Why can’t you achieve the goals you set?

Why can’t you achieve the goals you set?

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at gitomer.me.

Got goals?

Millions of words have been written about goals. I’ve written thousands of them. Ninety-nine percent of the words focus on “how-to” set and achieve them in one form or another. Books, articles, videos, seminars, online courses, and of course, classic classroom learning.

Everyone sets goals. Some people set them on their own – others have them set for them (sales goals, sales plans, sales quotas). Some people make elaborate game plans for goal achievement, others write them down in their day planner, others just cut out a picture from a magazine depicting something they wish they had, but don’t (car, boat, house, vacation).


Me? I post my goals on my bathroom mirror. In plain sight.

Many pass seminar leaders and motivational speakers claim, “Less than four percent of all people set goals.” Baloney. Everyone has a goal, or many goals. If you’re looking for a category that fits the four percent number, it’s the people that actually achieve the goals they set.

Ever set a goal you failed to achieve?
Everstop in the middle of a goal?
Ever fall back to your oldways?
Ever miss your sales goals?
Of course you have. Everyone has.
Want to know why?

Enter Ali Edwards. And my personal biggest AHA! of 2006. She has the answer.

On Ali’s Web site, she shares her thoughts, and what she’s learned from others, when she asks her readers (meamong them), “What are your intentions?” It was a WOW!, an AHA!, and a WAY COOL!, all at the same time.

Goals and intentions are linked. Intentions actually precede goal setting. If you fall short of intention, you will not likely achieve the goal you set. What a simple, powerful concept. And, what a truth.

Ali simply asks: What are your intentions? What do you intend to do?
And the rest of the actions to achieve it will follow.

Goals or intentions – which are more powerful?

You may have a goal, or you may have been given a goal, but your intentions will dictate the outcome of the effort (or lack of it).

What do you intend to do?

Think about these questions:

  • What do you want to do?
  • What do you need to do?
  • What do you have todo?
  • What do you love to do?
  • How much do you love what youdo?

Do you dislike what you do?
Now, maybe you can better answer, what do you intend to do?

What you intend to doare the thoughts behind your actions. Intentions are the justification behind your words and deeds. If you intend to manipulate, your words and deeds will follow. If your intentions are pure, your words and deeds will follow. If you intend to achieve yourgoals, or a specific goal, your words and deeds will follow.

I believe that love and intentions are connected more passionately than fear and intentions, or greed and intentions. There’s an old quote that says, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” I wonder how true it is. Personally, I believe the opposite.

There are types of intentions. The easiest to define are “good” and “bad.” To intend to do the right thing, or to intend to do the wrong thing. Sometimes your intention to do the wrong thing is justified by the way you feel. You believe someone “deserves” what you’re about to do. I believe that’s the “hell” intention.

Whatever your intentions are, they form the basis for your actions, the foundation for the achievement of your goals, the manifestation of your desires, and ultimately the fulfillment ofyour dreams.

Maybe you need to write down your intentions BEFORE you write your goals. Start each sentence with, “I intend to.”or even bolder, “By the end of the week, I intend to.” Timing your intentions makes them much more real.

Simply put, what you intend to do is what you actually do. Goals notwithstanding, it’s all about your intentions.

An easy way to make your intentions clear is to categorize them. Organize the categories – then write the words to define them. Single words for categories, and sentences to define your intentions.

Categories like personal, career, job, study, read, business, life, family, money, fun, travel, and passion. You get the idea.

Then write what you intend to do, and by when. “I intend by this date.”

Short spaces of time are the best – this year – this month -this week – this day – this minute.

What do you intend to do?
I intend to write another column next week, my 752nd.
I intend to complete the writing and publishing of two more books in 2007.

If you’d like Ali Edwards’ take on intentions, heressay and scrapbook on the subject which originally appeared in Creating Keepsakes magazine can be had by going to www.gitomer.com, register if you’re a first time user, and enter the word ALI in the GitBit box.