5 Steps for Achieving Goals + free goal setting workbook for 2019

By Barbara @ Follow Your Own Rhythm

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Each and every one of us has the power to achieve all of our dreams, goals, and desires. We are all capable of making the changes we need to make to create our ideal lives.

There are no limits, no boundaries, no rules, and no restrictions to what you can have, be and do. You are free to create whatever you desire. Everything is possible, and whatever limits you think exist, only exist in your mind.

With that said, setting goals regularly is extremely powerful and necessary if you want to achieve success in any area of your life. There’s so much power in sitting down with yourself, reflecting on your life, identifying what you want, and then putting a plan in place to manifest those desires.

Having this clarity is super important for actually achieving your goals.

The truth is, your outer world is a reflection of your inner state.

If you’re at a point in your life where nothing seems to be going right, your relationships are falling apart, your job is unfulfilling, your health is deteriorating, and you struggle with bad habits, then you must know that you are not a victim of these circumstances.


Things don’t just randomly happen to you. You create the type of outer reality that aligns with your inner thought patterns, belief systems, perspectives, feelings, vibrational frequency, and energy.

This might sound like bad news, but it’s actually great news. Why? Because by changing your inner state, you have the power to change your outer reality.

Now this isn’t to say that sometimes unpleasant things don’t happen to us that are out of our control. Of course they do. A family member dies, a hurricane destroys our home, or our car breaks down on the way to a job interview. In these situations, you are still not a victim however, because you have the power to CHOOSE how you respond to these situations. Do you let it create chaos in your life or do you learn and grow from it?

The reason that most of us fail to achieve our goals is not because we are failures, it’s not meant to be, or because we’re weak, it’s because we’re trying to change the outer without changing the inner first.

So in order to help you achieve all of your goals this year, below I offer a 5 step program that you can follow that will ensure your success. The process starts with doing the inner work first, and then doing the outer work necessary.


To make it even easier for you to achieve your goals, I created a free workbook to go along with this blog! It’s a way for you to organize your thoughts, get your goals onto paper, and put an action plan in place. It also comes with 10 tips for achieving goals!

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5 Steps for Achieving Your Goals  

PRE-STEP: Dream away

Close your eyes and imagine what you would most want to have achieved by next year. 

  • How do you envision your life?

  • Where do you want to be in a year?

  • How do you want to feel?

  • Who do you want to be?

  • What do you want your life to be like?

Be as free as can be while envisioning your desires and don’t let anything stop you from dreaming big. 

STEP 1:  Get clear on your goals

Now that you see where you want to be in a year, it’s time to get specific.  Firstly, set some intentions for the year using 3 key words. These intentions reflect the overall theme of your year and will help you stay focused on your goals. For example, boundaries, adventure, and confidence.

Then, come up with your top 3-5 goals for the year (a goal being a desired outcome or result).  If you only have one big goal, that’s fine too.  

Make sure your goals are clear, actionable, strong, well thought out and specific. You want your subconscious mind to work with you on achieving this goal so you need to communicate what you want clearly.

Some examples of clear goals are “I want to lose 20 pounds, I want a toned stomach, I want to stop eating junk food and eat healthy, I want to start my blog, I want to overcome my fear of heights.”

Also, for each goal that you come up with, get specific by describing in a little more detail what exactly it is that you want.

So if your goal is to make more money, elaborate on what you mean by that.

You also need to make sure that these are YOUR goals and desires, and that they are something YOU want to achieve (as opposed to what your family will approve of, what your spouse wants you to do, what society pressures you to do, or what you think you should do).


STEP 2: Attach meaning and a feeling

Once you’ve identified your top 3-5 goals, the way to actually make them stick is to attach meaning to each goal, and identify how you’re going to feel once you’ve achieved the goal. 

So basically, for each goal that you have, ask yourself “why is achieving this goal important to me? What is it going to do for me? How is it going to change my life? What will achieving this goal allow me to do in life?”  

Make sure that your reasons are strong, powerful, meaningful, and internally satisfying, not superficial and externally based.  The reason for this is because when you get weak and feel like giving in or giving up, if your reasons for this goal are inherently driven, deep and meaningful, you will be much more likely to keep going.  If you’re driven by something more shallow, than it will be easy to give up when things get hard. 

In addition, you have to attach a feeling to this goal.  Our subconscious mind (the part of your brain that is going to help carry out this goal) is driven by emotion and feeling, not logic and rational thinking, therefore the goal has to have a positive feeling attached to it so that you will be more motivated to achieve it. 

So you need to ask yourself “how is achieving this goal going to make me feel? How will I feel once I become ___? How will I feel once I have ___? Since I will be able to finally do ___, how will that make me feel?” 

For example, if your goal is to lose weight, and one of your main reasons for doing so is so that you can have more energy to play and engage with your kids (which is already a really meaningful reason), give your WHY a little more umph by identifying HOW it’s going to make you FEEL once you’re able to play with your kids.  It’s probably going to provide a sense of fulfillment and joy, make you feel good because your kids are happy, and make you feel like you’re actively present in your kids’ lives which makes you feel proud and content.   

Once you’ve identified the feeling that achieving this goal is going to create within you, it’s important to keep this feeling ALIVE.  You need to live and breathe this feeling. You need to be able to picture yourself being thin and healthy and playing with your kids and FEEL the feelings of happiness and fulfillment.  

You need to check in with yourself every day, remind yourself of why you’re doing this, imagine yourself already there, and tap into those positive feelings associated with your reasons. If you do this each day, achieving your goals will be so much more effortless, easy and enjoyable.

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You will have a chance to put all of this in writing in my free goal planner workbook.

It will help you:

  • Set powerful intentions for 2019

  • Identify your top goals

  • Determine your “why”

  • Determine the habits you need to drop and steps you need to take to accomplish them

  • Also comes with 10 tips for achieving your goals


STEP 3: Believe

As mentioned earlier, having the right mindset and belief system is crucial for achieving your goals.  The right mindset starts with believing in yourself, believing in the process, believing that you deserve it, believing that you’re capable, and believing that it CAN and WILL happen. If you don’t believe in any of this, then it simply won’t happen.  Your outer world will always reflect your inner beliefs.  

So if you tend to experience self-doubt and lack of motivation 2 weeks into a new goal, then that’s a good sign that you have to change up your belief system by shifting the thoughts you regularly think. 

When you allow self-sabotaging thoughts such as “I’m not good enough, I can’t do this, I don’t want this, it’s too hard, I don’t deserve this, who am I to do this, people will judge me, I’m going to fail, I’m too weak, I’m too stupid, it’s too scary, I don’t have enough skills” overpower your desire for achieving your goals, your outer reality will start to reflect these negative beliefs. 

It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy where because you think you are going to fail, you will become clumsy, disorganized, and end up making mistakes that set you up for failure.

Your positive thoughts about yourself have to be stronger and more frequent than the negative ones, and you can do this by telling yourself positive messages on a regular basis.

Replace every single “I can’t” statement with “I can,” and reframe every negative and demotivating belief with a more empowering one. And then, whenever these negative beliefs creep up, just make sure you don’t give them your energy and attention, and immediately replace it with it’s empowering opposite.

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STEP 4: Identify what you have to do and turn it into a habit

This step is about getting clear on the actual work you have to do to achieve your goals. Now that you’ve cleaned up your inner world, it’s crucial that you identify HOW you will actually accomplish your goals and what you need to do to get there. 

You can start by making a list of all of the old habits you have to drop, new habits and behaviors you have to form, and steps you need to take. Once you’ve identified these new behaviors, you have to actually make them into a daily and regular habit. 

Download the free workbook so you can write it all out! Clarity is power!

For example, if your goal is to lose weight, some of the old habits you have to drop is eating sugary and processed foods, binge eating, overeating, emotional eating, being a couch potato, and then replacing it with better choices such as eating more vegetables, eating only when hungry, repeating healthy eating affirmations, meditating, going for a walk instead of laying on the couch, and cooking more at home.

Once you identified these new behaviors, the key is to do something each day, however small and subtle, to support the formation of the new habit. The more you do it, the more familiar, comfortable, and natural it’s going to become, and the more you will prove to your subconscious mind that this is what you truly want and therefore it will support you in carrying out this goal.

Attention feeds the habit. When we give our attention to a habit, we activate the brain groove, releasing the thoughts, desires, and actions related to that habit. Luckily, our brains our malleable. If we stop giving attention to the bad habits, those grooves weaken. When we form new habits, we drive new grooves deeper with each repetition, eventually empowering the previous ones.
— Darren Hardy

It doesn’t have to be HUGE, extraordinary steps that you take each day.  What’s more important is that you do it regularly in order to form the habit. Remember, small changes each day add up to BIG results down the line.  

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For example, you can make the simple shift of choosing a vegetable instead of a starch for lunch, going for a walk around the block each morning, journaling for 5 minutes every night, and replacing an unhealthy snack with a banana (or fruit of choice) each day.

These are small changes, ones that hardly take any effort, but they not only get you results in the long term, but create a new routine and habit.  Once these new routines are solid, you can upgrade them with more ambitious behaviors to support your goals such as jogging instead of walking, meditating for 15 minutes and then journaling, and replacing all processed foods with whole foods.  

STEP 5: Consistently reflect on your progress and give yourself positive reinforcement

This is such an important step.  Once your goals are set in motion and you’re taking action, take some time each day or week to reflect on the positive steps you’ve taken, changes you’ve made, successes you’ve had, fears you’ve faced, challenges you’ve overcome, and the overall progress you’ve made.  

This is a chance for you to gather evidence from your life to prove to yourself how great you’re doing, and it’s also an opportunity to sort of give yourself recognition, acknowledge your efforts, and therefore motivate yourself to keep going. 

Reflecting on your progress is also a good way to hold yourself accountable because you know that at the end of the day or week you’re going to sit down with yourself and reflect on the steps you took to get closer to your goal and you won’t want to disappoint yourself.  

During this time, you should also reflect on what you’re doing wrong and what’s not working WITHOUT judging or criticizing yourself, and then come up with a solution and a plan for moving forward more positively.  Self-criticism is counterproductive so make sure you’re always giving yourself positive and constructive reinforcement.

Lastly, another thing you can do to stay motivated is to make mental (or physical) notes throughout the day of when you do something proactive towards your goal, and then congratulating and praising yourself for doing so as a way to positively reinforce the behavior.

For example, if we stick with the example of losing weight, each time that you fight the temptation to eat a cookie, make a mental note and praise yourself by saying “good job, way to go, nice self-control, I’m really proud of you, you’re doing great.” Talk to yourself as if you were a friend that you’re cheering on, and tell yourself things that you most want and need to hear at the time (or wish others would tell you).

Ready to get into action and put your goals into motion? Download the free goal planner workbook and set yourself up for success for 2019!

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I wish you the most success with your goals, I hope 2019 is a wonderful year for you, and if you need any further guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out!

LEAVE A COMMENT! Let me know what your number 1 goal is for 2019 in the comments below!

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