Machen MacDonald: Machen MacDonald |

Machen MacDonald: Machen MacDonald

We are in goal setting season. It’s a great time to take inventory of what you have achieved so far this year, what you came close to achieving, and what you want to make sure you achieve going forward.

There is plenty written on how to set goals, write out goals and achieve goals. What is not so prevalent is how to prepare for setting and achieving goals.

In my goal setting workshops, I talk about the four elements of preparation to propel prosperity. The bottom line is, we need to investigate what is in between us and the achievement of our goal and create a plan to LEAD it.

Identify the SAMs that hold you back. The first step is to identify what got in the way between you and the achievement of your goal. They may come in many forms. However, the three primary categories they will fall into are:

Skillset, action-set (also known as behavior), and mindset.

Mindset is made up of our thoughts, perspective and attitudes. Are they contributing to your success or contaminating it? List out the limitations the inner critic spews, that hold you back or keep you stuck.

Skillset is compiled of your ability and technique as it relates to efficiency and effectiveness of what is required to succeed. Do you need to get better at networking? Are you effective on the phone at converting prospects to appointments? Are you getting referrals? Are you asking for referrals?

Action-set is made up of actions and habits. What actions are getting you closer to your goals and what actions are taking you further away. Going online and learning how to optimize Facebook ads may help your marketing. Trolling people on Facebook pushes your goal further away.

Once you have identified your list of SAMs that are blocking your goals, take each one and see if you can LEAD it to free up capacity and optimize your brilliance.


Limit the temptations, interruptions and distractions that pull your focus off your goals. E.g., You may be in an environment where your day gets eroded by others in your office asking if you “got-a-minute.” You may be responsible for answering their questions and managing their performance. You may need to find a way to limit your availability to continually enable their lack of resourcefulness. Remember, grow the people and the people will grow the organization. Show them how to get the answer they need through other resources than devouring your precious time.


Eliminate the toxic and taxing. There are some situations, circumstances and even people that are flat out counter productive. Eliminate or liberate them as quick as possible.


Automate what can be automated. Technology is yesterday’s teamwork in digital form. It’s the derived solution to wasted time, money and energy. There are a ton of programs and apps that help us do the work of many in a fraction of the time. It’s called progress. We have moved from chiseling our message on stone tablets, to monks copying original documents, to the printing press, to inkjet printers generating documents from pressing the return button on our keyboard. Whatever you need to get done…there’s probably an app for that.


Delegate what you’re not the best at doing to free up time and energy to stay focused on doing what only you can do. There may be some items on your SAMs list that still must get done .. just not by you. Hire or outsource those projects and actions to people that can do it better than you and probably can do so in less time.

Once you have clearly identified your SAMS and determined which ones you can LEAD set some deadlines for doing so. This will clear the decks for more dynamic thinking and creativity for setting bigger and more empowering goals going forward.

Make it up, make it fun, and get it done!

#1 bestselling author Machen P. MacDonald, CPCC, CCSC is a certified life and business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley, CA. He helps business people gain more confidence and clarity to live their ideal life. He can be reached at and 530-273-8000.

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