The Surprising Secret to Getting What You Want

The power of goal-setting. The Surprising Secret to Getting What You Want

The Surprising Secret to Getting What You Want

When I ask most people what their goals are, I tend to get shrugs and platitudes in response. 

“I healthier, I guess?”

“Save more money and take a nice vacation someday.”  

“Oooh, I’d love my own bakery cafe!”

But seldom do these intentions transform into concrete plans resulting in meaningful change.

Why? Because articulating clear goals is the critical first step, yet very few people know how to set effective, achievable goals. 

I’ve witnessed firsthand how implementing a proven goal-setting framework consistently unlocks motivation, focus and outsized success. Whether applied professionally or personally, proper goal setting eliminates drift and procrastination by fueling clarity, accountability, and incremental progress toward cherished dreams.

Let’s explore.

Goal Setting Creates a Blueprint for Success 

Simply put, goal setting is the process of articulating exactly what you want to accomplish and mapping out steps to make it happen. Sounds obvious yet remarkably few people take time to consciously define goals and form plans, instead just accepting where the winds of life blow them. 

But make no mistake; clear goals crystallize vision and priorities in a way that precipitates action. By forcing thoughtful deliberation around desired outcomes and strategies, you suddenly recognize paths once obscured by the fog of ambiguity.

The benefits of defined goals include:

Laser Focus & Efficiency

Goals drive task prioritization and time allocation, so you waste less effort on activities that don’t align. 

Enhanced Motivation 

The clarity, structure and endpoint goals provide self-motivates progress. Especially when tracking incremental progress.

Improved Performance

Consistently elevated results across sports, academics, and workplace productivity tie directly to exacting goals. 

Greater Life Satisfaction

Goal achievement fosters pride and self-confidence and lifts mood while working toward meaningful milestones.


Committing goals to paper or sharing them with others discourages backsliding. 

The SMART Framework

While the instinct to set goals seems straightforward, the art of setting impactful goals follows a very specific, strategic framework. Welcome to SMART goals.

SMART is an acronym outlining the five critical components of success-oriented goals. It stands for: 


Let’s explore each element:

Specific means extremely detailed, not broad, or vague. Goals laser focused on precise outcomes are more motivational and easier to act on. Example: “Save $20,000 for a down payment” not just “save money”.

Measurable means quantifying goals with concrete metrics allowing clear tracking. “Increase weekday fitness sessions from 2 to 5 next month” not “exercise more”. 

Achievable equals challenging but realistic, given the current situation. Stretch goals inspire growth, while unrealistic ones deflate morale.

Relevant means goals align deeply with overall values, direction, and priorities. Goals disjointed from purpose are unsustainable.

Time-bound deadlines create a sense of urgency. Without finish lines, goals drift listlessly. 

Crafting SMART Goals

With the framework defined, I encourage spending dedicated time clarifying a handful of priority SMART goals per area below. Not starting half-heartedly with dozens. Be selective with laser focus on what matters most right now. 

The key categories to consider are:

Career: Goals advancing skills development, workplace impact, entrepreneurship.

Financial: Goals around debt paydown, saving thresholds, and retirement planning.

Relationships: Goals enriching committed partnerships, friendships, and family ties. 

Health/Wellness: Goals around fitness, nutrition, self-care, and personal growth.

Once you select your target goal categories, define 1-3 SMART goals per area. Outline Exactly what you will accomplish by WHEN by HOW MUCH. No vagueness allowed. 

Then determine milestones signalling progress towards each end goal. This might be achieving specific metrics by designated dates, completing steps along the way, or celebrating incremental wins. 

The Power of Tracking & Accountability  

With SMART goals articulated, dedicate time consistently reviewing and updating your goal plan using whatever format works best. I’m old school pen and paper to manually update progress and adjust timelines. But apps also help many clients visualize trajectories. 

Regardless of format, track metrics and milestones. Physically record incremental progress made to maintain motivation as you witness concrete advancement towards envisioned endpoints. 

And leverage accountability partners! Share goals with supportive people who will nurture progress through encouragement and constructive feedback. We all need mirrors exposing blind spots. The wisdom and care of others help us correct our course with humility and grace. 

Then brace yourself and watch the magic unfold...

True Transformation Awaits

I’ve witnessed the phenomenal transformation goal setting precipitates countless times. Leaders land dream jobs they considered unreachable. Couples buy first homes once deemed impossible to afford. Entrepreneurs successfully launch passion projects lingering for years on idealists.

Time and again, progress people assume will take years accelerates at exponential rates after finally defining and committing to strategic goals. Clarity fuels purpose, inspiration and insane productivity towards the outcomes that matter most. 

The key is coherence and consistency. Approach goal setting as a dynamic, ongoing process versus a one-off event. Review and adjust quarterly. Double down on what’s working when momentum builds. Keep going when progress feels elusive; show up more fully rather than abandoning ship. 

Approached with mindfulness and tenacity, I promise you will look back one day in awe of how much becomes possible.

So, tell me, what long-deferred dreams might finally be ignited by harnessing the power of strategic SMART goals? Where will you focus first? Now is the time!

Unlock Your Potential