• Josh McDonald

How to achieve your goals in 3 simple steps

So it's that time of year where we all start thinking about goals, whether you've tried to set new years resolutions in the past and failed, or if even if you've succeeded, January always brings attention to goal setting, and for good reason.

Goals are a great tool. They are used by the most successful people on the planet, but most of us do goals the wrong way.

Many people I speak to (and I used to be one of them) are "all or nothing" with their goals. If they set a nutrition goal such as "not eating chocolate", as soon as they slip up on their goal they think "well I've already eaten chocolate, so I may as well binge now".

The truth about goals are that as long as you can stick to your plan for 80% of the time, you are much closer to reaching your goals than if you give up the first time you slip up.

I love goals, and I have used them to improve my life significantly in the past. And when you know how to use them as the tool they are, you will be able to improve as well.


One of the biggest benefits of goals are that they set you in the direction of where you want to be.

You can look at your goal, say "that's where I'm going", and look at where you are now and say "and here is where I'm starting". The distance between now and your goal is the gap you need to fill.

When you know what that gap is, it's much easier to put a plan in place to fill that gap.

You can see what you aren't currently doing, or what you're not currently receiving, and make plans in your life to move things around and bring things into your life to fill that gap.

I'm going to go back to the nutrition goal again for a second, because that's one of my goals this year.

I've set myself a goal to lose 17kg this year.

Now I'm not normally someone who measure's their success by the weight on the scale, I know that there are MANY different indicators of good health, but I also know that weight is one of the easiest to self monitor, and is a good indicator to start with.

I also know that nutrition has a lot to do with weightloss.

So one of the first steps that I'm taking in my weightloss journey is to improve my current intake of healthy vitamins and minerals.

I'm 5 days into this new goal of increasing my healthy nutrients, and I can already see a decrease in my apetite and an increase in my energy. I've also even seen myself drop 1kg in weight since I started this.

I also know there are other things I need to do to fill the gap between where I am now, and my goal of 17kg lighter, such as lowering my poor food choices and increasing my exercise.

And I know that if I have a day where I don't eat well, it's not the end of the journey for my goal, I simply pick back up where I left off, at the step that I'm already at.

Having one day of bad eating won't negate all the good days of increased nutrition, decreased negative food choices, and increased exercise.


There are three main steps that I want to share to help you achieve your goals. These have nothing to do with the SMART principle. Although that's the principle I use when setting my goals, you can use whatever principle you want.

These steps are are really ways to help you make sure you achieve them.

Step One - Be Emotionally Invested

For you to be able to achieve any of your goals, you need to become emotionally invested in them. Really get down to the WHY of the goal.

Why do you want to achieve this goal?

What will it mean to you when you have achieved it?

What will you no longer be doing (pain you're moving away from) or what will you now be able to do (pleasure you're moving towards) when you achieve this goal?

There's a great book called "Start With Why" by Simon Simek that introduces you to the concept of how important the WHY is for leaders to inspire their staff.

And really, when it comes down to achieving goals, you're trying to find the inspiration to make your life better. The best place to start with this is why.

Also, when you really get down to WHY you want to achieve this goal, it makes it easier to keep going when things get tough. All you need to do is go back to your list of "why's" to get some motivation.

When I'm setting a new goal I always start with why. I start on a blank page, write at the top "why do I want to achieve this goal" and start listing all the reasons why.

Over the next couple of days and weeks I continue adding to this list, making it as robust and strong as possible, so that anytime I face challenges, all I need to go is go back to the list and see why I started this goal in the first place.

Step Two - Make The Benefit Bigger

The second step I usually take is figuring out who else will benefit from me achieving the goal, and how they will benefit.

When you think about not only how you will benefit from achieving your goal, but how your family, your colleagues, and your community will benefit, it makes the goal something bigger, something really worth achieving.

By understanding the benefits for a wider circle of people, it's no longer just about you.

If I go back to my example of my weightloss goal, not only will I benefit because I will be healthier and I know my mental health improves with my nutritional health, I also know it will benefit others.

It will benefit my partner because I will have more energy to go out more, we will be able to enjoy dates outside in the sun during summer, down by the lake having a picnic, heading out to the beach.

It will benefit my family because I will have the energy to travel more to visit them. I will also likely live longer because I am less likely to suffer disease when my body is healthier. That means I will get to spend more time with my loved ones.

By adding those benefits to my goal, it's not just about looking and feeling better, there is so much more that I can achieve if I stick to my goals, making me far more likely to be successful.

Step 3 - Get Back On That Horse

I've already spoken about this quite a bit, and that's because this is the most important step to achieving your goals.

If you fall off, if you slip up on your goals, you have not failed.

Stop seeing a mistake as a failure, see it as a learning event, and get back onto your goals at whatever step you are at.

Your goals will never be static. I've achieved goals 5+ years before I had planned to achieve them. Does that mean that I sat back and stopped aiming?

No! It meant that I could reset the goal and achieve more!

If I achieve the weightloss goal of 17kg in 6 months instead of 12, all that will mean is reassessing what my next health goal is, maybe I'll set another weightloss goal, maybe i'll set a flexibility goal, or an endurance goal, who know's?

But if it don't step back from my goal if I achieved it earlier than expected, I also won't step back if I gain weight in one week.

And if you slip up on your goal, you should be ready to get back up on that horse, and keep going.

The most important step isn't the first step. The most important step of any journey is always the nex step.

What Next

Set some goals!

Take some time to set at least 1 goal in at least 1 area of your life, whether that's health, career, family, relationship, spiritual or any other area you want to improve.

And if you need any help in setting goals you can always reach out to me. I help adults overcome childhood trauma, which usually stems from subconscious programming and limiting beliefs, so I'm always helping people with goals to improve their life.

If that is something you want help with, please book a no charge, no obligation consultation with me below:

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