Why Goals Setting is More Than Setting Goals

Just take a short break, fire up your iPhone 14 Pro Max and drift off into a little self-indulgent doomscrolling, and before you know it, your watching endless streams of vloggers, celebrity’s and influencers all describing their amazing life, making us feel crap about our own boring existence in the process. Before you know it, the subject of goal setting will be a source of the audible and visual assault on your senses. Tips on how to smash or crush your goals with absolute ease, ordinary people doing extraordinary things with a smile beaming on their faces from ear to ear, usually resulting in us feeling even more crap about our boring existence.

But here’s the thing . . . .  it’s all b@llsh*t !

Author: Nicky Forster

Social media polarises, it simplifies life into a black and white binary world, most of the time the information is misleading or plainly untrue, the reality is often very different.


Now I know that goal setting is not a new concept, and everyone from leading motivational speakers like Tony Robbins, to celebrities and personal trainers who are all saying that we should be setting goals for a high rewarding, high achieving lifestyle


And let’s be honest, everyone knows how to set a goal, A goal is fundamentally an aim or a purpose with a time frame set on it. So, now I’ve effectively put myself out of business as a goalsetting coach we can consider the real purpose of a goal setting coach.


The science of goalsetting is a little more complex than you might imagine, it concerns itself with many human behaviours, most of which are not reliable.

Possibly the best example of this is motivation. Motivation is unreliable, there in abundance at the start and finish of any goal pursuit, if you don’t think the latter is true then just watch runners turning the corner at Buckingham Palace into the Mall for the final 200 metres of the London Marathon, 90% of them increase their speed, many will sprint across the line, whereas ask them to sprint 4 miles back down the road at 22 miles and you’d probably been given a two word answer.


Motivation always fails us, often when we need it the most, if we are to rely on just motivation to reach our goals then quite simply, we will fail every time. Motivation on a graph takes the form of the letter U, it’s correct term is the goal gradient hypothesis but I call it the ‘Useless Curve of Motivation’.


We need something else and that’s where I come in, a goal setting coach holds their clients accountable reminding them of the reason ‘why’ and making sure they continue to follow the plan regardless of whether they actually want to continue the plan at any given moment.

There ae lots of tools that we can use to help clients remain on course when motivation fails, some obvious, others counter intuitive to what many would think would work.

Ultimately when the deal has been done, commitment from both sides has been given so, not wanting to do any particular session or action commitment is simply not a reason not to do it.


Although I am a goalsetting coach, the reality is that this is not my fundamental offering

Goal setting is fundamentally the What, the How, and the Why.

The ‘What’ is the easy part, the ‘How’ and the ‘Why’ requires a deeper effort both physically and mentally, because most if not all of us know how to set a goal, in a simplified definition, it is a dream with a time frame on. My role as a goal setting coach is to help a client decide exactly what they want to achieve, apply a framework and a plan towards achieving that, but the most important part to my offering is helping a client to adhere to the plan until goal completion, to focus Follow One Course Until Successful


Setting goal is in fact the easy part, taking consistent action is by far more challenging, the mere fact that 8 out of 10 people who set a New Year’s resolution have given up on their chosen aim or purpose before the end of January bears this out.

My role is to simplify the How and keep reminding my clients of the Why.

There are many tools that we can call on to help with continuity, daily routines, visualisation, regular check-in’s, performance indicators and using the dopaminergic reward system, the difference between a client using these physical and mental tools, when motivation levels are low, and the client not using these tools, it’s almost always the difference between success, and failure.


In its most basic form, any coach is fundamentally there to deliver two things, a goal and a result. This was no different to my life as a professional football player for 20 years, my role as a striker was to score goals.

Of course there is more to it than that, playing within a specific shape, to a style dictated by the manager, there were defending duties to do but I never forgot but my main role, it was to put the ball in the back of the net, and similarly today I never lose sight of the fact but my role is a goal setting coach is to deliver a result to my client.

That at times leads to uncomfortable conversations surrounding accountability, and some of my most difficult sessions are those where I have to be honest to a client that improvements need to be made.


I will always be of the opinion that everybody could do with an accountability coach at some point in their life, in the form of a Goal Setting Coach, if you want to move forward to a vision or dream and find it hard to do it alone, then they can offer a simple approach to achieve your dreams


As with any change, the start is the easy part, maintaining action for as long as needed to achieve the goal is much more demanding. Accountability partners like a goal setting coach are a proven way to improve your chances of success. A study from Stanford University showed that being accountable to a professional was significantly more effective for weight loss than being accountable to a non-expert. When you have a mentor, you have someone to walk through the journey with you and help you when you need motivation. And indeed, I have my own counsel, a committee that I called upon at times when I need to refocus my efforts personally.


And finally, the cost, of course there is a cost associated to someone’s time, this is a non-essential expense, and you can find just about any information you’re looking for on the internet today. People are able to DIY more things than ever. So, you might be questioning the value a coach can provide, but two studies have been done on life coaching in the UK, the first, conducted in 1998, found that 98.5% of coaching clients said their coaching was valuable or very valuable, and the second, conducted in 2009, found 99% of clients were satisfied or very satisfied.

So, if the price of regret outweighs the cost of success, then maybe it’s time to enlist the help of a goal setting coach – today!


Feel free to contact me for advice on all aspects of goals setting, or to start your journey today.


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