The Last Straw – Setting Goals that change your life

What do you want in 2011?

At the start of a new year many people feel that call to go on an adventure to change something that had been waiting for a long time. This is the year I will start studying part time, lose that wait, write that book or even find Mr Right, make more money, get my own house…

This article will help you clarify that dream so that you can turn it into reality starting right now. Many people are content with just dreaming knowing it will never happen, but some of us are so tired of being where we are that we are willing to do something out of our comfort zones.

A Great Goal  is a visionary goal, one that is very specific, but may seem unrealistic and even impossible. Yet it creates a sense of urgency and pull like finding a treasure map in a bottle. It makes you want to start working on the change immediately and from the moment you discovered the promise of treasure something in the way you see your life has shifted. In other words it impacts the present moment.

Step one of your Present Success Story is to Get a Great Goal

Great Goals vs. Smart Goals

Most coaches will tell you that no success is possible without a smart goal. A SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-oriented.

In 2008 when my second son was reaching his one year milestone, I got sick of being overweight. I set a SMART goal to get my own familiar body back. I would lose 8 kg’s by the 30th of April, my baby boy’s birthday, also the month we would be moving from Pietermaritzburg to Stellenbosch and start a new chapter in our lives.

Did I lose the weight with this goal? Well, yes and no. It is always more complicated in real life, isn’t it? I lost 6 kg’s by the deadline, but once we moved I gained most of it back due to a bitterly cold winter and the stress of the new life. It was not so realistic after all. It took me another 2 and a half years to get where I wanted to be, but I had to change my Smart Goal into a Great goal to do it.

Un like smart goals great goals take story and context into account.

Great  goals differ from Smart goals in 4 aspects: They are not actionable, not realistic and not time-oriented and they take story into account. They do not have the ART of SMART, but they are much more arty – much more creative..

Great Goals are not SMART.

When Shrek set off to get his swamp back, he did not know how or when he would get it done. When Cinderella started to dream about going to the ball her case seemed hopeless.. Even worse, when Little Red set off through the woods, she thought it was going to be easy…

A great goal for the beginning of your present success story needs to be

  1. Specific and measurable: so you can know what the focus of your action should be right now, but
  2. Not Actionable: you do not have to know how to do it and may very well need luck and a little magic to get it done
  3. Not Realistic: you need to think out the box and get out of your comfort zone so you must challenge what you think is possible
  4. Not Time oriented in the future: You cannot always know how long something will take, but your goal must impact your present moment and your actions right now.

Because Great Goals are context bound it also needs to be

5. Set off by a last straw experience. A story always starts with someone in a situation that has become intolerable

A Great Goal is inspired by the last straw

A Goal only becomes Great when it is infused by the energy of someone having reached a point of no return. You can toy with the idea of losing weight for years before something happens and you are ready to say: that’s it, no more.  The goal summarises a dream that you no longer want to put off.

Sometimes this is caused by a tragedy or life changing event, but you can also elect to make the change before tragedy strikes. Why wait to get lung cancer before you stop smoking? A good excuse for choosing to do something you have wanted for a long time is the start of a new year. What unfulfilled dream can you tackle this year without having to wait for the next crisis?

Start your new year by setting a Great Goal.

By following the 6 steps of a Present Success Story, you can set the ball rolling to make the change you know is needed. To help you remember all 6 steps I use the sentence: Get More Personal Success Authentically Today. The first letter of every word corresponds with the step relating to that letter. We start with the letter G: Get a Great Goal.

Note: Smart goals also have a very important role to play, but only around stage 5 as you get to know yourself and your adversaries.

If you want to get an overview of each stage over the next 10 weeks email me at

My own present success story for 2011: A Million a month to share

The personal success story I am working on presently is to change my finances around. My goal: To make a million a month to share. This is a shared goal between my husband Gerhi and myself.

I have no idea how or when to make this happen, but that is because I do not understand money well enough to make the sums and plan my strategy. But I am setting the goal precisely to inspire me to find out how money works, how business works and how to think about both. IT is a journey I am only just embarking on because I have reach my point of no return regarding two things: 1. Never having enough to be free of worry and running a business blindly with too little financial understanding. If you want to follow my story go to

If you want to get an overview of each stage over the next 10 weeks email me at

Come to one of our Present Success Story workshops

3 Replies to “The Last Straw – Setting Goals that change your life”

  1. Great.
    Ek dink net nie ‘n mens kan ‘n point of now return sommer net vervaardig nie. Dis soos maagwerkings: Jy moet wag tot die druk hoog genoeg is, anders help troonsit niks nie.
    Behalwe dalk as jy ‘n lakseermiddel neem of jou dieet verander … wat beteken jy fasiliteer of verhaas die proses, maar jy moet steeds wag vir die regte tyd … en te veel lakseermiddel, wel, dis ‘n ander soort krisis!

  2. This is very inspiring!
    It reminds me of a feeling of responsibility towards myself, to tackle my dreams in order to live them. Thank you 🙂

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