Goal setting tips . . . and the secrets to getting what you've always wanted!  

There are specific goal setting tips, techniques and strategies in setting and achieving worthy goals to create your life adventure.  

Successful goal setting requires serious study. 

The following tips have taken me more than 25 years to discover and are what I consider to be the secrets in building the life you dream of. 

Goal setting tips . . . 
proven ways to increase your chance for achievement!

These 10 Goal Setting Tips answer the question how to be successful.

Written goals will boost your chance of achievement by more than 50%!

Surveys reveal that people who write down their goals are 50% more likely to achieve success on many levels than people who don’t.  It is believed that less than 5 out of every 100 adults write down their life goals on paper.   

The following are some interesting facts, statistics, and personal observations:

  • More than 90% of New Year’s goals fail by the end of January each year.
  • A Harvard study suggests 83% of the American population do not have goals.
  • Writing down of goals is a very powerful motivator.
  • People are more likely to have business goals than goals for their own life.
  • Not many people talk about their goals in conversation.  

Balanced goals will lead to a life of no regrets . . . 
(but it's okay to be out of balance at times)

When most people write life goals, they focus on what I call the exciting goals, focused around travel, adventure, and lifestyle.  These goals are very important and are the goals that will be motivating to achieve.   Examples of these goals include:

  • Climb Mount Everest
  • Buy a high-end luxury or sports car
  • Be a millionaire
  • Travel the world
  • Own a vacation property in Hawaii
  • Safari in Africa

While it’s entirely possible to achieve all of these life goals, in doing so, it’s possible that goal achievement will come at the expense of poor health, poor relationships, and generally a life that is focused too much in the areas that are money-driven.  

In developing the 100 Goals Club and designing my own life, I’ve very carefully designed these goals using these goal setting tips to be well-balanced in all the key areas of life, to ensure that we end up living a balanced life, one that has you live with no regrets.   

Of all the goal setting tips, it is most important include goal areas in the following categories:

That’s not to say that your life needs to be balanced at all times.  In fact, truly successful people live a life that is out of balance for periods of time, where they are focused on their important goals.  

In my own life, there have been many times where I’ve been highly unbalanced for months at a time due to working excessive overtime in my career, or during a major house renovation.  The problem becomes when you are out of balance for several years, or even an entire decade.   That’s when relationships suffer, and your own health can deteriorate. 

It’s sometimes too late to regain these important areas once they are too far out of balance.   Recognize the importance of having an overall balance in your life.        

The best time to set life goals is leading up to an important milestone!

In my younger years, I was inspired by reading a good self help book, or by listening to self help audio tapes (cassette tapes now a thing of the past). 

Goal setting tips include going to a park during your lunch hour and ponder your personal goal setting.   

Think about the times when you’ve thought about goals and perhaps even written them down.  The truth is that any time is a good time to be thinking about and writing down your goals, but there are times that have more meaning. 

In my own life, I’ve gravitated towards writing my goals:

  • While on vacation, sitting on a Lanai (veranda), or on the beach
  • The week leading up to January 1st each year
  • While sitting on a park bench, near a lake or ocean
  • The month preceding a major decade birthday (i.e. my 20th, 30th, 40th and 50th birthdays, etc.)

In writing your own 10, 50 or 100 goals, the setting of good goals for your life does require some serious reflection, often enhanced by the passing of time and influenced by reflection that comes with the passing of a birthday, a calendar year, or the onset of a major decade birthday.  

My recommendation is that you start writing your goals NOW as you are inspired to do so, with the ultimate goal to write and commit to some of these goals before one of these next milestones:

  • Your next birthday
  • The end of this coming year

Embrace these goal setting tips at the 100 Goals Club!

SMART Goals . . . 
the key ingredients to goal setting that you must do!

Many people are familiar with the acronym, SMART, as it pertains to goal setting tips.   All good sources about goals will reference this SMART acronym, for which goals are to be written as: 

The SMART acronym stands for:

S - Specific 

M – Measurable

A – Attainable

R – Relevant

T – Time bound

 For a dedicated page on SMART goal setting, click here.

Bucket list versus life goals . . . 
the key difference between the two!

The 100 Goals Club is about well-designed goals to live your best life.  A bucket list refers to the list of things that you want to do before you die, and it is a great thing to write for yourself.  

The term Bucket List was made popular by the 2007, American comedy-drama film, directed by Rob Reiner, called The Bucket List.   

Examples of bucket list items include:

  • Hang Gliding
  • Riding in a hot air balloon
  • Swimming with dolphins
  • Horseback riding on the beach
  • Standing under a waterfall
  • Meeting a famous person
  • Bicycling across the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Seeing a Las Vegas show
  • Setting a Guinness Book world record
  • Flying in a private jet
  • Taking a cooking class
  • Going deep sea fishing
  • Flying in a helicopter
  • Climbing a mountain

There are excellent websites about people who have been inspired to list 1,000 bucket list goals for their life and are going about achieving them.  It is a very exciting and inspiring way to live your life. 

The challenge with some bucket lists, however, is that the items that end up on many people’s bucket lists are items that are more adventure, travel, and thrill- based—they omit the more important things in your life, as represented in the 10 Goal Areas. 

The traditional Bucket List is to be included within the sections for Adventure Goals and Travel Goals.   By all means, call these your bucket list goals.

Minimum, Target and Outrageous (MTO) Goals . . . 
to guarantee you goal achievement . . . and to challenge you too!

The very best goal setting tips and system that I was fortunate to come across was the MTO system developed by Raymond Aaron. 

His approach to goals is unique and one that guarantees success.   Using the acronym MTO which stands for Minimum, Target and Outrageous, goals are to be set at 3 levels to ensure you have an easily attainable goal (Minimum), a goal which is realistic for you (Target) and a goal which is a massive stretch goal (Outrageous).  


The concept of setting a Minimum goal is to develop confidence such that the Minimum goal being set is easily attainable, something that you can be counted on to attain within the next week, month or year.  For the purpose of this book, because the focus is on longer term goals and life time goals, the Minimum goal is not focused on.  I recommend you purchase Raymond Aaron’s book Double Your Income Doing what you Love, where this approach to setting Minimum goals is explained fully.  It is a powerful concept. 


Target Goals are the focus of this book on developing 100 life goals.  These are the goals that you will be targeting.  They will be goals that are to meet the requirements of being a “SMART” goal.   They are the goals that will be stretch goals and require significant effort and planning to achieve.  An important goal setting tip is that you believe you will accomplish each of these goals within your life. 


There is a third category of goals called “Outrageous”.  The idea of setting goals that are so outrageous that you don’t believe they are attainable, in direct contrast to the “A” in the SMART acronym which stands for Attainable.   This is particularly valuable within the framework for this book, 100 Life Goals.  This gives you permission to set goals that are far outside your comfort zone that are truly inspiring to you, but don’t meet the requirements for attainability.   The logic is that in setting Outrageous goals, your subconscious mind will get to work in helping conspire to achieve your outrageous goals and even though you believe they are un-attainable at the time of writing the goal, it is possible that over time you will achieve some of your Outrageous goals.   

As these 100 Goals are life time goals, this is a perfect.    When I learned this system, it gave me the freedom to re-examine all my goals and add an Outrageous version of each of my 100 Goals to encourage me to strive further well beyond my comfort zone, while giving me permission to not feel failure if they are not achieved.  This is a liberating concept to know that you can set goals that are “shoot for the moon” type goals.  An example from my own 100 goals is as follows:

Target Goal:  Take a 100 Kilometer bicycle ride.

Outrageous Goal:  Ride my bicycle around Lake Ontario (the 14th largest lake in the world with a shore length of 1,020 Km (634 miles)).

For me, setting a target goal of riding a 100Km bike ride will be a significant achievement, given that my longest bike ride to date has been approx. 10Km.   Setting an Outrageous goal of riding around the one of the largest lakes in my country of Canada, which will take approximately 10 days to accomplish, is beyond what seems attainable to me, but also something that with extreme commitment, could be accomplished within my lifetime. 

I’ve taught this “MTO” approach and goal setting tips to my staff where I work and have included this into our annual performance review process.  At the time of writing this book, we are currently in the process of establishing approximately 15 “SMART” goals as part of our Strategic Goal Deployment (SGD) process, establishing minimum, target and outrageous goals to accomplish, with a lead person assigned to each of the 15 goals.  

Commit to 2 or 3 things each day . . . 
to ensure you get the important things done, not just the urgent!


It is most important that you are continually progressing towards the achievement of worthwhile goals.  The best way to do this is to decide, at the beginning of each day, what the 2 or 3 most important things are that you will do today that will move you forward. 

If you just let your day unfold without prioritizing these 2 or 3 things, you will drift. Management of your time, and putting in quality time into the things that matter, is going to be key to your successful achievement of your 100 goals. 

Read books on how to manage your time.    It really comes down to being able to prioritize your time and ensure, every day, you are putting time into the things that matter most.

I’m currently using the Productivity Planner, produced by Intelligent Change. This planner is entirely designed to focus your most important task(s) (MIT) of the day. 

Working on your most important goals, every day, is the most powerful thing you can do!

Develop high energy . . .
to ensure your continued focus on success achievement!

Of all the goal setting tips, my mentor, Raymond Aaron, is famous for saying that high energy equals high income.   It’s true. Think of all the most successful people in this world, and you’ll see that most exhibit and have lots of energy.  They walk faster, they talk faster, and they speak confidently.    It’s often been said of me at my long-term place of employment, that I must be taking something because of my high energy level.  People naturally assume that I must be a coffee drinker, but I am not. Think about what it is you could do to improve and increase your energy level.   I can tell you that some of the key contributing factors include:

There is not much that gives a lower impression of you when meeting other people than having low energy.   Notice that some people walk 50–100% faster than the average person.  

When I know where I’m going, I want to get there as fast as I can, so that I can get whatever it is that I’m doing, done.  Perhaps it’s because I’ve worked in a fast paced, deadline driven environment, and the difference between getting something done on time, or not, are the seemingly little things, including how fast I walk.   But as a cautionary note, my daughter, Karah, sometimes reminds me to stop and smell the roses, and enjoy what’s in front of me!

Start observing people’s energy and if the people you like to be around have low amounts or high amounts of energy. 

Assess your own level of energy, and ask yourself if you’d like to exhibit a higher level of energy, especially now that you know high energy can lead to higher income.

When to work on your goals . . . 
you need to commit to regular review of your goals! 

Once you’ve written your goals, it will be important to stay focused on them.  One of the best ways to do that is to commit to a monthly cycle of reviewing your goals and planning what you will do in the coming month, week by week.   Writing out your goals is a good thing.   Reviewing them routinely is even better.   Commit to printing and posting your goals where you can see them and be inspired by them.   Then commit to reviewing and recommitting to them annually, either at the time of your birthday or the start of the year, for January 1st.  There is power in picking these times of the year to recommit to your goals.

In planning your days, consider planning using the following goal setting tips and method:

Life Goals   - Plan your life using these 100 life goals as your starting point for designing your ideal life.

Annual Goals – At the end of each year, plan ahead for the specific goals you will focus on for the year ahead.   Document these in a place where you will review them constantly. 

Monthly Goals – At the end of each month, plan your coming month while staying true to your annual goal commitment.  Note that some people prefer to focus on quarterly over monthly goals.   Either way, decide what works for you, and ensure you are staying true to your annual goals by retaining focus.  

Weekly Goals – Focus your goals so that each week you are making meaningful progress towards your quarterly or monthly goals.

Daily Goals -  This is where you select the 2 or 3 most important things to do each day that positively move you forward towards your goal completion. 

The 80/20 rule and your top 20

There is a famous rule, known as the Pareto principle, which says that 80% of the results of any activity are desired from just 20% of the effort. 

It is also known as the law of the vital few.   Said in other ways:

  • 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes
  •  80% of the sales come from 20% of the clients
  • 20% of earners pay 80% of the taxes
  • 20% of fitness exercise has 80% of the impact on your fitness
  • 20% of people in an organization drive 80% of the results
  • Etc.

My challenge to you is to pick the top 20 (20%) of these 100 goals, which you believe will have the top 80% impact in your life.  Don’t stress over feeling that you need to do all 100 of these goals.  Out of this list of 100 goals, there are likely just 20 goals that will be the most relevant to you and have the potential to impact you the greatest (i.e. 80%).

Return to 100 Goals Club home page and learn more about signing up to the 100 Goals Club to keep your focus on life goal planning.

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Last updated: April 4, 2020