Does Goal Setting Really Work?

This post wasy written by Matt and was origionaly published on

It’s the beginning of 2017 and everyone has been talking about it…Goals…But…Does Goal Setting Really Work?  My initial impulse response to the question is, No, and the reasoning behind that is in my experience most folks tend to fail achieving their goals due to FEAR.  Most people let fear take ahold of them and it keeps them from taking the necessary actions and responsibility to achieve what they want/need to do to be successful.  But, I would also counter with Yes, if you can be diligent and patient with a proven formula and process and not let Fear hold you back.

For years I have found myself pondering and researching about the concept of goal setting.  It absolutely fascinates me and excites me to think about what could be when you do find a process that works!  I have read numerous books, listened to different podcasts, attended webinars and seminars on the subject of setting and achieving goals to see if I could further better myself each year and the folks I train day in and day out.  This blog isn’t about teaching you how to set goals up for yourself, but to enlighten you on How you can stave off the variables that can keep you from achieving your goals you set for yourself.  If you are committed to attaining your goals this year I would highly recommend checking out a few blogs I wrote in the past that describes the process of Goal Setting that I think works best:  1st Edition, 2nd Edition, and on Prioritizing your Week.

I set many short-term and long-term goals each year based on some of the philosophies I have learned from many different resources, but have found several that I think work best for me.  Here are some great resources that I highly recommend for setting and achieving goals that I go to time and time again for folks that are hungry to get more information on these topics:
Tim Ferris Podcast     
Entreleadership Podcast     
7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Think and Grow Rich
The Answer
Tools of Titans

*These are not the only sources on goal setting, just ones that I have found to work best for me.

If you are an extremely motivated hard working individual who hates to lose or not finish things,  Does this mean that you are immune to failing to achieve the goals you set out for yourself?  I find that sticking to the rules and the process (being diligent, patient, and most of all taking action) that I have learned from other highly motivated individuals gets me to achieving my goals most of the time.  But, there have been many instances where I have not been able to achieve some of the goals I have set out for myself.  These failures to complete goals typically happen I find because of these 3 common factors:

I mentioned this earlier.  Fear, in my opinion, is the top reason why most folks won’t achieve their goals.  Not trying to be a negative Nancy here, as most folks that know me personally attribute me to be a positive person.  I am just trying to be Real here!  Most folks are so scared of the work required, the results they may get, or length of time it will take to commit to the process that it keeps them from taking any action at all to reach their goals.  How can you overcome this Fear?  This is not a simple question to answer as it can be different for each individual and we could probably write a book just on this topic alone (which several folks have already, read or listen to the resources I listed above).  But, I will take a stab at it by giving my best response to the question by simply asking another question for you to ponder on:  What do you lose if you don’t challenge Fear or choose to be Courageous?  Maybe nothing, or maybe EVERYTHING.

This is usually another top reason why myself or other individuals fail to reach their goals they set out for themselves.  Let’s face it.  Even if you are a highly motivated and hard working individual, you need folks to reign you in and check in on you to see if you are on task or completing tasks.  It’s easy to lose focus in our busy world and having someone to hold you accountable or check in on you can/will keep you on track.  Pick a friend, family member, co-worker, or establish a Mentor that you trust to hold you accountable.  Many of the bigger goals that I have not achieved or failed achieving were due to never establishing someone to hold me accountable.

Un-foreseeable Circumstance
This almost speaks for itself.  We all don’t have the ability to be seers and see into the future, so many life-altering and life-changing events can happen that will change the trajectory we have set up for ourselves to be successful with achieving our goals.  But, there are many things you can do to make sure you are better prepared for these circumstances.  When you are done setting goals up for yourself, try to list all the possible things you can think of that could be potential obstacles or pitfalls that could keep you from completing your goals.  The more of them you know about the more you can protect yourself or find ways around them if they due happen to come to fruition.  This again is not about being negative, but being prepared to make some alterations to your path of reaching your goals if something happens.  You want as much control as possible!

My Goal with this blog post is to better equip you with the knowledge and necessary skills to motivate you to get more intimate with the process of setting and achieving goals.  It is also to encourage you to take a stand and be courageous to become a more better you for 2017 and consecutive years.  I know 2016 was a tough year for many folks, myself included, but there are many things we should be looking forward to and mistakes to learn from. Take this opportunity to look at yourself inside and out.  Do you want to be a better you?  If you answered Yes, which I hope you did, you totally deserve it.  But, deserving and getting are two different things all together.  Deserving doesn’t mean it will get handed to you.  You need to become passionate with the process of goal setting and creating the actionable steps to get there.  Only YOU can make this happen, and believe me, when you do it and realize that you are responsible for your own success it will only propel you to even more happiness and success!  I am looking forward to see what you are all capable of accomplishing this year in the gym and outside in the real world.  2017 WILL be OUR year with many more to come!