Do you set goals but did not manage to achieve them? Do you have dreams but you have no idea how to turn them into reality?

This is exactly what is happening to most people out there. The majority of people have dreams and most of them have goals, unfortunately, they don’t know how to make it all work.

In other words, they have the tool, but they have no idea how to use the tool.

Don’t worry, it will all change after you read this article. I’m going to share with you the 3 ultimate keys to making your goals work for you.

The question is whether are you willing to follow through. If you follow through, there will be no problem for you to reach your goals and make all your dreams come true.

So are you ready to discover these powerful keys? Here are the 3 keys…

1. Focus on the Lead Measure

You can set whatever goal you want, but you must focus on the lead measure. In the book, The 4 Disciplines of Execution, the author explained that a lead measure is something that will lead you to your result.

A lead measure has a direct impact on your goal. It is something that you can control and it is something that you can act on to improves the result that you are getting.

On the other hand, there is another measure indicator call lag measure. And this is where most people get it wrong in setting their goals.

Most people will set a lag measure goal. Lag measures are metrics that you cannot control and you cannot manage directly. Let me give you some examples so that you will be clearer:

Lag measures:
To improve sales to X amount by when
To increase profit from X to Y by when

Lead measures:
To publish X number of articles on the blog each month
To hit the gym once a day from 5pm to 6pm

Look at this example below to understand better:

Lead measures are things you can execute. Lag measures are the results.

If you notice from the above examples, you will see that you can actually ACT ON a lead measure. And the outcome that you get from the action will directly influence the result from your lead measure.

In sales, a lot of people will set their goal to earn X amount of money by a certain deadline. This is not a lead measure. By the time you get to know how much you are earning, it will be too late. Furthermore, it is not something that you can work on.

However, if you set your goal as to prospect and talk to at least 5 people a day, you will eventually reach your sales target. Your sales target will be influenced by the number of your prospect.

So you should focus on the lead measure. And in this case, you should focus on setting a target to reach your number of prospects per day. And this will eventually give an impact on your sales target.

Can you see it right now? The majority of people put their focus on the lag measure. And when they reach their deadline, they have no idea why they fail to accomplish their goals.

You have to focus on measures that will directly influence your goals. You cannot act on the goal, ‘to make $10,000 from your blog this year’, but you can act on things like, ‘to publish 100 articles of 2,000 words each by this year’.

Therefore, put in all your focus into the lead measures. You still need to have lag measure goals because they are the final results that you want.

The key is what to focus on the right metrics, which your lead measures. Once you understand this, let us proceed to the second key on how to make your goals work.

Before you proceed to the next key, I want to recommend you read the book, The 4 Disciplines of Execution. It is one of the best books ever written about setting and achieving goals.

2. Track Your Progress

Let me ask you, do you track your goals? When was the last time you review your goals?

The second key is to track your progress. Don’t get it wrong, goal setting is not a one-time work. It is not like during year-end, you set your New Year resolution and then you forget about it throughout the year.

It does not work this way. Goal setting is a continuous process that requires your attention along the journey.

This is why you must track your record and measure your result.

If you don’t measure your result, how can you tell if you are doing things right or if you are getting the results you want?

If you don’t track your result, you will never know your progress.

And guess what, when you don’t track it, you will soon the traction. Eventually, you will soon forget about your goals. And then you will quit or start something new. Sounds familiar?

Creating a Compelling Scoreboard

Let’s talk about sports. When you switch on the TV and you see your favorite sport, what is the first thing you look at? The score.

Every sport and every competition has got a score. In basketball, you can see the big scoreboard displayed in the middle of the court. You can tell exactly what the scores for both teams are and you can tell how much time left.

This is an absolute, crystal clear tracking system that helps the players know who is leading and when is the deadline.

Just like your goals, you need to track your progress and your scores like the professional athletes do.

When the scoring is on, people will treat their goals more seriously. Can you imagine watching a basketball match without the score and which team wins does not matter? Do you think the players will play it seriously?

If it is not a competition, people will never take it seriously. And to create a competition, you need to have a scoring system. You don’t have to compete with others. You can compete with yourself.

By consistently tracking your progress, you will know whether you are winning or you are losing.

Therefore, create a scoreboard or any tracking system to keep track of your goals.

Here are some additional resources to help you on tracking:

3. Take Massive and Consistent Action

And the last key to making your goals work is this – take massive and consistent action.

Without action, nothing will ever work. Action is the gap between your dreams and your reality. So to make your dreams a reality, you must close the gap by taking action.

Don’t be like most people. Most people will only dream about their dreams. They think about what they want and they imagine the perfect life that they want.

But that’s about it. All they do is think about it. They don’t really do anything concrete to transform what they want in their mind into reality.

The question now is this, why most people never wanted to take action?

There are a couple of reasons behind, one of the main reasons people are not taking action to reach their goals is because their purpose for the goals is not strong enough.

The Key behind Your Motivation

You see, there is a reason behind everything you do in life. Why are you reading this right now? What is your purpose? Why do you set the goals you set? Etc, etc, etc…

And depending on how powerful your purpose is, they will determine your level of motivation and commitment.

I’m saying if your purpose to achieve your goal is strong enough, you will do whatever it takes to achieve it. You will commit to it and you will take action to reach it.

There’s an example I love giving. Imagine if you’re a smoker and you tried to quit smoking many times but to no avail. No matter how hard you tried, you just fail to quit smoking.

Until the day when you are diagnosed with lung cancer. The doctor tells you that if you continue to smoke, you will be gone in less than 3 months.

And like magic, you stop smoking from that day on.

From the story above, nothing changes, except for the fact that your purpose to quit smoking has become strong enough so that you stop doing it.

Therefore, your motivation, your drive, and your level of commitment are determined by your purpose.

You must make your purpose strong and emotional enough that you will want to jump out of bed early in the morning to take action.

Make Your Reasons Emotional

Why do you want to achieve your goals? Why are your goals important? Are your reasons emotional enough?

Take losing weight as an example. We all know the keys to losing weight and keeping our bodies in shape – diet, and exercise. But we just don’t do it.

What if you’re going to get married in the next 3 months? You don’t want to look fat and sloppy in your wedding. And this has become the emotional driver that motivates you to wake up at 6 AM and exercise for 30 minutes, every day.

Can you tell the difference between successful and unsuccessful people?

Successful people are driven by a strong and emotional purpose. They do it even when they don’t feel like doing it.

Unsuccessful people lack a strong purpose for their goals. As a result, they choose to do something comfortable and convenient rather than working hard and act on their goals.

You have to find that strong emotional reason.

When you are emotionally charged, you become unstoppable. You will become 100% committed to reach your goals and do whatever it takes to achieve what you want.

Commit to Taking Baby Steps

I learned a powerful technique about taking actions from Robin Sharma, the author who wrote The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.

Well, what Sharma suggests is that you don’t have to take big action. You just need to take 5 small little consistent actions that will move you toward your goals each day.

Every day, do 5 little things that will take you toward your goals. And within a year, you will have accomplished 1825 small victories.

And these 1825 small wins will definitely leave a positive impact in your life.

Success will never come to you that overnight. It takes time.

Your success will require time too. Like how Bill Gates built up Microsoft and how Steve Jobs created Apple. They all took the time to grow the companies into a billion-dollar business empire.

It is not a one day work and their success definitely does not spring from just one decision or one action.

Hence, focus on taking 5 little action steps each day. And eventually, you will create the results you want and achieve your goals.


These are the 3 keys to making your goals work.

You see, no matter what you want to achieve in life, you need to stick to these 3 keys to achieve them.

And before you go, I would like to share with some additional resources to help you even further in achieving the success you want in life. Check out these guides:

This article may contain affiliate links. Meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. As always, I only recommend products and services I trust.

I'm a blogger, writer, and also an internet entrepreneur. If you want to learn more about me, kindly go to the About page. By the way, have you downloaded your FREE copy of Reach Your Goals? Don't forget to do so. Cheers. :)


    • shawnlim Reply

      Hey Jenn, I was fired up by your comment here as well. 🙂

  1. I am not fired up at all..
    I am even more laced than I thought I knew I was..
    Not because of this post.. but because of my weights..

    My daughter died in 2016..
    In 2013 she found out of her cancers..
    I am no longer able to measure time

  2. Pingback: 2018 Goal Setting –

  3. Thank you for this great article! I usually have difficulties in following through with my goals but mainly because they are not concrete enough and there is no deadline for them.

    • Shawn Lim Reply

      Yup, creating a time frame for your goals is important. 🙂

  4. Pingback: 11 Effective Goal Setting Templates for You

    • Shawn Lim Reply

      Great to hear that. Strive for your goals.. 🙂

  5. Paul Groseth Reply

    Thanks Shawn, great article!
    I’ve currently been working on setting up a clear goal setting/tracking plan for myself and my kids so we can work on setting and accomplishing goals as a family. Your article is a great inspiration! Coincidentally, I just finished Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People a couple weeks ago, which was a great book. Reading his son’s book that you recommended will be an excellent follow up to that! Thanks for the inspirational article and great book recommendation!

  6. Pingback: Top 10 Reasons Why Do People Procrastinate and How To Overcome It

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