Goal Setting for Real People Living Real Life

Goal SettingToday we’re going to talk about how to make goal setting a useful part of your life. This is the third and final article in my series on goal setting. If you haven’t read the first article – Goal Setting: The #1 Reason It’s Not Working for You – or  the second article – Goal Setting: How to Make it Work for You – those are essential if you really want to get this goal setting thing right.

Ultimately, my goal for you is this. I want you to understand that goal setting is the backbone of your business. That you shouldn’t worry about getting 10,000 Facebook fans, writing your first book, or improving your Klout score until you have a goal setting routine in place.

The common attitude I hear when I ask people about goal setting is “I’ve already done that awhile ago, let’s get to making money,” or “Okay, my goal is to make $10,000 a month, let’s get started.” If that is your attitude, you get a big “F” in goal setting. The good news is, if you do what I’m outlining for you in these three articles, you can quickly turn that around.

There are 3 big things you need to understand about applying goal setting to your daily living (and working).

1. You Can’t “Set it and Forget it”

I know you went to a seminar a couple of years back and did a goal setting exercise. You may even know where the notebook is you wrote them down in. And if you were to review them, they might even still sound good.

But the fact is, your goals change. And that’s okay. But if your goals are going to continue to motivate and inspire you, they have to be what’s getting you out of bed today. When I talk about goals here, I’m talking about the “Prize” you’re going after, not the “Process,” because everyone’s goals list is made up of Prizes.

I used to have a goal to drive a high-end Jaguar by the time I reached a certain age. I made the goal because someone I admired in college had a beautiful Jaguar. It’s a goal I could have met, but seriously, three car seats don’t fit well in a Jaguar. Obviously, when I had my kids, my goals changed. As beautiful as it is, that Jaguar wasn’t going to help me accomplish anything in my business. So it had to be dropped from my goals list.

I want you to review your goals (or Prize) list once a month. Really think about each thing on there and whether it continues to serve you. If not, don’t hesitate to take it off. Add new things as they become important in your life.

2. All of Your Actions Need to be Goal-Driven

As you plan your week and your business all of your actions need to be tied to one of your goals. This goes back to the “Process” and “Prize” that we talked about last time.

The action you are taking is the Process, and the outcome you are looking for is the Prize. If your Prize is to become THE go-to authority in your market, then part of your Process is to become a published author on a relevant topic. If your Prize is to spend a couple of weeks in Jamaica this winter, part of your Process might be to fund the vacation by re-launching an updated version of an old product.

So your “goals” list for the day should have three columns. It might look like this:

Goal                                       Process                                     Prize

Draft Chapter 1 of new book                  Become a Published Author                  To be the go-to authority in my field

Research publishing options                 Become a Published Author                   To be the go-to authority in my field

Create email marketing campaign       Relaunch Updated Version of Product X      Winter vacation in Jamaica

You’ll be far more likely to complete your goals list for the day if you are inspired by what the ultimate Prize will be for your work.

3. You Have to Operate on a Deadline

You’ve probably heard the saying, “A goal is a dream with a deadline,” and there is some truth to this. Chances are, many of your goals will be nothing more than hopes and dreams unless you put on your “boss” hat and give yourself a deadline.

Sometimes this is easy. You can establish a deadline for your Jamaica Prize by booking the dates for the trip. Sometimes it’s harder, as it will be with the Prize of becoming an authority in your field. Pick a date, one that’s realistic and challenging at the same time.

If your Prize deadline is one year from now, it will give all of your Processes a deadline. You’ll need to get your book published in six months, which means it has to be to the publisher in four months, which means chapter one has to be done in one week. And so on.

Deadlines will work miracles in helping you move things from your “goals” list to your “done that” list.  And ultimately, that is your goal!

I’d love to hear your feedback. Do you have a different approach to goal setting? Has my goal setting series helped you look at the process as a more powerful force for moving your business to where you want it to be? I look forward to hearing about your challenges and successes.



  1. A goal without a deadline is just a dream. Love how you outlined specific guidelines by indicating the goal, the process and the prize. Great reminder to review goals monthly Jennifer to ensure one stays on track.

  2. Great article! Love the idea of needing to have a deadline. I have found this to be critical, even if at some point I need to adjust it, having it in my mind keeps me on track!

  3. I am not that good in goal setting, although I always have goals in my mind. Like you said, we need to write them down; how will we otherwise know when we have accomplished something right? I have to work on this, thanks!

  4. Love the last tip – deadlines are a must!

  5. You are a fountain of wisdom. No matter what you write, it is always helpful and fill of insight!

  6. Great article Jennifer! We all need to have realistic goals and have things set to achieve them. When I started my business, my first goal was to bring in enough money to cover the tuition for both of my girls to attend private school. That goal has been met 🙂 My big goal is to be on a Forbes list. Of course, there has to be a lot accomplished first!

  7. “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” Powerful! Set the goal, put it into action, and make your dreams a reality.


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