The Secret to Success? Work Your Goals Backward

March 15, 2021

Filed Under: Goals, Success

By Clara Capano

Photo Credit: Getty

Setting a goal can seem easy, but achieving the goal is what really matters. I find one of the best ways to ensure that goals get met is to create a strategy that begins with looking at the end and working the process backward.

Early on in my career, my mentor, Larry Kendall shared the formula to success: Thoughts create beliefs, which lead to actions that deliver results. I like to take this formula and work it backward:


Setting and achieving a goal requires that you get clear on the desired result. What is it you want to accomplish? For some it may be an income goal. For others it may be to have a higher quality of life, build a team or close a specific number of units. You cannot create a goal without knowing the end result that you are working toward.

If we do not have clarity on the desired result, how can we create a strategy to accomplish that goal? Get clear and then move onto the next step.


We have to work to make things happen; results will not happen on their own. But if we do not have a specific plan of action, we will be busy but not purposeful and productive in achieving our goals.

So what action should we take? Easy. We need to focus on the "right" activities to support us in achieving the goal. Going back to my example of achieving more speaking events, some of the actions I need to take would be networking with other speakers, being visible at other events and reaching out to possible connectors. All of these actions specifically place me in the position to achieve my goal. In fact, when I look at the life and business I want to create, I have identified several key actions that I must do weekly, and if I do these with consistency, the results will take care of themselves.

Here are my key weekly actions:

• Engage in a Sunday weekly planning session.

• Execute a daily morning routine.

• Publish two blogs a week and one weekly newsletter.

• Schedule five strategic calls a week.

• Have one face-to-face meeting a week.

• Send 10 handwritten notes a week.

• Do a daily personal development exercise.

These may not seem big, but over time they position me to achieve my goals. Focus on the right actions consistently, and the results will follow.


After you have your target and actions clearly set, you need to go deeper and believe you can do it! One of the best ways to build a system you can believe in is to understand why you are doing these actions. Why are they so important in the path to achieving your goals?

One of the more common actions people in business need to do is calls — we all need to do them, and very few enjoy doing them. When you can connect the action with the purpose, it becomes clear as to why this specific action is critical to your success.

For me, making calls is not just about getting paid. It is about connecting with others and learning about their challenges and how I can help be a solution for them. If I do not make the calls, I will not be able to build relationships, add value and get hired. When I can see this for what it really is (a connection call and not a sales call), it is easier to do the action, and it connects me with the true purpose of the action.


As you work to connect the dots with this system, you will create new belief systems and new patterns of how you show up. In other words, as you change how you show up, everything else begins to change too. Our thoughts and mental programs are what lies in our unconscious brain, and this part of the brain drives a lot of our actions.

One of the concepts I teach is “what you focus on expands,” meaning you get what you think about — both the positive and the negative. When you align your goals with the right actions and a belief in your purpose, your focus drives your programs for success. You act without thinking because you are driven by the programs your brain has created for you. In essence, your programs are setting you up for success!

Success requires clarity. When you are clear, you will be unstoppable. Work your goal strategy backward, and gain your foundation for success.

For the original article, visit: Forbes.

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