Goal Setting: Find What Works For You

Over the years I’ve been introduced to a handful of goal setting processes. After much trial and error I’ve discovered the trick is finding the one that resonates most with you.

1. SMART Goals

This is an acronym you’ve likely heard numerous times. SMART goals are:


Is a SMART goal really better than a non-SMART goal? For the most part yes. The realistic part perhaps not.

John Assaraf has said that we tend to set our goals based on what we have achieved in the past. He suggests we instead set goals based on what you want and… you don’t need to know the how yet. (He’s not the only one… as you’ll soon see in the “Three Levels” section below.)

2. Vision Goals

In his book Having It All John Assaraf guides you through a process where you first review each area of your life and then write a description of what it looks like for you to be living each area at it’s peak. Then you review and visualize this every day.

It’s similar to the ideal day scenario. You want to be able to see, feel, hear, taste and touch every detail. Make it real – as if you’re living it right now.

3. I Am Goals

Some goals setting programs suggest starting goals with the words “I am” followed by the goal.

But… this can create cognitive dissonance or a disconnect in your mind. You state your goal and this little voice inside says – no you’re not. In essence you’re telling a lie to yourself which can create negative energy and inner conflict.

The theory is by repeatedly saying the goal and visualizing yourself as already having accomplished it, the goal will be imprinted on your subconscious mind. Once something is imprinted in your subconscious mind, you will think and act accordingly.

In NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP) it is suggested that you never say “I am” to start a goal but instead use an adjective like easily or quickly. There is no disconnect internally and you’re instructing the subconscious mind how you want this goal to occur – easily or quickly.

4. Ensure Success with Three Levels of Goals

This idea of having three levels for each goal was first introduced to me during SuccessTracks at Peak Potentials. Raymond Aaron, in his book Double Your Income Doing What You Love book – also suggests this method.

Have you ever set a goal to clean up a room in your house or read a book? Yet at the end of the month you realize you’ve left it too long and as a result you don’t get it done? If you’re like me, when I miss a goal I don’t feel very good about myself.

Raymond believes it’s important to be successful in order to keep motivated, hence the three levels of goals.

The three:
i. a minimum target that you can easily achieve at the very last minute.
ii. an ideal target and
iii. an outrageous target that you seems impossible.

Using the reading example. Your three intentions for the month for this goal may be:

Minimum: Read one chapter of (name of book)
Ideal: Read (name of book)
Outrageous: Read (name fo book) plus two more books on my list.

These are just four of the goal processes I’m familiar with. The important thing is you use whichever process or system that you feel pulled to. Do what works for you!