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Attaining Your Goals

Many times people wait until a new year to make new goals and resolutions.  I will be the first one to tell you that you don’t have to wait until January 1 to make big changes in your life.

Designing Your Own Destiny: Embracing Change through Leadership and Love by Kevin A Dunlap

When I wrote my book Designing Your Own Destiny back in 2016 I came up with different little tools that can help you be more successful at achieving those goals.


7 Steps in Attaining Any GoalSome of them involved what I now call the 7 Steps in Attaining Any Goal.  This is now one of my signature talks I give to people and an online program.



The Winner's Code - Secrets of the Winner's MindsetIn my second book, The Winner’s Code, I refined those steps to actually build the above program and I wanted to share them with you today.  (Book is coming out in March 2019).

These 7 steps are critical if you want to actually get those goals you want in your life.

I will cover them in brief detail.  You can order your own guide here.

The 7 Steps

I assume most people start out with setting goals by merely saying what they want to do differently.  Before we even start there I feel there are some early steps that you need to make.

Step 1: Wheel of Balance

In both Designing Your Own Destiny and the upcoming The Winner’s Code I use my version of a life wheel which I call the Wheel of Balance.

This is a method at looking at the 10 parts of your life and where you rate yourself in each of those areas.  This is a great method for you to start really looking at an area of your life and pick goals that are actually relevant to what you want rather than just picking a random goal.

Picking random goals is a sure fire way to not obtain them in the weeks and months ahead.

After you rate yourself on each segment of the wheel then you can start picking your goals.  Sometimes people believe in balance and that you should pick the lower valued ones in the segment.  Others may believe if you are low in one area then it could just mean that part is not too relevant to you.  The end choice is for you to decide and pick the segments accordingly.

Step 2: S.M.A.R.R.T.Y

SMARRTY GoalsAbout half the people I talk to have heard of SMART goals.  My version is close to both variations of a SMART goal where I add in both versions (the “R” can be one of two different values) and then I add in my “Y” which I feel is the most important part of the formula.


Let’s take a brief look at each.  The 7 Steps in Attaining Any Goal will go into more detail on the specifics.

S = Specific

For a goal to be reached it must be specific.  Vague goals cannot be accomplished because they have no way of knowing that you have achieved them.

This is where when people set goals which involve words like “more”, “less” or other vague phrases cannot be achieved.

As an example, many people say that they want to make more money in the new year.  Thus, if they made 1 cent more in the new year than the previous year then their goal was met.  When I call someone out on that they will often retort by saying, “no I mean …”.

When setting a goal have exact figures.  This could mean you want to make $100,000 in the next twelve months or get down to 140 pounds.  Be specific.

M = Measurable

Much like a Specific goal, it also has to be measurable.  This is why non-sepecific goals don’t work.

Being measurable means you are able to keep track along the way.  If you weigh 160 pounds today and your goal is to weigh 140 pounds then you can simply step on a scale to see where you are a week from now.

Thus, if you step on the scale and it shows 155 pounds then you know you are on track.

A = Attainable

I always start this one off by saying that I don’t want you to set big or lofty goals.  Those are perfectly okay.  However, the goal does need to be able to be achieved.  I don’t want anyone to set themselves up for failure.

R = Relevant

The goal has to be relevant to what you are wanting.  If it is unrelated then it will be difficult to be achieved.  This is mainly related to that the goal is not in alignment with what it is that you really want.

R = Risky

A goal also has to involve change and this is often seen as having to do something completely different.  Because of this there is usually risk that is involved.

Risk is always about the perspective of the person.  Risk for one person may not be a risk for someone else.

An example could be that you want an advancement at your company, but that advancement will involve you doing public speaking to large groups.  Assuming you are like most people who are afraid of public speaking this could be huge.  The risk could be you joining a local Toastmasters Club and start speaking in smaller and safer environments.

T = Timely

All goals must have a deadline.  Anything without a deadline is merely a wish.  Or a someday goal.  Those without deadlines are usually never accomplished because there is no motivation to actually get it done.

One huge example of a lofty goal that had a major deadline was the time when President John F. Kennedy stated in the early 1960s about getting a man to the moon and returned to Earth safely by the end of the decade.  This was accomplished in mid-1969!

Thus, put in a deadline.

Y = Your Why

You have to have a Why big enough to motivate you to take action.  The Why is what will get you to take the action you have to take.

This is your motivator.  This is the whole reason you are wanting the goal.

As an example, if someone wants to go from $75,000 one year to $125,000 the following year you have to ask “Why?”.  If they don’t have an answer then what will motivate them to do anything different or to take different risks?

If their reason is to start a family and buy a new home and this additional cost is shown to be outside the $75,000 per year salary then this could be a strong why.

Step 3: Knowing Your Point A

This is the step most people who set big goals tend to ignore.  They are afraid of looking at their starting point.  If your goal is weight loss then you need to know what you weigh today.  If you have a financial goal then you need to look at your current income situation and budget your expenditures.

Your goal will be your Point B.  After knowing these two values you can move on to Step 4.

Step 4: Reverse Engineering

Reverse engineering is the path or the “how” of getting from Point A to Point B.  This is your actual game plan.  This is the analytical part of the goal.

If you are doing anything you need to make mile markers along the way.  If you want to gain more financing freedom and you have that value in your head 12 months from now.  Where do you have to be at in month 9, month 6, month 3, or even month 1.

Many times this will accelerate toward the end but you need baby goals that can also be attained.

Here is an example.  You are the average Joe and in one year you want to get paid $10,000 from public speaking.  Today you are terrified of public speaking.  What do you do?  Let’s pretend this is January 1st and the goal is to be done by December 31.

A possible solution would be to say you will get paid the $10,000 by December 15.  Where do you have to be by October 1.  Maybe you have landed three $5000 paid speaking engagements by then and those happened within the three months prior to that.  By July 1 you have had two $1,000 speeches that you just got paid.  Then by March 1st you have given ten free speeches.  By Feb 1 you gave 2 free speeches.   In January you joined four Toastmasters clubs and hired a speaking coach.

Does that make sense?  The big stuff happened toward the end after you have build momentum.  The hard stuff was done at the beginning.

Step 5: Who Is On Your Team

To accomplish any big goal you need to have a team in place.  There is a lot of truth in the acronym of T.E.A.M.  That means “together everyone achieves more”.

I also have a mentor, Bill Walsh, who says, “If you want to go fast go by yourself.  If you want to go far have a team.”

This is the time to write out who do you need on your team to get to where you want.

One of the most critical is to have some type of coach.

A coach could be a financial coach, a personal trainer, a mentor, or someone who can help keep you motivated.

Other team members will depend completely on the goal you set for yourself.  Some may involve employees or a number of other people.

An example could be becoming a Realtor.  Your team may consist of many people like

  • mortgage lender
  • title representative or real estate attorney
  • home inspector
  • home warranty person
  • Realtor mentor/trainer

It is up to you who you think you may need.

Step 6: Writing Your Goal

Written goals that you see every day will have many times the likelihood of being accomplished.  Unwritten goals tend to be forgotten.

Write out your goals and look at them multiple times per day.  The best is the first thing you look at when you wake up and the other is right before going to sleep.  Keep these in your mind at all times.

Those goals must be written for both the big ones as well as the milestone ones.

Step 7: Sharing Your Goals

If you want accountability then share your goals with everyone you know.  I know my biggest goals are often posted on social media.  This is a great way to keep track of your goals and to get the support of friends and family.


These are the steps to achieving your goals.  It is the step by step process to help you achieve what you want.

These steps must be part of each goal that you have.  If you have 5 big goals then you need to have 5 SMARRTY values.  That could involve 5 teams.  There may be overlap, by the way.

Good luck in achieving your goals.


About the Author

Kevin is the author of two published books with one additional one coming out in March 2019.   He is also a business coach and entrepreneur strategist.  He does have a complimentary coaching session for anyone who is needing help to start their own business.  Just use the coupon code “consult0“.

Author Details
Kevin A Dunlap has been self-employed since 1999. He is an author, and professional speaker. He specializes with creating innovating techniques to motivate and inspire people to achieve more in what they want in their careers and jobs.

Kevin Dunlap

Kevin A Dunlap is a business and life coach specializing in helping people discover their desires and to help them build a game plan in taking the next steps in their life. He is the author of the books Designing Your Own Destiny and The Winner's Code: Secrets of the Winner's Mindset.

Kevin is also the producer of the podcast Life's Little Lessons where he interviews entrepreneurs from all over the world.

He is a professional speaker and trainer. He has been known to talk at multiple entrepreneurial functions.

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