3 Tips to Help You Achieve Goal Success

3 Tips to Help You Achieve Goals | www.TheHeavyPurse.comGoal-setting is something you either seem to really enjoy or really dislike. I find those who dislike goal-setting simply failed one too many times and are reluctant to try again. No one likes to fail over and over, although we could argue whether you’ve truly failed. So today I’m going to share a few tips to help you succeed at your goals this year. It is possible, with a few tweaks, that goal-setting can become something you look forward to every year.

Google goal-setting and you can find lots of great advice to help you, so I wanted to instead take a different approach, instead of repeating what they already said so well. My focus is to help you power through the tough times, when you find yourself struggling with your goals and are on the cusp of giving up. This is often make it or break time for our goals.

How To Stay On Track with Your Goals

Goal success is something a bit like childbirth. We forget the pain we had to go through to bring a precious baby or goal to life. We just remember how good the end results felt. But there is some pain we have to manage through first and need to be prepared to handle it.

Prepare for Setbacks by Knowing the Why Behind Your Goals

Just like the “why” behind the “no” you tell your kids when you can’t buy them something is important, so is the “why” behind your goals. Setting goals is only the first step towards goal achievement. There are many more steps afterwards and not every step will come easily. The reality is that you will likely experience wins and losses along the way to your eventual goal achievement. What you need to do is prepare yourself for those setbacks.

Some days they won’t even faze you. Other days, it will happen on a bad day when you’ve argued with your spouse, friend, co-worker or child and you can’t just take another thing going wrong. This is where the “why” behind the goal really comes into play. Knowing why you set the goal and why it matters so much is what helps you power through the setback and view it as temporary versus goal-ending.

To-Do: You should know the “why” behind every goal you set. If you don’t know the “why” and struggle to find the reason why the goal matters, then you need to take another look at whether that goal is authentic. Once you know the why behind every goal, then make sure you both internalize the why and have it written down, so you both visually and mentally see it at all times.

Form a Mastermind Group to Support Goal Efforts

Some people keep goals very private, but I would encourage you to find a few select people to confide in and form an accountability and support group, also known as a mastermind group. Being able to connect with like-minded people can play a significant role in your goal success. They are the people you call when you experience a setback, are tempted to call it quits or brainstorm with when you need new ideas.

Most people set goals with the intention to achieve them. They create a plan and break it down into actionable steps with deadlines, which are things you should do. But it’s also much easier to let things slide and miss deadlines when no one is holding you accountable. A mastermind groups keeps goals front and center, and you are constantly working towards them, instead of letting other things take over.

I’ve participated in several small mastermind groups to help me grow my business. Between the camaraderie and support from members to them helping me think outside the box and stretch myself, it’s been a huge asset and instrumental in my success.

To-Do: Identify a few people to connect with privately on a regular basis. You should minimally meet once-a-month, share progress against goals, set goals (the actionable steps you commit to completing prior to the next meeting) and offer suggestions and solutions to other member’s problems. Much like any support group, it should be a safe and private place with people who genuinely want you to succeed (as you do for them) and where you feel comfortable sharing both concerns and triumphs.

Prioritize Goals But Don’t Overvalue Them

Now I know that seems a bit contradictory so let me explain. Most people typically have more than one goal, although that is certainly not a requirement. Assuming you have more than one goal, you need to prioritize your goals from most important to least. It’s doesn’t mean that your less important goals don’t matter, but some simply matter more.

I often see people work on the least important goals while ignoring the most important. Sometimes this is done out of fear because the most important goal means so much that they choose to avoid it versus face the possibility of not achieving it. While I can’t guarantee putting it first will ensure success, I know putting it last isn’t the answer either.

Some days you will be faced with a choice where you cannot do everything and have to decide where to put your energy. Knowing which goal is the most important, helps you choose to work on the goal that will bring you the greatest satisfaction. It is also important to recognize if you are suffering from goal burnout and need to reduce goals. You may be tempted to keep the least important, which are often the easiest ones. This will, hopefully, prevent you from doing so.

Goals Are Meant to Be Flexible

There have been times I have set my goals, then put them aside to take advantage of a great opportunity — something I wasn’t expected and didn’t even know I wanted. Because I was open and willing to adjust my goals to embrace opportunities that I’ve been able to do and achieve things that I never imagined. Goals are not etched in stone. There are legitimate and valid reasons why it makes sense to set some goals aside or replace them with others. Do not confuse that with giving up or failure.

To-Do: Once you have your goals set, list them out from highest to lowest priority. Be sure to include the “why” behind every goal too. If and when you can only work towards one goal, now you which goal to focus your attention on. Additionally, don’t become so rigid that you overlook opportunities not connected with your goals. Goals are important, but don’t put so much emphasis on them that you cannot see beyond them.

You Can Do It

We all face moments where our goals take second-place and that’s okay. What matters is that we don’t completely give-up on them. Know the why behind your goals and surround yourself by like-minded people will help you keep you motivated. We may not always achieve our goal on our first attempt or by our deadline, but what matters most is that we keep working towards them.

What keeps you motivated when you are tempted to give up on a goal?


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January 12, 2015  •  17 Comments  •  Goal-Setting


  1. Monday, January 12th, 2015
    We are doing all of these things this year, Shannon, and it's really helping!!! Excited, but nervous about finally achieving our debt free goals. :-)
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, January 12th, 2015
      Excellent, Laurie! I know you can achieve your goal of financial freedom! :)
  2. Monday, January 12th, 2015
    I've got the why part down, but I probably need to prioritize mine in some kind of order. Right now they seem to ALL feel really important, so I always feel like I have SO much to do!
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, January 12th, 2015
      Sometimes they do feel equally important, but I bet there is still one (or two) that rate a bit higher. And knowing may help you focus on the one that matters most first so you don't feel like you have so much to do at once. It's easy to get overwhelmed when that happens.
  3. Monday, January 12th, 2015
    Great thoughts here Shannon! Personally speaking, I've really benefitted from realizing that goals can and really should be flexible. I know in the past when I've not been flexible that often leads to more frustration on my part and just makes me want to give up. That said, I've found what keeps me motivated is hitting that end goal - especially when it's a quantifiable one. I'll even work to hit it, in spite of myself, just so I can say I reached it. :)
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, January 12th, 2015
      Yes, the lack of flexibility can actually make goal achievement harder, which seems hard to believe. But we can get so rigid with how things are supposed to progress and when they don't, we get frustrated. I definitely agree that goal achievement is one of the best motivators around!
  4. Monday, January 12th, 2015
    The mastermind group is incredibly effective and surprisingly undervalued. I really like that you included this tip!
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, January 12th, 2015
      Thanks, Natalie! THey are definitely undervalued but when you have a great group, it can really make a huge difference.
  5. Monday, January 12th, 2015
    I think you make a great point by preparing for setbacks. So many people establish goals and have the best intentions and think that it will be smooth sailing while you are on the path to achieving them, but the reality is that there are always bumps in the road no matter how well intentioned you are. It's important to take those bumps in stride and not let them set you too far off course.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, January 12th, 2015
      I wish it was smooth sailing, but you and I know that sometimes the waters are very rough. And when people don't expect setbacks and aren't mentally prepared to deal with them, they may give-up, which happens far too often.
  6. Monday, January 12th, 2015
    A wonder how many people set goals for other people's expectations and don't really have their own why. I think knowing why you want something is probably more important than making a goal without purpose. I have also changed my goals as the year rolls along. It's hard to know how things might go months down the road.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, January 12th, 2015
      It's been my experience that people set goals to meet other's expectations far more often than they realize. People also forget that goals change. They view it as some sort of failure but it's simply values changing and our goals shifting to reflect those changes.
  7. Monday, January 12th, 2015
    I think I oftentimes overvalue my goals. I feel like if I don't reach them, then I failed. I mean, come on if I can't even reach the goals I set, how am I ever going to reach those HUGE goals like owning multiple rental properties? I've learned to cut myself some slack, though, and I really want to keep things in perspective this year.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, January 12th, 2015
      It's very easy to overvalue goals, especially when you really, really want them. It feels like the more attention you put on them, increases the likelihood of achieving them increases, but sometimes the opposite happens. Perspective is key and with your work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit, I have no doubt that you will some day be the owner of multiple rental properties or something even better that you can't imagine right now.
  8. Wednesday, January 14th, 2015
    Shannon, I believe it's important to apply having alternative plans once our plan fails. Once we fail, we have bounce back right away because time is really precious. Also, while plotting plans, we do need to take time and do it seriously to save us from more setbacks. Nice 3 tips Shannon.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Wednesday, January 14th, 2015
      Thanks, Jayson. Yes, it's important that we don't get so caught up in our plan going according to plan because it won't. And if we can be flexible and adjust or even start over, we can still achieve our goal.
  9. Friday, January 16th, 2015
    Great tips! I've shared my goals on my blog to hold me accountable and I've also started emailing with another PF blogger, Laurie at the Frugal Farmer, so we can work together to motivate and encourage each other. (Plus a little scolding when we need it, haha)
  • Meet Shannon

    "As a Certified Financial Planner, it is my passion to help individuals and families build a healthy relationship with money. I look forward to helping you raise financially confident kids.” - Shannon Ryan