Consider an archer who points a bow and arrow into a field, draws back the string and lets the arrow fly. Did he hit anything? Who knows? Is anyone going to be proud of what his has done? Should there be reward for his efforts?

When we were little kids, we might have engaged in behavior like the archer above. As we grow wiser, more mature, we realize the need to add a target to the equation. Anyone can let loose an arrow and have it hit the ground. It takes skill, effort and energy to practice until you can hit your mark. Pretty simple, we all get it. And yet, when it comes to life, many of us are like the child with a toy bow and arrow, firing into a field, never knowing if we have struck our target, or hit our goals.

Goals add meaning, help define purpose, and act as measure against effort. In short; they are essential to meaningful life well lived.

It’s time to put down that plastic toy and pick up the carbon flex compound box, draw a bead on our target and send our arrows streaking towards dead center of life.

Define success

If we are talking about encouraging folks to hit the bulls eye, it makes sense to understand what you are aiming at. If you are on this website I’m going to make the assumption you have already figured out success is more than the car you drive or the house you live in. Let’s look at some key areas of life as you define success for yourself.


I have defined success, now how do I apply this?


Lets look a the type of targets we are aiming at.


Health is first, because if you are dead, it’s much harder to work on your success plans.

Health encompasses mind, body, emotions and spirit.

How are you doing in these areas?

Are your thoughts clear?

Are you fit?

Are you at peace?

Are you caring for your soul?

If you believe in God, are you right with your creator?

Some things to think about;

Could you walk up two flights of stairs and not be winded?

Can you see someone from your past and not wish the worst for them?

Are you able to relax you mind and emotions, and sleep well at night without the aid of drugs or alcohol?

Are you clear in your conscience about how you are living and the choices you are making?

Are you self-medicating in order not to have to deal with your current state in any of the areas above?

What are the quality of your relationships?

Husband/ Wife?


What does your family life look like?

Your Parents?

Your Siblings?

Best Friend?

Good Friends?


People you are invested in?

Growth is key and comes before wealth, because without it, your income won’t increase.

What areas of strength do you want to maximize in the 12 months?

What weakness do you need to address in the next 12 months?

Who is challenging you, encouraging you and keeping you accountable to meet your goals?

What areas of life are you not able to reach the next level in and thus require a mentor or coach to get there?

Who is someone in that area of life that could fill that role of mentor or coach?

How do you want to be different from who you are today in 6 weeks, 6 months, and a year?

If you live in America and don’t earn the kind of money you want to be earning, why not?

How much money do you need to generate this year?

How much money do you want to generate this year?

Are these active steams of income where you must be in a certain location in order for them to function?

Or are they passive, where you can work on them remotely, in your timing, at your leisure?

Don’t be mistaken, a stream of income unworked and unattended will quickly be rerouted into someone else’s bank account.

Do you have an emergency fund?

How many months can you go without a paycheck before you are in trouble?



Sewing into others?

You might be surprised to find out we don’t begin the process of life change with motivation, we start with education. Motivate an idiot and you have a motivated person who is now enthusiastically still making the same mistakes they always were. Instead, educate them on what needs to change. The motivation to apply that new knowledge comes after.

Which of the areas of life you defined success in do you require more education? Are you studying wealth, do you have a clear understanding of what it takes to generate it? Do you understand proper diet and nutrition? Have you done your emotional homework to understand why you feel the way you do and how to resolve past wounds?

With education comes understanding. There are so many ways to acquire more knowledge; books, MP3’s, mentors, teachers, conferences, seminars, sermons, classes, websites, and podcasts just to name a few.

Ok, you’re educated, now you need to get motivated? Here are three things that will prompt you to change.

  1. Optimism.  Changing our attitude to look at life in a positive way.  When we are pessimistic, we are loath to change.  It’s easy to procrastinate when we feel like nothing good will happen anyway.  Change your attitude and tell yourself that you can make a life change!
  2. Results.  Write out what will happen when you accomplish the goals you have set.  The rewards and promise of them will motivate you to act.  Write out what will happen if you don’t accomplish the same goals.  Quantify the impact to your life on both sides of the equation.
  3. Accountability/ Ongoing Encouragement.  Share your goals with specific people.  Not everyone, this is private and personal.  Share with those who will support you and challenge you to keep going when you lose momentum.
You’ve educated yourself. You’re motivated. Now is the time to take action. Look at the next section of setting goals.
How do you set them and how do you measure your progress?

Great questions. SMT goals. There are those who will tell you that you need to use the full S.M.A.R.T goals acronym to succeed, but I disagree with this and will explain below.

Your goals must be Specific.

If your goals are ill defined or vague, how will you know if you have hit them?

Your goals must be measurable.

Setting a goal of getting healthy is neither specific nor measurable.  Healthy in which way?  Physically healthy.  Ok, it’s specific, but immeasurable.  Anyone who has set that “goal” knows it doesn’t work.  Setting goals of being able to run a mile in 7 minutes, eat a salad five times a week and weigh a certain weight are both specific and measurable.

Smart goals are Attainable and Realistic.

Setting the specific and measured goal of flying to the moon before ten years’ time passed is not going to work.  Until it does.  I want to win a gold medal in the Olympic games.  That’s attainable, maybe.  What about 23 gold medals before I’m 35.  No way someone could that?  Michael Phelps did it before he was 32.  This is why I don’t include the A for attainable and R for realistic as in the S.M.A.R.T goals acronym.  Too many times we settle for mediocre goals and thus a mediocre life.  The goals you set ought to stretch you and make you wonder if you are going to make it.  Set a goal of executing 100 pushups without stopping.  Possible today?  Probably not.  But become stronger, become more than you are when you set the goal, and it’s entirely possible.


Your goals must have a timeline attached to them.

Someday is not a deadline.  Anyone who wants to make a hundred thousand dollars someday will be waiting a long time for it to happen. But attach a timeline to it, and now we can return to specific, measurable and time based.  Let us return to our original example of getting physically fit, measured by a 7 minute mile, salad 5 times a week and my target weight.  Cool, when do you want to accomplish those things?  In a day, or a decade?  A timeline makes it real and gives us a sense of urgency to take practical steps every day.

Specific, measurable, and time-based. These three things will help you accomplish your goals as you set them. Write it down. Put it in a place you will see it daily to reinforce what you want to accomplish. Put a picture of the goal with it to give your brain a boost every time you see it.

Do you have a monster goal like writing a novel and don’t know where to start?

Specific: I want to write a novel.

Measurable: It will be roughly 400 pages in length.

Time-based: I want it done in a year.

Now what? Well, take the amount of time you have to execute in and divide the results. I don’t want to write every day, but say 300 days out of the year.
Then I must write 1 and half pages a day in order to finish on time.

I now have a specific, measurable goal with a timeline attached and will be able to track my progress daily on how I am doing.

There are a great many books on the subject of success and goals each with their own definition of what it means to succeed. When you get right down to it, success can be defined by a few simple disciplines practiced every day. Likewise, failure can be defined as the opposite; a few errors in judgement repeated every day.

Pay heed to your goals, embrace your responsibilities, execute on the daily disciplines, and the level of your success will be overwhelming.  If you want an additional resource, watch this.

Need a notebook to capture your goals, thoughts, ideas and plans in? I enjoy these.