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A new approach to goal-setting. REACH for your dreams and ensure you are aiming high enough!

Updated: Nov 14, 2021


Yes, today, we’re talking about goals!

Getting goals and setting goals.

This is how you manifest your dreams into reality.

Getting goals.

Many of us feel uncertain about what the next six months, year, five years, or future will bring.

Even worse, maybe you feel certain that it will bring anxiety, depression, or relentless exhaustion.

When we lack clarity and hope for the future, it can paralyze us and prevent us from directing our attention effectively.

Instead of getting shit done, we’re getting shit feelings.

This is because the brain’s pre-frontal cortex, which directs decision-making, exhausts itself trying to determine what effort to focus on, versus how to advance any effort.

Maybe you’ve heard, energy flows where the mind goes, and if your mind is stuck in analysis paralysis or avoidance, your energy is going everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

This is why we set goals. Getting a goal helps your efforts and energy go somewhere.

Need some inspiration? Need to get out of slump? Need focus?

Yup…you need a goal.

Setting goals.

Think of the last time you set a goal. How did you start? What was your process? Why did you want to set that particular goal?

It likely began with a vague idea of what you wanted and then someone told you it needed to be more specific.

Maybe you even used the traditional SMART goal setting acronym, which focuses on setting goals that are Specific, Measureable, Action-oriented, Realistic, and Timely.

While I don't disagree that these are helpful factors to consider, they also allow you to aim for mediocre.

And, unfortunately, most people hit that target.

Where do most goal-setting approaches fall short?

Goal-setting is a process of decision-making.

Neuroscience research now has a general consensus that at least 90% of decisions, made by humans, are emotionally-based.

Yet most goal-setting approaches ignore, or only hint at emotions and energy.

Specifically, we need to tap into emotions that compel forward trajectory like hope, pleasure, and optimism.

We need to assess our energy as either helpful or a hinderance on our path to accomplishing our goals and consider how we are allocating and expanding our energy.

We set mediocre goals, because we are told to make them achievable.

And yet this encourages our comfort zone to lead the goal-setting process, while our dreams sit on the bench.

We need to REACH for our dreams and then DARE to achieve them.

REACH is the acronym for initial goal-setting we use at Bolster Leadership.

This approach ensures you are setting a visceral and compelling goal.

Think back to why you wanted to set a goal in the first place?

It was likely to improve your life in some way. If the goal is really worth pursuing, then it is worth making it compelling and energizing.

Here is the six-step REACH goal-setting approach to powering your goals with emotion and energy:

Step 1: Consider a focus area you would like to improve.

Step 2: Reflect on a scale of 1-10 where you currently are in your satisfaction of this focus area. 1 is abysmal and 10 is ideal

Step 3: Visualize your most desired, ideal future in this area - this is your 10 - spend however much time you need here (consider drawing or journaling)

Step 4: Ask yourself, when you just visualized your 10, did you have enough REACH. Assess if you were:

R - Raptured (was I compelled by what I envisioned? is my brain already racing to make it real? is my body positively responding when I imagine the future?)

E - Elaborate (was I detailed, descriptive, and expansive enough?)

A - Audacious (was I bold? declarative? unbridled? did I quiet the voice of the comfort zone?)

C - Clear (could I see specific ways to track progress and know when I was successful?)

H - Hopeful (could I feel myself energized and optimistic, visualizing a way to get there?)

Step 5: If you did not fully REACH, or get to a yes with each question, then continue to visualize a more compelling version of your most desired future. Revisiting why you want to improve this focus area can help. Once you have a vision that elicits a true feeling of REACH, then move on to the final step.

Step 6: Consolidate your thoughts and any notes and write a succinct version of your goal:

  • What am I pursuing?

  • Why am I pursuing it?

  • How will I know I’ve achieved it?

REACH helps you get clear on the For What? to ensure your goal-setting aims high enough.

We recommend our DARE approach to answer Now What?, by breaking your REACH goal down into nuanced, extremely detailed tasks.

DARE to make progress by getting Detailed, Action-oriented, Realistic, and Energized. This will help you make it concrete and take it one step at a time.


You now have a scientifically-based, awesomely effective way to redirect your brain’s attention from spinning to servicing your desired future.

Believe in your dreams, Lisa and the Bolster Leadership team P.S. If you are feeling stuck – there is a solution. Getting unstuck is a capability to build and it requires focus and attention. Check out our Unstuck products, all designed to help you get clear and get going!

About the Author: Lisa Wocken is a co-founder of Bolster Leadership. Her purpose is to elevate the capabilities of others through inspired experiences. You can follow her on Instagram and connect through LinkedIn.

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