goals graphic climbing the mountain to achieve goals

Top 10 Tips for Setting Goals and Actually Achieving Them

Real advice from a habitual goal achiever

The profound fear of living a dull and uneventful life is the reason that Zach Schmit, founder of the motivational clothing company Greatness Apparel, runner of six marathons (including the Boston Marathon), and now Chief Sales Officer at our parent company Clickstop, says he’s continually inspired to set goals and achieve them.

resource for how to achieve goals
Zach Schmit, CSO at Clickstop

“Without goals, life would be terribly boring and meaningless. Like a hockey game with no goalies or nets.”


It’s hard to disagree. Whether at work or at home, setting and achieving goals is one of the most satisfying things we humans can experience. It’s this mysterious intrinsic need that, to some extent, exists in each one of us. It’s what gets us out of bed each day and what keeps us up late at night.

On a larger scale, this hunger to push beyond what is thought to be possible in order to achieve something greater than what we’ve ever done before is the reason our world is the way that it is and the reason it will be transformatively different years from now.

What will it be like? That’s for the goal setters and goal achievers of the world to decide.

How to set and achieve goals

Here are Zach’s top ten tips for how to be a better goal setter and achiever.

1. Your first goal is to get a goal!

set your goal with a bullseye
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Physically write your goals down and look at them every morning when you get up and every night before you go to bed. Some folks like to write their goals down on their windows and mirrors around the house with a dry erase marker.

2. Evaluate where you or others have failed in the past.

learn from other failures to achieve your goal
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Acknowledge those mistakes and look at them as a launch pad to gain wisdom, look ahead, and transform the results.

3. Find someone who has already done what you want to accomplish and model them.

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You’ll never get anything great accomplished if you surround yourself with people who enable you to live with excuses on why you aren’t giving 100% effort to achieve your goals.

4. Begin with the end in mind.

map to achieving success
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Choose your specific goals and then reverse engineer them back to where you are in the present. That’s your roadmap to success.

5. Don’t shortcut the shortcut.

the wrong way to achieve goals
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Everyone is trying to hack this and hack that, but at the end of the day, some things just come down to flat out hard work. You have decided if the prize (achieving your goal) is worth the price.

6. Maintain Perspective

maintain perspective to set and achieve goals
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People significantly overestimate what they can do in one year, but grossly underestimate what they can accomplish in five years. Simple daily disciplines, multiplied by time, yield extraordinary results.

7. Don’t worry what anyone else thinks. 

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They are your goals. If someone else doesn’t like them or believe you can accomplish them, they probably aren’t people you should be surrounding yourself with in the first place. Real friends and trusted allies will encourage you and help you find a way to win. Say, “Bye Felicia,” to the dream stealers and haters.

8. Tie your goals, emotionally, to either a significant pleasure or a very hurtful pain.

tie your goals to an emotion to achieve
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Most people will find the greatest success when they pursue goals to avoid some kind of pain (whether emotional or physical), instead of pursuing a goal just for the gain of something arbitrary.  

One way or the other, you have to know your ‘why.’ This is what will get you through the times when you don’t feel like making the correct choice towards your goal. Your ‘why’ can get you through almost anything and keep you on track.

9. Cut the negativity and energy vampires out of your life.

change I can't to I can
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If you are ever around someone who, when they walk in the room, the lights actually dim, avoid them. Most of the news and media these days is fear-based and negative in every way. Avoid that. You only have so much mental energy to expend on a daily basis; a limited supply. Use all of that positive energy towards your purpose and your goals.

10. Whatever your goals are – go bigger. 

go big on setting goals and achieving them then go bigger
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Try to 10X it and see what that feels and looks like. Your goals should scare you a little bit.

Your goals are our goals

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At Leverage, we know a thing or two about setting and achieving goals. We’re part of a company that was just named the #1 Mid-Sized Employer in Iowa, CBJ’s Coolest Places to Work (again), and we’ve been on the Fastest Growing Companies list for 9 out of the last 10 years.

Whatever your business goals are, we want to help build a detailed roadmap towards success, just for you. Feel that spark? We feel it too.

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