Setting Powerful Goals

Setting Powerful Goals

By Dr. Peter Chee & Jack Canfield


A goal properly set is half way reached.
– Abraham Lincoln


Create an “I want” list

During the initial process of goal-setting it is fine to have many different possible goals so that you will be able to choose from a range of options the goals that you most want to pursue. You can start by making an “I want” list. One of the easiest ways to begin clarifying what you truly want is to make a list of 30 things you want to do, 30 things you want to have, and 30 things you want to be before you die. This is a great way to get the ball rolling.


Repeating questions for a purpose
Similarly, a powerful technique to unearth your client’s wants is to encourage them to make their own “I Want” list. Ask your client without making any suggestions, “What do you want?” As soon as they answer, write their answer down and again ask “What do you want?” Repeat this for five to 10 minutes, and continue to jot down their answers. People do find this repetitive questioning technique to be rather humorous. You’ll find the first wants aren’t all that profound. In fact, most people usually hear themselves saying, “I want a Mercedes. I want a big house by the ocean,” and so on. However, by the end of the exercise, the deeper, more authentic person begins to speak: “I want people to love me. I want to express myself. I want to make a difference. I want to feel powerful.” – revealing wants that are true expressions of their core values.


After articulating their wants and choosing the goals that they most want to work on, then it’s time to take the goal-setting process further by making sure that their goals are effectively set. A powerful way of more effectively setting goals is to use the SMARTEST mnemonic criteria. When the goals meet the criteria of being Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound, Engaging, Satisfying and Team-based, we consider them to be powerful goals that strongly drive people towards attaining them.


Use the following examples to guide you in asking questions that make the goal-setting process more effective:




  1. In what way might you define more clearly what you want to accomplish?
  2. How can you put it all together and state your goal in one simple and specific sentence?
  3. What exactly do you want to accomplish?
  4. Be more specific: what is the final outcome you want?


  1. How would you and others know when you have reached this goal?
  2. How can you quantify and measure the outcome?
  3. How can you evaluate the progress you are making towards the goal from time to time?
  4. Can you state this objective in a way that your progress can be measured?


  1. To what extent do you have control over the attainment of this goal?
  2. Who else might you need to depend on to meet this goal?
  3. How certain are you that they will deliver?
  4. What other options and backup plans could you have so that you can still achieve the goal if they don’t deliver?
  5. Is there anything that could prevent you from reaching this goal?
  6. Can you do something about it? What can you do about it?
  7. In what way might you want to revise your goals so that they would depend more on you and less on others to achieve it?
  8. Is this goal within your reach? Is it really possible?


  1. Why is this goal important to you? How is it relevant to you?
  2. How is this goal related to the attainment of your other goals?
  3. How is this goal relevant to your vision and your life?
  4. In what way is this goal aligned with your life purpose?


  1. What is the date and time that you will commit to reaching this goal?
  2. When will you get started with this project?
  3. By when will you finish it?
  4. How long will you continue to do this? How frequently?


  1. Do you feel like you really own this goal, like it’s your own “baby”?
  2. On a scale of 1 – 10, how motivated are you by this goal?
  3. Is this truly your heart’s desire?
  4. Does your dream compel you to follow it?


  1. In what way would attaining this goal bring you satisfaction and joy?
  2. How would achieving this goal fulfill your heart’s longing?
  3. What lasting benefit and satisfaction would you derive from attaining your objective?
  4. How will your life be different after attaining this goal?


  1. Who are the people that could work with you on this dream?
  2. How are other people supporting your dream?
  3. To what extent is your team capable of helping you to achieve your goal?

Create a breakthrough goal

In addition to turning every aspect of your vision into a measurable goal, and all the quarterly, weekly and daily goals that you routinely set, we also encourage you to set what we call a breakthrough goal that would represent a quantum leap for you and your career. Most goals represent incremental improvements in our lives. They are like plays that gain you four yards in the game of football. But what if you could come out on the first play of the game and throw a 50-yard pass? That would be a quantum leap in your progress. Just as there are plays in football that move you far up the field in one move, there are plays in life that will do the same thing.


They include things such as losing 60 pounds, writing a book, publishing an article in Fortune magazine, getting on Oprah, winning a gold medal at the Olympics, successfully setting up your company in another country, getting your Masters or Doctoral degree, getting certified as a professional coach, opening your own spa, getting elected president of your union or professional association, or hosting your own radio show. The achievement of that one goal would change everything.


Wouldn’t that be a goal worth pursuing with passion? Wouldn’t that be something to focus on a little each day until you achieved it?


If you were an independent sales professional and knew you could get a better territory, a substantial bonus commission, and maybe even a promotion once you landed a certain number of customers, wouldn’t you work day and night to achieve that goal?


If you were a stay-at-home mom whose entire lifestyle and finances would change if you earned an extra $1,000 a month through participating in a network marketing company, wouldn’t you pursue every possible opportunity until you achieved that goal?


That’s what we mean by a breakthrough goal – something that changes your life, brings you new opportunities, gets you in front of the right people, and takes every activity, relationship or group you’re involved in to a higher level.


In our coaching programs we also frequently refer to a breakthrough goal as a goal that would stretch you to the extent that, in the process of achieving it, you would become a person worth becoming. In other words, you grow tremendously in the process of pursuing a very ambitious goal that greatly challenges you. You can make the biggest difference for the people you coach when you work with them on creating and realizing their breakthrough goals.



You want to set a goal that’s big enough that in the process of achieving it, you become someone worth becoming.
– Jim Rohn



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Thanks !

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