The Power of Setting Goals

The Power of Setting Goals

It’s no secret I’ve said it over and over again, if you want achieve things in your life you must set goals – especially when those goals are big goals.

Whether it’s a promotion at work, earning more money or burning fat and getting the body you want – you need to set goals.

Could you achieve big things without setting realistic goals? Of course you could.

However, I don’t like waiting for luck to come around, as you’ll probably be waiting a long time, and I like to be in control of what I do.

Along with planning, organizing, relaxing and modeling other success strategies (there are other steps I use) setting realistic goals – and I mean realistic goals – is one of the steps I use in my self motivation technique.

So where do we start with setting goals to get that nice body we’ve always wanted?

Step 1 – Know exactly what you want (S)

There’s no point in saying ‘Ooooo I want to look like her’ – that’s not going to cut it. You need a specific goal to reach.

That way you not only know whether you’ve reached your goal but also you have a foundation to work from to break your goal down into smaller goals.

For this example your goal might be ‘I want to lose 10 lbs’

But having that is not enough…..

Step 2 – Can you track your goal? (M)

By ‘track your goal’ I mean – can you sit down and work out whether you are on track to achieve your goal?

Sometimes you may have to break a goal down into further smaller goals (like I mentioned above) to be able to record your progress.

Here’s an example;

Which is easier to measure?

Losing a dress/clothes size, or losing 10 lbs?

Losing 10 lbs, as you can see how many more pounds you have left to lose.

Step 3 – Can you achieve that goal? (A)

There’s no point in setting a goal that’s not achievable. There would be no point in you sitting down and writing your goals out in the first place then trying to ‘achieve’ that goal if it was impossible to achieve in the first place!

10lbs in 3 months?

Saying you want to lose 10lbs by Sunday evening is not an achievable target.

If we say we aim to lose 2lbs a week, then 10lbs in 3 months is more than achievable – you never know, sometimes when achieving your goals you might actually achieve more than you wanted. That’s the power of goal setting.

And that brings us on to our next point….

Step 4 – Is your goal what you need? (R)

Your wedding is in 3 months, so having a goal of ‘being able to slice 5 peanut butter sandwiches before my wedding’ isn’t really what you need.

Sure that goal is achievable, measurable and specific – but on the grand ol’ scale things – it’s probably not gonna help with your wedding – and it’s certainly not going to help you lose 10lbs.

Step 5 – When do you want to achieve this goal by?        (T)

Okay so you have a goal – but when do you want to achieve this goal by? This is vitally important.

Let me give you a quick example;

Let’s say Mary’s goal was ‘I want to lose 10 lbs’


Laura’s goal was ‘I want to 10lbs before my wedding in 3 months’

Who do you think is more likely to achieve that goal?

Laura of course.  Not only has she given herself a specific goal but she has also given herself a time frame in which to reach that goal.


This outline to setting goals is called; the ‘SMART’ principle. (Hence the random letters next to each step) Now there is a little more to the SMART principle, but using what I have given you above you can have a goal, dissect it a little, and reach that goal.

Like I have mentioned before I try to set goals in everything I do, and I always have an end ‘outcome plan’ at the of each goal – something that I have only recently learnt.

So for example – I might have just bought a new house but my end ‘outcome plan’ might be that I will sell the house and move on within 10 years.

The same kind of strategy can be used for the example we used about the wedding. Your end ‘outcome plan’ might be after your wedding you will exercise at least twice a week and increase your fitness levels so you can join the local squash club.

And then of course you would set yourself a new goal.

Of course, there are times I won’t have reached my goal – I would be a liar to say that didn’t happen. What I do when this happens is I sit down and try and workout the possible reason to why I may have not achieved my goal.

But the great thing about setting goals using the SMART principle is that even if you don’t reach your goals you should have already been making a record of achievement (Measurable – Step 2).

By following this stage of the SMART principle you will notice that you will have achieved something – so in fact we haven’t failed at all because instead of failing we have actually learnt.


  • Gillian Carlstrom

    Reply Reply March 4, 2013

    Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to send you an e-mail. I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it develop over time.

    • Chris Sherlock

      Reply Reply March 4, 2013

      Hey hows it going?

      When you concentrate on providing the best info around sometimes you forget the basics! Thanks for the heads up though – I’ve added a quick ‘contact me’ page


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