the six step goal setting process

Dissecting The Six Step Goal Setting Process

Do you have big goals you want to achieve? Have you possibly had these goals for a while now, and haven’t really pursued them? Why is that? What has held you back? What reasons do you have for not taking the plunge? Is it possible you’re living a life of excuses? Some of them of course might be legitimate, but for the most part, you are probably only fooling yourself with these lies. But why is that? Why do we make these excuses? Well it might have something to do with the fact that we totally suck at goal setting. If you’re not using the six step goal setting process to set your goals, then the chances are you probably won’t achieve them.


goal setting process

When most people think about setting a goal, that is all they do. They think about setting a goal. However, thinking about a goal doesn’t actually turn that thought into a goal. What you imagine will remain nothing more but a dream until you actually take the time to describe that goal on paper. With this in mind, it’s time to get very clear about your goal. Take out a sheet of paper and write down exactly what you want to accomplish. But make sure that it’s no ordinary goal. This goal must be meaningful, challenging, exciting and worth accomplishing. There must be a strong reason and desire for wanting this goal, otherwise you simply won’t pursue it.


The Ultimate Goal Setting Process

Many people don’t have any trouble working through the first step of the goal setting process. They clearly outline their goal in a visual way and get very excited about the thought of pursuing it. However, the goal you set doesn’t live on an island all by itself. It lives within a microcosm alongside the other goals, responsibilities and commitments you have in your life. In other words, it is living within an environment where it is competing for your attention. It’s therefore very possible that an existing goal could hinder your pursuit of this new goal. Given this, you now need to identify these goal conflicts and prioritize what’s most important.


The Goal Setting Process

Nothing in life comes for free. There is always something that we must give in order to get something in return. Often that sacrifice comes in the form of time, energy, money or something else we value. This is especially relevant when it comes to goal achievement. The goal you have decided to pursue comes with a price. That price is the cost you pay for pursuing that goal. Often that price comes in the form of the time and energy you spend working toward that goal. However, that price also comes as an opportunity cost. Focusing on this goal means that you probably won’t have the time to focus on other things. And that is the sacrifice that you must make.


6 Steps for Effective Goal Setting

A great many people pursue their goal with a passionate enthusiasm. When things are going well, they’re absolutely loving every moment. Things just couldn’t be better and they have all the optimism in the world that they are on the right track. But then suddenly something happens that halts their progress. An unexpected obstacle or setback arises that derails all their efforts. They subsequently lose all their enthusiasm and quickly give up their pursuit. To avoid this scenario, take time to identify the various internal (i.e. beliefs, fears) and external obstacles you might face along your journey. Then set contingency plans in place.


6 Steps to Goal Setting

Now that you are clear about the potential obstacles you might face, it’s time to develop an action plan for pursuing your goal. When it comes to action plans, it’s important to make it clear and practical. First take the time to break your goal down into manageable chunks. Now, turn these chunks into milestones that come with concrete deadlines. Next, outline very specific tasks and activities you will need to focus on to help you achieve each milestone. Finally, consider the routines and mini-habits you may need to develop that will support these tasks and activities. These mini-habits will help you build momentum toward your goal.


Breaking Down the Six Step Goal Setting Process

The final piece of the puzzle comes down to motivation. Unless you have the necessary motivation to pursue your goal, then you simply won’t have the stamina to stick with it over the long-run. Motivation is the fuel you need that will help you get through the moments when you’ll be tempted to quit. But how do we develop long-lasting motivation? Motivation essentially comes down to two things: pain and pleasure. Pain will push and pleasure will pull you toward your goal. You can trigger pleasure by visualizing the things you will gain from achieving your goal. You can trigger pain by thinking about the regrets you will have if you don’t end up achieve it.


So there you have it. That’s the six step goal setting process you can use to begin the pursuit of your goal. Using this process of steps will help you to build the foundations for goal achievement. However, to attain your goal will no doubt take considerable hard work and persistent effort. It will in fact take massive consistent action on your part.

You can do all the necessary groundwork beforehand, but unless you actually fully commit yourself to seeing this through till the very end, then you have absolutely no hope of bringing your goal to life. Without commitment your goal will remain all but a wish that you hope to one day bring to fruition.

Six Step Goal Setting Process


Imagine for a moment you could develop new habits and methods of thinking where you naturally and effortlessly adopt these ideas into your life. How would that make you feel? Would you feel more fulfilled, empowered and in control?

Yes, there is such simplicity within this IQ Doodle, but of course there is a reason for that. Making positive change doesn’t need to be a complicated process. It just needs to be a consistent process where we progressively develop new habits-of-mind through repeated exposure and implementation. And that’s what these IQ Doodles are for.

We have prepared for you an IQ Doodle pack that includes several variations of this IQ Doodle that you can use for guidance and inspiration throughout the day. Use it consistently and you will begin making positive changes in the way you live, work and interact with others.

Visit the IQ Doodle Store to learn more about how to use this IQ Doodle and begin optimizing the way you live your life today.

Learn More About this Topic

Want to know more about this topic? Here are some helpful links to articles that you may find of value:

Set Challenging Goals

[button href=”https://iqdoodle.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/big-vs-easy-iq-doodle-wd-background.jpg” icon_size=”5″ class=”” target=”” color=”flat” dimension=”small” icon=”None” animation=”” animate=”” animation_delay=”0″ ]Wide background[/button] [button href=”https://iqdoodle.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/big-vs-easy-iq-doodle-sd-background.jpg” icon_size=”5″ class=”” target=”” color=”flat” dimension=”small” icon=”None” animation=”” animate=”” animation_delay=”0″ ]4:3 background[/button] [button href=”https://iqdoodle.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/challenging-goals-iq-doodle.pdf” icon_size=”5″ class=”” target=”” color=”flat” dimension=”small” icon=”None” animation=”” animate=”” animation_delay=”0″ ]PDF[/button]

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Set Big Challenging Goals…

Have you ever wondered what separates the top achievers from everyone else? Could it be their level of ambition? Probably not. You too probably have some big goals that you would like to achieve, and yet these goals continue to elude you.

Maybe it’s their determination and perseverance that separates them from the pack? It’s no doubt true that these two attributes can certainly make a difference when pursuing our goals. However, both determination and perseverance mean very little if we lack the focus required to stay the course until its completion.

Staying focused means directing your mind and body to one definitive course of action. It means committing fully to a goal and staying on the path up until the moment the goal is achieved. Yes, there will no doubt be obstacles, setbacks and distractions along the way, but high achievers don’t allow themselves to get side-tracked by these things. They stay focused and what they must do until their objective is firmly in their hands.

On the other side of the coin there are many ambitious people in this world who consistently achieve very little in life. They have all these big and wonderful goals that they would like to achieve, and yet weeks, months, and years pass without much progress. Why is that? What are they lacking?

These people are lacking the focused-attention and commitment required to stick to one goal and follow it through to the end. Yes they have big goals. But the problem with these big goals is that it takes a mammoth effort to achieve them.

Attached to each of our big goals are big risks and many obstacles. These things make the path toward these goals very difficult indeed. And for those lacking the necessary focus, concentration, determination and perseverance, it’s very easy to become disheartened when progress gets impeded.

Those who don’t achieve much in life struggle not because they lack ambition, but because they are too easily sidetracked trying to accomplish lesser goals that are just more comfortable and easier to pursue. They are distracted from their big goals by smaller goals that have very little long-term value.

The downside to pursuing easy goals is that there are normally very low rewards and scarce opportunities for growth. On the other hand, big goals are far more difficult to attain, but they come with high rewards and incredible opportunities for growth.

We grow when we are tested, when we struggle, and when we reach the limits of our own capabilities. Yes, it’s when we are challenged that we grow the most. Therefore the easy path is rarely ever the best path when it comes to long-term growth and development.

Every time you choose to go down the easy path to a lesser goal you are at that moment saying ‘no’ to the incredible opportunities for growth that would await you if you had chosen the more difficult path. It’s the distracting properties of the easy goal that is keeping you from pursuing the goal with greater rewards and growth opportunities.

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Action Points

Have a think about the goals you are currently pursuing and ask yourself:

  • What are my big goals? (high risk and high reward)
  • What incredible growth opportunities exist when I accomplish these goals?
  • What progress am I making right now toward these goals?
  • Am I being sidetracked or distracted by any easier goals?
  • How are these easier goals impeding my progress?
  • Do these easier goals need to be accomplished? Right now?
  • If they do, then could I delegate these easier goals to someone else?
  • What must I do to ensure I stay focused on my highest priorities at all times?

As you work through these questions keep in mind that you are kept from your main goal not by obstacles but by a clear path to an easier goal that is keeping you from reaching your full potential. The choice of course is always yours to make.

You can either choose the easy path with little risk, no obstacles and low rewards, or you can choose the more difficult path that is littered with numerous obstacles but incredible rewards and growth opportunities. The choice again is yours to make.

IQ Matrix Maps

Here are links to complementary IQ Matrix posters that go into more depth about this topic:

Download 30+ Free Self-Growth Posters

Smart Goal Setting

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How to Set Smarter Goals…

Whether we realize it or not, we are all setting goals each and every day. Of course some of these goals are small, short-term and quite insignificant. These are goals that you set daily about the things you will do, what you will eat, when you plan to sleep, etc.

Yes, these goals might not seem all that significant in the greater scheme of things, but there is something very significant about them. What’s significant is that you consistently achieve these goals without even thinking about them. And the reason why you consistently achieve these goals is because they follow the SMART goal setting formula:

Your daily goals are specific, measurable, attainable, ready and timed.

This is significant because if you already use this goal setting formula to set daily goals, then you can also use this formula to set larger scale goals that can measurably transform your life for the better. But before we get into that, let’s first take a look at what these five elements of goal setting actually mean.


When your goals are specific you are very clear about what it is you want to achieve. In fact, there is no question in your mind what it is you want. And it’s this clarity that drives you forward.


When your goals are measurable you have clarity about what it will take to achieve your goal. There are no questions about the path you will take because you know exactly what you must do every step of the way in order to get to your end destination.


When your goals are attainable this means that you wholeheartedly believe that you are capable of achieving these goals. In fact, there is absolutely no doubt in your mind that you have the necessary confidence and commitment behind your actions to achieve them.


Being ready means that you are at a point in your life where you will accept this goal. You are fully ready and willing to do whatever it takes to achieve this goal right now. This means that you are ready to make the necessary sacrifices that the goal will require of you.


When your goals are timed it means that you are clear when you will begin working on your goal, how long it will take you to accomplish your goal, and when you are likely to complete it.

Let’s now take a moment to think about all those little goals you are achieving each and every day. I’m talking about the little things such as planning what you will eat for dinner, washing your teeth before going to bed, taking a shower, calling a friend, etc. Have a think about all these seemingly insignificant goals and identify whether they fit into this SMART goal setting formula.

It’s likely that most of your goals actually do fit into this formula quite conveniently, even if you’re not consciously aware of it throughout the day. This is of course very significant because all you need to do now is use exactly the same formula to achieve your most significant lifetime goals.

The lesson from all this is that we already have everything within ourselves to accomplish whatever we desire. We have the necessary resourcefulness and tools at our disposal to bring those bigger lifetime goals into our lives. We must however bring our thoughts to the little things — those seemingly insignificant things that we take for granted. Because it’s within those things that we will find the answers to a better life.
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Action Points

Have a think about your most important lifetime goals and ask yourself the following set of questions. These questions will lay down the foundations of the SMART goal setting process to help you set goals with more purpose:

  • Do I know what I want specifically?
  • How will I know I’m making progress?
  • How will I know when my goal has been achieved?
  • Do I believe I can achieve this goal?
  • Am I ready to pursue this goal?
  • Is this the right moment in my life to do this?
  • When will I start working on this goal?
  • When will I complete it?

Ask and then answer these questions for each of your long-term goals over and over again, and you may quickly discover that those big lifetime goals are closer to realization than you ever realized was possible.

IQ Matrix Maps

Here are links to complementary IQ Matrix posters that go into more depth about this topic:

Download 30+ Free Self-Growth Posters

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