Appendix A

Survey Results On The Struggles Of Achieving Goals

To ensure I provided every possible solution on goal setting, I carried out a survey to one of my mailing lists. The purpose of which was to expose the problems people had with goal setting. In truth nothing surprised me, however, I like to test my assumptions. I would like to thank the people who helped me and gave me their feedback, there were quite a few little details which I would not have covered were it not for your feedback.

So here are the results of the survey if you are interested.

I sent out the email below to survey one of my mailing lists. There are approximately 2,750 people on that list. I left the survey up and within a couple of days 178 people had completed it.

Email - “If you've succeeded, struggled or never tried goal setting then your help will be appreciated. I am in the final stages of writing another book and my intention is to come up with a very efficient system which enables people to easily create their lives on purpose. I would like to ensure I've answered all of the problems you have with them so that we have all barriers removed! So all your insights are gratefully received.”

What I was looking for was: -

To see if I had my finger on the pulse of what was needed

To ensure I answered every question

That I provided a solution

To see what else came up

To me, goal setting has always been relatively easy, though I still associated pain and work with it and I would rather spend my time visualising my goals than adjusting them on paper. If you like, I was a successful failure at conventional goal setting. It worked for me, but I still saw it as work, and to me that wasn’t good enough so it was time to remove that association. Because if I felt like that, and I was successful at it and I could manifest, then I could bet that the vast majority of other people really struggled with it too. So I concluded the best solution was to test my assumptions and ask people before starting to write.

My intention was to make what I produced the most effective solution ever done before on the subject. Well now you have had a chance to read all I’ve produced on it then you can see if I achieved it or not.

For the sake of ease, on the questions where free text responses were asked for, I have grouped answers together where the answers were similar. I have also removed all of the ‘did not respond’ from the survey. I also removed question 2 from the results as the question was phrased badly, and therefore, people may not have answered it from the state I intended.

Question 1: - Does this apply to you – “I’ve never set any goals!”

20% Yes

80% No

Conclusions if any: - So my audience were interested in goal setting and a large amount had taken action

Question 3: - Does this apply to you – “I don’t goal set because I haven’t got round to it yet!”

23% Yes

77% No

Conclusions if any: - Some difference to the first question, but no real conclusions, as the figures are still almost the same

Question 4: - Does this apply to you – “I tried it but it didn’t work so I lost interest!”

41% Yes

59% No

Conclusions if any: - Some disillusionment towards goal setting, however, the majority are persevering with it

Question 5: - Does this apply to you – “I haven't set any goals at all, sort of read about it, but it stinks of work and I just want to make some money!”

18% Yes

82% No

Conclusions if any: - Still the similar percentage to the opening question so I am now happy that I’ve got an audience who have actually tried this out

Question 6: - Does this apply to you – “I've read a little about goal setting and I think it is something I should do when I have time!”

53% Yes

47% No

Conclusions if any: - Interesting, this backs up Q4 and identifies slightly more of the truth behind it, in other words this may mean that people goal set but then put them down and don’t regularly look at them

Question 7: - Does this apply to you – “I've tried to do this and I actually wrote some goals down but I haven't looked at them for years!”

40% Yes

60% No

Conclusions if any: - I thought by now there would have been a more solid figure towards the fact that they don’t read them regularly. So what this could mean is that people really are goal setting but they are just not getting the results

Question 8: - Does this apply to you – “I've got some goals, but I haven't written them down!”

45% Yes

55% No

Conclusions if any: - This is confirming the figures previously got

Question 9: - Does this apply to you – “I've got some goals, I've written them down and I could find them right now if I had to!”

51% Yes

49% No

Conclusions if any: - Given the variance of results I’d say that a lot of people only think they set goals

Question 10: - Does this apply to you – “I've written them down, but I stopped doing this as I got fed up with not attaining them, so I sort of lost interest in doing it!”

35% Yes

65% No

Conclusions if any: - Interesting - so people think they are working, why are they not getting the results then? And the figure is back up to 65%, but only 51% could actually find their goals. So the belief in it working is actually much higher than the actual following through on them. No shock there of course

Question 11: - Does this apply to you – “I used to do this diligently; I did all of what it says in Think and Grow Rich, or another well known goal setting book. I even bought software to help me, but I lost motivation as they didn't work!”

29% Yes

71% No

Conclusions if any: - Again a very strong belief in goal setting with this group

Question 12: - Does this apply to you – “I've been setting goals for years now, they don't all come into my life but a fair percentage do. I occasionally look at the goals I've set and alter them!”

50% Yes

50% No

Conclusions if any: - I didn’t phrase the question well in my opinion, but no-one else mentioned it so I left it in.

Question 13: - Does this apply to you – “I do everything that Think and Grow Rich says; I will keep applying it until it works!”

22% Yes

78% No 

Conclusions if any: - I think this is cutting much more towards the correct figures. But they are not there yet

Question 14: - Does this apply to you – “I know I should set goals, but anything I want I go and make happen!”

35% Yes

65% No

Conclusions if any: - Now this was interesting, 35%! This is a large figure, so let’s see if their later responses bear this out to be a true representation

Question 15: - I asked – “What is your single biggest challenge with goal setting?”

39%     Said, it was remembering to look at them, = they lacked inspiration

18%     Said, they lacked a belief that they would work

15%     Said, they didn’t know what they wanted

9%       Said, they wanted an easy way of doing it and tracking them

9%       Said, they had no time to do it

3%       Said, they feared what others would think of them if they did

2%       Said, they lacked money to do it

2%       Said, there was nothing challenging them

1%       Said, they were suffering from overwhelm so didn’t do them

1%       Said, they thought the info on goal setting was poor and conflicting

1%       Said, they struggled to get started

1%       Said, they thought they were too old

Conclusions if any: - The 39% clearly needed inspiration, the 18% were obviously the same group as before (I checked it out and they were), the guys who said they wanted an easy way to track it were the ones who were doing it, but just wanted it easier to do

Question 16: - I asked – “What do you feel is simply wrong with goal setting?”

31%     Said, nothing

22%     Said, they don’t know what they want

10%     Said, a simple method to attaining them

9%       Said, knowing what’s realistic

8%       Said, believing they will work

5%       Said, too many different options

4%       Said, overwhelm

2%       Said, it doesn’t work

2%       Said, it was too tiresome

2%       Said, they were self-sabotaging themselves

2%       Said, that goals were the future not now

2%       Said, it was too structured

1%       Said, they feared committing themselves to action

Conclusions if any: - If 31% think nothing is wrong then why do so few people succeed? If I was to conclude that 80% of these people are goal setters and 31% think it works then 48% say it doesn’t. So from a market who are predominantly interested in personal development, 20% don’t do it, 49% think it’s either non-effective or have not understood it and 31% think it works. This sort of throws off the earlier figures a bit. But let’s continue

Question 17: - I asked – “What would make it easier for you to set goals?”

25%     Said, some sort of a project plan – simple though

17%     Said, to work in a group or with a mentor

15%     Said, a way to stay motivated

14%     Said, to believe they would work

7%       Said, to know what they want

7%       Said, time and money to do it

3%       Said, some sort of software to use daily – maybe mobile

2%       Said, knowing the BEST, FASTEST ways to achieve them!

2%       Said, support from my partner

2%       Said, nothing

2%       Said, real life examples as proof it works

1%       Said, to know what’s realistic

1%       Said, to actually get to the big goals

1%       Said, wish I knew

Conclusions if any: - That a project plan of some sort was required, that a group membership was needed, that inspiration was required, and a bridge to get them from a lack of belief to knowing it was certain. And of course they didn’t know what they wanted. This figure for people not knowing what they want is actually lower than I expected it to be. But that shouldn’t really have surprised me as people don’t realise that they don’t know what they want.

Question 18: - I asked – “Is there anything else you would like to have the answer to in goal setting?”

36%     Said, they wanted a way to stay focused and track results

5%       Said, they wanted a way to make this stuff enjoyable and believable

5%       Said, to acquire the mindset they required to start setting goals

5%       Said, they wanted to see results before they started

4%       Said, they wanted to interact with like-minded people

3%       Said, they wanted some clear instructions

3%       Said, hearing peoples most inspiring tips

3%       Said, how to believe in myself

3%       Said, how to increase the speed of my success

3%       Said, to know what is realistic

3%       Said, to know which way to go

3%       Said, how to know what I want

3%       Said, to know how often I should read or listen to my goals

1%       Said, how do I create more hours in my day

1%       Said, how Far I should plan for

1%       Said, don't think it will work for me

1%       Said, a step by step guide

1%       Said, creating a ritual for goal setting

1%       Said, how many goals should I set

1%       Said, is there a time limit on how soon goals can or should be reached

1%       Said, is there an easier way than hard work

1%       Said, please get a mobile phone app made

1%       Said, I need money first

1%       Said, not to get overwhelmed

1%       Said, nothing

1%       Said, stopping self-sabotage

1%       Said, Someone to do it for me

1%       Said, support and direction

1%       Said, to know when it’s going to happen

1%       Said, to know what to allow to distract us

1%       Said, to not fear failure to achieve them

1%       Said, understanding the science behind why goal setting works

1%       Said, why do the small goals get reached but the big one does not?

1%       Said, yes I'd like to know what the secret is

Conclusions if any: - There’s a lot of confusion out there!

I’d like to thank all who participated in this survey; your feedback was excellent and ensured that many things were not overlooked. You also gave me very clear direction as to what was missing.

There were a few funny comments when I asked what they need:-

“The secret is still a secret to me!”

“The wife agreeing to have them up in the lounge”

“How to convince my horizontally laid back partner to give me some support”

That first comment actually inspired me to watch The Secret and I really enjoyed it. I have to say though they did explain it, but when I chatted with people about the film, they all had such different experiences of it, that it made me consider more of what they said in the film ‘What the bleep do we know’. Which is that when a concept is so different, maybe people cannot even hear it to start with as their minds are not ready for it. So if you didn’t like The Secret first time around, you may get a completely different experience on a second viewing. 

These were some of the other comments and conclusions I drew from all the feedback:-

People feel isolated if they set goals because this is abnormal behaviour

Which means I have to make it normal

People feel lonely because they are so isolated

Means I have to find a way to remove their isolation and make it clear there are plenty of people out there like them

Making money is considered a dirty word

This comes from a lack of understanding what money is and so this barrier needs to be freed from their minds as with it in place they will either not make money or lose it when they get it

People suffer from ADHD which I think is many cases just another symptom of overwhelm

Overwhelm is becoming more of a recognised problem and you should make more repetitive systems to show how to remove it from their lives

People want to know why they have tried and not made a big breakthrough

Just show them the process and this will explain it is because their lack of design their lack of belief

People have procrastinated, then acted when they shouldn't because they previously procrastinated

Explain how to avoid making the mistakes of acting out of frustration

What really helped me from the survey was not just the overall results, but the specific answers to the questions as there were obviously hundreds of responses. However, I’ve included the ones below with either why they inspired me or what actions I had to ensure I took. With the small exception of less than 1% of people who actually said there was nothing at all wrong with goal setting, I think you may find that how you feel is covered in one of these responses. It may reveal for you why you struggle to make significant change.

The funny thing was that the 1% who said they had no problem with goal setting at all and nothing needed to be improved, matched the 1% success rate in the real world.

Q 15: - What is your single biggest challenge with goal setting?

How to get started

Make it a simple process to start – inspire them

Remembering to look at my goals

Revisiting them

Following them

Coming back them for review

Make it a pleasure to come back to them, change the association from pain, work and hard work, to pleasure

Organising them

Show people how to simply manage their dreams

I desperately want to know what it is I want

Show them the process for finding out exactly what they ‘want’

Getting it to work!  Belief

Teach them how to easily overcome their lack of ‘belief’

I allow myself to be distracted by more immediate everyday occurrences

Make it easy for them to not be distracted, or if and when they are distracted, make it easy to pick it back up

Motivation to pursue long-term goals. Always looking short term. I have read The 7 Habits a few times and it motivates me for a short time, but continuing with it is tough, as my job takes up an incredible amount of time and it gets me down. I think because it gets me down that I am not fully committing to The 7 Habits!

Read The 7 Habits, as you cannot comment on it until you do. Show them how to inspire themselves

I keep putting it off! I also feel embarrassed especially if my wife was to read the goals I write down, therefore I do not write them

Show them how to overcome the embarrassment, show them how to protect their goals from the ones who would unknowingly destroy the crop before it’s started to grow

Time limitations and sleep deprivation!

Make sure you tell people that they can control time and you demonstrate how to in the first book

Reaching the big ones

Show people how to set the realistic and the unrealistic goals and how to bridge the gap between setting them and achieving them

Setting a realistic timescale

Show people the futility of timescales on goals before they reach the project plan stage

Defining the smaller goals to reach the bigger one

This is excellent, show people how the little insignificant goals actually reveal the path to the big goals. Show them how the direction may seem way off, but how the result will still be attained

Feeling alone. Others think I am crazy

Give them a community of like-minded people and protect the environment from negativity

Finding the right strategy

Simplify your strategy so that anyone can follow it if they have a pulse and can read

‘Belief’ that I can actually attain the goals and the fear of failure

Remove the fear of failure, demonstrate how they can achieve this, begin to change the association of failure being wrong

It’s the knowledge (‘belief’) that when I set goals, things will not happen that quickly for me, as to see goals fulfilled will take time.  If I don't commit setting goals, I feel freer and more flexible and ‘believe’ (hope) things will happen.  I know this is the wrong approach but it will not go out of my head.  The pattern is too engrained.

Show people how this is an engrained self-sabotage thought process which must be removed. Remind people of the destructiveness of the word hope and the state of hopefulness. Overcome the fear of failure again

Waiting for them to come about

Teach people how their dreams will come to them at the right time and in the right way, but also teach them how they can increase the speed they happen if they choose to

Loose impatient very fast

This is because they do not believe they will occur and they see no pleasure in the journey. Change the association with work, pain and disbelief

Putting time aside to get round to it

Demonstrate the reason why – i.e. big benefit for them in doing this. Change the association from work and effort to pleasure, fun and play time

Setting too many and then not having any focus

Show people how to work out for themselves which of their desires they should be working towards

Generating and then maintaining the belief that if I KNOW it has already been delivered, that it will appear very soon (think loaves and fishes)

Show them how to get past believe and attain certainty

Following all the bulls**t instructions

Overcome the frustration of bulls**t instructions, i.e. make it easy!!!

Sticking to it

Sticking with it when met with failure

Teach them how to love it, and they will be inspired. Demonstrate how failure is the path to success

Believing it will work, I have goals in my head then forget about them over time. If written down you then feel guilt if you don't achieve them

Overcome the fear of failure

Applying them into my daily routine on a regular basis when I am often disappointed with my day’s progress anyway! Maintaining it as an ongoing life project

Make this really easy for people to do!!!

Figuring out how to take action towards them

Show them the step-by-step process for working out which steps to take

Low self-esteem  2.  Lack of business know-how to implement plans  3. Trying to please others  4.  Wanting free time, and friends

Ok, demonstrate how this creates time not decreases it. Remind people that the first book sorts out self esteem issues. Show them how they will automatically be able to acquire the knowledge required when they know what they ‘want’. Remind them that the first book removes them of the need to please others

Getting discouraged and handling my discouragement to keep going. I do get a handle on it but it saps my energy

Provide them a system and tools for the complete removal of discouragement. Design everything to be enabling and leave no room for discouragement other than seeing it as a benefit

Feeling comfortable about the correct method and having faith to follow through when the evidence doesn’t appear in the timeframe I expect

Remove the timeframe rubbish and show them how to inspire themselves and others

Effective visualisation

Simplify this; get the message of how powerful this is across

They involve taking time out of my schedule to sit down and think about them!!

Make this a pleasure not a pain for them to do

Feeling that it takes up too much time and feeling like I'm setting unrealistic goals.  Timescales are a real issue with when they can be attained because it’s not just about the goal; you have to work out how much you need to make to get the goal.  Then you've got to sit down and try and work out a business plan and break it all down.  It ends up taking up too much mental space and one goes round in ever-decreasing circles

Ok, teach them how to set realistic goals, teach them the process to trust themselves so that they can set and achieve unrealistic goals. Remove the timescale issue. Show them how to reverse engineer what they ‘want’ with ease

Things change

Make it really easy to change things all the time or none of the time

Staying with it and not letting others take my attention

Associate the achievement of their desires with their favourite past time

Reading conflicting information about goal setting

Define the problems with other goal-setting methods and why they fail

Setting achievable step by step goals, and understanding how to get there

Teach them your process!

Q 16:- What do you feel is simply wrong with goal setting?

It Gets Boring. Lack of Time

Make it fun… Make it time friendly… Make it inspiring… Make it easy

It never works

Teach them how it always works

Everyone tells you to set goals and write them down... and then what?

Show them what to do ongoing, show them how easy it is

Not in your face enough

Get it in their face, but get it there so that it is pleasurable and a fun playtime

Nothing, I just need a clear path on how to do it and a pat on the back every once in a while. Sorry just a bit low on confidence at moment

Get the community support going. Show them though how they can inspire themselves so they won’t need a pat on the back

It appears a monotonous task

Make it fun, make it easy!

One goal can lead to another and before long you have a jungle of goals that you can’t get through

Simplify for them exactly what they ‘want’, teach them how to focus on what they desire most

Danger of setting the bar too high and becoming discouraged because the goals were unrealistic.  Danger of not setting goals within the context of family life, becoming obsessed with the goals and losing out in quality of life in other areas

Remove the discouragement issue as mentioned before. Teach them how this enhances life now and does not detract from it

It's not guaranteed. And for certain individuals, failure (even once) can be very hard to take and a real disincentive to keep trying (Edison and his light bulbs anecdotes notwithstanding!)

Show them how to attain certainty, come up with an easy way that other readers can demonstrate how they did it

I set about 10 goals 3 years ago to be achieved in 12 months. I have maybe made a determined effort to achieve 4-5 of them since that time. I still wish to attain them. Some of them were merely 'dreams' rather than truly attainable goals to be achieved in 12 months. Life gets in the way, We've had a child for example!! That can scupper plans as it robs you of time (in a good way though)

Show them how to define which goals must be followed and which goals can be left for another day

Maybe a fear of committing oneself to action

Overcome the fear of failure

How to keep the goals in front of you

Make it easy for them to keep their goals in front of them

I'm too busy earning a living to really pursue my goals

Demonstrate that this is crooked thinking and how to reverse it

Impatience for the outcome. Not really believing it will work

Teach them how to get inspired and create certainty for themselves

They always seem too far away

Teach them how their goals will be attained at the right time and in the right way, but teach them how to turbo-charge the process

Self sabotage

Teach them how to stop self-sabotaging themselves

It takes time when one is already feeling stressed or overwhelmed - yet I know that it is always worth the time - like going for a run

Teach them how to inspire themselves

Sometimes goal setting is a grind if you don't know what you ultimately want to achieve

Teach them how to find out exactly what they ‘want’

People set their goals too high and then give up on them

Teach them to bridge between where they are and where they desire to be so that this doesn’t happen

Focus more on the goals rather than enjoying the present

Teach them how this enhances the present

Time consuming

Show them how this is time saving and enjoyable

Knowing to attain my goals I will have to work so hard to achieve them

Remove the association with hard work, doing something you love is not hard work, it is like doing your hobby. Teach them if it is hard work then it isn’t what they ‘want’

It’s the consistency that’s required. I believe that regularity makes them happen or not and I'm not good at remembering to apply daily

Make this very easy to do!!!

Q 17: - What would make it easier for you to set goals?

If any part would come true

If some of them would happen

Teach them how to have small successes and build emotional strength to take on the big goals

Having them float into my arena of work, say like on a computer screen, which every so often creatively arrive in front of your eyes to remind you

Find a way to make this happen, research all the software out there and see if you can recommend anything to overcome this problem

If there was undeniable proof that it worked in my own life within a short space of time - say 30 days

Teach them how to prove it to themselves with ease!

Having you, Andy, to talk to when things are not going so well, and brainstorm ways of getting there in a different way. You make anything happen!

Find a way where you can help without it eating too much into the time you have to express yourself. Teach them how they can make anything happen

Seeing examples of goals that others have achieved would be helpful as I feel people have restrictions in their minds which prevent them from thinking big enough. Myself included. Setting smaller goals which lead onto the larger ones I think is good idea

Come up with a way to make this happen easily – make it simple for people to share their successes, success inspires!

Motivation - all these things require a Mr Motivator - that's why the rich and famous employ life and fitness coaches - to hold them to task and keep them focused

Maybe I should consider group coaching as it may be of benefit. However, I would say membership group coaching together with specific guidance from me will work very well

Staying really excited about the goal and thinking about its positive aspects all the time until goal is achieved

Teach them how to inspire themselves

Support of partner rather than scathing remarks

Teach them how to inspire their partner to support them

Accountability with a fellow goal setting student or a good mentor

Again the mentoring bit comes up, this requires thought. However, make sure the system of group support works well

Knowing what limits to set otherwise would lose interest

Just teach them your process and this is answered there

Something to remind me to do it during those 'too busy to do anything else' times

Remind them how the first book removes this sort of obstacle. Remind them how to control their minds and be the observer

To do it with a group of people who are like minded in order to help stay committed and motivated.

Set up the membership to make this easy

Exposure and a simplicity, also seeing results!!

Show them how to get fast results to build emotional strength

A system... and maybe seeing smaller goals work to increase the belief that bigger goals will.  And to know what to do next once you've written the goals down

Teach them the whole process; make it simple and easy to follow. Make them see the benefit and make them see how they can actually do it with ease

Q 18:- Is there anything else you would like to have the answer to in goal setting?

How do I achieve more faith in myself to be successful, rather than constantly trying to be successful?

Teach them the process for how to not ever need to try again

Make it more enjoyable.  All this ‘picture yourself a year, 5 years, 10 years down the line - your ideal day’ - doesn't really work for me.  Goals need to be created and achieved in stages and above all believable!

Absolutely, make it easy!!!

I've always felt that the key to successful goal setting is to know what one wants - really wants - before attempting to write anything down. And my gut feel is that for many people, that could be very difficult. It certainly has been for me!

Teach them the process for figuring out exactly what they ‘want’

I used to think that applying all the rules and working hard would make you successful. When that turned out to be patently untrue, I lost interest and looked for an easy way to survive rather than shine. There isn't (or doesn't seem to be) one

Teach them the futility of hard work. Teach them what rules to follow and which ones to ignore. Inspire them so that they do not lose interest. Teach them how to thrive rather than just survive. Teach them how there is a system that anyone who has a pulse and can read can follow and enjoy applying – associate it with fun and playtime, and above all make it easy!!!

Finally, this response summed up the whole problem for me, this nutshells the problem with goal setting and I knew if I overcame this one then I had a game-changer. All of the responses helped, but this response really lead me to that game-changer:-

We are overloaded with information in this modern world - about health, diets, money, property, trading, sex, etc... Most of us are struggling with the motivation and discipline to make things like goal setting a habit that we stop fighting and simply do because it is good for us - like cleaning our teeth.

*** I must make goal setting such a no-brainer that to not do it would be like not cleaning your teeth! ***

I took this survey before I started, then made my notes. This survey inspired me in the direction I went regarding software and it helped me to define my process and make it easy to follow.

Basically my conclusions were that 99% of people either can't get it to work properly, or at all and there was massive room for improvement. Basically I concluded that the current training available in books on goal setting was inadequate. That it needed to be improved so that the 99% of people who currently ‘wanted’ to do it, but couldn’t, would instead find this very easy to do.