Goals Part 2: Refining your goals for success

Maybe you’ve started off 2024 with some ideas about what you want from the year ahead.

In coaching, we often start a session with a seemingly simple goal. But once we start unpacking it, getting to motivation and self awareness, we get to something much deeper and more powerful.

This post uses some of those coaching principles to help you also get depth for your goals. Slowing down a bit now will set you up to understand more about what you’re really chasing.

Question 1 – Why?

It’s a simple process, and if you’re around small kids, you’ve probably heard it before.


Say your goal is to get promoted this year. Simple, right?

But what if you stopped and asked yourself why you want this.

Maybe the answer is you want recognition from your peers. Or more money. Or the opportunity to develop leadership skills.

Then ask why you want those things.

Then ask why, a third time.

You can do this for as long as you want, but three rounds often works to get to something that gets deep into your motivations.

Maybe in the third round, you get to something around having impact, creating positive change or setting yourself up for financial freedom. Understanding these opens up new possibilities. There are plenty of other ways to achieve these things, so if that’s what you really want, then think about those actions, too. This will help you get where you actually want to be.

The other thing that might happen is that it might reveal that your goals might be serving someone else’s expectation, and not your own. If you struggled to answer ‘why’, or the answer made you a bit uncomfortable, it might be worth considering if your goal is right for you, now.

Question 2 – What would it be like?

The second thing to ask yourself is: what it would be like if you got the thing you want. In the example of being promoted, this could mean different responsibilities, decisions and day to day tasks. The way you spend your time is likely to be very different.

Understanding this is an important part of making sure your goal is right for you.

You might find that these things are appealing to you, and fire you up to go for it!

Or you might also find that the thought of these changes, and the things you have to give up might not sit well. This doesn’t necessarily mean don’t go for it, but it comes back to your underlying motivations. Is having more responsibility, and all that it entails, something you’re willing to take on, to get to your third ‘why’ answer?

The key is to pressure test the goal, to make sure you’re chasing the right thing for you.

In summary –

Goals that come from introspection resonate more heavily, and are more likely to guide behaviour change – a necessary part of achieving something different.

This happens by reflecting on motivations and questioning assumptions about our capabilities. It leads to a greater understanding of why we want to achieve a certain thing, but also it might help us re frame our goals.

If you want some help refining your goals, coaching provides a structured process to make sure you’re not only setting the right goals, but that you’ve got the 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!