Achieve Your Goals Faster

Achieve Your Goals Faster with the 4 STAR Rules of Goal Setting

When done right, goal-setting will increase your capability to do more than you ever thought you could, as well as increase your capacity to do more.

Goal-setting is a well-known strategy for boosting the chances of achieving your objectives.

Businesses do it. Government departments do it. Entrepreneurs do it. Educational institutions do it. Financial planners do it. Personal trainers do it.

So the question is: Do you do it?

There is a bank of research to show that those who write down their goals are far more likely to turn their dreams into reality.

Which is why I actively advise my clients to set goals in their 7 Life Segments using my ‘4 STAR Rules’ of goal-setting:

-> S: Set Own Goals.
-> T: Think on Paper.
-> A: Apply Yourself (Be Committed).
-> R: Responsibility (Be Accountable).

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S: Set Own Goals

Begin by establishing clear, well-defined goals that reflect your desires and objectives in all your 7 Life Segments. Define what you want to achieve in each segment, and be as specific as possible.

T: Think on Paper

Transcribing your thoughts into written words not only makes your goals more tangible but also engages your mind in a deeper and more meaningful way. Writing down your goals clarifies your intentions and what you want to achieve, as well as solidifying your commitment to your goals.

A: Apply Yourself (Be Committed)

Your goals are more likely to be achieved when you are committed to the pursuit of your goals. This means applying yourself. Effective goal-setting is not just about writing them down; it’s about actively working toward them. Your application and commitment drives your actions.

R: Responsibility (Be Accountable)

Accept responsibility for your actions and progress because when you encounter setbacks or face challenges, the act of accountability keeps you on track. You are answerable to yourself, which serves as a powerful motivator to keep pushing forward to the achievement of your goals.

We will now discuss these ‘4 STAR Rules’ of effective goal-setting in more detail.

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S: Set Own goals

There are many great books on how to set goals, so without wanting to repeat what’s already available for you, I’m just going to highlight the important elements of goal-setting.

In the game of soccer, scoring an own goal is a severe blunder. It’s hard enough to score a goal for your own team, but to hand the opposition a gift makes winning so much more difficult.

Yet I say,

The best goals are own goals.

The goals that you set for your own personal and professional life, of course: individual goals, relationship goals, career goals.

In your journey through life, some of the most valuable goals you can set are the ones that come from within—your personal and professional aspirations, the dreams you harbour for yourself and the people around you, the objectives that propel your career forward.

These are the goals that resonate at the core of your being. When you set personal goals, you embark on a path of self-discovery and self-fulfillment.

These goals are intrinsically linked to your values, desires, and purpose.

By defining your own goals, you take charge of your destiny, paving the way for personal growth and success on your terms.

In regards to your own personal goals, you might set goals related to your health, well-being, personal development, or even your hobbies and interests.

These goals are not imposed upon you; they emerge from your own heart and mind.

Whether it’s a commitment to leading a healthier lifestyle, mastering a new skill, or exploring your creative passions, personal goals have the power to enrich your life in countless ways.

Relationship goals hold immense importance as well. These objectives focus on nurturing and strengthening the bonds you share with your loved ones.

They involve promoting healthier communication, deepening emotional connections, and creating a more harmonious and loving environment for your family and friends.

Relationship goals are deeply personal, reflecting your values and your desire to cultivate meaningful connections with those you care about most.

When it comes to career goals, you are in fact planning a path towards your own professional aspirations.

Whether you’re seeking advancement in your current job, exploring new career opportunities, or even considering entrepreneurship, these goals align with your ambitions and the direction you envision for your career.

These goals empower you to take control of your professional life, driving you to excel and achieve the success you desire.


The key to setting goals effectively lies in one word: balance.

It’s essential to set goals that balance the various aspects of your 7 Life Segments, like personal, professional, and financial goals.

While financial success is undoubtedly important, an excessive focus on material gain at the expense of other aspects of your life can lead to disillusionment.

Of course, achieving financial stability and enjoying the fruits of your labour are worthy objectives, but it’s equally crucial to remember that life is multi-dimensional.

The pursuit of personal growth, meaningful relationships, and a fulfilling career should coexist with your financial aspirations.

This balance ensures that you create a well-rounded and meaningful life, where you’re not just accumulating wealth but also experiencing personal and professional fulfillment.

The best reason to set own goals is not as destinations to arrive at, but as the means by which you grow into the person you always wanted to be and always thought you could.

In essence, the best goals are the ones that spring from your own aspirations and values.

These goals provide a sense of purpose, motivation, and direction, each playing a vital role in shaping a rewarding and meaningful life.

So, set your goals with self-awareness, balance, and the understanding that your own goals are the most significant milestones in your life’s wonderful journey.

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Because of the incredible power of committing your goals to paper, international speaker and author, Brian Tracy, says we should all ‘think on paper’.

The impact of the written word on human motivation and achievement is undeniable. There is power in the written word, and the act of writing down your own goals serves as a catalyst for your success.

Setting and achieving goals is a multifaceted neurological process that engages both the creative and logical aspects of your brain.

Harmonising your imaginative right brain with your analytical left brain is vital for effective goal-setting and goal-getting, a process that I call ‘100% Goal Setting’.

Your right brain is a creative powerhouse, responsible for envisioning your future and painting a mental picture of what you want to achieve.

Your right brain is where all your possibilities, dreams, and desires are first imagined. It’s where you generate ideas, desires, and aspirations.

When you imagine your future, your right brain is in action, creating the vision that you want for yourself. This is the emotional, imaginative part of goal setting, where you tap into your deepest desires and dreams.

On the other hand, your left brain is the rational, logical thinker that breaks down your vision into actionable steps. It’s the part of your brain that is responsible for organisation, planning, and problem-solving.

This is where you devise strategies, create plans, and work out the detailed steps required to make your goals a reality. It’s the pragmatic side of goal-setting, where you figure out how to bridge the gap between where you are now and where you want to be.


Now, here’s the crux of the matter:

If you merely hold your goals within your mind’s eye without committing them to paper, you’re effectively limiting yourself to using just one half of your brain.

100% Goal Setting

If you don’t write down your goals, you’re only engaging your creative right brain while neglecting the left brain’s critical role in planning and execution.

However, when you write down your goals on paper, you activate your entire brain.

This is ‘100% Goal Setting’, which taps into your creative imagination and logical reasoning.

Writing down your goals makes them tangible, creating a bridge between your dreams and the actionable steps needed to realise them.

By doing this, you’re not just visualising your goals, you’re transforming them into a structured plan, making your objectives more concrete and achievable.

100% Goal Setting’ maximises your chances of completing your goals. Your right brain gives birth to the vision, and your left brain formulates the roadmap to that vision.

Goal-setting, therefore, isn’t just a matter of dreaming; it’s about bridging the dream with reality through action.

When you employ your whole brain by writing down your goals, you embrace the full spectrum of your ingenuity.

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Daring to Dream… Your Want List

Your right brain is your creative brain. So to activate this part of your brain, I would like you to now consider an exercise called, ‘Daring to Dream’.

Think about the things—experiences, states of being, places, relationships, and so forth—you really want in your 7 Life Segments.

Although there are probably a thousand things that you know you don’t want, it’s equally vital that you also know, and have great clarity about, the things you do want in life.

When you do this exercise, remember that the value of your effectiveness is directly proportional to your desire to help other people (see the article on Effective Value).

Helping others is the key to success and happiness. The happiest people in life, therefore, are those who set collaborative goals, not competitive goals.

That is, goals that are win-win.

Now make your ‘Daring to Dream’ list here:

I really want…
I really want…
I really want…
I really want…
I really want…
I really want…
I really want…
I really want…
I really want…
I really want…


Another benefit of writing down your goals is that it sets commitment.

The act of transcribing your aspirations into written words means your commitment is no longer a fleeting thought; it’s a documented statement to yourself that you can revisit as often as needed.

This commitment is a powerful motivator. It solidifies your determination to take action and work diligently toward your goals.

Whenever you revisit your written goals, you reinforce your commitment, which in turn strengthens your resolve to persevere, especially when faced with obstacles and challenges.

In moments of doubt or when you encounter setbacks, your written goals remind you of your commitment and they reinforce your desire to strive for your dreams.

This commitment provides you with the necessary emotional and mental energy to keep moving forward no matter what.

Some goals, however, are so big they are overwhelming. No matter how committed you are, they are so big they can frighten you into inaction.

They are so de-motivating they cause you to give up and stop.

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How Do You Eat An Elephant?

This is where writing your goals down can help you move past the overwhelm, yet another benefit of ‘100% Goal Setting’.

Goals are more likely to become a reality when they are broken down to small steps or actions that you can incorporate into your everyday activities.

Breaking your goals down into manageable, bite-sized chunks is the answer to the question of how do you eat an elephant?

Let’s use the example of writing a novel. A good-sized novel is about 100,000 words, which can be a bit overwhelming.

But if I write 1,000 words per week, which is not overwhelming, I will be able to finish my novel in 100 weeks, or about two years.

Now, that might be a bit too long for me. So I’ll aim for 2,000 words per week, which is still doable. This will mean I will finish the book in 50 weeks, or about 1 year.

Again, that time frame might be a bit too long for me. So I’ll aim for 4,000 words per week, which I can still comfortably do, and aim to finish my novel in about 25 weeks, or about six months.

I can break this down even further by writing 800 words a day for five days of the week.

This leaves two days free to do other things, or to have as a buffer should something unforeseen happen and I am unable to complete my word count goals on my assigned writing days.

This seems feasible and realistic.

-> Goal = 100,000-word novel.
-> Breakdown = 800 words per day, five days a week, is realistic and achievable.
-> Time-frame = A deadline of six months to complete my novel.

Other goals that you can set using this breakdown method include:

      • Saving for a home loan deposit or holiday.
      • Weight loss.
      • Exercise and fitness.
      • Learning a musical instrument or a new language.

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Another benefit of goal-setting and writing them down is that your accountability is bolstered.

When your goals are written on paper, there’s a sense of responsibility that naturally arises. You’re more likely to follow through because you’ve documented your intentions.

Accountability is a key component of being effective, but it is often overlooked.

You can either be accountable to yourself (that is, take responsibility for your thoughts, emotions, and behaviours), or you can have an accountability partner to hold you accountable to do the things you say you will do.

Being held accountable to yourself or by another is a great incentive to keep working toward your goal.

When you are held accountable, you are less likely to procrastinate and more likely to take the action you need to take.

Bob Proctor, motivational speaker and international bestselling author of You Were Born Rich, said this about the power of accountability:

Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to results.

Accountability stems from the word ‘account’, which means to tally up, to keep score. This underlies the power of effective goal-setting.

Thinking on paper and breaking down your goals helps you to ‘keep score’ of the things you need to do to achieve your vision.

The impact is especially so when goals are written down and visible. For example, pinned to a corkboard at or near your main place of work—it’s very hard to ignore goals that you see and review every day.

Main Points:
  1. The best reason to set own goals is not as destinations to arrive at, but as the means by which you grow into the person you always wanted to be and always thought you could.
  2. There is power in the written word, and the act of writing down your goals serves as a catalyst for your success.
  3. ‘100% Goal Setting’ maximises your chances of completing your goals. Your right brain gives birth to the vision, and your left brain formulates the roadmap to that vision.
  4. Do you dare to dream?
  5. Goals are more likely to become a reality when they are broken down to small steps or actions that you can incorporate into your everyday activities.
  6. Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to results.

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Dr. Scott Zarcinas | Doctor, Author, SpeakerABOUT DOCTORZED

Dr. Scott Zarcinas (aka DoctorZed) is a doctor, author, and transformologist. He helps pro-active people to be more decisive, confident, and effective by developing a growth mindset so that they can maximize their full potential and become the person they are capable of being. DoctorZed gives regular workshops, seminars, presentations, and courses to support those who want to make a positive difference through positive action and live the life they want, the way they want, how they want.


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