goal setting

When I work one-on-one with my coaching and business mentorship clients, the first step in goal setting, before starting to break it down into smaller goals or before setting up deadlines for each step, or even before identifying what is holding them back, etc. is to psyche yourself up for it.


Ask yourself what is important to you about this goal. First, answer with bullet points. So let’s say that you are setting goals for your career. Ask yourself: “What is important to you about your career?” Then you answer things like:

  • Accomplishment
  • Freedom
  • Making a difference
  • Helping people
  • Making money
  • etc.


Secondly, you take each of these bullet points and ask yourself why are they important to you. For example: Accomplishment. “Why is accomplishment important to you?”  You could say something like: “Because I need to feel that I’m always growing. I want to be able to look at myself a year from now and know that I have gone through some evolution and that I am better than I was a year ago.”  For freedom: “Why is having freedom important to you?” Your answer: “Because freedom allows me to be in charge of my own schedule. I want to have the freedom to take some time off whenever I want. I want to be able to work on my own time.”

Do the same for each bullet point that you had listed.

This is where the magic starts. This process creates a brand-new list in your mind about what is really important to you.


You may have heard me talk about the Personal Assistant in your head before. Your unconscious mind, the most powerful and complex structure in the universe is standing there in your head with a notepad writing down everything that you say or think, and it makes it happen for you. The problem is: if you have been repeating to yourself that you will never have your own business or that you are not good enough to do this, that you are bad with sales, that you need to keep that part-time job because you can never make it on your own. Or what if on the list there are limiting beliefs like:  nobody would buy my services, why would anyone work with me, or even things like: when I make more money I spend more money and I always live paycheck to paycheck, I am so busy, I am so stressed out, I am so tired.

You need to counteract all the negative self-talk that may be on the existing list on your personal assistant’s notepad. By making a list of what you really want, instead of the list being filled with things that you don’t want (bad, busy, tired, stressed out, etc.) you are setting yourself up for success. Your personal assistant, following new orders, will make sure you feel like getting up early, will put you at the right place at the right time, make you be your best when in contact with a prospective client, etc.


The second question: “Why is that important to you?” will stack another layer of importance for your personal assistant. As you answer the question, a movie will be created in your head eliciting everything that is really important to you about this specific bullet point. That is how your brain will start to create this new reality in your head. If you can have a glimpse of what it would feel like, what it would look like, and what you would hear in your head when these things really happen, that is the start of making it happen for real. Your unconscious mind does not know the difference between reality and imagination. That is why, when you watch a horror movie on TV, you’re scared. There are no vampires in your living room, you know they don’t exist, but yet you are scared anyway because your brain does not know it’s not happening for real. More on this here.

When you ask yourself why, you start really creating the reality of it in your unconscious mind. By keeping this mindset, you will continue to aim for that goal.


Here is what to do if you find yourself answering in the negative. For example: “Why is money is important to you?” If your answer sounds like: “Because I don’t want to live paycheck to paycheck anymore” then, you are putting on the list:  living paycheck to paycheck! Reverse this and ask yourself what you want instead. “I want to have money to take care of my family, travel, enjoy life, etc.”  So your personal assistant will focus on what you want – have money – instead of focusing on what you don’t want – living paycheck to paycheck.

Get your mind in the game and create a solid foundation for your goals.


Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas. Confidence Expert. 8 times International No.1 Bestselling Author. Founder and CEO of the THINK Yourself® ACADEMY, offering keynotes and trainings, leading-edge online courses, laser-focus business strategy and one-on-one transformation coaching. She combines over 10 years of experience in human resources, 25 years of experience in sales and over 30 years in the fitness industry. In 2007, she was “Fitness Instructor of the Year” for Canada and just received the 2021 Canadian Presenter of the Year Award.