Goal Setting for People Who Hate Goal Setting

personal development Jun 12, 2016


So last week I was talking about my goals so let’s do something that makes loads of people roll their eyes so hard that they look like they’re warging. Goal Setting!

Yes, I know, groan. Work goals, SMART goals, targets, oh my god can you fucking not?



Well tough tits, it’s my blog and I’m doing this today, because it’s really important and using well-formed outcomes is going to have a massive impact on your life and what you achieve.


Why?! I (pretend to) hear you ask. Well, thank you for that excellent question.

Because it works. We’ll come back to the why but for now the what.


What are well-formed outcomes?

What do you want to achieve then, what’s your goal? What’s the end of this action plan?

It might seem simple but “I want to be rich” is not a good goal. What does ‘rich’ mean? How will you know you’ve become rich? One person’s wealth is another duck’s pittance so get specific.

“My goal is to have $1000000 dollars” ok that’s getting somewhere. But what kind of dollar? Ecuadorian? Australian? American?

“My goal is to have $1000000 US dollars” getting better. Where will they be? In assets? In cash? In the bank?

“My goal is to have a bank statement that says I am $1000000 (USD) in credit with no other debts taking away from that total” Ok smartypants, you’re getting it and have added exactly how you’ll know you have achieved your goal, it’s now measurable and you will know how far towards that goal you are at any time, by checking the bank statement. You’ve also added in stipulations – if you’re the same amount in debt elsewhere then this goal has not been met.

So when? Be specific.

“By 12th December 2017 I will have a bank statement that says I am $1000000 (USD) in credit with no other debts taking away from that total”.

Good! Specificity is key.

So where will you be, how will you know, what will it look and sound like?

“On 12th December 2017, at 11:20AM the postman will deliver a bank statement, which indicates that I have $1000000 US dollars in my bank account. I will have no other debts. It will be a cold crisp morning and I will be in my lounge, with a cup of coffee, the radio will be on, playing light jazz as I tear open the white windowed DL envelope addressed to me. I will know it’s from the bank due to the return address. When I open it I will turn to the balance and there I will see that I have over $1000000 US dollars in credit with this bank. I will then check any other accounts to ensure no other debts are eating n to the total”.

And that is a well-formed outcome.

Is it achievable? Well that’s up to you and the action plan you put in place to get there. I’ll talk about action plans next time but that is how you write a goal, a well-formed goal, a goal with specificity and measurability.



What about the ecology? “Birds and marshes and the delicate balance of our world”?” Nope. How will achieving this goal affect you and the people around you? “Well” says the imaginary person who has been flitting in and out of this post “my wife is really against material wealth and would probably leave me if I didn’t immediately donate all of it to charity”. So why do you have this as a goal? “perhaps I need to rethink it”.

If you have a goal whose ecology is not sound then your unconscious will do it’s very best to sabotage ever achieving it. Perhaps this could be reframed to incorporate wealth but working in a brilliant social enterprise to help those in need?

An example of this is a colleague of mine who dreamed of moving back to Portugal. Portuguese by birth he longed for the sun, the diet, the sea, the relaxed bustle of Lisbon, and had dreamed of returning from 10 years after he arrived in London to make a go of his business.

10 years he’d had this dream and never achieved it. Something was blocking his progress and so I asked him how would achieving it affect those close to him, his family, friends, and loved ones?

“Hmmmmm…” he pondered, “well my wife’s parents are pretty old and need taking care of, and our daughter will be doing her GCSEs next year”

“and what does that mean?” I asked…

“If I were to move back to Portugal now my wife would probably leave me!”

“Is that something you want?”

“of course not! Nor do I want me daughter to hate me!”

So what did he do? Within the year he bought a holiday home in Portugal, in Cascais, 30km west of Lisbon with a beautiful view of the sea, peace and quiet yet near to the town, and a nice little earner through Air B’n’B when they aren’t there. I regret not being in touch any longer…

Goal reframed and achieved, just like that.


Skip to the End…

This has gone on long enough for now. We’ll do action plans and why you need to follow the rules on goals, objectives and actions if you really want to succeed soon.

But hey, Mario has a clear goal, right from World 1-1 of Super Mario Bros. he knew he had to go right and keep going. Things may get in the way, there may be detours, there may be ghosts and dinosaurs and I don’t even know what Goombas really are but those too.

The goal is clear and you go for it. That’s how you get what you want. I just really hope it’s not like this otherwise it’s a shady goal and Mario deserves a good slap. The ‘don’t be a dick’ part is also pretty important in any goal if you want to work with me!

And if you do want to work with me to get what you want you can book a free consultation, a one-off session, or a programme of coaching by visiting https://www.https://www.coachingforgeeks.com/booking

Send me an email with any questions [email protected] I’m most active on twitter if social media’s your thing @coachinggeeks and you can find me on facebook and instagram too if you want to.

Be amazing, you deserve it.



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