The truth about goal setting

I’ve been setting visual and written goals for a few years now. However last year was one of the more limited goal setting years I’ve had in some time. In truth, I achieved less than in previous years.

I’ve also come to the conclusion that some times the goals we set for a year, take a few years to yield, for our brain to work out the subconscious algorithm needed to make them happen. I’ve never had a year when I have achieved all the goals that I have set, but it is also true that I achieve more in the years when I have made more of an effort in creating, reviewing and refining my goals.

On occasions I have made a personal postcard and sent it to myself with my goals as the visuals. I’ve shared one of these below, and while some of it is personal, it’s more important to share the goodness than worry about what people might think. You will notice that some things on it are not specific, and can’t be ticked or crossed, while others are specific. I really believe that very specific goal setting can actually work. I don’t know why, it just does.

Some of the Ticks included:

– Getting to feature on A Current Affair (if you click this link, you’ll see how close the reality was to my mashup up preemptive visual goal – quite extraordinary)

– Traveling with my, now wife, to elope

–  Starting a family (see baby pic – my daughter even looks like this picture I found on-line!)

– Going to New York & Rome

– Getting published articles in the AFR, the Age and Sydney Morning Herald

– Surfing Weekly

– Graduating from being a University Tutor, to becoming a University Lecturer

– Turning my Startup Blog into a Startup School

– Helping my father sell his farm

– Getting rentoid in the news multiple times (Just google rentoid)

– Travel overseas in Business Class

– Collaborate with rental Industry to become leading portal

Some of the Crosses included:

– Flying in a private jet somewhere

– Having 10 million+ in net assets

– Upgrading my home (Including pool & eco friendly house features, and grand design renovation)

– Running a marathon

– Opening a new office for rentoid

– Getting on the cover of a business related magazine

– Becoming known as a respected business thought leader.

Some of these goals that I am yet to achieve, but am still seeking, in fact some I am very close to…. if they eventuate I will let you know. For 2012 I want my goals to be more specific and I intend on sharing them here to be honest in public and make myself more accountable.

The one thing I know for sure, is that we don’t achieve any of the goals we don’t set.


15 Comments The truth about goal setting

  1. Harry

    Great advice on goal setting.

    You may want to check out, a very nicely built web app designed for tracking goals and todo lists, and supports time tracking too. It’s clear, focused, easy to navigate, worth a try.

  2. Steve Sammartino

    I’ll check it out. I’ve also considered downloading one the many goal tracking apps out there…. Which I may do as well. I also know the more often we look at our goals the more likely we are to put plans into actions.


  3. Sean Callanan

    Good post Samma, like the visual representation of goals might do that with my goals for 2012. I previously used a “bucket list” style goal list which is nice to look at but hard to translate to actions but I think it is good to include those type of goals because you can surprise yourself. Another goal setting tactic that has work well for short term goal was setting targets for delayed gratification which I did with a simple sales target I had to hit to get an iPad. Key thing is keeping them close to stay on path towards them.

  4. Ben Rowe

    Inspriting post Steve – Looking back it has been a huge 5 years for you.

    I love this time of year, as we all reset our clocks and start the year with new goals in mind.

    I always start the year with lots of goals, but rarely achieve any of them. I’ve always found it hard to actually put goals into action.So this year I’m trying something different.

    I’m starting out the new year with a ‘habits calendar’ – an idea i picked up from Xavier Shay – ( This year one of my goals is to get fit / lose some weight, and that means I need to change some habits to achieve this.

    It’s easy to have goals, but my challenge is to create the daily habits to reach them.

  5. Warwick Beauchamp

    Love your dream board! And all the best for making your goals all come to reality in 2012…

    I’m in the process of writing a book on goal setting and achievement myself – would appreciate you having a look and giving me any feedback… If you’d be kind enough to fill in the questionnaire there’ll be a free copy of the book for you when it’s published!

    Have a look here:

    All the best for achieving your goals in 2012!!!!

  6. Justin Dunham (@jwyattd)

    I just wanted to say that I love the postcard idea. In fact, I think a really interesting business would be a service that helps you compose a postcard like this (offering a library of stock images, fonts, upload capabilities etc.) and sends it to you twice during the year – once at 6 months in grayscale, and again in late December.

  7. Nina

    I actually started one of these the other day after hearing Jennifer Hawkins speak about how she has one. At first I thought, what more could she possibly want?! But then I thought it was really interesting that someone who I consider so successful still strives for goals and that no matter what level we are at in our careers and lives, we still strive to be better.

    Mine include:
    – Getting a full-time job I love.
    – Living in Sydney & New York one day.
    – Writing a best seller book.
    – Be in the Forbes top most successful women under 30 list

    PS. The baby does look like your daughter. Are you sure you didn’t buy her from

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  9. Gerald Mamon

    Goal setting is used by top-level athletes, successful business-people and achievers in all fields. Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation. It focuses your acquisition of knowledge, and helps you to organize your time and your resources so that you can make the very most of your life.:

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  10. Pingback: 021: Planning the year ahead | Beers, Blokes & Business

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