Want to get more of what you want done?

Maybe you should stop setting goals that basically don’t work
anyway. This quick 6-minute video tells you what will work
better.  It’s short, and it’ll give you a few ideas.

Take a look and let me know what you think in the comments.

[flv:http://mm.paullemberg.com.s3.amazonaws.com/Gym-Goals.flv 400 266]

24 Responses

  1. Chad

    “Only commit to what you can control”. That’s excellent advice. I am in the process of adjusting our marketing plan and I think this will help us a ton. Thanks Paul!

  2. Paul Cronin

    Great Stuff Paul, as always…. I am trying to help other LI members cross pollinate with advisors and experts that help business owners. Our LinkedIn group is Successful Transition Planning Institute: http://bit.ly/cuJjDf. Perhaps you should join. best, PC

  3. John Soares

    Paul, I like this concept of process goals, and it’s one I’ve applied in both my work life and personal life.

    We can control what we do, but we can’t control the results we’ll get from what we do.

  4. Rick

    Brilliant! The more our beliefs are aligned with reality, the more we’ll get good results, and the less we’ll be frustrated. In reality, we can’t *cause* goals to happen. This approach is so liberating and frustration-reducing because it doesn’t fight with reality!

    When I reflect on putting this approach into practice, I see a creative dance between my intention (reflected in mileposts), my action, and the world. Every response from the world to my actions doesn’t imply success or failure, but is an input to the creative process of unfoldment of my intentions. No more grimly efforting and struggling toward a goal under the illusion that I control the outcome. Instead, I humbly do what I can, and have the world as my partner in a surprising, creative collaboration between it, my intention, and my action.

  5. John McDougle


    Thanks for a great video. I also much prefer ‘committed actions’ to results goals.

    I want to add one thought. A committed action is one that must be done to a minimum standard/quality. So, in your gym example, it’s 8 reps with good form. For sales calls, it’s the questions you use, your attitude, etc.

    This also then makes committed actions comparable to project planning: Action = scope, Quality = specification and Timing = deadline.

  6. Michael McFarlane

    Some would say that it is a “goal” to complete X number of actions in a specific amount of time. However, the key message is excellent: you can’t guarantee the result, but you can commit to the actions that might lead to the result you are looking for. This is much better that setting a goal for something that is outside your control, because if you miss that goal it just leads to disappointment, discouragement, and a negative vibration.

  7. Alan

    I don’t get it.

    Can you dumb it down for me?

    Just imagine you are talking to a blonde model with a seriously low IQ – thanks.

    Examples of goals before and after your realization in the text of your post as opposed to having to watch video could be red-hot.

  8. Robert Scanlon

    Hi Paul – nice to hear from you again!

    I totally agree with you. We’ve always said “focus on the inputs, not the outputs”.

    Too often a goal is “set” by way of a measurement of the output – whereas in real life, it’s what we DO (or the input) that determines the output.

    An over-focus on the output tends to force reliance on “The Secret + Field Of Dreams” method: If I think it, it will come”.

    More short vids like this pls!

    Love your work – wouldn’t be where I am today without Formula Five.


  9. Leo Quinn


    Nice job. I long ago abandoned goals like…I’ll sell X in a week or make Y this year for just the reasons you gave.

    Did you ever hear that story of the insurance company consultant who had the salespeople knock on doors in a neighborhood they were unfamiliar with and say “you don’t need any life insurance do you?” (or something very similar)

    They got a lot of “NOs” but also at least doubled their sales because every once is awhile they’d find someone who actually did need it.. Their goals went from making sales to getting NOs which I imagine in insurance sales are REALLY easy to get (and control)!


    • pl

      Leo – this reminds me of Fredrick Taylor increasing the lighting and factory productivity goes up. Then they decreased the lighting and it goes up again. Someone finally realized that productivity went up each time because the workers felt like people were paying attention to them!

  10. Ricardo Calva

    Hi Paul,

    Incredible simple, incredible powerful… There are some authors, out there, that translate complex ideas in something simple, brilliant. You are one on them. Congratulations! (For sure, you are one of my favorite authors!)…

    Ricardo Calva

  11. Rod Beckwith

    Hey Paul,

    That is an interesting viewpoint and I am going to apply the “time” factor to my daily todo list. I think that is what has been missing.

    BTW, where did you get the cool muscle T-shirt? My son really likes that saying.


  12. Abraham

    Hi Paul,
    You mentioned in your video that Goal Setting doesnt work, but I just had an idea that might be exactly what you are saying in the video but I still wanted to share it.

    How about creating a goal and splitting it into actions / different segments of the goal.
    Sometimes a goal can feel very hard to accomplish but turning it into small actions
    during a longer period might work.

    I’ve never actually set a goal like most others, I write the actions needed to meet that goal,
    and it has worked everytime. Keep up the good work with the blog!

  13. William

    Many thanks for the insight…

    I once overheard you talking about the new Paleo diet you also integrated with your fitness program. Can you elaborate a little on it because I’ve been struggling with my own personal fitness goals lately and have found that when my physical goals are aligned then my business goals tend to fall into place as well!

    Many thanks,


  14. Shannon

    Hi Paul,

    Loved this only, only do what’s in your control. The best though was when you said “Don’t worry about the things you can’t control.” If I were to look at how many countless hours I’ve done that, yikes, wasted energy. Since I’ve made that mind shift, not “worrying” but putting that time to doing some actions that are in my control, I’m getting some great results- thanks!

    • pl

      Don’t want to sound like a control-freak, but truly… Don’t make promises you can’t definitely keep!

  15. Stormy Knight

    Thanks for this clarification. It’s something that has been gelling in my mind for a while but you made it perfectly clear – keeping the focus on what you can change day to day can really move mountains.


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