Machen MacDonald: What makes goal setting work? |

Machen MacDonald: What makes goal setting work?

Machen MacDonald

This is the time of year that many people are setting their goals and making declarations for what they want to achieve in the coming year. As a matter of fact, we have been very busy facilitating goal planning sessions and business planning workshops thereby helping people to set their goals so they can actually achieve them.

Today, I want to share a very important distinction with you. This will make all the difference in either just experiencing another year slipping by, versus creating your most epic year yet.

What we find with most people is they tend to leave out a very important ingredient when it comes to setting their goals. It’s not their fault, it’s simply their habit.

They do a good job making their goals S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant & Time Bound).

They do a good job checking to see if the goal will pass the A.C.I.D. Test (Do they have Alignment, Capacity, Inspiration & Determination to achieve their goal).

So what’s missing?

It is so obvious once it’s revealed. It often can be in the form of a goal itself. And yet, most people don’t include it until they are made aware of it. Aware of what you ask? Aware of the one thing that brings success and fulfillment to some and brings failure and disappointment to others. It is something that everybody already has, can develop and even break. There are good ones and bad ones. They have to do with your thinking and always dictate your doing.

The critical element that will determine if you achieve your goals or not is … Your habit!

Simply stated, you either have the habits of thinking the way you need to and doing the things you must in order to achieve your goal or you do not.

The good news is you can break the bad habits that keep you from achieving your goals and you can develop good habits that can deliver the experience of realizing your goals. So, for each goal you set for yourself, make a sub-goal of what habits you need to have and let go of in order to accomplish the bigger objective.

When it comes to habits, consider there are actionable habits of doing things and also thinking habits that affect our outcome.

If your goal this year is to write a book, an actionable habit may be to write something for an hour three times per week.

A thinking habit to assist the goal may be to think — I have a great message or story to share with the world. You may need to break the habit of thinking the thought — I only got Cs in English, so who am I to write a book?

To break, shift and develop habits takes practice. It can be done. You’ve done it your whole life. Now you get to be aware of your habits and how they are affecting the quality your life.

The way we do anything is the way we do everything. In the areas of your happiness, health and wealth, what are the actionable habits and thinking habits you need to calibrate to make this year epic?

Write them down and make it a habit of looking at them every day as you form the habits needed to experience more success and fulfillment through this year.

Make it up, Make it fun, 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. He helps business people gain more confidence and clarity to be more productive and live their ideal life. He is available to speak to groups and can be reached at and 530-273-8000.

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