5 Ideas For Effective Goal Setting…John Page Burton

A goal is a desired result that a person envisions, plans for and commits to achieving. Many people have a proven formula for setting goals and for staying on track as they move towards their objectives. Other people spend a considerable amount of time “thinking” about what they would like to accomplish but never seem to have an effective plan of ACTION. If you find that you are residing in this second category please read on, you are not alone.


I suggest setting one major goal in each of the five life quadrants. The quadrants that I am referring to are health, wealth, spiritual, contribution and relationship. Example: A health goal might be to lose 10 pounds over the next 30 days. A wealth goal could be to increase business by 20% over the previous month. A spiritual goal might be to teach a Sunday school class. A contribution goal could be to volunteer at a women’s shelter once a week. A relationship goal could be to attend a couples retreat. The more passionate you are about your goal the greater the odds are that you will accomplish it. *I recommend that you establish your goals in 30 day increments. Below are 5 suggestions that I believe will significantly increase your odds of achieving results.


G=Growth. Whenever we establish a goal it should be one that promotes personal growth. I like to refer to these as “stretch goals”. A “stretch goal” should cause a person to leave their comfort zone. For example, a person that has a fear of heights might consider setting a “stretch goal” of skydiving. This would be outside of their comfort zone. The accomplishment of a “stretch goal” empowers a person to set even bigger goals in the future.  Achieving “stretch goals” helps us build strong emotional muscles.

O=Outcome. It is important to get very clear on what it is that we desire to accomplish. Once we establish our goals it is important to continuously visualize the end result. Dream boards are a great way to remind us of what we are striving to achieve. I personally like to take a bright piece of poster board and affix pictures of things that are related to my goals. I then post my dream board in my office as a constant reminder of the results I intend to achieve.  The more we are reminded of our goals the higher the odds become that we will accomplish them. Dream boards can be a very powerful way to assist us.

A=Accountability. We can increase the odds of accomplishing our stated goals by as much as 70% when we enlist the support of accountability partners. I encourage my clients to “broadcast” their goals to friends and family members as this will also help hold them accountable for achieving their desired end result. Enlisting the support of a work out partner or hiring a life coach can keep us motivated as we work towards our goals. A good coach can also help you design a measurement system that will keep you on the right track and make modifications when needed. Remember that when we put ourselves in a “no retreat, no surrender” mindset our odds of success increase dramatically.

L=Leverage. As we work towards achieving our goals it is important that we look for leverage. What people or what material resources can help us multiply our efforts and save us time? Learning from other people and modeling what they have done can give us significant leverage. Videos, research papers and books are all great resources to help us gain additional leverage as we move forward.  Learn to look for leverage!

S=Sacrifice. A degree of sacrifice will accompany the attainment of any goal. The bigger our goal is, the larger our personal sacrifice will be. For example, if I desire to increase my business by 20% I will need to spend more time involved in work related activities and less time in social ones. If I desire to lose 10 pounds over the next 30 days, I will need to give up certain foods and allocate time for daily exercise. For most of us, sacrifice is difficult and that is why so many people choose to play a small, comfortable game of life. The good news is that if you have made it to the end of this article, you are a person who will more than likely do whatever it takes to reach your goals.

My hope is that you will find these suggestions helpful as you design your plan of action for the days, weeks and months ahead. As always, I welcome your thoughts and feedback.

2 thoughts on “5 Ideas For Effective Goal Setting…John Page Burton

  1. John’s methods work! He’s a great coach who helped me set AND achieve meaningful goals for my career and personal life.


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