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Start moving toward a goal you really want and the resistance will leap out of hiding and start trying to talk you out of moving.

– Barbara Sher

If you love and enjoy setting goals, skip this post. Do NOT let it taint your joy. If, on the other hand, you would rather experience diabolical, self-inflicted torture, read on.

Setting goals is absolutely necessary for getting what you want. In order to get it, you have to know what it is. Simple, right? But not necessarily easy. Here are some suggestions:

  • Read I Could Do Anything if Only I Knew What It Was and Wishcraft by Barbara Sher. Do the exercises.
  • Have a wishlist that you created when you were in a more positive state of mind. Use the ones you like the best and hone them into goals.
  • Be willing to do it badly.
  • Get leverage. What is the awful cost of not doing it? What is the amazing gain from finishing?
  • Do the minimum:
    1. State your goals in the positive. Write down what you want to happen, instead of what you want to avoid.
    2. Make them specific. Instead of “make more money” the goal could be “make $10,000 more this year than last year.” Define what you really want.
    3. Write out criteria for meeting your goal. How will you be able to tell you’ve made it? I.e. for the goal “Conquer Driving Phobia” the criteria could be “pass test for driver’s license.”
    4. Give each goal a timeline for completion.


  • Bribery. Give yourself something nice for finishing.
  • Be as gentle as possible, and congratulate yourself like a champion when it is done (no matter how well or badly you think you did).