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How to Set Goals
Goal Setting 101

How to Set Goals 1

How to set goals:  Got Goals? Yes? No? Don’t know? Don’t care? Afraid to ask?

Whether you realize it or not, what you do and don’t do matters. Why? Because everything you do or don't do matters!

How does setting goals apply to organizing?

If you want to get and stay organized, you will need to learn to set reasonable goals and know how to achieve and maintain them.

There was a time when I simply didn’t set goals due to fear and disappointment.  Reasons:

  • I didn’t know how to set goals and didn’t know how to follow through to achieve them when I did set them.
  • I would either set an impossibly high goal or, I would set a reasonable goal, but didn’t know the steps to follow through to achieve the goal.
  • After many frustrating starts and stops, I simply quit setting goals.
  • I mistakenly assumed there was something wrong with me.
  • It took many years for me to discover how to set goals.

If this sounds like you, take heart! It is possible to learn how to set goals and achieve them.  I know, because I did!

If, like me, you feel you need some guidance on how to set goals, this page and the links to other pages below will give you some of the tips, tools, and tidbits I found invaluable.

How to Set Goals
Where & How to Begin

The best place to begin with regard to how to set goals is to start by identifying the various roles you play. For example, are you a:

  • Wife, Husband
  • Daughter, Son
  • Sister, Brother
  • Aunt, Uncle
  • Great Aunt, Great Uncle
  • Mom, Dad
  • Stepmom, Stepdad
  • Grandmother, Grandfather
  • Author, Business Owner, Artist
  • Friend, Counselor, Servant

Think about the many roles you play in your life to various people.

How to Set Goals
True Values Assessment

  • The next step in the process of learning how to set goals is to get a handle on what are your true values. I say true values because we often know what our values should be but often are notWe may say they are our true values but, when you take a good look at your life (calendar, checkbook, etc.), often our true values are much different than what we say they are. If you don't identify your true values, this will greatly hinder your ability to learn how to set goals.
  • What you value most will tend to get top billing with regard to your priorities. What can happen is that certain things can pressure you into giving top priority to things of lesser value and putting off those things that are more important to you. This is referred to as tyranny of the urgent. You have a deadline at work, so you postpone a date with your spouse or don’t make your kid’s sports game. You tell yourself it’s just this one time, but work has a way of pressuring you over and over again until your spouse and family suffer under the tyranny of urgent work deadlines.
  • There is also the possibility that, while you may truly have work pressures and deadlines (we all do), consider that, if work keeps getting top billing with you, that work may be of more true value to you than your family. You may be rationalizing about bosses, deadlines, pressures and circumstances beyond your control. You say your family is a priority, but work fills a need and makes you feel significant, powerful, etc. in ways that you can’t get from your family interactions.
  • During my career in Corporate America, I ran across a dynamic person who significantly impacted me and taught me how to set goals. Gary Ryan Blair is known as Gary the Goals Guy. He helps business owners, corporate executives and sales professionals manage their time, set their priorities, and stay focused so they can achieve their goals, grow their business, and be more successful. It was due to the information I obtained through Gary the Goals Guy that I finally learned how to set goals.
  • Gary believes passionately in the enormous, untapped potential that resides within each person and is committed to providing individuals and corporations with tools of knowledge and skill they can use to unlock this potential. He has developed an entire library of world-class training programs, books and learning resources like the Personal Strategic Plan that are designed to make the heart sing, the mind expand and the spirit soar!

A partial list of Gary’s clients is IBM, Kraft Foods, American Express, Lockheed Martin, Coca-Cola, Xerox, Chevron,, Federal Express and NASA (just to name a few).

I tell you this to let you know that this guy REALLY knows what he’s talking about. He can help you learn how to set goals as well.

How to Set Goals 2

Top Ten Goals Worth Pursuing

If you want to learn how to set goals, start here. To give you an example of what Gary has to offer, here is Gary’s Top Ten Goals Worth Pursuing.  I believe you will find them useful.

  • Personal Development: The single best investment any of us can ever make is in our own personal growth and development. The accumulation of knowledge means everything to your future Shelly’s comments: And that includes spiritual knowledge and growth as well!
  • Excellent Physical Health: Your body impacts everything you do. Take good care of it through proper nourishment, exercise and rest.
  • Rest, Relaxation and Renewal: We must take good care of ourselves without feeling guilty.
  • Building a Loving Family: Family is the emotional core of our lives. We should make constant deposits into everyone’s emotional bank account.
  • Intimate Relationships with Your Friends: Surround yourself with nourishing friends. Share yourself with them and let them share themselves with you.
  • Involvement In Your Community: The definition of a life well lived must include a commitment to serving others.
  • Excellence In Your Work: Develop a reputation for excellence. A sincere commitment to excellence is a noble goal.
  • Financial Freedom: Money is important. Exercise wisdom in all your financial dealings.
  • A Comfortable, Loving Home: The single, biggest investment most of us will ever make should be comfortable and lined with love.
  • Peace of Mind: There is no substitute for peace of mind. Everything you do either supports it or takes away from it.

(Used with permission: Gary Ryan Blair is President of The Goals Guy. He helps business owners, corporate executives and sales professionals manage their time, set their priorities, and stay focused so they can achieve their goals, grow their business, and be more successful. Gary can be reached for speaking, coaching and media requests at 877-462-5748 or by sending an email to 

How to Set Goals
Everythign Counts!

How to Set Goals 3

The next part of learning how to set goals starts in this section. As I said earlier on this page, one of the things I had to learn was that Everything Counts! I had to learn many of these lessons on my own, and most of them were learned the hard way! I wish I had come in contact with these principles earlier in my life.

While these principles are found in God’s Word (the Bible), I wasn’t raised in church and didn’t have exposure to them. If, like me, you didn’t have these advantages, take heart, you can learn them. That’s one of the reasons for these and many other pages on this website.

Here is Gary Ryan Blair’s 10 Reasons Why Everything Counts and he’s absolutely correct!

  • Every Choice Counts: Every choice must have a purpose. Every choice counts. There are no insignificant choices, no neutral actions. Even the smallest gesture has a consequence, leading you toward or away from your goals.
  • Reality Counts: Reality is the foundation of success because reality is truth. Reality is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Get this and you’ve got it. Reality moves you towards your goals; denial leads you away. There is only one reality! Shelly’s comments: God’s reality is the only reality – start with God’s principles in his Word and you’ll be way ahead of the game!
  • Character Counts: From the minute you open your eyes in the morning until they close again for sleep each night, everything in between complements or compromises your character. Every day “for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health” character counts. It is more important to have character than to be a character.
  • Self-Discipline Counts: Self-discipline is a habit. It is not situational, but it is applied situation by situation. Anyone can be self-disciplined on occasion, but to get consistently positive results takes consistency. It is the day-in, day-out practice of self-discipline that determines where you'll end up. Every act of self-discipline moves you toward your goals and every exception takes you off course.
  • Personal Development Counts: Growth and development is a lifelong pursuit: there's always some polishing to do, knowledge to gain, and love to be deepened. Self-development ends only when we run out of time. Life is a work in progress, improvement never ends, and you never totally arrive. You are, and will be for as long as you live, a self in evolution.
  • Excellence Counts: The pursuit of excellence is not only politically correct, but also highly profitable. A commitment to excellence can help you to capture true wealth and realize the inherent value of your potential. You will never outlive its importance, usefulness, and necessity. Its absence devalues potential, credibility, and reputation.
  • Failure Counts: Failure serves an indispensable function in the production of your success. It provides information and motivation for you to learn from and apply. Failure is not only the output of an unsuccessful activity; it is also the input for a successful one. The bright side of failure is that it inspires improvement, creativity, change, and most importantly, purposeful activity.
  • Health & Energy Counts: Widen your moral purpose — vow not just to live longer, but to live better, to have more energy, self-worth, and clarity. The preservation of health is a duty. Few seem conscious that there is such a thing as physical morality. You must take care of your body because the day will come a time when it will no longer tolerate your indifference.
  • Fun Counts: An essential part of your journey is the pursuit of happiness. Yet, the only way to maintain a sense of fun and play is to consciously choose to make it a priority. Unfortunately, fun seems to wind up on the bottom of the "To Do" list. You are the conductor of mirth in your life, your own personal Clown Prince of Mirth and Merriment.
  • Your Legacy Counts: It's non-negotiable: You will leave a legacy. The question is not whether you'll leave a legacy but what legacy you will leave! To arrive at the point that you think seriously about your legacy, you must reach a level of reality and commitment that represents an eternity to follow. When you take the final bow, who will you be? How will you enter eternity? Will you just be a footnote in history?

(Used with permission: Gary Ryan Blair is President of The Goals Guy. He helps business owners, corporate executives and sales professionals manage their time, set their priorities, and stay focused so they can achieve their goals, grow their business, and be more successful. Gary can be reached for speaking, coaching and media requests at 877-462-5748 or by sending an email to

The 10 Commandments of
Goal Setting

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Learning how to set goals is a part of your entire life whether you realize it or not. As I stated above, I didn’t know how to set goals and had to learn this information from life lessons as well as books, tapes and other materials. I could spend a long time writing about how to set goals or, I could simply give you the shorthand expert version from Gary The Goals Guy (see below):

Here is Gary Ryan Blair’s

10 Commandments of Goal Setting:

  • Thou Shalt Be Decisive: Success is a choice. You must decide what you want, why you want it, and how you plan to achieve it. No one else can, will, or should do that for you.
  • Thou Shalt Stay Focused: A close relative to being decisive, but your ability to sustain your focus from beginning to end determines the timing and condition of your outcomes.
  • Thou Shalt Welcome Failure: The fundamental question is not whether you should accept failure. You have no choice but to expect it as a temporary condition on the path way of progress. Rather, the question is how to anticipate failure and redirect resources to grow from the experience.
  • Thou Shalt Write Down Thy Goals: Your mind while blessed with permanent memory is cursed with lousy recall. People forget things. Avoid the temptation of being cute; Write down your goals.
  • Thou Shalt Plan Thoroughly: Planning saves 10 to 1 in execution. Proper planning prevents poor performance.
  • Thou Shalt Involve Others: Nobody goes through life alone. Establish your own "Personal Board of Directors", people whose wisdom, knowledge and character you respect to help you achieve your goals.
  • Thou Shalt Take Purposeful Action: Success is not a spectator sport - achievement demands action. You cannot expect to arrive at success without having made the trip.
  • Thou Shalt Reward Thyself: Rewards work! Think of what you will give yourself as a result of your hard work, focus and persistence - you deserve it!
  • Thou Shalt Inspect What Thy Expect: The Shelf life of all plans is limited. No plan holds up against opposition. Everything changes. Therefore inspect frequently and closely, it's an insurance policy on your success.
  • Thou Shalt Maintain Personal Integrity: Maintain your commitment to your commitment. Set your goals, promise yourself that you will achieve them. Eliminate wiggle room and excuses. That's personal integrity!

(Used with permission: Gary Ryan Blair is President of Gary the Goals Guy. He helps business owners, corporate executives and sales professionals manage their time, set their priorities, and stay focused so they can achieve their goals, grow their business, and be more successful. Gary can be reached for speaking, coaching and media requests at 877-462-5748 or by sending an email to

Final Things on
How to Set Goals

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If you’ve managed to wade through all this information on how to set goals, CONGRATULATIONS!

I know this was a LOT of information to give on one page, but I felt it needed to be kept together.

If like me, you do want to learn how to set goals, succeed, overcome past habits and move forward with your personal development, then take this information to heart. I can highly and personally recommend Gary the Goal’s Guy’s resources to help you learn to set goals and achieve them.

For more information on Goal Setting.

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