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Do This Before You Set a Goal

By Valorie Burton | May 18, 2023
Do This Before You Set a Goal

If you want to stick with a goal until you reach the end of it, there’s one question you must be able to answer BEFORE you set the goal.

I often get questions from readers, and once I was asked: 

I struggle to stay motivated towards my goals. I start off excited, but then as it gets hard or takes longer than I’d like, I seem to give up too easily. I find excuses for why the goal is optional and why it doesn’t matter as much as I thought it did when I set it. How can I do better at staying motivated until I reach my goals?

Most of us have been here at some point. We set our goals, but then we lose steam and give up.

Often we’re looking for the right answers, but we need to start with the right question.There’s a lot of research around goal-setting and goal-getting (in fact, we teach a whole course on that topic in our Certified Personal and Executive Coach program). When you understand what it really takes to stay motivated towards a goal, it makes your process so much more efficient and effective.

But I want to give you this one powerful coaching question that taps into what that research says:

What will your goal give you that you don’t already have?

We always want to make sure that the effort we put towards a goal is ultimately going to be worth it. When we ask, “What will my goal give me?” we are able to define the purpose behind putting in effort for this goal. 

Sometimes the benefit of a goal just doesn’t outweigh the effort. By determining the worth of attaining your goal before you even begin, you will be able to decide if the effort is worth it to you.

When you know what your goal is going to give you that you don’t already have, then you know the purpose behind the goal… and purpose fuels perseverance. 

If you answer this question and still think that your goal isn’t worth the effort required, don’t be discouraged. You can do one of two things: tweak the goal to make it more purposeful or give yourself permission to drop the goal altogether. 

Either way, you’re going to be in a better position. You’ll have a more meaningful goal, or you will free up more time to work on other things that matter even more.

If you’ve ever pondered the idea of self-coaching as a tool for your personal growth…

Check out a free course I created called How to Coach Yourself at If you’re ready to be supported month by month in a community focused on personal growth, check out the Successful Women’s Academy (SWA) at And remember, where you go is determined by how much you are willing to grow. Coaching is a process that can help you grow consistently and intentionally into the full potential in every area of your life.


What will your goal give you that you don’t already have? 

Do you have a goal that you need to tweak or put away?

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