The Five Critical Steps You Must Take Before You Set Your Next Goal

Why You Need to Do Them to Set Yourself Up for Success

Neel Raman
6 min readJan 3, 2023

Before you set your next goal, you need to take certain critical steps if you want to increase your chances of success.

Having personal goals and professional goals is important because they give you direction and focus.

Most people have neither short-term goals nor long-term goals. They just go with the flow and hoping something good happens in their lives. If they set any type of goal, they’re usually vague goals.

Out of those who set life goals, only a small percentage actually achieve them. Goals are great, but they won’t get you anywhere unless you address these five critical steps.

When you do, you’ll have a much better chance of achieving your goals.

1-Minute Summary Video

Why Set Goals?

  • Give purpose, meaning, and direction to your life.
  • Keep you motivated to achieve something.
  • Help develop your self-confidence.
  • Allow you to develop more of potential.
  • Give you a sense of progress toward things that matter.
  • Help clarify your priorities.
  • Develop resilience and discipline.
  • Help you avoid procrastination and be more productive.
  • Generate positive emotions.
  • Help you become an action-oriented person.

A person without achievable goals often drifts through life and never discovers what they’re capable of.

While realistic goal setting is important, staying committed to them is far more challenging.

If you don’t have effective strategies to stay committed to your attainable goals, you’re more likely to give up on them when you face obstacles.

before you set your next goal

The Factors That Influence the Goals You Set

How do you know what effective goals to set?

Here are factors that will influence the goals you set in your personal or professional life.

  1. Your values. Do you value money, family, health, fun, relationships, or other things? What are your top values in life?
  2. Your beliefs. Do you believe you can accomplish anything you put your mind to? Are you confident in your abilities?
  3. Your environments. Do you have people in your life who will support you? Do you feel inspired on a daily basis to take productive actions?
  4. Your motivation level. How motivated are you to work towards your goals? What will keep you motivated?
  5. Your current situation. What is happening in your life right now? How will your current situation affect your ability to reach your goals?
  6. Your habits. What are your daily routines? How do you use your time? How much time do you have available each week to dedicate to your goals?
  7. Your strengths and weaknesses. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Which strengths would help you most if you were trying to achieve challenging goals?

5 Critical Steps You Need to Take Before You Set Your Next Goal

Here are five steps you must take before you set your next goal, so you can give yourself a better chance to achieve it and have the success you want.

1. Know if it’s a goal you want or something you should do

When you set a “should” goal, you won’t be as emotionally invested in it. The goals you set must come a deep part within you. You have to be emotionally connected to it, otherwise you won’t give it the energy it needs to become a reality.

2. Determine how others will benefit when you achieve the goal

We often do more for others than we do for ourselves. When you set a goal, ask yourself whether you’re doing this for yourself or someone else. If you’re not sure, then you probably shouldn’t set the goal. If others in your life will also benefit, you will give a greater chance of succeeding because you know you will improve their lives as well.

3. Clarify what it will cost you if you do not achieve the goal

A goal has a cost associated to it. It may be a financial cost, an emotional cost, or a mental cost. If you don’t achieve the goal, know how it will affect you and your life. Determine whether you’re willing to do what’s necessary for you to achieve it.

4. Determine what excuse you will accept to quit the goal

You’ll never succeed at achieving the goal if you allow excuses to stop you from having an action plan. When things get difficult, how will you deal with it? What is the one excuse you will accept for you to quit on the goal? When you make up other excuses, how will you handle them?

5. Know who or what could prevent you from achieving the goal

This is about having a goal-setting process and strategies to achieve it. You need to have a plan. Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail. If you know you need to develop skills or need resources to make the goal happen, identify how you will address them.

Final Thoughts

If achieving lifetime goals was easy, more people would be happier, healthier, and wealthier. To give yourself the best chance of success, you need to take these critical steps before you set your next goal.

They will ensure you have everything you need to succeed and enjoy the rewards of having achieved your goal.

Action Step: Before you set your next goal, give yourself time to consider the five critical steps mentioned. If you have a success partner or an accountability partner, have a discussion about it and come up with a plan to set yourself up for success.

Question: Do you believe there are other critical steps to take before you set your next goal?

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Neel Raman

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