How Do I Set Clear Goals?

Many of our clients struggle to set realistic goals and attain them. Why? We believe it has, in part, become more challenging to focus when there are so many distractions around us. First and foremost, goals will never work if you don’t have a clear vision of where you are going. This is why we spend so much time on developing vision with values. Goals align with your vision, short term and long term. Values make the decisions for you.

We also tend to forget to review our goals relative to our plans to make sure they make sense. Then there’s the agreement factor: if you require input or assistance from others to achieve your goals, they must agree and prioritize the goals in the same fashion you do.

There are goals for personal and for professional. They need to align and there needs to be a buy-in not only by yourself but people critical to your success. Let’s use a real world example on a short term goal: We have a 3 day weekend. We have a client in distress. We have a four year old grand-daughter, Parker, we want time with every weekend. Our weekend goals were to write a blog, repair the deck rail and get the car washed. Down time was mandatory to reduce stress. An emergency arose within the family and extended family needed help. And the client needed to be seen.

We can’t do it all. We are clearly family first over business first but the loyalty we have to our clients clearly pushes our buttons. This requires compromise. The first “test” will be to determine which of these items align with our goals and toss out those that do not (or find more time). Next, prioritize. We ended up with a simple plan and each got what they wanted. Saturday morning was set aside to help the client. Saturday afternoon and night were Parker time. Sunday morning we had the client come to our home office. Sunday afternoon we helped the family member with a need. And Monday was a free day for both of us to do what we wanted, blogs, repairs, books. We let everyone know our needs and goals and they all jumped on board because they also knew our values (family first) and recognized our responsibility to our clients.

Aligning goals can require frank discussions. In our case, keeping family close is a lifetime goal as well as a priority. Loyalty and devotion to our clients drive us. As we review and prioritize the list for the weekend, the tasks that revolve around family come first. Next came the client. The rest can wait until another day. And to achieve this we involved family and the client to help us make this work.


  • Be clear on your long term vision
  • Define your top values
  • Set your goals to meet the vision and the values
  • Be public on vision values and goals
  • Learn to compromise goals without compromising values and vision