“Goals are like magnets. They’ll attract the things that make them come true.” Tony Robbins

The dictionary defines a goal as the object of a person’s ambition or effort, an aim or desired result.

Goals can be very targeted or they can be treated as an intent or destination, setting the context for actions without being too attached to the outcome.

Why are goals important?

It is important to define your goals clearly because if you don’t you are likely to drift, making you susceptible to being at the mercy of someone else’s goals.

Habit 2 in Stephen Covey’s book The 7 habits of Highly Effective People sets out the importance of establishing your goals:

To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now and so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.”

What motivates us to set goals?

It is also true that everyone sets and achieves goals (albeit insignificant ones) all the time, for example, planning a holiday, what we are going to eat, journeys etc. However, many people don’t set big life goals for a number of reasons:

  • They may not know what they want
  • They may have a dream or idea but think more about all the reasons that will stop them achieving it (imaginary and real) rather than focusing on what actions they can take to move them closer to it
  • They are caught up in achieving things they feel they ‘should’ do and don’t take control of their choices
  • They may not be sufficiently motivated

How can you improve your chances of achieving your goals?

The chance of achieving your goals increases significantly in relation to the activities taken towards them, as research performed by the Institute of Applied Emotional Intelligence shows:


Therefore, committing to someone and having an appointment with that person to follow up on your commitment increases your chances to 95% – an amazing improvement.

Work on defining your goals to:

  • Provide a target to aim towards
  • Enable you to choose the actions today that will get you to where you want to be tomorrow
  • Give your life a purpose that provides meaning and fulfilment

Next steps

Complete this be do have activity to brainstorm everything that you want to be, do and have.

Complete this personal SWOT analysis activity to explore the goals that arise from harnessing your skills and opportunities and mitigating or developing your threats and weaknesses.

Complete this wheel of life activity to explore the balance of focus given to all the important areas of your life now and define the balance that you would like to feel fulfilled.

Explore specific goals using this well formed outcome exercise to reflect on whether it is aligned with your core motivations and desires.

Create a compelling vision of your goal using this visualisation activity. Through exposure to this vision on a daily basis you will improve the likelihood of achieving your goal.