Goals Part 3: If you don’t know where to start with goal setting

Goal setting is a crucial part of coaching, and helping people achieve their potential.

So I think a lot about goals, what makes a good one, and why it’s a good idea to spend the time getting clarity.

I know that you’ve got to be in a hopeful and excited to come up with goals that get you fired up…so much so that you hang off trees in the mountains at sunset!

But, if you’re not feeling those vibes in 2024, I got you.

Read on….


Take a moment…

First, take a moment. Maybe you’ve just come back from a break, and feel like the frenetic pace is already creeping back in.

Stop, and spend half an hour now. Stop and think deeply – I promise the investment will be worth it.

I need you to commit to two things. Suspend reality, and suspend pragmatism.

Suspend reality

Imagine you’re 12 months from now, living the life you want. Actually doing the thing. What would a life when you don’t have anything to complain about comprise?*

Describe it – how work fits in, family, hobbies, other commitments. Note the things that come up about what you want to spend your time doing.

Zoom out and look at your situation from the outside – what would it look like as an observer? What sort of things have you done during the year that elevated you, that you’re proud of?


I love this quote from Flow (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi)

“The best moments in our lives, are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times—although such experiences can also be enjoyable, if we have worked hard to attain them.

The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.”

So – what difficult and worthwhile things get you a little bit excited?

Problem solving, learning new skills and overcoming challenges within your capabilities are recognised as the gold in life.


*there are a whole bunch of reasons this never happens – comfort creep, hedonic treadmill, whatever you want to call it, we basically adjust to our new normal and find new things to complain about. Slowing down once in a while to think about this can help.

Suspend pragmatism

While you’re doing this, put the pragmatic voice in your head to one side.

We are all capable of more than we think, and trying to solve for ‘how’ restricts our thinking.

We subconsciously eliminate options before we even think them through properly, because we have limiting beliefs about what we’re capable of.

Our knowledge of how to do things only covers the types of things we’ve done before. We need to trust that we can come up with new ideas for how to get there. Deliberately ignore how you’re going to get there. Just focus on the ‘what’.

Treat this time as dreaming rather than planning. The benefits of this is that unexpected things come up…be curious about this!

So – go forth and day dream! Dream about what your ideal future life looks like!

How coaching can help


If you want some help with figuring out your goals, coaching provides a structured process to help you step out of the day to day and come up with goals that are tailored to your situation, strengths and aspirations.

Then we work on mindset, actions and accountability to achieve them.

I’ve just launched a program for 2024 which is focused on making confident decisions that create the career (and life) you want.

If it sounds like something you’re interested in, let’s chat and I can answer any questions you’ve got, and we can see if it’s a good fit for where you’re at.

*I don’t do pushy sales – I realise coaching isn’t for everyone and I promise not to coerce you into parting with your $ if it’s not for you!