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Setting Goals

When you are setting goals make sure they are;





Time referenced

I'm sure you have all heard the principles of SMART goals before and it is wise to follow this formula

What most people won't tell you is that


goals linked to your highest values have the greatest probability of success.

If something is high on your values you will endure both pleasure and pain, support and challenge, ease and difficulty in pursuit of them.

When something is lower on your values, you will do it if it is easy or pleasureful but when it is difficult you give up or require outside motivation or reward or punishments.

If you set a goal and look back in a week or a month and see you are taking no action on it and see no evidence in your life of that goal coming true, then consider that the goal is not really yours.

If you set a goal and it is not aligned with your highest values, you will find yourself hesitating, frustrated and not making progress. You may take some initial action but you won't be able to sustain it for long.

Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”


—Pablo Picasso


I come across a lot of people who are reluctant to even set goals. They feel it's setting themselves up for disappointment or failure.

The truth is that you can't truly fail in pursuit of your own values, Why? Because you just keep going, when you are intrinsically driven you keep going no matter the failures. The failures are feedback, lessons that you didn't get it quite right.

The reason that some are reluctant to set goals is that they have set goals in the past that weren't truly their goals.

When we inject the values of others into our life we may set goals that we think we should do, rather than what our life demonstrates is truly important to us.

For example, if you looked up to or admired an acquaintance who was physically fit and loved to exercise. You saw the way they looked and decided to set a goal to exercise everyday.

If you, for example, had a high value on socialising, eating out and working long hours, then you may set this goal to exercise everyday and you may sustain it for a week or more and then find it was interfering with your work, or give it up to socialise, or put it off until tomorrow.

The truth is that it was never your goal. 

When you set goals that aren't aligned with your values you may find yourself thinking

'why can't I stay focused'

'I don't have the self discipline'

'I can't do it'

The 4 things that undermine goals.

If they are impossible , improbable , Unstrategised or Conflicting...

Impossible goals are those that defy universal laws. Trying to be happy all the time, or wanting to levitate, these are examples of impossible goals

Improbable goals are those that are outside your values. As mentioned above. If you set goals that aren't aligned with your values you decrease the probability of achieving them

Unstrategised goals are those with little or no clear path on how to achieve them. You will automatically procrastinate and be stressed when you haven't mapped out a plan achieve your goals

Conflicting goals are those that can't both come true. If you have a goal of building a business and also hanging out drinking all day with your friends it's unlikely to come true.

How to increase the probability of achievement

Step 1

Make sure your goals are possible..The most common impossible goals are those that are trying to create a one sided result. Always happy never sad, always successful never failing, always nice and never mean...make sure your goals embrace both sides of life.

Step 2

Make sure your goals are probable, that is linked to your values.

You can either change your goals to match your values


change your values to match your goals



If you can link how achieving the goal you would like will serve your highest values, then you increase the probability of achievement.

So how to link. Well you can ask yourself how specifically will taking the steps to achieve the goal I want serve my highest values.

So in the example above, if you wanted to get fit and your highest value was socialising you could ask yourself,

"How specifically will exercising regularly serve my value of socialising?'

You may answer;

"When I look better I feel more confident with my friends"

"When I have more energy I am more present with people'

"The better my figure, the more outfits I can wear well"

Don't just write 3 answers, you will need to be writing 50-200. 

How do you know when you're done? When you start taking the new desired action.

Give yourself so time to complete the linking process.

It will take time, but if it is a goal that you truly want to pursue then it will increase your probability of achieving that goal.

Step 3

Work out a strategy. Work out all the steps you will require to reach your goal. Even if your goal is lofty it is achievable if you go step by step. You may need to learn new skills, meet new people, refine and redirect as you go.

Chunk your goal down from bigger to smaller until it is a series of daily actions.

Step 4

Make sure you don't have any conflicts. Will the actions you are taking lead you to your goals? Which is more important to you? 

Can you link the two together? If for example you have a goal to excel in business but you love playing golf

When to give up on a goal?

If you are pursuing a goal that is truly aligned with your highest values, then you may experience transient successes and failures on the journey.

Others, who don't share your values may want to persuade you to give up. They see more risk than reward in keeping going.

If the goal is truly aligned with your values you will feel it is impossible not to achieve it. You may give up temporarily in the face of failures, but what you are really doing is re-grouping and coming up with a better plan.

Does that mean you should never give up?

Well, there may be wisdom in giving up too.

You've probably heard 'never give up on your goals', sound advice but be sure that they are truly your goals 

When you have injected other peoples values in your life and you are trying to live someone else's goals, then giving up will seem very different.

If you're feeling, relieved, when you fail or give up, if you feel that by giving up you finally get to do what you really want to do, then consider that the goal wasn't really yours.

If you don't know what your values are, then follow the link below and complete the Demartini Value Determination Process™

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