Achieving Goals

In my last blog on Goal Setting I talked about The SMART Model, and how that model can help you write specific and important goals.

Now that you have established a list of goals that are clear, specific, measurable, etc (S.M.A.R.T), we are going to offer some KEY ingredients to actually achieving them.

Although there are lots and lots of things that are helpful – things like Passion, Confidence, Excellence, Collaboration (and many more), we have narrowed it down to FOUR critical aspects and distinctions. They are:

  1. PLAN
  2. FOCUS

We will address each of these. Once you learn to master this model for achievement, you can use it to set and achieve goal after goal after goal.


“If you don’t have a plan, you are probably planning to fail.”

Imagine that you are going to build a house or take an extended trip.

What is the first thing you need? A PLAN!

You wouldn’t just go to the airport and say “take me somewhere.”

Why do you need a plan? Because it is your MAP and although you may take some slight changes along the way, the plan guides you in your endeavor. It keeps you on course.

Here is a technique for planning that comes from years of observing executives in the workplace. It was observed that some executives seemed to be much better at achieving goals than others.


We noticed that one key ingredient was that they excelled at planning. 

In addition, they followed a format of starting with the “BIG picture” (purpose, vision) and connected to each of the following stages as the plan became more and more specific. This model is called an “Achievement Funnel”.

You will start with a VISION, connect a GOAL to that VISION, then connect STRATEGIES of how to achieve the GOAL, then connect ACTIVITIES to each STRATEGY and finally connect RESULTS (milestones and measurements to each activity.)

Let’s make this clearer by showing you a visual depiction and then providing a great example:

General Example
Specific Example

Be sure to list any doubts and concerns you must plan for. Address each of these with a strategy. For example:

CONCERNS – I like to eat junk food and sleep in.

STRATEGY – Do my plan with a friend to help motivate me.


  • Do an achievement (PLAN) for at least 2-3 GOALS
  • Get busy! You can do it!
 Let’s move on to our next distinction – FOCUS


We often get lost in activities or overwhelmed with the amount of things to do.

Distraction can lead to failure. Imagine you are preparing to ask someone to go on a date to see a movie. Instead of focusing on your goal to get a date, you get distracted by thinking about other issues like:

“What movie should I suggest?”

“What clothes should I wear?”

“What if they say no, will I lose face?”

“Will others find out?”

And on, and on, and on…

Sometimes we coach people to use visual aid to help stay focused on the GOAL and daily activities. Write your goal/activities and post the paper where you can see it everyday.

Here’s an assignment to remind you about the importance of being focused on your GOAL:

  1. List a time you got distracted and failed
  2. List a time you stayed focused and succeeded
Let's move to another aspect of success in achieving GOALS...Responsibility


A simple but sometimes difficult distinction – RESPONSIBILITY.

Frankly, we could spend days trying to understand this concept but we want to keep it as simple as possible, so we have reduced it to two key definitions.

  1. It is up to you to OWN your goal. It is for you. Don’t depend on luck and others, depend on yourself. Take action, if you fail, try again. Remember…

“If it is to BE, it is up to ME”

2. Don’t be a victim – things rarely go according to your initial plan. If circumstances like time cause breakdown, try harder. You can do it. Believe in yourself. Control what you can.


Think of a time that you set a goal and things didn’t go according to plan – BUT you didn’t give up and ultimately succeeded. It feels pretty powerful! YOU ARE!

Our final distinction for achieving GOALS - Committed Action


In other words, it’s called PERSISTENCE- anyone can give up. Don’t allow yourself to be like those who quit.


When there are breakdowns – rise up and BREAKTHROUGH!

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