How to Set Goals and Make Them a Reality

Person achieving a goal of running up a structureAllow me to present a plan for setting goals that lead to successful outcomes.

Before we proceed, I urge you to remember the following saying as it holds great value:

“Whatever gets our attention, gets done, most of the time.”

This quote is significant because, upon reflection, you’ll realize that the main reasons for not accomplishing tasks are not due to a lack of knowledge but rather the absence of a well-defined plan or failure to take the necessary action steps.

Intentionality plays a vital role in achieving your goals. It’s crucial to recognize its power when pursuing what you set out to accomplish.

There are numerous goal-setting plans or frameworks available, some more effective than others, and unfortunately, some may not work at all.

The system I teach is called The Goal Cards System. I’ll provide a more detailed explanation shortly. One aspect that makes it particularly effective is its adaptability. You can use it as it is or incorporate parts of it into your existing plan. Many others have found success by doing so.

Before we proceed, remember that personal development is a hands-on endeavor, emphasizing the word “personal.” In other words, take what works for you and adapt it accordingly. If you come across something that has proven successful for someone else, try modeling it and applying it to your own life. If it doesn’t work for you, that’s perfectly fine—don’t be too hard on yourself. Don’t succumb to the falsehood that nothing works for you. Such victim thinking won’t serve you well, especially if you strive for personal success.

The Goal Cards System consists of four key components:

1. The main goal/objective.

2. Date and targeted time for completion.

3. A statement explaining why you genuinely want to achieve your set goal.

4. Action steps.

When examining this framework, it becomes evident that it isn’t overly complicated. Its effectiveness lies in its simplicity. However, don’t underestimate the importance of carefully considering each of these components. Take the time to fill in the details thoughtfully, making them your own. Above all, apply sufficient action and intentionality in your daily life until you witness your goal becoming a reality.

Now, let’s explore each of the four areas of The Goal Cards System in more detail. We will discuss how to customize them to suit your specific objectives and delve into the underlying theory of why this system works.

Defining Your Main Objective: The Key to Clarity and Effective Progress

To ensure clarity and effective progress, it is crucial to identify the main goal or objective.

Without a clear vision of what you want to achieve, you’ll find yourself scattered and aimless, making efforts in various directions without taking the necessary steps to reach your desired destination. It’s like being an old pirate ship wandering from island to island, searching for treasure without a specific map to guide you. You could end up anywhere or, more likely, nowhere close to where you actually want to be.

Let’s examine an example from my own life to illustrate how to lay out a main objective. When I was starting my site, which eventually became, my initial goal was as follows: To encourage and inspire millions of people across the globe to achieve success by providing motivational and personal development resources from leading experts.

While this main goal was somewhat broad, it suited the audacious endeavor I was embarking on. The reason it worked is that it clearly defined what I aimed to accomplish on a macro level. As we proceed, you’ll see that the true power lies in breaking down and defining the specific action steps required to bring your larger goal to fruition.

Setting a Deadline: Maintaining Focus and Drive Towards Your Goal

Next, write down a date and targeted time for completion of your goal.

This doesn’t mean you have to achieve it by the exact time you set. Rather, it’s more accurate to say that if you don’t accomplish it by the set date and time, don’t give up; simply readjust the timeframe and continue working toward your goal. Ultimately, the purpose of setting a date and targeted time is to maintain focus and drive as you progress.

Using my goal example, I certainly didn’t achieve it by the original deadline I had set. It’s important to note that I did accomplish several subtasks along the way, but I wouldn’t claim to have fully achieved the overarching goal by that time. This section emphasizes the need for adjustments along the journey and serves as a tool to keep yourself engaged as you navigate towards your desired outcome.

Crafting a Meaningful Why Statement: Igniting Your Motivation for Goal Achievement

Take the time to craft a well-thought-out statement that captures why you genuinely want to achieve the goal you’ve set.

This step might seem like a cliché or one you’re tempted to skip over, but I strongly urge you not to underestimate its significance. Dedicate sincere thought to writing a statement that truly aligns with its purpose. In essence, you want a statement that transports you back to the moment when you first thought, “This is something I want to pursue.” Try to reconnect with that part of yourself that felt excited and energized about the specific goal you’re aiming for. Understand that this is crucial because life will constantly present competing demands for your valuable time, which is essential for accomplishing your goal. As we’ve discussed earlier, the things you prioritize and invest time in are the ones that tend to get done most frequently. If you genuinely desire success in a particular goal or endeavor, you must be intentional about dedicating time and effort to it. It really is that simple. The statement we’re focusing on right now, if crafted effectively, can serve as the fuel that keeps you on track and helps you regain your path if you find yourself drifting away.

Instead of sharing my own example, I want to encourage your imagination to come up with one that resonates with you. To get you thinking, consider these ideas:

If your goal is to start a new business, your statement might be something like: “I want to establish ‘ABC Business’ because I am thrilled about creating an asset that has the potential to transform my family’s financial future. I recognize that it will require hard work and effort, but the ultimate outcome will grant me the freedom to spend more quality time with my loved ones and live life on my own terms.”

This is just a brief example, but the more authentic and specific you can make it to your own situation, the more impactful it will be. You’re essentially striving to create a statement that ignites the fire within you and propels you forward towards your desired goal.

Taking Action: Transforming Your Goals into Tangible Steps

Without a doubt, the most crucial step in this goal-setting framework is taking action.

When we talk about action steps, it’s precisely what it sounds like—summarizing the necessary steps you’ll need to take to bring you closer to your larger goal. It may sound simple, but your willingness to follow through on these required actions will often determine whether your goals become a reality or not.

You should break down these steps into specific and tangible actions. Now is not the time to think in general terms.

Referring back to my personal example of growing a website, here are some specific action steps I took:

Please note that these are not in any particular order since this was a prolonged period of pursuing the goal. In fact, as I write this, it’s still something I actively work towards. While it’s safe to say that I’ve achieved the goal of attracting millions of visitors to the site since its inception, I continue to work on it actively.

Here are a few examples of different action steps to help stimulate your own ideas:

– Reach out to experts and request permission to syndicate one of their articles on my site.

a. Craft a personalized email introducing myself and making the request.

b. Send the email.

c. Follow up as necessary.

– Share the latest website article with the email newsletter.

a. Create and craft the newsletter.

b. Send out the newsletter.

c. Track specific newsletter metrics (such as readership).

– Monitor web analytics to gauge website traffic.

a. Analyze visitor traffic sources and patterns.

b. Determine the most successful content / web pages.

– Write original content that resonates with my audience.

a. Ask readers about their interests and what they’d like to learn more about.

b. Research what people are looking for (i.e. searching for) and if I have expertise in that area, sharing my thoughts on it.

c. Write, edit, and publish the requested article.

These are just a few broad examples to get your thought process going. The key is to adapt them to your unique situation. Action steps are the most critical aspect, and they naturally evolve as you continue working on your goals. If an action step yields positive results, do more of it. If you don’t achieve the desired outcomes, make adjustments and try something different. Continual iteration is the key. Action steps keep you in the game until you reach your desired destination.

Personally, I find it helpful to add a small “V” next to each action step, representing victory, instead of merely checking them off. This method allows me to track my progress along the way. It’s important to have the ability to review and assess your progress, and this approach can be quite beneficial.

So, there you have it—the Goal Cards System goal-setting framework, summarized in a nutshell. I hope the provided examples have been helpful. Remember, it’s crucial to make these ideas your own and use them according to your specific needs. By the way, I delve deeper into these concepts in my book, titled “It’s Your Life, LIVE BIG!” It’s available in bookstores and online through a simple search if you’re interested. However, rest assured that this article contains everything you truly need to make this framework work for you.

It’s Your Life, LIVE BIG
Josh Hinds

Scroll to Top