Goal setting: from failure to fail-proof

Setting goals. What does that mean to you?

Is it saying “someday I want to lose 20 pounds” 

Or “this year I’m going to lose 20 pounds.”

Followed by a grocery list that focuses on “allowed” foods and signing up for a gym membership?

If that’s what setting goals look like to you, then you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Let’s change that now.


There are 3 steps to achieving goals:

  1. Identify
  2. Plan
  3. Follow-through

Today we’re going to focus on identifying a meaningful goal.

This might take you 2 minutes, it might take you 2 hours. If you need to, schedule some non-negotiable time in your calendar later this week to dig deep into this work.

How to identify your goal

Step 1: choose just one goal

We’re going to focus on just ONE goal.

I know, I know. You have so many things you want to change, right? 

Well, by constraining your focus to JUST ONE GOAL you decrease distractions and increase your power. 

So, how do you do this?

  1. Write down a list of all possible goals you could ever have. Go to town. Write down 20, 50, 100. Get all of them out of your head and on to a piece of paper.
  2. Cross off the ones that are too easy, aren’t impactful or you don’t really care about. You should end up with a short list of exciting goals.
  3. Decide on one. If you’re having trouble deciding, don’t worry. It really doesn’t matter which one it is. Once you reach it then you can move on to the next one.

Step 2: get crystal clear on why it matters

Your goal needs to be exciting enough that you can stay motivated even when it feels like crap to stay committed (which will be most of the time).

That’s right, going after goals can feel awful. It’s this very reason that you have yet to achieve the goal because, if it was easy, you’d have already done it. Don’t worry I’ll show you how to deal with this when we get to the email about follow-through later this month.

To get clear on why your #1 goal is worth it, pull out a piece of paper or your journal:

  1. Ask yourself “Why does this goal matter to me?”
  2. Then ask yourself why each of those things matter.
  3. Again, ask yourself why each of those things matter.
  4. Keep asking “why” at each level until you feel like you’ve gone to the depth of your being.
  5. Finally, write your why statement. “I am choosing to {insert goal here} because {insert why here}.


Here’s an example from my past:

My goal: make a decision about what career path I want to follow

  • Why? Because I’m not happy with my current situation
  • Why? Because I’m stressed out and stuck
  • Why? Because I’m not being authentic, I’m capable of more and feel like I have so much more to contribute the world
  • Why? Life is short and I’m getting older. I want to make the most of this life while I am strong.

Isn’t it cool how quickly you can down to the root of what’s important?


And here’s my why statement: I am changing my career path because I want to see what I’m capable of and contribute to creating the best world possible.

What’s yours?

Write it down. Stick it on your mirror. Put it on a sticky on your computer. Set it up as a daily reminder in your phone. Tell the people that love and support you.


Visit your why statement each and every day to keep it’s power strong.

In the next email, I’ll show you how to create an action plan to implement your amazing goal. 

In the meantime, let me know if you get stuck anywhere or want to practice sharing your why statement.

Have fun!


P.S. If you missed Part 1 of this series, check it out here – Have you failed at your goals already?

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