I’m a huge advocate for setting goals to help you create and live the life you want. I truly believe in the power of goal-setting and I have experienced first-hand how powerful it can be.
For example, I had wanted to start a blog for a long time before it became an actual reality. I even enrolled in a course to help me get motivated to do it. But it still wasn’t happening. Even though I was working through the coursework each and every week (and really enjoying it!) I wasn’t actually taking action towards making it happen.
One day I realised that if I didn’t start taking action towards launching this blog — I would probably never do it. So I decided to get really serious about making this happen. I started by getting clear on what I wanted and setting a tangible goal about it. And doing this made me way more motivated and inspired to actually work towards making it happen. Several months later I finally did launch that blog, and here we are now 😉
It’s important for me to let you know that I don’t believe that there really is a “perfect” or “best” way to word your goals — and I think that just having a set goal itself is powerful, however…
I’ve found that for myself (and also with my clients) that when I have a goal but I don’t feel inspired by it, I’m so much more less likely to feel motivated to taking action towards making it happen — even if it’s something I really, really, truly want. Because the truth is…
This is why I truly believe that we need to feel inspired by the goals we set ourselves. Because it is when we feel this way that we are empowered to move towards achieving it. So in this post I’ll be sharing with you 9 ways you can set goals that will empower you to take action — and I’ve also got some super useful resources to help you do this.
Anchoring into why you want to achieve something is super important — and incredibly powerful — when it comes to setting goals.
This can help you to uncover the underlying reason why you actually want what to achieve this goal. It also can help you to find a way to feel more connected to your goal — and therefore you’ll be more motivated to take action towards it.
To do this we need to work out why this goal is important to us, so we can truly feel connected and invested in it.
For example: If your goal is to find a new job, you can consider why you want this to help you feel more connected to it. You might uncover that you want to find a new job because you want to do work that is important and meaningful, or that you want jump out of bed each day with enthusiasm to go to work, or you want to feel fulfilled by your job. A more powerful goal that is connected to your “why” might be:
Find a job that I’m excited to do each day.
Find a meaningful job that brings me joy.
You an also use your why as a way to make your actual goal even more specific and more meaningful to you.
For example: If your goal is to donate more money to charity and this is really important to you — you might explore why you want to be able to do this. By doing this you can feel more connected and invested in your goal and even uncover how you can set a goal that’s even more meaningful for you. So instead of donate more money to charity your goal might become:
Pay for 5 teachers to be trained through World Vision
Raise funds to build a school with Pencils For Promise
Sponsor 3 children in [whatever country you choose]
As you can see by the examples above, taking your why into consideration is a really powerful way to make your goal more inspiring for you — and help you feel more empowered to take action towards it.
This approach — by Danielle LaPorte — has truly revolutionised the way I approach my goals (and my entire life in general). As Danielle says “Knowing how you actually want to feel in life is the most potent form of clarity than you can have.” And I truly couldn’t agree more!
Getting clear on how I want to feel makes me re-evaluate what I think I want to do and achieve, as well as helping me to work backwards by asking myself: What would make me feel the way I want to feel? It’s like reverse goal-setting — and it’s very powerful.
An incredible recommended resource to help you do this:
Danielle Laporte’s The Desire Map* will change your life (I know it has for me and so many others!). I refer back to this all the time and I also revisit the workbook every year or whenever I want to get clear on how I want to feel. I truly believe that your goals (and life!) will never be the same once you start living in alignment with how you want to feel — and this is an incredible guide to help you do that.
Once you’re clear on how you want to feel this can help you:
∞ Evaluate if your goal (and what you want) is truly aligned with how you want to feel.
∞ Set a goal that will help you feel the way you want to feel.
∞ Incorporate how you want to feel into the actual goal itself so you feel more connected to it.
One of the most common mistakes I see people making when it comes to goal-setting is that they set goals that are SO huge and amazing (and so far out of reach) that they feel overwhelmed when it comes to making it happen.
I’m all for limitless possibilities and dreaming big, however, I truly believe it’s so important for us to actually believe we can achieve a goal by ensuring what we want to do is actually achievable.
I believe that goals should challenge us and stretch us (see point #8 😉 ) but I also believe that they should also be realistic and achievable as well.
You can do this by:
1. Breaking down your mega goal into more achievable (but still challenging) goals that will eventually lead you to your mega goal.
For example: If your mega goal is to one day climb Mount Everest (first of all, high fives to you because that’s insanely awesome!), but if at the moment you barely exercise, a challenging but more achievable goal might be:
Participate in this year’s local fun run.
Then you once you’ve achieved that, you might continue to step your goal up to completing a marathon — and then so on.
Another example: If your goal is to become an Amazon best selling author and if you’ve never even written anything bigger than a blog post, you might break your goal down and make it more achievable by setting a goal to:
Write the first draft of a book
Write and self-publish an eBook
2. You can also make a goal more achievable by considering a time-frame for your goal that’s realistic.
Big goals are amazing, but often the bigger the goal, the longer it’s going to take to make it happen — and this can be really discouraging.
Keeping a time frame in mind for a goal (one that is realistic, but also a stretch) can be really useful at keeping you in the right mindset that this goal will take time.
For example, if your goal is to buy your first house and you want to achieve this in 3 months but have zero savings, this isn’t exactly realistic. So instead you might re-evaluate (and even run some numbers) to work out what would be more realistic and achievable for you (but also a challenge) to achieve this goal.
A vague goal is not powerful, at all.
Another way you can feel more empowered by your goal is by making it really specific.
I know I’ve found that for myself (and through working with my clients) that setting a goal that is clearly defined is so much more powerful than when the goal is vague.
For example: A goal that is vague and unclear might be put myself out there. A more specific goal might be:
Courageously put myself out there online by launching a website.
Put myself out there by launching my health coaching packages
Another example: Another vague and unclear goal is get fitter. A more clear and specific goal might be:
Be the fittest I’ve ever been
Feel strong, healthy and vibrant
Be able to run 2km without stopping
Participate in the local fun run
As you can see from the examples above, when you try to make a goal more specific you get clearer on what it is that you want and end up with a more powerful goal.
I’ve found that my goals are so much more powerful when I make sure my each one has it’s own strong and unique focus.
You can also do this by:
1. Combining goals that have a similar focus into one goal with a specific and strong focus.
For example: If you have two individual but similar goals that are be the fittest I’ve ever been and participate in the local fun run, you might consider combining these (if feels good for you to do so of course) into one really specific goal with a strong focus such as:
Be the absolute fittest I’ve ever been and participate in the local fun run.
As you can tell this goal still has one clear focus and is actually made stronger by combining the goals together.
2. You can also make your goal have a clear and strong focus by separating your goals so each one has their own unique focus.
Sometimes we can fall into the trap of combining too many goals into one goal, and it can end up feeling like more of a to-do list. This approach can make your goals feel overwhelming. You can remedy this by re-working your goal by breaking it down so each one has a clear (and strong) focus and concisely encompasses what you want to achieve (brevity is essential here!).
For example: A goal that has too many goals combined and feels more like a to-do list might be: Enrol in life coach training, learn the skills I need to become a good life coach, launch a website and social media platforms, and get my first clients. To make this goal more distinct and focused you might change it to:
Become a certified life coach
Become a certified life coach and launch my website
When breaking up your long, to-do list style goal consider which parts would make a powerful goal with a clear focus and which parts would bet better suited to becoming action steps towards that end-goal.
You might also like: 9 mistakes people make when setting goals
A goal that involves achieving something positive is going to make us feel a lot more inspired to take action towards it — rather than a goal that is focused on something negative.
I know in my own experience that having a positive-focused goal feels more empowering and makes me feel way more motivated to take action towards it, and on the other-hand when I’ve had negatively focused goals I’ve feel unmotivated and stuck when trying to achieve them.
For example: A goal with a negative focus might be get out of debt or pay off my HECS debt, and instead a positive-focused goal might be:
Be financially free
Have an abundant relationship with my finances
Both these examples still encompass the same things as the negative-focused goal, but are worded in a way that feels empowering and inspiring — which is going to help you be more likely to take action towards it.
Tip: If you want to re-word your negative-focused goal you can make it positive by considering the opposite of the negative goal, using the example above the opposite of debt is abundance and financial freedom. You can easily flip a negative goal to make it a positive one — and it can still encompass the same thing.
If you want to feel motivated to take action towards achieving a goal you need to set a goal that inspires you. When you’re inspired by a goal you’re going to be way more invested in it and this is going to help you feel empowered to take action towards it.
You can do this by considering your why (like in point #1) and re-working the goal until you feel inspired by it.
For example: Your goal might be to save for a holiday, and by considering what it is you really want and how you can feel inspired by it, a more inspiring goal might be:
Go on an epic overseas adventure to Europe
Take my family on their first overseas trip to Asia
When making your goal inspirational, it’s really important to consider what will inspire you, because there really is no point setting a goal that sounds inspiring to others, but doesn’t excite you.
One of the reasons we choose to set goals is to help us stretch and achieve something we want — something that we don’t already have. In order for us to do this we need to set a goal that challenges and stretches us.
However we can easily fall into the trap of setting a goal that is way too easy, but this is pointless because it doesn’t help us to stretch or grow at all. And on the other hand there’s also no point in making the goal so challenging that we feel overwhelmed by it immediately (like I mentioned in #3).
So it’s really important to make sure your goal is realistic and achievable, but also at the same time challenging as well.
For example: A goal that might be way too easy is find out what I need in order to buy my first house, or organise a meeting at the bank to discuss buying my first house and these might actually make a really good initial action steps for the more challenging goal of:
Buy my first house.
Another example: If your goal is to become more confident you might decide to challenge yourself a bit more by making the goal:
Be the most confident I’ve ever been and do my first ever public speaking gig
Another example: If your goal is to run 5km without stopping but you’re already pretty fit, you might challenge yourself by setting a goal to:
Run in the local 10km fun run
It’s really important to be honest with yourself here and make sure that you’re goal is challenging you and stretching you BUT as the same time it is realistic and achievable as well.
You might also like: 19 questions to ask yourself before you commit to a goal
Giving yourself a direct target to aim for is much more powerful than not having a target at all. And in order to do this with our goals we need to be able to know when we’ve actually achieved our goal.
To do this we can have a measure in mind that will help us know when we’ve achieved the goal. When we are clear on where it is we want to go, it makes it so much more easier to work out what needs to be done in order to get there and to stay on track.
For example: a goal that isn’t measurable is save for an overseas holiday, because there is no actual way to know for sure when you’ve actually achieved this goal, so you might make it measurable by making it:
Go on an overseas holiday
This is only a slight word change but it’s measurable because you will know the goal is achieved when you go on the holiday!
Save $5000 to go on a holiday
This is also a measurable goal, you will know when you’ve achieved it when you’re savings hits $5000.
You can approach this in many different ways, but it’s important to have a clear idea on how you will know that you’ve achieved your goal.
Also, if you’re goal isn’t easily measurable — and you can’t find a way to make it more measurable — that’s totally okay. It’s just important to keep in mind what the goal means for you and how you will be able to know when you’ve achieved it. Maybe you’ll know that you’ve achieved it because you’ll feel a certain way or you might be able to do something you couldn’t before.
I’ve created some worksheets especially for you with questions to help you work through each of the 9 points mentioned in this post and a power-sheet to help you work through re-wording your goal. Plus there’s also a Q&A audio for you with some useful insights on goals and working towards them.
You’ll also get access to The Infinite Collection — a FREE mini (but growing) library of resources especially for you.
To get access to these goal related resources (and the entire collection) enter your details here incredible human:
1. Uncover why your goal is important to you.
2. Get clear on how you want to feel
3. Ensure your goal is realistic for you
4. Make your goal really specific.
5. Make each goal have one clear individual focus
6. Have a positive focused goal
7. Make your goal inspiring for YOU
8. Ensure your goal is challenging for you.
9. Keep in mind how you will measure the goal
1. If your interested in getting some extra guidance in setting yourself goals that empower and inspire you step right this way to see how I can support you.
2. I’d LOVE to hear from you in the comments below: Let me know which of the tips outlined in this post are you going to implement first to make your goal more empowering for you?
Best of luck in making your goals a reality!
PS. You might also like: 9 mistakes people make when setting goals + 19 questions to ask yourself before committing to a goal.
PPS. Note: Full transparency is awesome, so it’s important for me to let you know that I am a super proud affiliate for anything marked with an * in this post and if you like you can read my affiliate disclaimer here 🙂