7 Steps to successful goal setting


Let’s talk successful goal setting.  I mean seriously, who wants to be unsuccessful at goal setting?

Yet this often happens in reality.  Yep, even for me and I’m a goal-setting superwoman.

The way I see it is that if your goals mean enough to you to set them then I really want you to achieve them.

I used to be brilliant at setting goals and failing miserably.  It’s not a great feeling and I used to beat myself up about this, A LOT!

Can you relate? If you can then keep reading.

As a qualified life coach, I found this ridiculous.  So I pulled my hair back into a ponytail (my thinking look) and got to work on creating a success plan.  

Some things worked well and some things didn’t.  Eventually, I came up with a really simple system that works.  I even created a course to help others – Goal Setting For Business Success.

Today I want to share 7 key steps for successful goal setting so that you can consistently achieve your goals.

1. Get super clear about your goal

Vague goals mean vague results.  Get super clear about what your goal is, be really specific.  

If you haven’t got your copy of the Ideal Business Workbook, grab a copy now.  It’s free and will really help you gain clarity that you can start setting goals from.

Also, from a law of attraction point of view, being clear about your goal is super helpful.  You start to become a match for achieving that goal and your subconscious mind also starts working to support you.

KEY POINT: Vague goals attract vague results.  BE SPECIFIC AND CLEAR.

2. Make your goal measurable

For you to know you’ve achieved a goal or that you’re progressing, you must make your goal measurable.

How will you know when you’ve achieved your goal?

You want to have a super clear point at which you know that you have achieved your goal.

I’ll write more blog posts this year doesn’t really cut it.  Let’s say that last year you wrote a total of 10 blog posts.  

So with this goal, only 11 blog posts would mean you achieved your goal.  Is that enough? Probably not really what you meant.

My goal is to publish 2 blog posts weekly (Monday and Thursday) and have at least 3 weeks worth of posts scheduled.  Now that’s a measurable goal.  You’ll know exactly when you’ve hit that goal.

KEY POINT: Have a clear point that you will know you’ve achieved your goal.

3. Give your goal a deadline

I’ve jumped backward and forwards on this point over the years.  Sometimes I’ve swayed more towards the idea of “Don’t set a deadline and restrict yourself.”  

I think this comes from the law of attraction side of things.  A lot of people who talk about the law of attraction recommend not limiting yourself with deadlines based on the idea that everything is working in perfect timing.  

As a law of attraction practitioner, I also believe that’s a bit wishy-washy thinking.

What I’ve found is that a deadline creates focus and gives you a sense of urgency which is something most of us need to complete things.  This leads to successful goal setting.

So, yes, I include GIVE IT A DEADLINE but I do have a side note to go with this advice.  Do your very best to achieve your goal by the deadline.  that’s a no-brainer.  

However, if you don’t achieve it, DO NOT beat yourself up.  It’s completely wasted energy.  Instead, review what happened so that you can take a different action.  More on reviewing later.

Also, make your deadline realistic.  Your goals should push you but not that much that you set yourself up to fail.  

Let’s take that blog post goal I mentioned earlier.  If I set a goal to write a blog post every single day for a whole year.  I know realistically that that’s not an achievable goal for me and I’d fail.  

2 posts a week plus 3 weeks of scheduling will take a lot of focus and effort but it’s doable.

KEY POINT: Give yourself a doable deadline.

4. Plan your action steps

It’s your action steps that will ultimately be the difference between goal setting success and not achieving your goals.

Start with your end result, your goal and then create small action steps to work on (smaller goals within a goal).

I’m going to use my blogging goal again to help you understand what I mean.

Final goal: 2 blog posts weekly with 3 weeks of blog posts scheduled.

Over the past few weeks, my goal has been to write 3 new blog posts as a minimum.  

This means that each week, I’ve added 2 posts that meet the goal of publishing two new posts weekly and I’ve added at least 1 extra post to my schedule.  

Over the weeks this has meant my scheduled posts are really building up.  I haven’t achieved my goal yet but each week I can clearly see my progress.

Once I achieve this goal then I’ll step it up to scheduled posts 2 months in advance.

If your goal is to contact 100 potential clients directly this month, you might break your goal down into contacting 5 people today.

If your goal is to publish your first ebook, your small goals might be.  Plan out content, make notes for each section of the book, draft fist section, second section…, edit, edit again, get someone to read and edit, format and publish. ( a little simplified but you get the idea).

KEY POINT: Plan your action steps – Smaller goals within your main goal.

5. Review your progress regularly

Ideally, I’d say review your progress daily at a push, do it weekly.  It doesn’t have to take long, sometimes it’s just a super quick check in of a couple of minutes.

This is how I do it.  At the end of my business day, I put everything away, I sit with my planner and look through what I had planned for the day.  What did I achieve?  What didn’t get done?

I acknowledge what went well and what didn’t.

For the things I didn’t get done or didn’t go well, I ask myself what happened.  Be careful not to do the blame game here as that doesn’t help at all.  The idea is simply to get clear about what happened.

It may be as simple as, I didn’t add images to the blog post I wrote today because I had a lot of messages from clients I needed to reply to.  

It could be I didn’t add images to the blog post I wrote because I got distracted by Facebook.  Be honest and work to make positive changes.

Use your review time as a way to give yourself feedback, celebrate what’s working and make changes where needed.

KEY POINT: Review regularly and adjust accordingly

6. Make your most important task a priority each day

We all have so much to do each day, my to-do list some days is a page long.  But here’s the trick, do your most important task first.  So for me with my blog post goal, that means sitting down and taking some action to achieve that goal.  My priority to-do list might look something like this.

For successful goal setting doing your priority tasks first is a must.

  • Write out plan for post (I use a template to make sure I cover everything and it makes sense)
  • Write the post
  • Add images
  • Complete SEO  and readability check
  • Take a break – walk the dog (I do this before editing so that I have a clear head and put a bit of distance between me and the post.  I find this way I spot mistakes better)
  • Check social media
  • Edit post
  • Schedule
  • I also make a note in my calendar to reread for any missed errors

So let’s say that I get the template filled in and I write the post.  Then after that everything else goes out the window and I don’t get any more of my list done.  I’ve still accomplished a priority task that is going to help me achieve my goal.

It’s not as much progress as I wanted to make but it is progress none the less.

If you do this every day then you’ll soon achieve your goal.

KEY POINT: Every day work on your priority task first and every day you’ll have moved closer to your goal.

7. Clear your blocks to success

Your beliefs can massively block you from achieving your goals.

Whenever I don’t achieve my goals over a fairly long period of time and I’m taking all the right actions then I know I need to check my beliefs.

It could be something as simple as having a belief of I never achieve my goals.  If this is a thought that runs through your head, it’s a clear indication that this is a belief you hold about yourself.

It could be I’m not smart enough to achieve this goal.

Have a think about your current goals and notice any thoughts or feelings that come up.  Make a note of the things that come up and work on releasing anything that doesn’t serve you well and help you achieve your goal.

Make a note of the things that come up and work on releasing anything that doesn’t serve you well and help you achieve your goal.

Mindset shifts for successful goal setting

To change your beliefs to support successful goal setting you can try…

  • Positive affirmations which are statements that support you in achieving your goals such as replacing I never achieve my goals with I’ve got a plan of action and I do my priority goals first to move me closer to my goal every day.  Each and every day I move closer to achieving my goal.  Small shifts in your thinking make a huge difference. read affirmation for business success.

  • Try EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) – I created a script that you can follow along with specifically focusing on achieving your goals – EFT for Goal Setting Success. A good rule of thumb is to tap out the negative thought, belief, feeling and tap in the thought, feeling belief you want.  Here’s a full demo video – How to do EFT

  • Simply ask “Is this belief true for me now?”  Even if a belief was true in the past, that doesn’t mean it’s true for you now.  If it doesn’t help you, the chances are it’s a belief that you can get rid of.

  • Look for proof of new beliefs that support you.  If you look for proof of old beliefs that don’t serve you, you’ll find proof.  If you look for proof to support you new, positive beliefs, you’ll find it.  Look for positive proof.

Blocks where you need more knowledge

Now it might also be a block where you need to learn something.  Again, let’s take my blog post goal. My goal is to publish 2 blog posts weekly but if I don’t know how to publish a blog post, I need to take action to learn how to do this.

I want to create a course or run a workshop and have no idea how to go about it, I need to do some research and learn how.

If I want to upgrade my computer and currently don’t have the funds available, I need to work out how to overcome this block so that I have the money.

Your blocks are not set in stone and they can definitely be changed to support you.  You either work out a way to work around them or you get rid of them.

KEY POINTS: Work on releasing any blocks that stand in your way to achieving your goal.

Bonus tips

I’ve put the next two tips as bonus tips for successful goal setting because they’re paid for tips.  I want to share them because they will help but they’re not essential.

One of the tips is a download I’ve created and one is something I recommend from business friends.  Please note I have included an affiliate link which means if you purchase the recommended product, I will receive a commission as a thank you.  You will never pay more for using the link I provide.

  • Try Hypnosis Downloads.  I absolutely love hypnosis downloads, they’re great value for money, they’re relaxing and most importantly I’ve found them to be really effective in helping to change behaviour and beliefs to support me.  The download I recommend to support you to help with successful goal setting is Reach your goals.

Let’s do a recap – Successful Goal Setting

Follow these 7 steps to successful goals setting. If your goals are important enough for you to set them, I want you to achieve them.

  • Get super clear about your goal – BE specific
  • Make your goal measurable so that you know exactly when you’ve achieved it
  • Give it a deadline to keep you focused
  • Plan your action steps by creating smaller goals within the main goal
  • Review your progress as this gives you real-time feedback and allows for adjustments to be made
  • Do your priority tasks first, then you’ll always move closer to your goal
  • Clear your blocks – Try affirmation, EFT, Question old beliefs and look for proof for new beliefs
  • Do the bonus tips – Buy the Reach Your Goals Download and the LOA Business Planning pack

One final point I want to share with you for successful goal setting is to keep things simple.  You can have really big goals and keep them simple.  

People often think that things have to be complicated to work well, when in fact, the opposite is true, so keep it simple.

I wish you every success with your goals, I’d love you to share your current goals in the comments below.

Pin this image to refer back to the tips for successful goal setting.

7 steps to successful goal setting.

Wendy Tomlinson

Hi, I'm Wendy, your online life and business coach - I'm a qualified law of attraction practitioner, EFT master practitioner and life skills coach. After years of private coaching, I now follow my real passion for blogging and creating content that will help you create a life and business you love. Please feel free to ask questions, I love hearing from my readers.

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