feelings. This is also known as “ACT AS IF” scenario – and believe me it works.

Once you can imagine the car, you will begin to see them on the road immediately, not AFTER you buy it like most people, but as if you already own it. Now imagine you are working in your perfect job, or your perfect voluntary area, or running your perfect business. Imagine and really FEEL the feelings that come with that sense of achievement and success. Success is yours – but you have to imagine and really believe it and see it for it to happen.

You cannot achieve what you cannot dream – if you cannot imagine it, you certainly cannot do it. Really believe that you can do it – whether it is to finish a project, begin a project you have been procrastinating about or stuck in the middle of.

Think positive

“I will never get this finished”, “Oh why can’t I have more help with this project”, “We cannot do this”, I don’t have any support” etc etc – you know the type of negativity I am referring to here. TURN it around – “I will finish this”, “I have all the help I need”, “We CAN”, “I have all the support I need”, “I can easily find the resources I require” – whatever it takes to turn that negative thought into a positive outcome.

Feelings become thoughts, and thoughts eventually become our behaviour and actions. So logically, if we think positively, we are resonating positivity and it will become our behaviour. That will supply the power to be successful in all that we do. Most of all think positively about yourself – stop second-guessing yourself.

Believe you can do it, because the reality is you can. Only you have to power to succeed. Be aware of your limitations. If they include knowledge, then endeavour to increase your knowledge by reading further, study or discovery.

Persevere – don’t change the goal

Everyone loves a trier. Once a goal is set, it is important to see it through. Watch out for distractions – the biggest killer of achievement and success. If you find yourself easily distracted, then question your motivation to achieve the goal in the first place. Was it really your goal, or something you think others will expect of you.

If it is not truly yours and does not truly fit in with your belief system and values, your unconscious mind will do everything in its power to prevent it from happening.

If the goal is truly yours and you desperately want it, then persevere – take the knocks and get back up and continue on your road. Do your best to avoid shortcuts, they may not be long-term! If the goal seems too large – break it into smaller pieces, small enough that you can accomplish at least 2 things every day – or 5 things every week.

Whatever works for you. Bitesize pieces might be necessary, as long as they can be accomplished individually, and each one leads you closer to achieving your main goal.

If you make mistakes along the way, really learn from them and acknowledge them for what they are – learning moments. Imagine a small child – are they afraid to climb that tower? Are they afraid to fall down and get up and try again?

How many times do you think a very small child will fall before they master walking? Tap into your inner child, and have fun trying. If you fall or fail, accept it, and use it to learn another or better way.

“Image from Mikael Damkier /Shutterstock.”

Elaine Rogers is a Business Trainer, Coach and Writer. She takes pain away. She helps soothe the rough and tumble of running a business through education, information and coaching. And a bit of entertainment. Elaine hangs out at The Smart Train She provides online training and coaching solutions in the areas of MS Office Skills, Business Skills, and Soft Skills. She also provides exclusive content for her ever growing email list.

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  • Hi Elaine, there is some great stuff in here! One question please, what do you see as the difference between a goal and a target? And if they are different, should they be used separately?

  • Hi Elaine,
    I guess the other thing with goals is to remind ourselves on a regular basis which ones need the most attention. 

    Some goals are more important than others.


  • Great post Elaine.  Very timely for me personally.  Thanks.

  • An inspiring post Elaine, thank you, Lorna

  • Thank you Lorna, hopefully there will be a line or two that will resonate with the readers, and inspire them to move further with their goals

  • So glad you enjoyed the post Tom, and of course that it has been useful to you. Even our business goals can be very personal, and can affect us just as much as personal goals, so the post is relevant for all goal setting 🙂
    Here’s to your personal success!

  • Hi Ivan,
    Yes this invites a discussion around time management, and identifying which goals are important and which ones are more urgent. Defining them as short, medium and long term can be helpful in this regard. This can also help guide us away from constant fire fighting and planning for the future in a more structured way, rather than just dealing with issues as they come up (which of course are not goals, and distract us from our goals).
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • What a great question Niall, and hopefully some day we will all have the answers 🙂
    Seriously, I feel it is so subjective, that a target for one, could be a goal for another!

    My personal thoughts on this are that targets for me are mostly value related – monetary, percentages,  values and they lead to the ultimate goal.
    A goal is always time related (unlike a state “I want to be happy”) and we can use targets to milestone towards that goal.
    For example, if the goal in a organisation is to increase customer care responses by 26%, then targets will be set (generally by management) for each player in reaching that goal. XX extra calls need to be answered, bounce or drop rates need to be reduced by x%. They could also be achieved by streamlining other processes.

    We could also view targets not as monetary, but as something else – a target market for example. So we target our target market in order to achieve our goals of €XX sales, X% profit or X% market share.

    So I would see the goal as the vision, and the targets set to achieve that vision. Would this resonate with you?

  • As always Elaine you have delivered another great post… I do like that this information can be used for any and all goals that one may wish to set in life, be it personal, business or within the career.

  • Indeed Catherine, very often for business owners, their business goals can be intertwined with their personal goals, and some of them should be. For specific personal or specific business goals, the post is very relevant for both (or either).
    Thank you kindly for the kind comment 🙂

  • Be

    great advice Elaine and a great time of the year to give it in too

  • Yes, it does help to begin the thinking process at least, as then the ideas and goals will form naturally, and we can separate the wishes from the true achievable goals, and specifically the one we WANT to achieve 🙂
    Having inspirational posters like yours surrounding my office helps too 🙂 Thank you Be.

  • Harry

    Great post. Recommend a goal setting and tracking software:

  • Hi Elaine, I think goals need to be “personal” rather than copy what others (even role models) do. Thanks for your insights.

  • Hard work with positive attitude is a must for getting the goal…

  • John Twohig

    Fab to see teenagers developing a product like this from the kenel of an idea to a real product. I hope the product achieves great sales and we get to see them on our shops shelves. Great find Aoife.

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