Those of you who know me, know that I love goals. I love setting goals. I love working towards goals and I especially love achieving goals. Goals have always played a huge part in my life but recently I don’t seem to be making much progress towards achieving anything. And this has got me wondering.

You see, my goals are S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound). If you’ve no idea what I’m talking about check out this 3-part post on goal setting. PART 1, PART 2, PART 3

I’ve also written my goals down. I’ve broken them up into tiny actionable tasks that are easy to complete on a daily basis. I’m checking in with them regularly to make sure I’m on track but I still seem to be getting nowhere fast. I’m doing everything that everyone tells you to do if you’re serious about achieving your goals but there’s still something missing.

And then it hit me!

All the things that most people tell you about goal-setting are external. They’re outside of you. They’re goal-centric. They focus purely on the goals themselves and not on the person setting the goals. Very few people talk about the internal components of goal-setting – the things that have to come from inside of you if you want to succeed in a big way.

You can set as many goals as you like; break those goals  down into teeny, tiny micro-actions; eat, sleep, live and dream about whatever it is you want to achieve but if the internal components aren’t in place, prepare to spend the rest of your life wandering aimlessly along with no real purpose or… ok, I’m being overly dramatic, I know

If you are serious about reaching your goals though, here are the 6 internal components that need to be in place.

The 6 Essential Steps To Successful Goal Setting


If you don’t have the courage to do whatever it takes to realise your hopes and dreams, no amount of S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting will get you anywhere. They say your goals should scare you. They’re right! However, if your goals scare you so much that you’re paralysed and unable to move forward, things needs to change. In order to realise your dreams you must be brave. You must let go of fear.

One of the biggest regrets of people who have let their dreams pass them by is that they wish they hadn’t let their fear hold them back.


This isn’t the same as being specific. Clarity is about being completely clear about exactly what you want and how you’re going to get there. It’s about the ‘bigger picture’. Having a rough idea just won’t cut it.

Do you suffer from Shiny Object Syndrome? Are there ‘things’ floating around in your peripheral vision trying to entice you away from your goals? Do you find yourself constantly distracted by other possibilities? If the answer’s yes, like fear, you need to let those things go. If  however, you really don’t think you can let them go, note them down somewhere safe for future reference. It may be a brilliant idea that you could follow up later on but, right now, it’s just another distraction diluting your chances of success.


 This ties in with clarity. Once you’re completely clear on what you you want then you need to give it 100% of your attention – no less. An example of this for me was Facebook. I had 5 Facebook pages, all different but all aimed at turning Cupcakes and Cadenzas into a successful blog. However, apart from my actual Cupcakes and Cadenzas page, none of the others were necessary and, in fact, all they were doing was distracting me from my ultimate goal – turning Cupcakes and Cadenzas into a thriving and successful entity. Each page was doing well in its own right but, eventually, I plucked up the courage to let them all go apart from the official Cupcakes and Cadenzas page. I immediately felt as though a great weight had been lifted from my shoulders and I could finally focus all my attention on my ultimate goal. You need to do that too – obviously in a way that will help you with your own particular goals.


This is a biggie. You need to have supreme confidence in your ability to achieve whatever it is you want to achieve. Anything less and you won’t do it. Bursts of self-doubt are inevitable. We all have mind monkeys. They’re the little voices telling you that you won’t ever reach your goals. They’ll tell you you’re not clever enough, strong enough, capable enough, rich enough, well educated enough… Understand though that those little voices are simply your subconscious trying to keep you safe. The job of your subconscious is, amongst other things, to stop you from being killed, maimed, hurt, embarrassed, or ridiculed. But you know better than they do. Of course, these voices are incredibly useful in times of real danger. You may be about to be eaten by a bear or you may hear footsteps behind you in a dark alleyway. Those are the times you really need to listen to those voices. However, when it comes to losing weight, building a business, running a marathon or speaking in public, trust me, you know best.


You need to be completely determined to succeed. If you’re not determined then perhaps you need to rethink what it is you’re trying to achieve. If  however your goal is something you truly want, you’ll do whatever it takes to succeed. And you will not give up until you get there. There’s not much else to be said about determination really. It’s pretty self explanatory.


This is something that really hit me this morning. You won’t reach your goal if you don’t put the work in. This is why I haven’t been doing as well with my goals recently as I have in the past. I haven’t been putting in the necessary work. Because I’ve reached goals in the past, I’ve assumed I would always be able to reach any goal I set myself and  I’ve become lazy and complacent. On reflection, I need to work a lot harder if I want to be successful. I can think about, talk about and dream about my goals and I can put requests out to the Universe and they’re all great things to do but, without the requisite amount of hard work, nothing will change.

And there you have it.

The 6 Essential Steps To Successful Goal Setting.

It may seem like a lot to do just to set a goal but, if you’re serious about doing all the things in life you’ve ever wanted to do, it is worth it.

Carry on setting your S.M.A.R.T. goals but don’t forget about the necessary internal components. Don’t take this lightly because once you get your head round everything I’ve written here there will be no holding you back – I promise.

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