Breaking Down the Five-Step Goal Setting Process

Maksim Gorky

The higher goal a person pursues, the quicker his ability develops, and the more beneficial he will become to the society.


Is There a Blueprint for Goal Setting?

This isn’t the first time I’m writing an article about goal setting. In a previous article, I discussed how to set SMART goals. Then yet again in another article, I broke down The GROW Model process used by life coaches to help their clients set practical goals.

The above two topics are undoubtedly valuable and will provide you with tremendous insights about what it takes to set useful goals. However, there is a little more to goal setting that is still yet to be discussed. In fact, there are critical elements for goal setting that are easily overlooked that we will address in this article.

With these elements in place, you will be able to generate the momentum you need to achieve your goals. Without these elements in place, you may struggle to even get started.


Breaking Down the Five-Step Goal Setting Process

Let’s now, break down the elements of effective goal setting into five distinct steps.

As you set your goals, it’s crucial that you work through each one of these steps in the order they are presented.

Each step of this process will help you build a strong foundation for the work that lies ahead. Moreover, each of these steps will help you make the necessary mental shifts required to generate the momentum you need to achieve your goal.

Let me put this another way: If you follow these five steps as outlined here, you will effectively cover all your bases. In other words, you will put in place all the necessary pieces on your chessboard to help you checkmate your goal.

Now, of course, there are no guarantees. You still need to do the necessary work to bring your goal to fruition. However, you will likely experience far less resistance by following this process. Subsequently, this will help you to generate the momentum you need to pursue your goal with more freedom and purpose.


Step 1: Define What You Want

Your first step is to get very clear about what it is you would like to achieve.

The goal you set is, of course, only limited by your imagination. You could, for instance, set goals for your career, for your relationships, for your finances, for contribution, and even for self-growth. The goal itself doesn’t really matter. What matters is that while setting these goals you are able to answer the following three questions:

What specifically do I want?

Why specifically do I want this?

When specifically do I want this?

These three questions will help you identify what you want, why you want it, and the timeframe for accomplishing these goals.

You’ve undoubtedly set goals many times before. Maybe, you’ve even witnessed other people set goals too. However, did you ever witness goals being set following these three questions? I would guess that the answer would likely be “no.” And that is the first of many reasons why the vast majority of people don’t consistently achieve their goals.

Specifying exactly what you want means writing down on paper in detail a description of the goal that you would like to achieve.

Moreover, you also need to describe the reasons why you want this specific goal. Without these reasons, there will be no motivation to pursue this goal in the first place.

Finally, you need to set a definite date for the accomplishment of this goal. Having a timeframe helps build urgency. Without a sense of urgency, you just won’t make enough time for this goal in your schedule.


Step 2: Find Congruence

Your next step is to explore the level of congruence that this goal has with your values, beliefs, lifestyle, priorities, self-ideal, and with any other goals that you’re currently working on.

This second step presents another big hurdle for most people.

While setting goals, most people will create this beautiful picture of their desired outcomes. They’ll set deadlines and even generate enough reasons for pursuing each goal. However, in the long-run, they’ll still fail to accomplish their goal because of a lack of congruence.

If congruence doesn’t exist between your goal and the above-mentioned areas, then no matter how badly you may want to have this goal in your life it will always elude you. And, unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about it, unless, of course, you address this imbalance in advance.

To explain this another way, imagine your goal as a square block. This is a beautiful square block that’s perfect in every way. Now imagine that to achieve your goal you need to put this square block into a triangle shaped hole. This hole represents your life.

No matter how hard you try, you will fail to put that block into this hole. It just won’t fit. What you need is to either turn your goal into a triangle or to find a square hole. Only in this way will your goal be a perfect fit for the life you live.

Your objective here is to ensure that your goal is entirely congruent with the areas mentioned above. Ask yourself:

Is this goal aligned with my core values?

Do I genuinely believe I can achieve this goal?

Does this goal support my current lifestyle?

Do any conflict potentially exist here?

Will I potentially need to adjust my priorities to make room for this goal?

Is this goal in conflict with other goals I am currently working toward?

How could these potential conflicts hinder my progress?

Does this goal support the person I seek to become?

Unless your core values, beliefs, lifestyle, self-ideal, priorities, and other goals are aligned with this goal, then you really have no shot at achieving it.

If there is no alignment here, then you will simply not make the time or take the necessary action steps to bring this goal to fruition.

What you need to do is address all the above-mentioned areas first. You either need to align these areas with your goal, or you need to change your goal so that it aligns with these areas.

For instance, if your core values are not aligned with your goal, then you will make decisions that will lead you astray. You must, therefore, realign your core values so that they match your goal.

If your beliefs are not aligned with your goal, then they will conflict with your actions. You will refrain from taking these actions because your limiting beliefs will leave you riddled with doubt. You simply won’t believe that you can accomplish your goal and this will continually hinder your progress.

If your current lifestyle and priorities are not aligned with your goal, then you will simply not make the time to pursue it. There will just be too many other things to do, or too many other commitments and responsibilities that will get in your way.

The same is true if you have other conflicting goals. If different life, career, relationship, and health goals are not aligned with this new goal, then there will be conflicts.

When there are conflicting goals at play, you will struggle with prioritization. Eventually, something will need to go. You’ll need to sacrifice something (one of your goals) to achieve another goal.

It’s all about opportunity cost. You can focus on one area or on another area. Focusing on both goals might only lead you astray to the point where nothing can get accomplished to a satisfactory level.

Finally, we have your self-ideal. Your self-ideal is the vision you have of an ideal version of yourself. If this person is misaligned with your new goal, then you either need to change the goal or work on upgrading your self-ideal. Without this adjustment, you will, unfortunately, continuously sabotage your progress.

Your goal must essentially be congruent with your life and your psyche. If there is misalignment anywhere, then you must make adjustments to your goal or to areas that are misaligned with your goal. Only in this way will you find balance and congruence.

Breaking Down the Goal Setting Process


Step 3: Do an Ecology Check

Often, when people set a goal they only think about the present and fail to address the impact that their goal will have on the future or on other areas of their life. This, of course, can lead to significant problems down the line when they witness firsthand the consequences their results.

Every goal you set comes with a set of consequences. These consequences, can at times, be helpful, and at other times unhelpful. Furthermore, these consequences can affect you as well as other people in limiting ways. Consider for a moment the following set of questions:

Who will potentially be affected by this goal?

How will these people be affected by this goal?

Even if you are setting this goal for yourself, it’s very likely that other people will also be impacted in some way. In fact, some of these people might be affected in a very negative way, which will ultimately impact your journey.

We must always try to understand how our goals could potentially impact other people. We must then take measures to ensure that we minimize any possible damage.

For example, let’s say that pursuing your new goal leads to spending less time with your kids. You will miss their basketball games, dance lessons, and homework time. How will that make them feel? How will that impact your relationship with them? How could it impact your relationship with your partner?

It’s important to take all these factors into consideration because just maybe, you might not like what happens next. Subsequently, you might now think twice before pursuing this new goal.

To tackle this from another perspective, ask yourself the following questions:

What is good about my present situation?

Would achieving this goal allow me to keep these things?

So in this instance, you value the time you spend with your kids. This is what’s good about your present situation.

Now, you must consider whether pursuing this new goal will allow you to keep this part of your life intact. If the answer is an affirmative YES, then you’re on the right track. However, if the answer is a resounding NO, then you have some work to do. You will possibly need to make some allowances for this scenario in advance and adjust your goal accordingly.

With all this in mind, we now need to address the potential sacrifices you might need to make to accomplish your goal. Ask yourself:

What sacrifices may I need to make to pursue this goal?

In what areas of my life will I need to sacrifice?

Am I willing to make these sacrifices? Why? Why not?

Every new goal you set requires sacrifice. This is the price of success. You need to sacrifice something to gain something else. And, of course, making some of these sacrifices will not be easy. In fact, you might not even want to make them in the first place. And if that’s the case, then you’ve just hit a significant roadblock along your journey.

Typically, when people set goals, they are buzzing with excitement. However, this excitement quickly fizzles out when they realize just how much they’ll need to sacrifice to achieve their goal. They soon give up on their goal because the effort involved is far more than they expected.

To avoid falling into this trap, it’s paramount that you identify all the sacrifices that you will have to make to achieve your goal. You must then decide whether or not you are willing to make these sacrifices. If you’re not ready to make these sacrifices, then you must either change your goal or think a little creatively about how you will go about accomplishing it.

To put all this into proper perspective and to help you make the right decision moving forward, consider the answers to the following set of questions:

What are the consequences of not achieving this goal?

What’s clearly at stake here?

What could I miss out on or lose altogether?

How will that make me feel?

Now ask yourself:

What could I potentially gain by achieving this goal?

What will achieving this goal allow me to do for myself and others?

How will it change me as a person?

How will that make me feel?

You should now have an obvious idea whether or not this is a goal you would like to pursue.

Pursuing your goal will, of course, require sacrifice and will impact other people in numerous ways. However, the potential long-term gains may outweigh the drawbacks.

Knowing what you now know, you must decide whether this goal is worth pursuing. Ask yourself:

Knowing what I now know, do I still want this goal?

If the answer is NO, then go back to the Step 1 and reassess your goal. You might possibly need to set a different goal or maybe, a more flexible deadline for achieving it. However, if on the other hand, the answer is a resounding YES, then let’s move onto the next step of this process.


Step 4: Develop a Blueprint

It’s now time to develop a blueprint for achieving your goal. A blueprint will help you get clear about the obstacles you may potentially face and the resources you may need. It will also present you with ideas on how you can leverage your environment to help you accomplish your goal.

First, let’s take a look at the potential obstacles you may face along your journey. These obstacles can, of course, come in many forms including people, events, circumstances, fears, limiting beliefs, lack of experience or knowledge, etc.

Identifying these obstacles is a very challenging and uncomfortable exercise. Roadblocks tend to create doubt and manifest in indecision, which can stifle our progress.

Sooner or later you will likely face roadblocks — whether you prepared for them or not. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be prepared somewhat in advance than to have to figure things out on the spot.

The vast majority of people don’t take the time to reflect on what could potentially go wrong. They don’t account for Murphy’s Law. Subsequently, they are ill-prepared to deal with the situation.

You will, of course, never have all the answers, but you can certainly anticipate scenarios you may potentially face moving forward.

If for instance, you struggle with fear in certain situations, then it may be helpful to outline how you will overcome that fear in these scenarios.

The same is true with your limiting beliefs. Your limiting beliefs will hinder your progress. You, must, therefore, plan in advance how you will deal with your negative thoughts.

Then there are other obstacles such as people, events, and circumstances that don’t play to your favor. These are things that you may or may not be able to control. However, what you do control are your responses. And it is these responses that will dictate your next steps moving forward.

Given all this, take time to ask yourself the following questions:

What potential obstacles could stand in my way?

How could they delay or hinder my progress?

What must I do to successfully work through these obstacles?

To overcome some of these obstacles, you will either need to acquire some resources, or you will need to become more resourceful.

Resources can come in the form of tools, skills and/or knowledge. You, may, for instance, need to learn a new skill or acquire some valuable knowledge to successfully work through a particular situation. Alternatively, there might be tools that you could use to overcome your challenge.

Every obstacle you face is nothing more but a problem that you can work through with the right resources and the mental resourcefulness to pull it off.

Understanding what’s needed and required in advance can help you plan ahead for what’s to come. Ask yourself:

What resources do I currently have that can help me achieve this goal?

What resources might I need to help me achieve this goal?

How will I go about acquiring these resources?

Keep in mind that resources can come in the form of people and support. You don’t necessarily need to have the skills to overcome a problem. All you need is the right connections. There are many people out there who will be more than willing to help you. And that, of course, comes down to your level of resourcefulness.

A Blueprint for Goal Setting


A Blueprint for Building a Supportive Environment

You can, of course, be an incredibly resourceful person, however, if your environment does not support your goal, then you will subsequently struggle to make progress.

Your environment is the place you live and work. This, of course, encompasses all the physical things that make up that environment including people.

Your environment must support all the work you do in the pursuit of your goal. If friction exists, then this will hinder your progress. You, may, therefore, need to make some modifications to your environment to optimize your actions and results.

With this in mind, take the time to leverage your environment as best as you can so that it helps support what you are trying to accomplish. To do this, ask yourself:

Does my environment support the attainment of this goal?

How does it help me? How does it potentially hinder me?

Do the people in my life support the attainment of my goal?

How might I need to modify my environment moving forward so that it supports all the work I’m going to do in the pursuit of this goal?

Remember that your environment must support all your actions. It must be motivational as well as inspirational, and it must evolve as you grow into your goal.


A Blueprint for Outlining Who You’ll Need to Become

Your final task is to define who you will need to become along your journey as you work toward the attainment of your goal. In other words, you need to become a particular kind of person who deserves to achieve this goal.

Every goal we pursue requires us to develop specific habits and to adopt certain qualities and beliefs that will support the attainment of that goal. In fact, to have this goal in your life, you will need to adhere to a specific set of standards. These standards will help keep you on track.

In most cases, we never take these factors into consideration. However, every goal requires something from us. It needs us to be a certain way to achieve it. It’s therefore, paramount to develop some clarity in these areas.

With clarity in mind, you will be in an optimal frame-of-mind moving forward. This will, of course, help you to overcome the various challenges and setbacks that you may potentially face along the way. As such, take all factors discussed within this step into consideration and ask yourself the following questions:

Given what I now know, what kind of person must I become to achieve this goal?

What kind of habits and rituals must I build to achieve this goal?

What kind of beliefs and qualities must I adopt to achieve this goal?

What personal standards must I abide by to achieve this goal?

Having gained some clarity about the person you need to become to achieve your goal, your next step is to start drawing up a plan of action for the attainment of that goal.


Step 5: Drawing Up a Plan of Action

The final step of the goal setting process involves drawing up a plan of action for the accomplishment of your goal.

I’m not going to go into any detail here about what’s involved with drawing up a plan of action as this topic has already been discussed at great length. However, what I will do is provide a few guidelines that should be taken into consideration.

First of all, where many people go wrong is that they create this magnificent and detailed plan of action. However, when it comes to the implementation of their plan, they soon get bogged down in the details and end up giving up on their goal prematurely.

Your plan of action does not necessarily need to be detailed. It just needs to give you some direction. Use it as a guideline to help you get started along the journey toward your goal.

You must, however, have a deadline in place for the execution of your plan of action. However, the deadline doesn’t only apply to your end goal. It also applies to all the steps in between. Given this, you must set small milestones along your journey.

Maintaining high levels of motivation will, of course, be paramount. One effective way to maintain motivation is to develop a method for tracking your progress. Set milestones, install rewards, and then track your progress as you work toward your goal.

Getting started is, of course, the easy part. Where most people tend to struggle is with building long-term motivation and momentum.


How to Find the Motivation to Achieve Your Goals

We don’t necessarily need motivation to achieve a goal. We can instead use willpower. However, willpower is finite, and can, therefore, let us down over the long-run.

With this in mind, let’s choose motivation. Specifically, let’s explore various methods for finding the motivation we need to achieve a goal.

Act Small but Think Big

When it comes to optimizing your motivational levels, it certainly helps to act small while thinking big.

Thinking big about your goal helps you see the big picture. It encourages you to build a vision and become a possibility thinker. This can be incredibly motivating and inspiring. However, if big thinking isn’t coupled together with small action steps, then it can quickly turn into an unrealistic dream that never comes to fruition.

Many people like to think big about their goals. This gets them all giddy and excited. However, big thinking can become a very overwhelming experience. It overwhelms us as we come to the realization how much work will be required to achieve this goal. This is why many people tend to give up before they even get started.

Big thinking must be coupled together with small daily actions that help us build momentum over time.

Therefore, think big, but act small. That is the crucial first lesson to finding your motivation.

Make Goals Fun and Challenging

The second key ingredient for finding long-lasting motivation comes down to how much fun you’re willing to have while in the pursuit of your goals. You must make the process of pursuing your goals an enjoyable experience. And joy comes through challenge.

Have you ever played a video game? Think about the games that you’ve really enjoyed. I bet that these games weren’t easy. In fact, I bet that these games were some of the more challenging games you’ve ever played. You had fun and enjoyed playing them because they posed a challenge.

Goals are not so much different than video games. We will always feel more motivated to pursue something that is fun. However, things won’t be fun unless they are somewhat challenging. They must force us to stretch ourselves beyond our comfort zone.

When you stretch yourself in this way you learn and grow from that experience. This helps keep you interested and motivated over the long-run.

Therefore, as you work toward your goal be sure to add a “fun factor” element into the process. Ask yourself:

How can I make pursuing this goal fun and exciting?

How can I potentially turn this goal into a game?

How can I make pursuing this goal a little challenging?

What will be the value of this challenge?

How will it help me develop and grow as a person?

What if you committed to turning your life and the pursuit of your goal into a game? What could be possible?

Focus Only on Critical Activities

While pursuing a goal, it’s easy to get lost in the details. It’s easy to focus on trivial tasks and activities that provide you with very little long-term value. Yes, these activities might seem important at the moment, but what real long-term value do they provide?

To build long-lasting motivation, you need to continually make inroads into your goal.

Irrelevant tasks and activities can often sidetrack us. And when we get distracted we lose focus. Subsequently, progress stagnates. As a result, we no longer make forward progress, and that is when our motivation levels dissipate.

Yes, of course, you might feel as though you’re making progress, but you’re really just keeping yourself busy. Eventually, you will realize that things have stagnated, and that is when your motivation will plummet into the pits of regret.

Given all this, it’s absolutely crucial that you identify the 20 percent of activities you need to focus on that will get you 80 percent of your desired outcomes. I’m of course referring to the 80/20 Rule or otherwise called the Pareto Principle.

While in pursuit of your goal it’s absolutely critical to keep this principle in mind by asking yourself:

Is this task of critical value, or is it simply a distraction?

Is this task getting me closer to my goal or pulling me away?

Is this the most valuable use of my time right now?

Where could I focus my time and energy to garner the highest returns?

Ask these questions regularly to help keep yourself focused on what’s most important.

Find Your Inspiration

Inspiration and motivation often go hand-in-hand. We need motivation to keep us focused in the present moment, and inspiration to keep us focused over the long-run.

To find your inspiration create a vision board or mind map poster that showcases your goal using key visuals and words.

Alternatively, you could create a set of flashcards that you carry around with you throughout the day. These flashcards can be a combination of inspiring quotes and visuals that remind you of your goals.

Another way to find some inspiration is to spend time journaling your past successes and accomplishments. Then whenever you need a little inspiration, you can read over the journal entries you created.

Individually, these ideas might seem rather insignificant, however, in combination, they will inspire proactive action as you work toward your goals.

Generate a Sense of Urgency

Urgency is one of the fundamental keys to building long-term motivation. When you work with urgency, you feel alive. Moreover, you feel as though you’re working with a sense of purpose, and this primarily helps keep you motivated over the long-haul.

One way to generate a sense of urgency is to use a countdown timer. For instance, while working on a task, set a timer. This task might typically take you a couple of hours to complete. However, you decide that you would like to work with more urgency, and so you set the timer for one hour. You must now find a way to complete this task within that timeframe. Will you accomplish your objective?

On the surface, it might seem like an impossible objective. However, what frequently happens is that the task often expands to fit the timeframe we have set for its accomplishment.

When you set a more stringent timeframe for accomplishing a particular task, you are at that moment challenging yourself to think differently. You begin to think outside the box, and subsequently, you find a way to accomplish that task within that timeframe.

It’s this challenge of trying to fit the task into a smaller timeframe that helps keep you motivated as you work toward your goal.

Find an Accountability Partner

All the above suggestions are of course fantastic. However, they will be of little value to you if you aren’t able to keep yourself accountable over the long-run.

Most people struggle to keep themselves accountable. It’s just too easy to let yourself off the hook when you just don’t feel in the mood. Moreover, it’s easy to get caught up in the instant gratification trap.

Because of these reasons, it’s absolutely critical that you take on an accountability partner who can keep you accountable for your actions.

An accountability partner can, of course, be a friend, family member, colleague or even a mentor who can keep you focused and on track.

The person you choose for this role should be someone you respect and admire. Bonus points if they have already accomplished what you’re now trying to achieve.

Building Motivation for Goal Setting


Building Momentum Toward Your Goal

Now that you feel a little more motivated and inspired, it’s time to build some momentum moving forward toward the attainment of your goal.

Momentum is, of course, one of the keys to long-term success. It’s something that many people struggle to build because of a lack of consistency.

To achieve your goal, you must be consistent. You must consistently apply yourself to accomplishing specific tasks, to building optimal habits, to following through on your promises, and to holding yourself accountable for your daily choices and decisions.

Build New Habits and Rituals

Having locked your goal in place, one of the first things you need to do to start building momentum is to set in place some new habits and rituals that support your goal.

Have a think about your goal and consider the types of habits and rituals that support the tasks and activities you will undertake.

As a side note, consider that you already have habits and rituals in place. In fact, everyone has habits and rituals that they indulge in every single day. These habits will either support the goal you are working toward, or they will hinder your progress.

Given this, it’s absolutely critical that you become aware of these behaviors and quickly make changes if for any reason they do not support your goal. Ask yourself:

What daily habits and rituals do I consistently indulge in?

Do these habits and rituals support the goal I am working towards?

How specifically do they support my goal?

How specifically do they hinder my goal?

What changes might I need to make moving forward?

Having answered these questions, you should now have a better idea of the kinds of habits and rituals you might like to build moving forward.

Possibly you might need to create a morning routine that gets your day started on the right track. Or, perhaps reading an inspiring book of quotes for 15 minutes per day will help you stay more focused and motivated. Or, how about the habit of planning out your day the night before. This can certainly get the next day started on the right track.

To help you develop these new habits and rituals, ask yourself the following questions:

What specifically am I working toward? (your goal)

What tasks and activities do I need to focus on to achieve this goal?

What helpful habits and/or rituals could I build that support those tasks and activities?

While answering these questions, consider habits and rituals that will keep you inspired, focused, productive, and energized throughout the day.

Once you’ve specified what these habits and rituals will be, take the time lock them into your daily schedule. This will help you build a consistent routine that will generate the momentum you need to achieve your goal.

Create Daily Reminders

A fantastic and easy way to start building momentum toward your goal is to get into the habit of creating daily reminders. Use these daily reminders to keep you focused on highest priority activities.

You could for instance post sticky notes around your home or office that remind you to do certain things. These reminders can come in the form of inspiring quotes, simple doodles, and to-do lists.

Use visuals to remind yourself why you decided to pursue this goal in the first place.

The key here is to post these reminders in a variety of place, i.e., in the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, office, shower, etc. The more reminders you can set the greater momentum you are likely to generate as you work on your goal.

Review Your Goals Daily

Another fundamental idea that can help generate momentum is to regularly review your goal.

You can, for instance, develop a daily ritual where you take time to write out your goal using words and doodles.

Every time you undertake this exercise, you will remind yourself of what’s most important. Moreover, your doodles and words will likely change. They will change as you continue to work toward your goal. And this, is, of course important. Because your goals need to adapt to the changing conditions and circumstances of your life. Therefore, by regularly undertaking this exercise, you will remain flexible in your approach as you work toward your goal.

These daily reviews could also include a quick summary of the progress you made the day before. This is helpful because it allows you to effectively measure what worked, what didn’t work, and how you could potentially make changes moving forward.

For extra brownie points, after your review, you can spend a little time meditating or visualizing your goal. This will help you gain clarity about your next action steps.

These daily reviews will encourage you to stay focused and inspired, which will help you generate even more momentum moving forward.

Create Flexible Deadlines

Your daily reviews will help you assess your progress. For instance, these reviews might reveal that you’re on track or they might reveal that things are not panning out as you had expected.

In such instances, it’s important to maintain a flexible approach. Yes, you may have set a plan in place. However, this doesn’t mean that your plan must remain locked in stone. There will always be unexpected events and circumstances that may arise that could potentially throw you off course.

In such situations, you need to be flexible with your approach and make the necessary modifications to your goal. Moreover, you may very well need to change the deadline for the accomplishment of your goal.

Remember though that your goal will never be a straight line moving from Point A to Point B. The line will instead loop, curve in on itself, and may even get tangled in certain spots. Given this, it’s absolutely paramount to stay flexible on this journey. Only with a flexible approach will you build the necessary momentum to achieve your goal.

Ask Solution-Focused Questions

A flexible approach, of course, requires a flexible mind. And a flexible mind requires you ask solution focused questions that can help you make the necessary adjustments along your journey.

Whenever you hit a snag on the road toward your goal, don’t despair. There’s always something of value to find. However, if you don’t ask the right kinds of questions, then you will never see the opportunities that lie before your eyes.

Asking solution-focused questions can help you build momentum because they will keep you from getting stuck when setbacks and challenges arise.

For instance, let’s imagine that an unexpected problem arises. Instead of complaining or making excuses about your predicament, choose to ask some fundamental questions that can help you work through your dilemma. Ask yourself:

What just happened?

Why specifically this this happen? What was the cause?

What predicament does this put me in?

What resources do I have on hand to help me deal with this problem?

What potential opportunities does this problem bring to light?

How can I make the most of this situation?

What can I learn from this situation?

How must I adapt moving forward?

As you can see, these solution-focused questions help you explore this problem from a number of angles and perspectives. In this way, you are able to make the most of a potential roadblock that would otherwise keep you stuck. As such, you can now keep building momentum toward your goal instead of stagnating the moment an unexpected problem arises.

Building Momentum for Goal Achievement


Concluding Thoughts

As we finish off our discussion about the goal-setting process, I want to leave you with one additional ritual that will help keep you motivated and inspired over the long-haul as you work toward your goals.

Often, we get so engrossed in the pursuit of our goals that we forget about the small victories. We forget about the small milestones we achieve along the way. On the surface, these small milestones seem rather insignificant, however, let’s commit to not treating them that way.

Every small step you take toward your goal is significant in its own way. Take time to acknowledge this progress and to celebrate even the smallest of victories. This, of course, doesn’t mean breaking out the champagne glasses after you complete a task. What it does mean is to acknowledge the small milestones in some way.

You can, for instance, do this by rewarding yourself with a small piece of chocolate, by listening to your favorite song, by kissing your partner, or reading a page of an inspiring book. Yes, these are all small and seemingly insignificant things, but that really doesn’t matter. What matters is how these things make you feel. And often, small things are enough to make us feel deserving and grateful.

Given this, take some time to identify several milestones you will be aiming for along your journey. Now beside each milestone outline how you will reward yourself once that milestone has been reached.

With milestones and rewards in place, you will now find inspiration in the little things consistently over time. And it’s these little things that will help you build momentum as you work toward your goal.

No matter what goal you choose to pursue, the journey should always be fun and joyful. Enjoy the process, treat yourself, and you will very quickly accomplish your wildest dreams. 🙂


Time to Assimilate these Concepts

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Did you gain value from this article? Would you like to keep these concepts at the forefront of your mind? If so, then you might like to download the accompanying mind map reference poster to your iPad, tablet or computer. The map presents you with a quick overview of this article. It’s designed specifically to help improve your memory and recall of this information so that you can better integrate these concepts into your daily thoughts, habits and actions. Your purchase will also go a long way towards supporting the further development of these maps.


Here are three recommended IQ Matrix mind map bundles that explore how to get unstuck, how to set more effective goals, and how to become a high achiever.


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Gain More Knowledge…

Here are some additional links and resources that will help you learn more about this topic:


The Six Step Goal Setting Process


Adam is a life coach, mind mapper, doodler and visual thinker. He founded IQ Matrix in 2009 and has created over 350 self-growth mind maps. He also has a Free 40 Day How to Doodle Course where he teaches how to doodle using simple daily lessons. Read more about Adam’s story, and how he created the concept for IQ Matrix. Feel free to also get in touch and send Adam a message here.