How do You Set Goals If You Don’t Know What You Want?

I often get emails or comments from people asking me different questions about personal development. Since I speak a lot about goal setting it is common that the questions are related to that subject.
One of the most common questions I get is the one above,
“How do You Set Goals If You Don’t Know What You Want?”.

Most of us have lost sight of our dreams, often because we don’t believe they are possible or because society has given us so many tips about “More worthwhile” goals.

Knowing what you really want is what will make you a success.
Both Stephen Covey and Jim Collins have through research found out that success is when you are doing “What you are passionate about” “What you could be the best in the world at” and “What people would pay you for”.

You will only be truly passionate about your true goal and you will only be the best at the things which matches your skills.

Finding your own purpose is therefore very important.

I didn’t even know what was possible
Growing up I thought my life would consist of going to school, going to college, working for 40 years and then retiring.
It wasn’t possible to set a motivating goal with that world view.

It wasn’t until I started working at a sales company and saw young people 20-30 years old making 10 000 – 40 000 dollars per month and the owner of the company, a 28 year old, having cashed out over 20 million dollars when the company was only 2 years old, that I started to realize the potential that existed and what can be done with life.

This realization has changed my life. It has taught me that you can do and become anything you want to, as long as you believe it.

When setting goals, don’t limit yourself. Dare to dream and dream big. When you do you will see that possibilities you before didn’t believe possible are in fact very possible.

Use these 3 questions to help you find out what you really want
1. If there were no limits, what would you do?
2. If you had one wish, what would you wish for?
3. If you close your eyes and imagine the perfect life, what would it look like?

Don’t put any limitations on yourself while doing this exercise.
Write down all the things you can think of.

Strike the completely impossible, but don’t strike what seems impossible now. For example, you cannot defy the laws of nature by flying but you can become richer than you can imagine.

Now this is your goal

Use these 7 steps to goal setting to completely crystallize it.

I hope you liked this article and found it useful.
If you want to learn more about how to make your goals reality, join our email newsletter “Your Path to Your Dreams” and you will receive tips and advice, and even a free copy of our e-book “How to make Selling Easy”.


Related posts:

  1. Motivational Tip #1 – Setting Your Goals
  2. 3 Reasons to Set Career Goals
  3. How to Set Goals That Will Excite You
  4. Guest Post: How to Focus on Your Goals at
  5. How to Set Goals That Will Make You Rich
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12 Responses to How do You Set Goals If You Don’t Know What You Want?

  1. 1. If there were no limits, what would you do? Grow a worldwide sales training organization

    2. If you had one wish, what would you wish for? For number one to become true :)

    3. If you close your eyes and imagine the perfect life, what would it look like? I would be doing what I’m doing right now, only on a bigger scale, surrounded by the people I love.

    Thanks for the reminder Daniel!

    • Daniel M. Wood says:

      Hey Wim,

      Wow, you are quick with the response!
      That is a great goal, I am sure you will complete it though. You are already doing it, now it is all about increasing.

      It doesn’t have to be difficult to set your goals, as long as you have the courage to.

  2. Ashvini says:

    Hi Daniel,

    Often I face this question , how to find and set a goal. Most of the time , if I enjoy things, I forget about achieving goals that I set and somehow I do better than those goals. If you are running a company, you would have specific goals such as set revenues profits etc in your mind.
    But personally, I could never set goals. It does not work for me. I just love to do what I am doing and the results far exceed the goals set.
    If I want to get richer, I should put a goal of 1 million $ but I am not sure when I will achieve that if I do.
    So you see its a little complicated for me . I keep my sight on bigger picture and that is my goal I think. What do you say?

    • Daniel M. Wood says:

      Hey Ashvini,

      You do have a point but I think setting the goal is what makes it reality.
      If you want to make 1 million dollars setting a goal and a deadline is better than not. If you fail, you can always move the deadline forward but if you don’t it is like not really trying and therefore you are setting yourself up for failure.

      Better to give it 100% and miss by a bit then not try and miss by a lot.

    • Kenya says:

      I think I am with you if I understand what you are saying. You already visualize what it is you desire. Not necessarily writing out that this is what I am going to accomplish. I have been setting my intentions by stating…”what is I desire”, but I allow the Divine to do the rest…in which the manifestation ends up being more than I could have imagined.

      • Daniel M. Wood says:

        Hey Kenya,

        Thanks for stopping in and replying in a discussion!
        I see the value of using that method, it is very Law of Attraction.
        In my own experience it has worked better to write it in a way that states that I am already in possession of the item in question, but it is important that you find something that works for and motivates you.

        • Kenya says:

          No problem Daniel! Actually meant to come back to reply to the article…
          I love what you say about setting no limitations on yourself. Nobody can set limitations on you except for YOU. When you write down your goals…this actually seals the deal when it comes to LOA. Whether you visualize it, write it, or whatever…you are taking action steps to manifesting your desires. Thanks Daniel for this wonderful article :)

          • Daniel M. Wood says:

            Thanks Kenya,

            You are very right. You need to visualize your goals to really get the full effect.

            Thanks again for stopping by :)

  3. Hi Daniel,
    I think you identified the real stumbling block (not knowing what you really want) for most goal setting programs. I do pay attention to my passions; whenever something excites or motivates me, I take it as a clue as to the direction my life should take. It’s sometime a messy and confusing path but it’s the one that brings the most vitality to my life.

    • Daniel M. Wood says:

      Hey Riley,

      I realized I was getting this question a lot.
      So I thought I would do my best to answer it.
      I hope this article helped.

      Following your passions makes a big difference, it is where your true nature lies.

  4. Hi Daniel, i believe a person should come to realization of who they are as a individual before a person can really discover what they were born to do in life.

    • Daniel M. Wood says:

      Hey Ronald,

      That is a good point.
      Knowing who you are makes a big difference, you need to decide what type of person you want to be before you can set a meaningful goal. But you don’t need to start in one particular end, for some they can start with goal setting, for others scripting their personalities, for others self-affirmations are the first step.

      You need to find your own way, there is no universal path.

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