The Key To Setting Goals And Actually Achieving Them
— Updated on 22 June 2021

The Key To Setting Goals And Actually Achieving Them

— Updated on 22 June 2021
Lachy Gordon
Lachy Gordon

Naturally, the beginning of a new year is the time where man typically sets out on the holiest of visions to quit smoking, lose 5 kegs, stop drinking, make bulk cash, date a 10, and so on, with the grandioseness only to soon fade into the darkness of routine and old habits. It turns out about 97% of the population don’t actually write down any set goals, let alone any complementary plans to achieve them, whatever time of the year it may be.

To be fair – setting personal goals can be a daunting process. Nutting out exactly what you want amidst a sea of options, coupled with various societal pressures, then having the discipline to stick to the goal is challenging.

To get in the spirit of setting truly smart goals, we thought it’d be best to hear it from an expert, so we broke things down with Business & Performance Specialist, Byron Sakha – a man that’s essentially a professional goal achiever in all areas of life, each and every day. We mentioned in another article that the man runs a successful property development business, he’s been a cover model for one of Australia’s leading health, fitness & lifestyle magazines, and now he coaches high profile individuals to help maximise their potential in business, relationships and personal well-being.

Here’s how goal setting is done.

Why is setting goals important?

Byron: “If we aren’t clear on where we are going, we are likely to end up somewhere other than where we truly want to be. Taking the time to plan our year ahead thoroughly, not only grounds and prepares us, but significantly increases our ability to achieve and experience our desired outcomes.

Having a goal gives us a direction, a vision, a sense of passion and purpose for what we want to achieve.

Goal setting tests our will, forces us to dig deep and discover more of who we are, challenges us, motivates us, teaches us our strengths and weaknesses. It will reveal to us if we really truly want it or if it’s only the idea of it that really appeals to us. Most of all, it inspires us to do something more with our lives than merely exist from one day to the next without purpose.

Who you become in the pursuit of goal setting is what it’s all really about. No matter the outcome, you can’t lose, because you will always be further ahead than having never tried for anything.”

To get you started

The first step to effective goal setting is to give your thoughts more structure by compartmentalising your goals into the 4 main pillars of life – Health & Personal Wellbeing, Relationships (Family, Intimate & Social), Career, and Finance. Then, for each of these areas, write out the ideal outcomes you would love to achieve by the end of the year.

The main cause of not following through with goal setting is…

Byron: “Without a doubt, it comes down to fear. Fear is the most common reason people do not follow through with or even take the time to set goals. The three most common fears in my experience with people would have to be.

1. The fear of not being good enough.

This is something every person on the planet experiences at one point or another in their life. How willing we are to learn, gain new skills, make mistakes, stretch ourselves, be resilient to setbacks, and keep moving forward one step at a time are key to achieving our goal setting.

2. The second fear is the fear of the unknown.

This deters most people from taking the action to create the changes they desire because they psyche themself out thinking about all the possible things that “could” go wrong, and the things that “might” happen should they not succeed in achieving their goals. But fear is not real. Fear and anxiety are based on the thought of something negative occurring in the future.

The future does not exist though. It only exists in our minds.

The action we take today will determine the future of tomorrow. Therefore, having realistic actions steps and a clear understanding of not only the benefits your goal will bring, but also the likely challenges that will be encountered along the way, will enable you to be less afraid and more committed in achieving your goals.

3. The third fear is the judgment from other people.

This includes what people will think of them if they choose to pursue that goal, and worse, how they will look should they not obtain it. People who are excited and inspired by their life are encouraging and supportive of others. The only people who would ever ridicule you for pursuing your heartfelt goal setting are the ones who are too afraid to pursue their own.”

Byron Sakha. Photo credit: Remy Gerega. 

Set meaningful goals

The wise Victor Frankl noted that those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’. It looks like the same concept applies to setting goals – keeping asking yourself why you want it, and the answer should indicate the level of substance behind the goal.

Byron: “Another reason people don’t follow through with their set goals is that they are based on external motivations in terms of they think they should be doing with their lives rather than what they truly want to be doing. The first is externally driven based on society’s expectations of us, whereas the other is internally driven through inspiration and love. We are far more likely to follow through with goals that inspire us compared with goal setting that has been influenced by people we subordinate to.

It’s really important to ask yourself why do you really want this goal?

When you dig deep and find the answers are in alignment with your own highest values – what’s most important and meaningful to you – and not somebody else’s, then you’ll be a hundred times more likely to follow through with your goal setting. You’ll also be more driven and determined to persevere through setbacks and challenges when they arise because you’ll know deep down what you’re working towards will be worth it.”

Have the foresight to be clear on the advantages and disadvantages that goal setting will bring

This will mitigate the risk of hitting a brick wall when you encounter a foreseen setback.

Byron: “As I touched on earlier, it’s important to look at both the benefits the goal will bring, as well as the potential drawbacks. For example, will there be costs that need to be taken into account such as sacrifices of time, money, socialising, fun etc that you may not be prepared to part with? It’s so easy to get all hyped about the benefits that goal setting will bring, but then when we hit an unforeseen obstacle or setback, people too easily throw in the towel because they haven’t taken the time to identify the likely challenges they may run into.

So, for example, consider somebody wanting to start their own business. At first, they may be all excited about the idea of having financial freedom, flexible work hours, a sense of accomplishment, and the entrepreneurial lifestyle that seems so appealing. Yet it’s equally, if not more important, to be aware upfront of the challenges this entails such as managing cash flow in the early days, having to work longer hours, putting yourself out there with new networks and risking rejection, dealing with competitors or naysayers who are trying to tear your ideas down. Managing these expectations can be smaller goals, on the way to achieving goals of greater magnitude.

The journey to having your own business certainly has many upsides, and I wouldn’t change running my own businesses for anything, but it’s crucial people are aware that it’s not all rainbows. It’s our ability to set goals and persevere through short-term setbacks that will determine our long-term success because it’s through these setbacks and challenges that enable us to identify where we still need to grow, as well as what gaps are still to be filled.

Being able to set goals and forego short-term gratification, and have the patience and determination to pursue long-term fulfilment, is the path to maximising our chances of success in any endeavour.”

Anything else you can recommend?


  • Decide what you want and be clear on why you want it.
  • Set a goal, write it down and be specific about exactly what it is your committing to
  • Make a list of everything you’re going to have to do to set and achieve the goal, including the skills, knowledge, and information you’re going to have to obtain as well as challenges you might run into, and any people you might need to speak to for their help
  • Make a checklist in order of the things you need to do
  • Set a deadline for each of the items you want to achieve
  • Take action daily
  • Make sure you review your plan and make the necessary amendments
  • Do something every single day to move you one step closer towards your set goals and where you want to go. Making progress increases endorphins which make you feel happier, more positive, give you energy, and create greater resilience.”

Anyone interested in kick-starting the process can reach out to Byron via his email address for a free copy of the goal setting template he uses.

Main Photo credit: Greg Rakozy

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Lachy Gordon


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