The Three Stages of Goal Setting

In a game of football, all the players go through is to direct the ball to the target and score goals. In life, all the effort and struggles we go through are to achieve goals and become happy and successful. 

From inception we have been conditioned, and rewarded for setting and achieving goals. A growing child will be frustrated for continuing to crawl while others are already walking, so the baby (unconsciously perhaps) sets a target of moving from crawling to taking “baby steps”, and eventually running.

“The very worst use of our time is to do well what need not be done at all.”

Benjamin Tregoe

A life without a goal is a life without a win; it is directionless and meaningless, as the person living that life would just float through the world with no idea where they are headed, being thrown away by any little change in the direction of the winds.

As we continue to journey through life, one thing is certain; goals will continue to be set, and they will either be missed or be achieved. A lot has been said about goal-setting, but they all boil down to these three parts: knowing what you want, knowing how to get what you want, and then going to get what you want.


“Many people see, but very few have a vision.” This highlights the fact that vision is a task for the mind and not just for the eyes.

A man with vision is a man with direction. With the future looking bleaker and darker by the day, only people with vision will hold the key to the future to unlock it and illuminate it.

When a blind man walks, he does not see where he is going, so he ends up hitting himself and stumbling more times than he can count.

This is the same for an individual with no vision- when one has no goal in sight, one will be tempted to look at everything, thereby getting distracted by everything that looks remotely like a prospect.

Sit down. Take some time and take a look at where you are. You know that you can do better, therefore open your mind and let it take you where you should be. Once you envision that destination, it is now time to start planning and deciding which steps you will take to get there.

if you have only one key- the right key to open only one door? You will save yourself a lot of time by unlocking the door in just one try. Now, that’s a man with a plan


While setting a goal, preparation is the key, and keys unlock doors. The door is the goal and how prepared you are is the key. The more prepared you are, the more focused you will be. Customers always know when a salesperson is prepared, juries always know when a lawyer is prepared, and your goals know when you are prepared. Take lots of time to ensure you are thoroughly prepared- there is nothing like over-preparing.

If you have a bunch of fifteen keys to unlock one door, you know you probably have to try 14 times before you get the right key – unless you are lucky, and luck translates to hard work. This can be really frustrating because you will have to keep changing the keys every time one does not work. That is a man without a plan.

What if you have only one key- the right key to open only one door? You will save yourself a lot of time by unlocking the door in just one try. Now, that’s a man with a plan. 

Planning helps you to determine is a goal is feasible, it helps you to know if what you have envisioned for yourself can be achieved. Proper planning will help you in knowing what directions you will need to take to arrive at your envisioned destination and most importantly what routes NOT to take. Planning eradicates time wastage and boosts productivity.

Benjamin Tregoe once said, “The very worst use of our time is to do well what need not be done at all.”

There are times a plan will not work out, you can tweak or even change the plan, and it’s alright. Be flexible with the plan, but never with the goal.

When you plan well, you have a clear picture of the steps you will take to get what you want. It makes the goal much easier to achieve. Now it’s time to swing into action.


You have envisioned and set a goal for yourself, you have taken out the time to properly plan for your goals. Kudos! Now it’s time to take action.

What words come to your mind when you look at the NIKE logo? JUST DO IT!

This sounds easy enough until it’s actually time to take action. Lots of ideas die because the owners were so scared to take action on them.

There will always be a reason to be afraid, chief of which is the fear of failing, but the people who do take [immediate] action are the ones the world belongs to; they are peerless.

Having a clear vision is excellent, but it is not enough, and so is having a mind-blowing plan. A vision will not plan itself and a plan will not work on itself. A vision without a plan is useless, as taking action without direction is a waste of resources. 

When setting goals, be sure to envision the goal, plan carefully and properly, and then spring into action.

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