Ten Questions You Can Ask to Help Anyone Achieve Their Goal(s)

Guest Post by Kevin Eikenberry

Lots of people set goals.

Far fewer achieve them.

There are lots of reasons that happens, not the least of which is that people treat the goal setting process as an achievement; which it isn’t really.

We don't set goals as the outcome! We set goals to achieve them!

Yes, setting them is a necessary first step, but achieving them is the real purpose, isn’t it?

So I propose that you ask your staff these ten questions (and of course listen to their answers) to help inform their plan for achievement of  their goals.

Asking these ten questions will quickly show if their goals are on track for achievement.  Of course the best time to ask them is as soon as they have set a new goal(s).  But whenever you ask them will inform them, redirect them, and improve their chances of achieving their goal(s).

Here is the list . . .

1.   Why is achieving this goal important to you? 

This is the most important question of all. Without a clear and compelling reason why, you likely won’t do what is necessary to reach the goal. Answer this question and keep your answer clearly focused in your mind.

2.   What will success look like? 

Visualize the end result in a three-dimensional way. Think about what you will be seeing, feeling, hearing and smelling when you reach this goal. This question helps your brain picture success in a more real way.

3.  How will you benefit from reaching this goal? 

This connects the first two questions together and helps you see the value in the work and effort required to achieve your goal.

4.  What is your first step? 

There is always a first step. It may be small, or it may be large. Actually if it is a small step, it gets you going. Either way, without a step you will stay right where you are.

5.  What step will take you furthest, fastest? 

I love the first step question but this is about leverage. You want to get moving, but you also want to move intelligently.

6.  Who can help you achieve it? 

No person is an island. What tools and resources do others have that can assist you in reaching your goal?

7.  Who will support you? 

If you have cheerleaders – people who believe in you and your ability to reach this goal – you might share it with them. Thinking about this early is very helpful.

8.  Who won’t support you? 

This list may be more important than the last one. Don’t let the nonbelievers taint your attitude, energy and belief. These people don’t need to hear about your goal. Just quietly go about achieving it. Surprising them might be one of biggest rewards that comes with your success!

9.  What will be your biggest barrier? 

Avoiding or denying it won’t help. Figure it out early and you are part-way to overcoming, reducing or sidestepping that barrier altogether.

10.  How will you stay focused during the process? 

Reaching most goals takes time, energy and focus. Realizing that at the beginning and building a plan to stay focused and knowing how to get refocused is critical.

These ten questions can accelerate your goal achievement whenever you ask them. If you have any goal today –whether new, in progress, or stalled – ask yourself these questions.

Then put your answers to work.

Kevin Eikenberry


Kevin Eikenberry is a world renowned leadership expert, a two-time bestselling author, speaker, consultant, trainer, coach, leader, learner, husband and father (not necessarily in that order).  Kevin is the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group, a leadership and learning consulting company that has been helping organizations, teams and individuals reach their potential since 1993. Kevin’s specialties include leadership, teams and teamwork, organizational culture, facilitating change, organizational learning and more.


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