The 7 Steps Of Zig Ziglar Goal Setting

When you're setting your goals for the future, the process is not something that should be rushed. As 'See You At The Top' author Zig Ziglar teaches us in his book, goal setting is serious business, and doing it the right way will require some time. 

Before you start reading, grab a pen and paper and make a quick note of your responses to each of the steps in this article. Writing things down helps solidify the knowledge and is more likely to spur you into action than simply reading the steps. 

If you want to set clear, achievable goals, read on for the 7 steps of goal setting, Zig Ziglar style: 

1. Make the goal clear

How do you know what to work towards if you don’t have a clear idea of what you want? You should be able to state your goal in a clear, succinct sentence, dropping any words of doubt or negativity. Even if you’re not 100% sure you can achieve it. 

Instead of saying: “I should probably lose 5kg” say “I want to lose 5kg.” Be clear and positive about what it is you want to achieve. 

What’s even better is mentally phrasing your goal as if you’ve already reached it: “I have lost 5kg by July.” This will set the tone for how you approach your goal, giving you a positive and optimistic starting point. 

2. Set yourself a deadline

Without a deadline, you can procrastinate and delay working towards your goal indefinitely. A goal is nothing without a deadline. 

Some people are hesitant to attach a date to their dreams but doing so will kick your subconscious into high gear, just like writing things down a to-do list does. Even if you don’t reach your goal by the deadline, it doesn’t have to mean you’ve failed. 

Simply change the date to one that seems achievable and keep putting in the hard work. Perseverance leads to success, procrastination doesn’t. 

3. Identify the challenges

If you’re a pessimist, I have some good news: this step will come naturally to you! On the other hand, the bad news is that seeing these obstacles might put you off wanting to set your goal in the first place. 

Identifying anything that might hinder you is good because it’ll help you figure out a way to get past that obstacle. 

Don’t throw in the towel just because a goal seems too hard. It’s often the harder things that bring the most joy, the most success, and the most satisfaction. 

Make a list of the things that might prevent you from reaching your goal and write them down. You don’t need to work out how to get over these just yet, acknowledging them is enough for now. 

4. Identify anyone who can help you

Working towards your goals and dreams is not a good time to be shy or try to go it alone. We all need help sometimes, and that goes for the brightest minds in the world too. The right support system could be the difference between struggling and succeeding. 

If you’re trying to lose weight, join a support program or group. If you want to start your own business, join a mastermind. If you want to improve your finances, sign up for a seminar. The internet is a wonderful tool and finding the right people will save you hours of frustration trying to figure things out by yourself. 

Spend some time researching and noting down anyone or any organisation that can help you in achieving your goal. 

5. List all the rewards of reaching your goal 

This is where you can really have some fun imagining all the benefits you’ll have once you accomplish your goals. 

Think of all the wonderful things that will happen; financial success, greater confidence, a better job, and how they’ll affect your life. Whatever it is, list as many benefits as you can think of. Visualise how it will feel to succeed. 

Imagining the rewards of your hard work will propel you forward into action and coming back to this list when you’re stuck will give you a reason to keep going. 

6. Think about which skills you’ll need to master 

Your ability to reach your goals largely depends on your skillset, and how you can use what you know to make the work easier. You can’t go from zero to hero in one step, there are things to learn and take into account. 

If you need to learn any new skills; a different sales technique, creative writing, or web design to reach your goals, take the time to actually learn it. 

There are so many books, online guides, YouTube tutorials, and courses available, there’s no excuse not to spend some time learning something new to be able to achieve your goal. 

7. Make a plan of action

You already know a fair bit about your goal: you know what you want, when you want to achieve it by, the obstacles and rewards, which skills you’ll need, and who can help you along the way. 

Now it’s time to create a plan of action. 

Make a schedule of how you’re going to try and integrate these steps into your daily routine. How long do you want to spend each day working on a new skill? Which group or mastermind do you want to join and when will you work on your tasks? 

If you don’t make a plan, you likely won’t get around to working on your goal. So, draw up a detailed plan of action, set deadlines, and put in the work – there’s no other way around it. 


Now you have the opportunity to make your dreams come true, one goal at a time. Stop procrastinating and apply these 7 steps, and you’ll be on your way to reaching your goal in no time! 

You can use the notes you’ve made for these 7 steps and put them somewhere you will see them regularly around your home. This will remind you to keep working on your goals, and that when you break them down, they really are achievable. 

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