Blueprint >> Goal-Setting

Disclaimer: This document is in raw form as I process and distill 4 years-worth of my personal development notes. Expect some typos and cryptic language for now. I will be updating frequently and polishing up.

Prescription: Understand goal setting. Set effective goals.
Related Concepts: Mission Statement, Journaling, Charting, Mind Power, Top 10 Values, Normalize Expectations

What is Goal-Setting?


Why is it Important?

Goal setting is critical to success, but you need to know how to set goals properly. Growing into your full personal potential means setting ambitious goals and executing on them.

Goal-Setting Videos

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Coach Leo Gura
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Goal-Setting: Key Points

Goals must be specific, significant, and stated in the positive.

  • Specific — Most goals are hazy and generic. Imagining your goal in great detail and articulating it is half the battle.
  • Significant — Most goals are too small. Make sure your goals are big enough to capture your imagination. If the goal won't change your life profoundly, you won't have motivation to follow through.
  • Positive — Many goals are actually ways to avoid pain. Make sure your goals are about creating something positive, not escaping something negative.

Unless it's written out and reviewed daily, it's not a goal. Goals must be written down and thought about daily. 1

You will only accomplish 20% of your goals. When you start goalsetting in earnest, you'll realize that most of your goals will go unrealized. That's okay. The process of writing out your goals helps you clarify what is it that's really worth your time and energy to pursue. In many cases you will realize that the goal you wanted isn't really import to you after all, or it's way down in priority. Even though you will only realize 20% of your goals, there is still a great emotional relief in going through the process. Those remaining 80% will stop nagging at you.

Set short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals. Short = days/weeks, medium = months, long = years. Have goals for yourself that are 3, 5, or 10 years out. What do you want you life to look like in 10 years?

Break long and medium goals down into sub-goals.

Top reasons for why you aren't achieving your goals:

  • Don't have any goals — Don't confuse desires with goals. Goals are specific, written down, and thought about daily. 1
  • Goals are too small — The risk of setting too small of a goal is much greater than the risk of setting to big of a goal. 1
  • Goals aren't aligned with your true values — Make sure your goals are really yours and not someone else's. Don't let you parents, friends, or culture dictate your goals. Goals must align with your top values.

Every goal has a cost — a price that you will pay to achieve it. Articulate all the costs involved and decide whether you want to accept this cost. Is the goal worth the cost? The cost of a goal might be time, money, emotional labor, or some other form of sacrifice. Perhaps there is a real tradeoff between accepting the new management position and spending time with your family. Perhaps you have to risk your life savings to start your first business. Perhaps you have to give up your favorite food to drop 50 pounds. Are you willing to accept these costs? If not, you won't succeed. Don't undertake a new goal or project lightly, but also don't focus so much on the cost that it scares you from acting.

  • A man can have anything he wants as long as he's willing to accept the cost. — Arnold Schwarzenegger


  1. Mind Power, John Kehoe
Coach Leo Gura
Hire me as your coach. Super-charge your life. Email me now!
  • Redesign your life to align with your purpose
  • Mindsets and tools for exceptional success