How to Set and Achieve Realistic and Effective Goals (Part One from ‘Handbook to Survive Life’)

A Handbook

Article Title: How to Set and Achieve Realistic and Effective Goals (Part One from ‘Handbook to Survive Life’)

Author: Craig Lock
Category (key words): Goals, Goal-setting, Motivation, Self Help,
Self Help Books, Handbook to Survive Life, Personal Growth, Success, Empowerment

The submitter’s motor racing blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at

Other Articles are available at: and
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig)

Publishing Guidelines:

We hope that the following article (an extract from Craig’s first published book HANDBOOK TO SURVIVE LIFE) may be informative and helpful to your e-zine readers, or on your web site. This article may be freely reproduced electronically or in print. If it helps any others “out there” towards success, then we’re very happy.

“We share what we know, so that we all may grow.”



by Craig Lock

Oh no, not another article on goalsetting!

Author’s Note:
This extract is from Craig’s first published book HANDBOOK TO SURVIVE – a collection of writings on various subjects to help every man or woman survive in a rapidly changing, uncertain world. An introductory look at the concepts of success, motivation, attitude,
goal setting and stress.

It’s past half-way through the year already and have you put all your January 1 2013 goals (business and personal) into ACTION,
or were they just New Years resolutions – merely WISHES? Or perhaps just distant, long-forgotten memories in the deep recesses of your mind!

No matter, now is a good time of year to reflect on life, our family‘s lives, our journey – where we’ve come from and where we are headed. Who knows!

‘There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants and a burning desire to possess it.’
– Napoleon Hill (author of the classic book, ‘Think and Grow Rich’)

‘Nothing happens, no forward steps are taken until a goal is established.’
– David J. Schwarz (author of ‘The Magic of Thinking Big ‘– an excellent book by the way!)

Your life is controlled by your thoughts. Your thoughts are controlled by your goals.’

– Earl Nightingale

‘ When we have no personal goal which we are interested in, and which means something to us, we are apt to go round in circles.’

– psychologist Maxwell Maltz

‘The key to peak performance is not potential or skill, but motivation and dedication….having clear performance goals and putting in the training effort to achieve them.’
– Dr Sven Hansen ‘

I would like to repeat the critical importance of committing your plan to writing. It cannot be over- emphasised!’
– Paul J. Meyer of Success
Motivation Institute

‘Learn how to set your goals:
a. Write down your goals
b. Give yourself a deadline
c. Set your standards high.
– Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone (co-authors)

Setting goals is the first step towards ACTION. They get you into motion. The energy of motivation should be harnessed by being transformed into clear goals and a clear PLAN to achieve them. Goals are
dreams which come true …and they are far easier to achieve once they are focussed. Goals therefore help to fulfil one’s PURPOSE in life by giving expression to your core inner values, the ‘real YOU’. Psychologists have found that helping people to develop personal goals has proved to be the most effective way to help them cope with personal problems by:

1. Crystallising one’s purpose in life – through adding meaning .
2. Helping make difficult decisions.
3. Giving direction to your life and keeping you on track by
4. Resolving conflict
5. Building confidence and
6. Adding to your self respect (or sense of value = self

The power of imagination in goal setting comes from having BIG HOPES AND DREAMS. I believe too often we underestimate our capabilities. Use the amazing power of your CREATIVE IMAGINATION to think what you REALLY WANT OUT OF LIFE. Then visualise your dreams actually coming to pass.

Albert Einstein once said, Imagination is more powerful than knowledge”.
Very true, as I believe the human
imagination is our greatest asset. Thoreau once wrote these beautiful words:

‘If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavours to live the life which he* has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected.’
(Sorry ladies!) *

* Only joking – you can have dreams too and achieve them even better than us “mere males” (and please don’t beat up ” Mr un- PC” Thoreau for neglecting you).

‘Be true to your ideals, no matter what may happen now.
Then things will take a turn and the very things you wanted
to happen will happen.’
– anon

That one has just inspired me as I write this.

* *

Set realistic, yet achievable goals. Ones that stretch you…
because we are all different, what is achievable for one person might not be so easy for another. Also, because we are all unique creations with different hopes, desires, aspirations and dreams, what goal is important to you may be totally inappropriate for another individual’s life direction. I believe setting goals is vitally important in achieving what we want out of life …and setting even small daily goals are a great help in a daily action plan to move your life forward. I find it very satisfying ticking off even small routine tasks, like paying bills (well that is a big goal for a “starving” writer!). These small immediate goals are stepping stones to our bigger goals ” down the track”.

WRITE THEM DOWN, because putting them down on paper makes for more COMMITMENT. It focuses your thinking on what you want to achieve, like a magnifying-glass (that’s called a simile, by the way!). Doing this chrystallises (nice big word) our hopes, aspirations and dreams. They keep us on track towards our medium-term and long-term goals – the “grand plan or vision” for our lives.This is most important… Re-evaluate your progress from time to time. Doing this keeps you on track to see how you are progressing towards the “big picture”. I find it extremely satisfying looking back and ticking off the goals I have achieved. ( Of course , I don’t achieve all of them, but am working hard on that.)

It can be very encouraging seeing how far you have come , when you look back at your first “teeny-weeny” goals and doing this is a great motivater to me.
Goals are the first step in a positive plan of action.
And always remember,
every great journey down the “river of life” starts with one small first step.



Craig Lock (“Information and Inspiration Distributer, Incorrigible Encourager and People-builder”)

As the ancient Chinese philosopher said so well,
“A journey of a thousand miles starts with a …
broken fan belt and a flat tyre”…
er sorry…
a single step.

“A wish is just a wish,
A New Years Resolution is just a resolution.
Goals have deadlines and are the stepping stones down the
path, the stair-case to your dreams.”
– craig

About the author:
Craig has written extensively in the field of self help. This extract is from his first book ‘HANDBOOK TO SURVIVE LIFE’ – a collection of writings on various subjects to help every man or woman survive in a rapidly changing, uncertain world.

Craig is a writer, who believes in (and loves) encouraging and helping others to find their talents and gifts, strive for and accomplish their dreams in life, whatever they may be. He truly believes people can overcome obstacles, rise to any occasion, and accomplish their entire dream with enough faith and commitment.

The various books* that Craig “felt inspired to write” (including Handbook to Survive Life) are available at and

All proceeds go to needy and underprivileged children –


“The world’s smallest and most exclusive bookstore”

* Fiction and non-fiction books, self help, novels, travel, humour.

All proceeds go to needy and underprivileged children – MINE!

A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.”
– Chinese proverb

“A book is small enough to hold in your hand; but when you read it, the walls fall away and you’re in a room as big as the world.”

“A book, like a dog, is man’s best friend, but inside it’s too dark to read.”

– Groucho Marx

The submitter’s motor racing blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at


Together, one mind, one life at a time, let’s see how many people we can impact, encourage, empower, uplift and perhaps even inspire to reach their fullest potentials.”

End of Part One

THIS ARTICLE (as with all my articles) MAY BE FREELY PUBLISHED


“I still believe in setting goals (small and large stepping-stones to mark and guage your chosen path), but believe more importantly in going after your wildest dreams with all you‘ve got.”

– craig


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One Response to “How to Set and Achieve Realistic and Effective Goals (Part One from ‘Handbook to Survive Life’)”

  1. craiglock Says:

    Reblogged this on Racing (and Writing) in the Zone.


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