Your Goals Suck (and how to approach goal setting in a way that gets results!)

We've all heard of the (likely mythical) Harvard research about setting and writing down goals. Well, irrespective of the truth behind that research there are a few important things about goals that the goal setting 'gurus' aren't talking about. Nail these, and you'll be achieving your most outrageous goals in no time!

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Your goals SUCK!

Sorry, but it's true.

I'm guessing you don't really think that much about goals at all, in fact, I bet you don't even set goals. Even if you do, I bet you don't bother to write them down.

The reason that most people don't set a goal is because it triggers resistance! Goal setting brings up uncomfortable feelings because there is a part of us that doesn't know HOW we'll achieve them. So we don't bother. It feels safer that way.

However, when we don't set goals, we instead operate from a default level. And experience shows us all that our default levels are always much lower than what we actually want. 

Here's an example of how this plays out with entrepreneurs - If you're a business owner who isn't setting income goals, you might find yourself at an income plateau, and no matter what you do, you can't break through it.

Problem No. 1:

Most people only think about goals when their life isn't going to 'plan'. Except the problem there is that they didn't really create a plan in the first place. They just hobbled along with a vague idea of what they'd love out of life.

Suddenly, they 'wake up' and reality hits. They aren't where they wanted to be and they don't have what they wanted to have. 

They remember all that talk about goals and decide to set a few.

Problem No. 2:

The goals they set, well, they're more like TO DO lists.

Yep, they pick a goal that they think they KNOW HOW to achieve. So, in reality, the goal is a series of tasks on a list.

Why is that a problem? Because it's not exciting to work from a to do list. You don't get inspired by working methodically, ticking off steps towards a goal you know you'll likely achieve. Where is the thrill in that?

Lightbulb Moment:

A goal needs to have an element of the UNKNOWN about it. There should be a frisson of excitement, a bit about you that shudders because there's a slim glimmer of chance that you could fail to achieve it. 

You then need FAITH. Faith that the steps will appear, that you'll attract the missing pieces and that the way will become clear at exactly the right moment in time. A real goal requires belief that even though there are UNKNOWN pieces of the journey, you will achieve it.

That's the kind of goal where ideas begin to flow, you become more resourceful, and resistance begins to disappear.

Finally, you have to be able to see your goal, in black and white, in your normal everyday places. That means writing it down!

Having a goal right in front of your eyes; on a post-it note or your mirror or on the wall, it sets up a chain reaction and an inner resourcefulness and things will start to happen that support you in your quest. Goal setting works at a subconscious level, as well as at a conscious level.

Writing down goals works because the more you see it, the more you subconsciously believe it is possible and so the resistance will drop and you'll desensitise yourself to it. Yet another reason to set a goal that seems out of reach!

What next?

  1. Set a goal (a lovely big one that you do NOT know how you'll achieve)
  2. Write it down
    1. on your bathroom mirror
    2. on a post-it stuck to your computer screen
    3. as a reminder in your phone 
    4. as the password on your computer
    5. on a huge poster for your wall
    6. as a note on your fridge
    7. (you get the idea, write it anywhere and everywhere so that you see it daily!)
  3. Have faith
  4. Keep moving forwards
  5. Take action

I'd love to know what goal you are setting TODAY, let me know in the comments below.

Jane Rapin ACC

Holistic Business Coach | Energy & Intuition | Crystal, Reiki & Bio-Energy Practitioner | Channel | Employment Lawyer, Jane Rapin ~ Soul*Spirit*Boss ~

I help professionals to reach their full potential. Starting a business takes guts. Get it off to the best start with my unique blend of coaching, commercially focussed strategy and targeted mindset work. I’ll help you get out of your own way, overcome self-doubt and dispel negativity. The result? You have more fun doing what you love. I work internationally and locally, across a broad range of industries. In addition to being a certified business and personal coach, I'm also a certified Tapping Into Wealth Transformational Coach. I've been coaching and mentoring for over 25 years, helping employees and business owners across a wide range of sectors including law, project management, engineering, retail, leisure, insurance, government initiatives to help the long-term unemployed, NHS and more. If you'd like to find out more about how I can help you, please feel free to contact me via the links here in my profile or via my website ( I can't wait to help you!


Go to the profile of Harshika Naidu
about 3 years ago

Thanks Jane for this article. It motivated me and I learned a few things. My question is how do we word these goals exactly? An example would be awesome. Thank you. 🙏💕

Go to the profile of Jane Rapin ACC
almost 3 years ago

You're very welcome Harshika, and thank you for your great question!

My answer may surprise you, but there really is no one way that writing down a goal will make it more likely to happen. I've worked with people who went to elaborate lengths to write down their goals in intricate detail describing every element of how it would feel and what they would experience. I've also worked with people who scribbled goals down on random bits of paper and old envelopes. Both ways resulted in success.

The key is to find the way that works best for you.

I used to think that goals had to be written like affirmations, and that the wording was important. But what I've realised through my studies and my work is that the affirmation is separate to the goal. The affirmation can assist the achievement of the goal but only if the subconscious programming is in alignment with the basic tenet of the goal. If the goal isn't congruent with the subconscious beliefs and programming then the affirmation will more likely prevent the achievement of the goal.

I don't know what your goals are, so I'm going to use an income example to illustrate.

Let's say that you want to set an income goal. You currently earn £1500 a month. You're already tracking your income and expenditure (see my other post for tips on this), you're networking and marketing your business consistently and you know that you want to increase your income to £3000 a month. 

You can create a goal that merely says: Monthly Income Goal £3000

Success won't hinge on the wording you use. 

I hope this was helpful!