The Beginner’s Guide to Goal Setting By Michael Hyatt

Do You Find Goal Setting Difficult and You’re Sick And Tired Of Not Reaching them?

Don’t worry…you’re not alone! If you’re like a lot of people who care about goal setting, you’ve probably wondered how you can set goals and reach them without effort and stress. Maybe you’ve even wondered why some of your close friends can easily reach their goals and you can’t (what’s their secret?).

The truth is when it comes to goal setting, there’s a lot of information floating around online.

That’s why I’ve rolled up my sleeves and uncovered all the latest details about easy setting goals. And what



Then you’ll be even more surprised when you discover what one of the top virtual mentors, Michael Hyatt has to say about setting goals.

Michael Hyatt shares with us five powerful principles that will form a strong foundation for creating your own goal setting plan and that he uses himself in his own practice.

Here is the part of his Beginner’s Guide to Goal Setting that really resonated with me:

Psychologists tell us that people who make consistent progress toward meaningful goals live happier more satisfied lives than those who don’t.
Curated from The Beginner’s Guide to Goal Setting

Well, I don’t know about you… but I do know that one of my main goal in life is to live a happier and more satisfied life!

So here are Michael’s five key elements that can help you reach your goals:

1. Keep them few in number.
2. Make them “smart.” It’s all about understanding how to create a SMART Goal!
3. Write them down. This is critical.
4. Review them frequently.
5. Share them selectively.

Michael Hyatt then goes into more details about each of the items above (with examples and his personal tips) so I encourage you to read his guide to goal setting to learn all his secrets!

I was surprised by the fifth concept. My previous understanding of goal setting was to make a public statement and say out loud what you’re aiming for. According to Michael’s guide, I was wrong. It’s time for me to start implementing the numbers four and five from the list above. What about you?

Do You Want to Finish the Year Strong?

Watch this goal setting video [opens in new window]  to discover 9 key principal to finish the year strong. You’ll also get free training guides and a detailed report. 

Watch Video Skin ReviewGoal Setting 100 Day Challenge

See Gary Ryan Blair, also know as the GoalsGuy, just opened enrollment for The 100 Day Challenge. This hardcore goal setting program shows you how to get more done in the last 100 days of the year than most people do over the course of 10 years.

I had the chance to take this challenge last year myself and it made a huge difference. I was more focused on getting things done and the 100 Day Challenge iPhone app that came with it was really helpful. So I do encourage you to join the 100 Day Challenge if you want to reach your personal or professional goals.

Learn What Wikipedia Can Teach Us About Goal Setting?

During my research about setting goals, I came across a detailed page on Wikipedia and I was very impressed by the amount of detailed information on the page. On the page, you’ll discover some new concepts that will definitely make you rethink how you go about setting your goals.  In fact…

Studies by Edwin A. Locke and his colleagues have shown that more specific and ambitious goals lead to more performance improvement than easy or general goals. As long as the person accepts the goal, has the ability to attain it, and does not have conflicting goals, there is a positive linear relationship between goal difficulty and task performance.
Curated from Goal setting – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Here is a very interesting video Podcast by Michael Hyatt where Michael refer to what he called the ”Push Goal” concept. This concept prove in a way Edwin A. Locke and his colleague’s studies results.

I encourage you to watch this video podcast to learn more about Michael Hyatt Goal Setting for Beginners.


Now let’s take our understanding of Wikipedia’s Goal Setting definition one step further… and for that, we need to clarify what is:

Honing goal setting using temporal motivation theory

Locke and Latham (2004) note that goal setting theory lacks “the issue of time perspective”. Taking this into consideration, Steel and Konig (2006) utilize their temporal motivation theory (TMT) to account for goal setting’s effects, and suggest new hypotheses regarding a pair of its moderators: goal difficulty and proximity.

The effectiveness of goal setting can be explained by two aspects of TMT: the principle of diminishing returns and temporal discounting.

Similar to the expression “the sum of the parts can be greater than the whole”, a division of a project into several, immediate, subgoals appears to take advantage of these two elements.[14] Curated from Goal setting – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

To put it simply, this theory emphasizes time as a critical, motivational factor that can ignite our actions toward reaching our goals.

Obviously, if we want to make sense of the above theory (which we do) in more details, we have to start by understanding the diminishing returns and the temporal discounting principle.

Let’s start with the diminishing returns principle:

To understand this principle we first need to understand that in economics this principle refers to

The decrease in the marginal (incremental) output of a production process as the amount of a single factor of production is incrementally increased, while the amounts of all other factors of production stay constant.

In other words, this means that adding too many tasks to your workload doesn’t make you productive and it may not help you reach your ultimate goal.

Because it was proved by the law of diminishing returns that:

In all productive processes, adding more of one factor of production, while holding all others constant, will at some point yield lower incremental per-unit returns.

Here is an example that can make you understand this principal:

The use of fertilizer improves crop production on farms and in gardens; but at some point, adding increasingly more fertilizer improves the yield by less per unit of fertilizer, and excessive quantities can even reduce the yield.

Goal Setting Tip 1: Keep your to-do list short and do not add too many tasks to it if you really want to reach your goals. Dive the work into small chunks and work on one at a time.

Now, we have to understand the temporal discounting principle:

In this principle, it seems that we give higher value to rewards that we can get ‘now’ and have a tendency to discount rewards as they get far away from us in the future.

Here is an example that explains it in a very simplistic way:

Offered a choice of $100 today and $100 in one month, individuals will most likely choose the $100 now. However, should the question change to having $100 today, or $1,000 in one month, individuals will most likely choose the $1,000 in one month. The $100 can be conceptualized as a Smaller Sooner Reward (SSR), and the $1,000 can be conceptualized as a Larger Later Reward (LLR).

Goal Setting Tip 2: The idea is to make sure that when you’re setting a goal, you have to make sure that the deadline is not too far in the future or you’ll get discouraged and may not feel the urge to reach it.

Here is what I consider the main takeaway of the Wikipedia article:

Framing, or how goals are viewed, influences performance. When one feels threatened and or intimidated by a high goal they perform poorer than those who view the goal as a challenge. The framing of a goal as a gain or a loss influences one’s eventual performance.

Finally, let me share one important goal setting tip that Michael Hyatt advice us to do:

If you don’t have written goals, let me encourage you to make an appointment on your calendar to work on them. You can get a rough draft done in as little as an hour or two. Few things in life pay such rich dividends for such a modest investment.

Remember, if you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll get the same result. That’s why each moment you hesitate, is another moment you’ll struggle with your goal setting task. So click here to get started with The 100 Day Challenge – because you deserve to be successful…


Feel free to leave your comment below…

Let’s keep the conversation going :)



Who’s who?

Michael Hyatt is the founder and CEO of Intentional Leadership, an online leadership development company. We help overwhelmed high achievers get the clarity, confidence, and tools they need to win at work and succeed at life.

Edwin A. Locke began to examine goal setting in the mid-1960s and continued researching goal setting for over thirty years. Locke derived the idea for goal-setting from Aristotle’s form of final causality. Aristotle speculated that purpose can cause action; thus, Locke began researching the impact goals have on human activity.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


I’m an Internet Marketing Strategist who focus on sharing effective website traffic & Conversion optimization strategies like SEO, Video Marketing, Social Media, etc. with businesses & entrepreneurs to help them market their business online and generate more profit.

Written by Amel Mehenaoui

I’m an Internet Marketing Strategist who focus on sharing effective website traffic & Conversion optimization strategies like SEO, Video Marketing, Social Media, etc. with businesses & entrepreneurs to help them market their business online and generate more profit.

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