Mastering The Art Of Goal Setting: Principles Of Goal Setting- Peace Ogbonna

He who fails to plan, plans to fail” this is one of the greatest quotes by Winston Churchill and the relevance of this quote cannot be over-emphasized in our time, especially in our age and time where there is so much activities.

Many people are caught up in the web of so many activities and zero productivity thereby draining their energy and making their lives miserable.
For this sapping menace to be averted, it is expedient that one consciously employs a technique that will aid their productivity level amidst the numerous activities they are surrounded with and this life saving technique is no other than “Goal-Setting”.

Goal-Setting is a dynamic tool that propels individuals towards their dreams and aspirations by providing them with a roadmap for navigating their personal and professional growth. Goal-setting is a chart course one prepares for the future.

Significance of Goal-setting
Goal-setting serves as a guide that leads people through life’s journey. Goal-setting is not a Wishlist as it involves a deliberated and structured approach to outline targets that are; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound (SMART).
This gives purpose, direction and transformation to our imagination and brings them to realistic realities.
Motivation and focus are the products of clear goal-setting as it provides clear endpoint to strive for, thereby igniting determination and perseverance to stay put and push through.


Principles of Goal-setting

A Goal has to be SMART for it to materialize. On this basis, the principles of Goal-setting will be explored to gain insight in its depth. These are as follows;


Clarity and Specificity:

The objectives of a goal have to be specified for it to transform from a vague desire to an actionable plan. As Antonie de Saint-Exupery quipped, “A goal without a plan is just a wish”. Specifying our goals aids us to allocate time and resources for each step, in order to actualize the purpose intended. In the words of Stephan R Covey, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities.



Abstract aspirations are turned into tangible progress once the goal is measurable, just as Tony Robbins rightly said, “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into visible” When goals are measurable, achievements move from mere feelings to quantifiable accomplishments and momentum. Peter Drucker states, “What get measured gets measured” Once your goals can be measured, managing it and achieving it becomes easier.



“It does not matter how slow you go as long as you do not stop” these words are aptly stated by the Confucius as it emphasizes on the fact that steady progress is very vital in goal setting. Discipline is required for any individual who has set goals to achieve them. Earl Nightingale quips, “All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to our destination”.



Victor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor and a psychiatrist, highlighted the profound impact of relevance in goal-setting: “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances but only by lack of meaning and purpose. Aligning our long-term vision with our values adds meaning into our pursuit. Goals rooted in personal significance ignite enduring motivation and resilience as emphasized by John C. Maxwell: “A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.”



“Work expands to fill the time variable for its completion” there cannot be any other truer word by Parkison’s Law regarding to the relevance of time to goal setting as this. This principle underscores the importance of setting deadlines to our goals. By incorporating time-bound element into our goals, we create a sense of urgency and commitment. Jim Rohn quips: “Without a sense of urgency, desire loses its value.”


Long-Term Vision:

“Vision without action is a mere dream. Action without vision just passes the time, Vision with action can change the world,” Tony Robbins affirms. Establishing a long-term vision is foundational to effective goal-setting. It provides the context for short-term objectives, ensuring that each step contributes to the bigger picture, As Lewis Carrol encapsulates this idea succinctly: “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”



“Things which matters most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least” as advised by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Prioritization is the key to allocating our efforts effectively. It ensures that our energy is directed toward the most critical goals, preventing us from being overwhelmed by less significant tasks. Warren Buffett’s two list strategy encapsulates this principle: List your top 25 goals, focus on the top 5, and avoid the rest until those are completed.


Break It Down:

” Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts,” echoes Winston Churchill. Breaking down larger goals into smaller, manageable task is an embodiment of this courage. Each step is victory, a testament to progress. This incremental approach aligns with the Japanese proverb: “Fall seven times, stand up eight.”


Regular Reviews and Adjustment:

As a Greek Philosopher Haraclitus wisely noted, “Change is the only constant in life.” Regularly reviewing and adjusting goals in response to evolving circumstances is a hallmark of adaptability and resilience. It echoes the sentiment of W. Edwards Deming “It is not necessary to change. Survival is mandatory.”
In essence, goal-setting is a dynamic and transformative process. By embracing these principles and insights, we not only set ourselves on a path toward success but also cultivate a mindset that thrives on continuous improvement and purposeful living. As the famous motivational speaker Zig Ziglar succinctly puts it, “A goal properly set is halfway reached.”


Overcoming the Challenges in Goal-Setting:

The principles of goal setting have been explained fully but these principles will be ineffective if we cannot handle the challenges that comes with goal setting and that is what we are looking into-

Fear of Failure:

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up,” reminds Vince Lombardi. The fear of failure can be paralyzing, but resilience is the antidote. Learning from setbacks and viewing them as stepping stones to success is a mindset echoed by Michael Jordan: “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Lack of Motivation:

Motivation wanes, but discipline endures. As Jocko Willink asserts, “Motivation is not enough. You must apply. Willing is not enough. You must do.” Breaking down larger goals into smaller, manageable tasks can create a sense of progress, reigniting motivation. Zig Ziglar emphasizes the role of motivation in goal-setting: “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”


“The best way to get something done is to begin,” advises Amelia Earhart. Procrastination is a common hurdle, but starting with a small, manageable task can break the inertia. Setting deadlines and holding oneself accountable, as emphasized by Karen Lamb – “A year from now, you may wish you had started today” – helps combat the tendency to delay.

Celebrating Achievements:

In the pursuit of goals, acknowledging and celebrating achievements is vital. According to Denis Waitley, “There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist or accept the responsibility for changing them.” Celebrating achievements is about recognizing the responsibility and effort put into reaching those milestones. This positive reinforcement fuels motivation for the next steps in the journey.

Seeking Support and Mentorship:

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” notes Jim Rohn. Seeking support from friends, family, or mentors can provide valuable insights, encouragement, and accountability. Learning from others’ experiences and having a support system enhances resilience and helps navigate challenges encountered on the path to achieving goals.

Adaptability and Flexibility:

As Darwin famously stated, “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Goals, like life, are dynamic. Being adaptable and flexible allows for adjustments in response to changing circumstances or newly acquired insights. This adaptability fosters a mindset of continuous improvement and learning.


Goal-setting is a multifaceted journey that goes beyond the initial planning. Overcoming challenges, celebrating achievements, seeking support, and embracing adaptability are integral components of a successful goal-setting strategy. As Dale Carnegie succinctly puts it, “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”

Peace Chinyere Ogbonna
We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply


Jamie Pajoel University maintains this websites to provide the public with education in different fields. However, this University does not operate as the regular conventional University that provides degrees at the end of a course. The University therefore, will not be responsible for any miscommunication or misunderstanding regarding incurred in line with Jamie Pajoel University. It is strictly a non conventional University.

Jamie Pajoel University
Register New Account
Shopping cart