How To Set And Accomplish Any Goal


in Guest Post, Habit Change, Productivity

Today’s post comes from long-time HtS reader Dean Palibroda.

Dean has laid out the exact system he uses accomplish any goal he sets .

You may notice something special about his system: It’s adapted from many different sources.

As you read through this post, take special note of all the references he makes to people who have inspired him in some way — and then look at how he’s managed to integrate all those inspirations into one system that works for him.

It’s not always about copying somebody else’s system. Sometimes, it’s much more useful to find inspiration from many sources and create something that works for us.

You’ll also have a chance to check out a great interview I did with him for his new podcast, “Organized and Productive.”

More details on that below.

Here’s Dean…


Over the last decade, I’ve studied personal growth and travelled across North America attending seminars, workshops, and 1-on-1 training to increase my level of success in all areas.

Recently I got a chance to chat with Maneesh for my new podcast, Organized and Productive.

In the interview, you will learn:

  • How to build daily habits that you do for the rest of your life.
  • How to use your personality type to double your productivity.
  • How to use video and a personal assistant to write blog posts.
  • How to make a mentor want to help you.
  • How Maneesh outsourced his email completely.
  • and much more…

Here’s where you can listen to the interview.

In addiction to the interview, I want to share with you a model that will help tie in some of the concepts we talked about in the interview and help you use them to product real world results.

The Tower of Momentum: From Wish to Reality

The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, pioneer of positive psychology and the author of the book “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience”

We all know that we can have the best diet plan in the world and all the right food in the fridge, but it’s not enough. We must be able to get ourselves to take action and do the necessary steps that are going to propel us to our desired outcome.

You see, in almost every area of endeavor we find ourselves in the following predicament:

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 2.13.02 PM


The capital S represents the solution to the problem, and the star represents the desired outcome (the end goal). Let’s take losing 10 pounds as an example. Now the circle in the middle with the big question mark represents the missing link … the action steps that are required to generate our outcome. Oftentimes this is our sticking point. We have a solution to our problem; however, we lack the ability to do what I call “manufacturing action.”

Without the ability to make yourself  TAKE ACTION, you’re just somebody who talks a good game, not somebody who creates results in the real world.

There are two reasons in my opinion why people lack the ability to manufacture action: Either they don’t want it bad enough and have yet to make a true decision, or they can’t get themselves to do the necessary things to achieve their goals.

Now what I’d like to introduce to you is a simple model that you can return to, to help you set better goals and get yourself to take action.

I call this model “The Tower of Momentum.”

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 2.19.51 PM


The idea is to provide a formula that sets up the conditions to make accomplishing a particular goal, inevitable.

Eben Pagan, a business and personal development guru was the first person to introduce me to this idea of setting up conditions in your life to make accomplishing any goal, inevitable. He calls it inevitable thinking.

Step 1: Start with the Three W’s — Setting the Foundation for Change

First and foremost, it’s imperative that you have a clear understand of what you want to achieve, why you want to achieve it, and lastly what you’re willing to give up.

The “what”, “why” and, “what are you willing to give up”, is something I learn from dating and relationship coach, Brent Smith.

So for this step, you’re going to answer the follow three questions:

1. What do you want to achieve? For example: “I want to lose weight”.
2. Why do you want to achieve this particular goal.

Look for the emotional reason why. WHY do you want to lose 10 pounds for example? This step is critical, because your bound to have set backs on the journey, and if you have compelling reason why you’re doing what’s necessary to achieve your goals, you’re far more likely to do whatever it takes to achieve them.

3. What are you willing to give up to actualize your goal?

Step 2: Determine Your Ideal Outcome

For this step it’s critical that you determine a concrete, measurable, tangible ideal outcome. Bit of a mouthful, but in reality very simple.

For example, “I want to lose 10 pound of fat” is a much better goal, then “I want to lose weight”.

You need to know both when you have reached success and how to measure your progress along the way. Knowing how to gauge your progress is critical, because it allows you to make appropriate adjustments as you go.

Step 3: Set a Deadline

The next step is to set a specific deadline and then don’t deviate from it. Open-ended goals are probably the most ineffective goals you can have.

After experimenting with lots of different deadlines, anywhere between 30 and 90 days seem to work the best.

Setting a deadline isn’t to say that once you have completed the 90 days the journey is done! Use the deadline more like a milestone.

Step 4: Get Some Accountability

What’s the quickest way to get to the other side of the fence? Throw your hat over first!

The idea with accountability is to determine some kind of punishment for not completing the task. One example of a punishment would be writing a cheque to a friend beforehand. A key thing to remember is that you want to be as specific as possible.

Let’s say you are going for a four-day business trip and you want to make sure you eat breakfast every morning; and let’s say you find an accountability buddy before you leave.

Start off by getting some leverage. “If I don’t text or call you by 8:00 a.m. immediately after eating breakfast, I’ll donate 20 hours of my time to a charity of your choice.”

It doesn’t have to be a long call, just something quick letting them know you’re done.

For bonus credit, also add some sort of accountability (punishment) to your deadline date as well.

If you’re having a hard time finding a friend to help hold you accountable, you could try using a service like Stickk.

[MANEESH INTERJECTION: or, you could always use Pavlok.]

Step 5: Form a Mastermind

A mastermind is a group of three to five like-minded individuals in pursuit of a similarly defined end goal. Napoleon Hill refers to this as the “mastermind principle” in his famous book, “Think and Grow Rich.”

Masterminds take advantage of what’s called collective intelligence, or the power of the group mind. Not only do masterminds offer support, motivation, and advice, they also add yet another level of accountability. When you aren’t living a lifestyle that is conducive to your goals, your fellow mastermind members can call you on it and offer support.

Masterminds typically meet either in person or over the phone, through Skype, etc., on a regular basis. Then they discuss problems and challenges that come up for each members of the group. The frequency of the meetings tend to vary — anywhere from daily to yearly. Typically, they’re round robin. Either a whole call will be dedicated to working with one particular member, or each member will get the same 15 minutes to update everybody.

Now, there’s a very fine line between a great mastermind and one that falls apart within weeks. Here are some ground rules for running a successful mastermind:

  1. Team up with people that have had their own “I can’t take it anymore!” moment. Not everybody has the same commitment levels, so when you’re considering people for the mastermind, it’s important that they are on the same page, have reached their own points of no return, and are willing to do whatever it takes to make change happen.
  2. Have a start and end time with a detailed agenda well before the group gets together. This will cut down on the chitchat and make sure the sessions are as productive as possible.
  3. Don’t accept second-class behavior. If people aren’t pulling their weight for whatever reason — not showing up to meetings, etc. — don’t be afraid to ask them to leave the group. If everybody is slacking, don’t hesitate to jump ship and start another mastermind.

Putting It All Together

Now let’s do an exercise using the Tower Of Momentum. This exercise is going to take about 30 minutes, so make sure you give yourself enough time.

Step 1:

Get out a blank sheet of paper, or open up a new text document if you’re going to use a computer for this exercise. You’re also going to want to get out your calendar.

Step 2:

Using the first-person narrative, describe in detail what you want, why you want it and what you’re willing to give up. Be sure to ask yourself “why” a minimum of three times or until you arrive at a core emotion hot button. Try to be as specific as possible.

Step 3:

Define your specific, measurable, tangle end goal. Paint a picture. Make it as compelling as your possibly can.

Step 4:

Using your calendar, choose an intelligent end date for your transformation. I personally really like to use 90 days for my deadlines.

Step 5:

Pick an accountability partner, locate their contact information and contact them right NOW. Make sure to determine how they’re going to hold you accountable, including how many days a week you’re going to contact them and some possible punishments.

Step 6:

Brainstorm a list of five possible mastermind members. After you’ve completed this, search out contact information from each possible mastermind member and contact them NOW.

* * *

You now have a formula not only to manufacture action but also to create the momentum needed to do the day-to-day stuff that is necessary to transform your life.

You’ve started – congratulations!

If you’d like more tips, tricks and tools on how to overcome procrastination, build habits like meditation, exercise and organize your life into productivity routines, be sure sure to subscribe to my podcast.


Staale May 6, 2014 at 11:25 pm

Hey, it’s the friendly grammar police here: It’s not “because your bound to have set backs”, it’s “because *you’re* bound to have *setbacks*”.
Feel free to delete comment upon correcting. Glad to be of service. 🙂


Mitch April 19, 2014 at 8:24 am

I enjoyed the tower of momentum construct. I always find it easier to comprehend a set of ideas if they are put into a visual model. Thanks!


Dean Palibroda April 23, 2014 at 6:10 pm
Niall Doherty April 14, 2014 at 6:03 pm

Great stuff, Dean. I think accountability is the biggest piece for me. It’s always helped me to announce my goals and have people hold me publicly accountable.

P.S. Love this line: “What’s the quickest way to get to the other side of the fence? Throw your hat over first!”


Dean Palibroda April 23, 2014 at 6:11 pm

Thanks Niall!


Ben Pavlovich April 14, 2014 at 8:16 am

This is great Dean! Love the idea of forming a mastermind to push yourself even more. I find things like, Toastmasters, and Forums work really well for those having trouble forming a group. Keep up the good work!


Dean Palibroda April 14, 2014 at 8:32 pm

Thanks Ben, glad you found it helpful.


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