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Have you ever set a goal with absolute certainty and in that moment you were so sure you were going to achieve it, but then, you didn't achieve it?

Have you wanted to achieve a fitness goal, a relationship goal, a career goal, or another goal but you struggled and became frustrated because you just could not make it happen?

In this blog, I want to share the four mindset shifts that helped me go from being constantly frustrated by not achieving goals to having confidence in goal setting and achievement.

I struggled with goal setting and achieving for several reasons:

  1. I didn't understand the science and art of goal setting and achieving.

  2. I put too much emphasis on goal setting and not enough emphasis on the process of achieving my goals.

  3. I didn't give enough meaning to my goals so I didn't take them seriously.

  4. I shamed myself for not executing or achieving my goals "perfectly."

  5. I pursued goals unsustainably and struggled to stick with the effort for the long term.

  6. I lacked conscientiousness in the pursuit of my goals.

Here are the 4 mindset shifts that made me a confident goal achiever

  • Mindset Shift 1) One Goal, Two Parts

  • Mindset Shift 2) Becoming an apprentice

  • Mindset Shift 3) Shaming myself only made things worse

  • Mindset Shift 4) Learning how to set SMART goals and how to energize them emotionally

Mindset Shift 1) One Goal, Two Parts

I thought goal setting was about setting a destination goal or a desired outcome.

But things shifted when I broadened my understanding of goals and began to break every goal into two parts:

  • Part 1) The Destination Goal

  • Part 2) The Process Goal

Part 1 of a goal is the destination goal.

This is the destination you wish to get to, the result you want, the desired outcome you aim to achieve,

Part 2 of a goal is the process goal.

This is a type of goal that focuses strictly on the actions, behaviors, or processes that need to be followed in order to achieve the destination goal.

Unlike destination goals, which are centered on the end result, process goals emphasize the steps and activities required to reach that result.

These are within your control and are more actionable.

Process goals are most important because they provide a clear roadmap and direction for achieving desired outcomes.

By breaking down larger objectives into smaller, manageable tasks, process goals help to maintain focus, motivation, and progress.

Process goals also promote a sense of accomplishment as you can track and celebrate the completion of each step on your way to your destination.

I like to think of destination goals as setting my Google Maps on my phone when driving somewhere.

For example, I type into my Google Maps "Grocery store". I just set the destination goal.

I need to take the necessary actions to get to my destination. In this example, the process goals are, 1) Getting to my car, and 2) safely driving myself to the grocery store.

This seems to be common sense, right?

But, process goals are commonly not given enough focus and energy when setting goals for personal and professional lives.

I once set the goal to "Build a business that helps a lot of people" (destination goal) yet I spent little time on the process goals of creating a clear business plan, scheduling high-leverage actions into my week, and following my plan.

95% of my focus and energy was on thinking about the destination, and 5% on the process.

My focus on the process was inconsistent and that's why my results were inconsistent.

I now aim to switch these numbers around by focusing 95% of my focus and energy on the process.

Set the destination goal so you know where specifically you are going, and drive towards that destination using process goals.

Both parts of a goal are just important as each other but the process goals require the most energy and focus if you want to move toward the destination.

Mindset Shift 2) Becoming an apprentice

This has been one of the most important mindset shifts for me. I have taken this mindset on in all the most important areas of my life including my health, relationships, career, and beyond.

I used to think I was entitled to my goals just because I set them.

I used to think that I deserved the achievement of my goals because I worked hard.

But I was constantly frustrated with my lack of results.

"I should have this by now!.." I would say to myself when trying to build a consistent income from my business or when trying to lose 10kg of fat from my body.

What I thought I knew and what I thought was a sufficient effort to get the results I wanted was not.

What I thought "should've been getting me the results" was not getting me the result.

But the truth is I was dabbling.

I wasn't truly committed to the results I desired.

I wanted a "quick fix" for my fat loss.

I wanted a "fast track" to consistent income with my business.

I didn't consider working toward a lifelong solution, so I wasted a lot of my precious time chasing quick fixes and getting poor results.

I bought into the quick fixes sold to me but my expectations didn't match reality.

What I was doing just wasn't working, and it hurt to admit that truth.

Often in life, we come up against a reality that doesn't match our expectations.

These moments can hurt but they are incredible, life-changing opportunities.

For me, this was an opportunity for me to accept what is and update my "map of the world" to match the reality I was facing.

So, I spent time thinking it through this new truth I was confronted with and recalibrated my "map of reality."

The cold, hard truth was that if I was on the right path, I would be getting the results I wanted.

But I wasn't.

At this point, I realized that I needed to take on an apprentice mindset.

This changed it all for me!

And so, I began acting as if I was an apprentice.

I accepted that I didn't know what I needed to know. I took on a know-nothing mindset.

In my business, I got myself a mentor who was ten years ahead of me and was getting the results I wanted to get.

And I began to imperfectly implement the new knowledge he shared with me each week.

In my health, I began reading health books with a beginner's mindset.

And I began to imperfectly implement the new knowledge from the books each week.

I opened my mind up with curiosity and a willingness to unlearn what I thought I knew, so I could learn what I needed to get the results I desired.

Doing this brought with it another one of the most important things to true long-term change - identity change.

When I commit to being an apprentice I planted the seeds of identity for that "apprenticeship."

I was now an "apprentice business owner," and an "apprentice health & fitness expert."

I began set forth on the mastery pathway.

I was vulnerably accepting my lack of knowledge and willing to learn whatever it takes to earn that apprenticeship.

The journey to mastery had begun and progress ensued.

For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.” Viktor E. Frankl

If you have spent time not getting the results you want in your health, relationships, career, etc, consider that what you think you know might not be sufficient for the results you desire.

Consider becoming an apprentice for that goal and commit to the apprenticeship for the long term.

Consider this:

  • Are you all in? Or have you got one foot in, one foot out?

  • Are you a committed apprentice? Or are you a frustrated dabbler?

The apprentice is committed to mastery.

In time they become organized, responsible, and dependable in their craft.

They become a person who is diligent, thorough, and attentive to details in their actions and decision-making.

Over time they deepen their focus, improve their self-discipline, and strive for greater excellence in their work.

The apprentice starts off as an amateur and becomes a professional.

Mindset Shift 3) Shaming myself only made things worse

One thing most of us are good at is the skill of shaming ourselves for making mistakes, for not being as far ahead as (insert the person you are comparing yourself to), and for not being "perfect."

The most important thing I learned about self-shaming or self-judgment of any kind is this...


It is literally the biggest waste of time and energy.

Doing literally anything other than shaming myself would have been a better use of my time.

Yet, I spent countless hours in my head, punishing myself for being imperfect, for being fallible.

Shaming myself and directing other negative emotions like anger, frustration, etc, at myself was something I had done for a long time and it took a while to get out of the habit.

How I overcome the habit of self-shaming

When it comes to changing thinking patterns, making thoughts "wrong" or trying to stop the thoughts by rejecting them often results in making them worse. Becoming afraid or angry at an emotion or thought is not useful.


So, start off by practicing acceptance of the thoughts and emotions.

Give yourself permission to think thoughts, and realize that they are just thoughts. They are not you, you are more than your thoughts.


With this acceptance, allow yourself permission to feel the emotions and embrace them.

Remembering that they are just emotions and that you are much more than your emotions.


Remind yourself that your thoughts are yours. They are within your power.

Practice taking ownership and authority over your thoughts.


And finally, remember that you, along with everyone else on the planet, are fallible.

Mistakes are a normal part of the process to progress. No one excluded.

We are all perfectly imperfect, and the sooner you can embrace your imperfections and fallibility, the sooner you will free yourself to stumble down the rocky path to mastery.

Goals are not purely about "perfect achievement" they are about aiming towards something.

Goals are about living with more intention so your attention has a direction to aim toward.

They are to stretch you so you can become more in pursuit of their achievement.

Focus on progress toward your goals, rather than needing their achievement.

The key mindset shifts to get out of the habit of self-shaming are these:

  1. Goals are not purely about "perfect achievement" they are about aiming towards something.

  2. Goals are about living with more intention so your attention has a direction to aim toward.

  3. Focus on celebrating progress rather than being unhappy until achievement of the destination.

  4. Your goals are solely dependent on consistent effort - your worth is separate from your goals.

  5. Remember that you are much more than your thoughts and emotions.

  6. Thoughts are just thoughts, not the truth. Quit believing unresourceful thoughts.

  7. Don't make thoughts wrong, learn to see your thoughts from a distance, evaluate them and laugh at them if they are unhelpful. They are just thoughts.

  8. Your thoughts and emotions are yours - practice taking charge of them.

  9. Think about what you would like to replace the shaming with and practice that. For example,

    1. "This sucks but I accept it as it is. What can I learn from this?"

    2. "It is what it is. I will learn from this and do better next time."

    3. "I didn't get the result I wanted, but I am proud of the effort I gave."

    4. "It's only temporary. Something good is just around the corner."

Mindset Shift 4) Learning how to set SMART goals and how to energize them emotionally

Goal achievement has a scientific aspect because it involves a structured and methodical approach. It requires setting specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART) goals.

This scientific aspect involves:

Planning: Creating a well-defined plan with clear objectives, milestones, and action steps.

Analysis: Assessing the current situation, identifying resources and potential obstacles, and developing strategies to overcome challenges.

Measurement: Monitoring progress by collecting data and measuring key performance indicators to evaluate success and make necessary adjustments.

Problem-solving: Utilizing analytical thinking to identify problems, analyze root causes, and develop solutions.

The scientific aspect of goal achievement emphasizes data-driven decision-making, logical thinking, and systematic execution. It involves utilizing proven strategies, tools, and frameworks for effective goal-setting and tracking progress.

Goal achievement is also considered an art because it requires creativity, innovation, and intuition.

While the scientific aspect provides a framework, the art aspect emphasizes the following:

Vision and Imagination: Creating a compelling vision of the desired outcome, envisioning success, and imagining possibilities.

Adaptability: Being flexible and open to change, adapting strategies based on feedback and new information.

Motivation and Inspiration: Cultivating the motivation to pursue goals, finding inspiration in setbacks, and maintaining enthusiasm during challenging times.

Collaboration and Communication: Nurturing effective relationships, leveraging the support and expertise of others, and effectively communicating ideas and progress.

The art aspect acknowledges the fallible human element in goal achievement, recognizing that each individual has unique strengths, weaknesses, perspectives, and approaches. It involves tapping into intuition, creativity, and emotional intelligence to navigate uncertainties, think outside the box, and find innovative solutions.

By combining the scientific and artistic aspects of goal achievement, individuals can develop a well-rounded approach that balances structure and creativity, analysis and intuition, and systematic methods with imaginative strategies.

Energize your goals with meaning and emotion

Our meanings are what drive us.

The meaning of your goals will determine both your motivation and your discipline.

You can consciously layer meanings onto your goals to energize them with emotion.

Once you have set your destination and process goals take the time to energize them by layering meanings on top of them.

Do this by thinking about the pleasure progressing toward them will bring to your life, and by thinking about the pain that will come from staying the same.

Emotion = Energy in Motion:

  • Emotional energy pushing you AWAY FROM what you don't want: Pushing away from the pain of what you don't want to be, do or have anymore.

  • Emotional energy pulling you TOWARD what you do want: Pulling you towards what you do want. The feeling of the life you believe you will have when you get what you envision pulls you towards that goal's achievements.

Below are some questions that will help you in energizing your goals:

  • What will it mean to you when you achieve this goal?

  • Why is that important to you?

  • How else will progress toward this goal enhance your life?

  • In what other ways will achieving this goal bring pleasure to your life?

  • How will you feel in 5 years if you make steady progress in this area?

  • What other pleasure will come to your life that will make it worth becoming an apprentice in this area?

  • What will it mean to you if you don't change and stay exactly the same?

  • What are the consequences of not changing?

  • If you do not achieve or move toward this goal how will you feel in 5 years from now?

  • What is the significance of that to you?

  • Why is it going to be worth pushing through and remaining disciplined when things get tough?

In summary the 4 Mindset shifts were:

  • Mindset Shift 1) One Goal, Two Parts

  • Mindset Shift 2) Becoming an apprentice

  • Mindset Shift 3) Shaming myself only made things worse

  • Mindset Shift 4) Learning how to set SMART goals and how to energize them emotionally

Best wishes and enjoy the ride,


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