Confessions of a Ghostwriter: Three Crucial Factors You May Have Overlooked in Goal Setting

Updated: Oct 14

Have you ever set a goal for yourself and for some reason you either never start or you get part way through and give up? There are plenty of tools out there to help us set goals and stick to them, like applying S.M.A.R.T. criteria when creating our goals, having an accountability partner or coach to keep us on track, planning how we are going to celebrate achieving the goal before we even start, etc. These are all great tools, but if you still find yourself setting goals you don’t achieve you might have overlooked three crucial factors in your goal setting routine.

1. Find Your Emotional Connection to the Goal

Create a ‘suck list’ - a list of things you failed at achieving the previous year.

The first time I created suck list I wrote, “I failed at conceiving a child.” Looking at the words in black and white brought on a huge emotional reaction and a trickle of tears quickly turned into river and then morphed into a raging ugly cry. I knew right then and there, my goal for the year had to have something to do with having another baby.

When you go through your suck list, what failure stands out to you the most? What one makes you sad, angry, or disappointed that you didn’t achieve it? Identifying the things you really wanted to achieve but failed at will help you set a goal that you can truly connect to emotionally, and that will drive you toward the finish line.

2. Figure Out What’s in Your Control

Make sure your goal is 100% within your control.

Setting a goal that is 100% within your control will ensure you don’t set yourself up for failure based on unreasonable expectations.

I knew that even if I ate right, exercised right, slept right, and even meditated and prayed right, the miracle of life was not within my power to manifest. What was in my control was having a healthy vessel in which to conceive, so I set my goal to lose weight. My very wise friend, Erin, explained that weight loss isn’t a goal either. Wait what??? She said I could eat spinach all day every day one week and each spinach all day every day the next, and the number on the scale could go up or down depending on factors not within my control (water retention, hormone imbalance, cortisol levels, etc.) She further explained, weight loss is not a goal, it is an outcome of achieving a life-style related goal. For more info on Erin’s life-transforming wisdom, visit

I decided that exercising a certain number of times per week was fully in my control, so I set my goal to exercise four days a week for a year. That’s 208 times! I had set exercise goals countless times before in my life, but I never made it through the gym doors for more than a few weeks before I threw in the towel. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to stick to an exercise routine for a full year, but I did know it was in my control.

3. Connect Your Goal to Your Purpose

Connecting your goal with your purpose will help you stay the course, even when you want to quit.

My purpose is to create connection in the world through story. When I set my exercise goal at four times a week, I was working a full-time job, mom-ing, wife-ing, and doing all the other things that come with adult-ing. Being a part-time writer and editor on top of that took on a life of its own and required a lot of energy and late hours to meet deadlines. That meant having a healthy and fit body was a must. Healthy and fit also happened to be one of the factors in increasing my chance at conceiving a child, so setting a health-related goal was a no-brainer.

So What Result Did I Achieve?

I now had a heart connection to my goal, I knew that it was 100% in my control, and I had my purpose in mind when I set the goal. The weirdest thing happened. The addition of these three elements made every exercise session feel like it was part of the natural flow of the day, so reaching my goal seemed almost effortless. I not only achieved, but surpassed my goal that year of 208 workouts.

As it turned out, that was the kick-start my body needed, because the following year, my little family of three grew by one more, when I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy! Incidentally, three years later, I left the corporate world behind and became a full-time writer so I could live my purpose!


When making goals, remember to connect to your emotions, figure out what is in our control, and link the goal with purpose. With these three extra criteria in the mix, there are no limits to what you can do!

© Allissa Blondin 2021

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