Each of us wants to get certain results in life. But do we always get what we want? In this article I’ll talk about why most people can’t get close to their goals, and I’ll give you effective methods to change that.

Reasons for failure

The most common mistake – we strive to «alien» goals. We try to prove to parents, society or friends that we are «cool». When you were little, you dreamed of acting, and my dad saw my son as an engineer. And it was necessary not only to finish the institute in this profession, but also to continue to try to show results in what you do not like». 

The present, «our», goals motivate and excite. The person in this case searches for different ways to achieve them and does not give up after several failures.

Another goal should not be vague. «I want a lot of money» – it is not measurable. Always ask yourself the question: «How can I understand that I have achieved what I wanted?»

If the goal has no deadline, then it is just a dream. «Someday» – it is «never». 

It is not enough to make one strong but short-term push to achieve the goal and consolidate the result. You need to change habits. What do you have to do every day to become a person who easily gets what you want?

If you do not track the steps on the way to the goal, you can easily give up. Even a small action is worth writing it down in a diary and praising yourself. 

Deliberate purpose

Goal-setting is a conscious decision to achieve a specific result, the definition of several subtasks and the choice of actions. The result should cover the needs of the individual, then the motivation appears. This is a process in which you not only identify your goal, actions and resources to be used, but also consider force majeure situations, determine which deviations are acceptable. Goal-setting (choice of target and correction) includes planning (drawing up a plan), monitoring (recording the facts of outcomes and deviations), regulation (decisions to return to the goal, to increase efficiency) and analysis (determining the reasons for deviations from the plan).

Goal-setting helps to separate important goals from secondary ones and no longer waste time on what does not bring results. 

3 main methods of goal setting

Goal setting tree 

It is a system of objectives built on the principle of hierarchy. By dividing the goal into sub-goals and tasks, you can understand which best combination will be most effective. The main target is located at the top, sub-targets and tasks are several levels lower. The design is similar to an inverted tree. The implementation of the objectives of the lower levels should contribute to the achievement of the goal from above.

The main principle of the method «goal setting tree» – if you remove one of the tasks of any level, the main goal will change. 


  1. State the goal and write in the top line. To do this, answer the question: «What do I want to get after the expiration of a specific period?» / «How will I be?»
  2. We define conditions and sub-goals: «Under what conditions will it be possible to realize this?» / «What tasks do you need to solve for this?»
  3. We divide the sub-goals of the second level into tasks of the third level. We deal with crushing until everything is reduced to one small task.

The sub-goals of each level must be subordinated to a higher level, with each level being linked to a higher goal. The sub-goals of the next level help achieve the sub-goals of the previous level. At the same time, each level can be fulfilled independently of each other.

When you record sub-goals, think about outcomes, not how to achieve them. Only the foundation of a tree is a task with a specific time frame and a plan of action. The main goal must always contain a clearly described result. 

Mind map (mental or intellectual map)

The purpose of such a map is to see clearly the relationships between the tasks, the sequence of actions and to simplify the analysis of results. Mind map is similar to the neural network in the human brain, as it has many branching points.

You can draw a map yourself with colored markers, attach pictures or photos for visualization. Or use the mobile app, and scroll from it to the splash phone.

Mind map can include several realms and goals of your life, or you can draw several maps separately to make it easier to see. You can also use this method of targeting for the team – it will be easier to explain to the group where you are going and why.

Step 1. State your goal and write in the middle of the sheet A4. For example – creation of a sales site.

Step 2. Draw the first main branch. Create «pages» of the site.

Step 3. Draw Windbreakers. For the «Pages» branch you need more: «main page», «catalog», «contacts», etc. These windbreakers will also have their own windbreakers.

Step 4. Scaling. For the purpose of the example you will need several more main branches: «Content», «Promotion», «Design», etc.

You can repeat these steps for your purposes. Use the Mind map to solve any problem. 


It is a system of criteria for setting a goal. It must be specific, measurable, achievable, appropriate and time-bound. SMART – as a filter, helps to check whether your desire is a goal, not a dream.

To achieve the goal, you first need to understand «in your head» how to do it. This method is designed to realise the reality of the goal and see concrete steps to achieve it.

Step 1. Specific – concrete. Example: «I want to live in a private house» or «I want to buy a two-storey house from a log house in such an area». What’s the dream and what’s the goal? 

Step 2. Measurable – quantifiable. How can you measure that a goal has been achieved, or calculate intermediate results? Choose: I will count in money, or kilograms, or kilometres, or number of subscribers, etc.

Step 3. Achievable – attainable. Do you now have the resources and skills you need for a specific purpose? If you have never played sports, the goal is to win boxing competitions – unattainable. But! For now. Do not give up on the goal. Develop the necessary skills, and then you can test your desire again on SMART.

Step 4. Relevant – relevant, meaningful.

The goal should be very valuable and relevant for you now and in the near future. 

For example, you want to be a blogger, but do not like to be photographed and expose your life – so the goal is not relevant for you. 

To determine the relevance and value of the target, use the technique: «5 why». For example, I want an IPhone 14. «Why?» Answer the question. And ask the question again: «Why?» to your answer. And so 5 times. Perhaps when you know your true motives, you will realise that the goal has no value. 

Step 5. Time bounded – limited in time. No time no purpose. Even if you plan to implement the long-term plan, write a date – the deadline for obtaining a measurable result.

Useful habits and scavenging skills 

On the way to your goals, it is very important to learn to create useful habits that can help you achieve goals faster.  In the article “10 steps to fix useful habits in life and business“, I described in detail the steps and practical experience of experts that will help you look at it from the other side. And in the article «What skill is different from habit?» you will be able to learn a list of important skills and find the answer which of the most used.

Also, I started developing an innovative approach called “Mirror & Fridge”, which should help to teach people to create useful habits and pump skills by investing only 5 minutes a day. In November, I will publish an article with practical cases and present a revolutionary concept.  

If you are responding to a topic and would like to learn to achieve your goals and encounter difficulties – write me your questions on Instagram @iv_lukianenko or ask questions under this article. 

Free programs where you can visualize the Tree of Goals, Mind map (mental or intelligence-card):

  1. App.diagrams.net
  2. miro.com

Instead of conclusions

  1. The basis of targeting is your desire and satisfaction of need.
  2. Use 3 targeting methods to identify subtasks, resources, actions, and minimise possible deviations.
  3. The method of «goal tree» will help to distribute the sub-goals between several levels, each of which is hierarchically connected and is an integral part of the process of achieving the goal.
  4. Mind map – an intelligence map to see the goal in detail, structure the information in the head and find solutions.
  5. Test your goal with the SMART filter. How specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, meaningful, and whether it has a deadline. 
  6. Learn how to create useful habits and expect the announcement of a new method that will change your life for the better.