An Inside-Out Approach to Goal Setting

December 27, 2018


The New Year is right around the corner, and as you’re thinking about how you want to create change in your life, you don’t have to wait until 2019 to get started. You can begin fully committing to new ways of living today by placing an emphasis on the internal results you’d like to experience in addition to the external goals you’re striving to achieve.  


As described in my recent post, we unintentionally self-sabotage ourselves when we put too much pressure on our goals that our entire sense of happiness and self-worth rides on success of the outcomes. Instead, you can approach goal-setting with an equal emphasis on external and internal results. This perspective minimizes self-sabotage by giving you greater clarity on your intentions, and instantly empowers you to create whatever you want to experience internally regardless of your external circumstances. I’ve outlined a simple process below that will help you approach your goals from the “inside-out” so that you can create a real shift in yourself and in your life.


Step 1: Identify a goal or commitment that you’d like to work on for this exercise. I encourage you to select a goal that feels big, transformational, and is something you truly desire to achieve.


Step 2: Identify the “goal under the goal:” What are you really striving for through this goal? What will achieving it bring to your life and how will it make you feel? 


Let’s say your goal is to quit your job and pursue your passion by creating a business. What are you striving for by pursuing this goal? Perhaps it’s wealth, success, and a feeling of accomplishment. Well, what would wealth, success and accomplishment bring to your life? Maybe a sense of freedom, joy, security, peace of mind, etc. This is the goal under the goal, which you’ll explore further in Step 3.


Step 3: Reflect on your “goal under the goal” and ask yourself the following:


How can you cultivate this internal experience for yourself in your life right now? Who do you have to BE to achieve what you desire? What are the beliefs, thought patterns, and habits you have to let go of to be this person? What are the new beliefs, thought patterns, habits, practices, etc. you have to adapt to create these feelings for yourself?


Step 4: Design and commit to a plan that creates your desired internal experience and takes intentional action toward your external goal.  

  • For your internal experience, how can you put your “goal under the goal” into action on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis? How will you prioritize your mindset and state of being in your daily life?

  • For your external goal, what actions do you have to take on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to achieve this? Try to make these actions as clear, measurable, and specific as possible. How will your internal experience support your external actions?


Real and lasting change is an inside-out process, not the other way around. The beliefs and practices that got us to where we are today will not get us to where we want to go. True transformation starts within ourselves, and the best part about this is that we don’t have to wait for anything to change externally in order for us to shift within. Mastering your mindset is the key to success and creating whatever you wish to create in your life. All you have to do is commit to being honest with yourself and take full responsibility for being the “cause” of your life experience, instead of at the effect of your circumstances.

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