It's Not Too Late to Plan for 2018: The Power of Goal Setting

Posted by Amy Fitzgerald on May 29, 2018 1:03:00 PM

Written by Randy Slechta, CEO and contributed by Jeff Johnson, President - Leadership Management International, Inc.

Question #1: Did you accomplish your most important goals in 2017?

Research shows that only about 8% of people achieve their New Year’s Resolutions.

Question #2: Have you set your goal(s) for 2018?

If so, do you really, really, really want to achieve your 2018 goal(s)?

Light bukb

If your answer is absolutely, then you have to be willing to make some changes to ensure this happens. I find that almost everyone has good intentions to achieve the goals they have set. Most people start the new year optimistic that this will be a good year, this will be the year they finally achieve those important goals. 

Yet 92% fall short. Why? There are of course many reasons, but I find there are a few big stumbling blocks that trip up most people. If you can overcome these obstacles, you can almost guarantee yourself success.

Obstacle #1: Too many goals

Most people who set goals, set way too many goals. It is very important to have lots of dreams, or potential goals, but goal-setting is really the process of choosing which dream you will actually pursue. Your success at goal-setting is almost entirely determined by your success at focusing. The more focus, the more success you will have.

The Power of One

The key to exceptional success is to have an intense, powerful focus on one goal. Every year, I set 7 goals for myself – one goal for each area of life. It forces me to decide what I really want in each area of life. My goals aren’t just whims, flights of fancy, things that would be nice, a % increase from last year, socially acceptable aspirations, etc... They are my real goals.

Dog course

This gives me incredible focus and clarity throughout the year. At any time during the day, I always know what goal I am working on. When I’m at the office, I am working on my business goal. When I’m with my family, I’m working on my family goal. When I’m at church or Bible study, I’m working on my spiritual goal. When I’m eating or exercising, I’m working on my health goal, etc. Of course there is overlap at times, but this is really what is meant by

Crystallize Your Thinking

The other thing I do to improve my focus is write out my 7 goals every day. This is a powerful form of affirmation, visualization, spaced repetition, multi-sensory learning and action on my goals. I literally burn my goals into my consciousness every day. It would be impossible for me to exaggerate how powerful this practice is.

Obstacle #2: Lack of Commitment

In order to achieve any stretch goal, you have to be committed. Now I know that is a cliché, but it is nevertheless true. Once you are focused on your one goal, the determinant of success will be your commitment.

Motivate with Attitudes and Habits

How do you know if you are really committed? Commitment is not really a spectrum or range. You are either totally committed or you’re not. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”

William Hutchison Murray said, “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative, there is one elementary truth; that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.”

In other words, successful people aren’t lucky, they are just fully committed. That commitment brings all kinds of opportunities into their world to bring their goal to fruition. If you feel you are constantly fighting the world, it’s because you haven’t fully committed to your goal. Life is so much easier once you make a commitment.


Commitment means you are fully invested, you are “all in,” you have burned your ships, you are going forward no matter what the circumstances. There is no “plan B.” You are determined to do whatever it takes to reach your goal. You will take every opportunity that moves you towards your goal.

That is the power of true commitment. When you make a big decision up front to commit to your goal, you no longer have to make constant little decisions every day to pursue your goal. Those who aren’t really committed, wake up every single day having to make a new decision to take action on their goal. Consequently, they often wake up trying to figure out how to readjust their goal or rationalize failure. This is a tough way to live!!

You can either live a life of commitment, or a life of hesitancy and ineffectiveness and rationalization. Commitment is the epitome of living a life on purpose. Most people think purpose is some big, altruistic, ethereal, world-changing aspiration. Actually, purpose is just total commitment to a single big goal. You can start living on purpose today. All successful people have this singleness of purpose!

Make the big decision today to have one big goal in each area of life. Decide what is the one thing you want to accomplish in each area. Just imagine what your life would be like if you were to accomplish 7 big goals this year (one in each area of your life)! Then make the decision to go all in on your goal. Make the decision to be fully invested. Burn your ships! Make the decision today that can change the entire trajectory of your business and personal life.

What is your #1 goal? We encourage you to make time to plan your 2018. It is not as difficult as it may seem...

One decision and then one action step at a time!


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This article was originally published by IMEC partner LMI Chicago, Inc. To learn more about LMI, visit their website at

Amy Fitzgerald

Written by Amy Fitzgerald

Topics: leadership, action planning

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