A Lesson on Goal Setting

Goal setting is important. If you don’t know what you’re trying to do, you won’t ever do it.

Whether personal goals or business goals, in order to achieve the kinds of results you are hoping for the best thing you can do is start by laying out a set of goals.


Goals can be little, like day to day tasks and to-do lists. Or they can be larger and more complex.

The science in this field tells us that the best way to set goals is to start with a broad set of larger goals and then work backwards to define the specific steps and intervals that will get you there in time.

For example, let’s say you have a goal of learning a new language. If you stop there, you are more likely than not to give up long before achieving that goal. It’s too complex, and requires too much of your time. So it’s easy to put it off and forget about it.

But if you break it down into chunks, starting with signing up for a class, or buying new software, you make the goal more achievable.

The smaller, more actionable steps are goal in themselves which lead you down the right road, making it more likely you’ll accomplish the larger goal in the end.

Sharing and Tracking

You are more likely to complete a goal if you tell others about it. Why? Because those people will hold you accountable. They will cheer you on, check in with you from time to time and ask how you’re doing.

More importantly, you will have made a promise. Maybe you didn’t actually make a promise, but that’s how your brain will react. And that makes it more difficult to give up or change your mind.

If it’s not something you care to share with others, the science says you should write it down. The simple of act of writing down your goals and crossing them off after you achieve them makes it more likely you will stick with it.


If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there. So be specific, make your goals actionable, and write them down.