Home / Biz Columns / Goals: Write. Them. Down.


To have a big, juicy, fabulously successful life and career, you have to set some serious goals. Don’t believe me? Check the research.

There was a fancy-pants academic study (conducted by Dr. David Kohl, Professor Emeritus at Virginia Tech) that shed some staggering light on the importance of goal setting.

  • 80% of Americans say they don’t have goals.
  • 16% have goals but don’t write them down.
  • 3% have written goals, but don’t review them regularly.
  • Only 1% have written goals and review them regularly — and these are the highest achievers!

It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, young or old, Yankee or Red Sox fan…if you write down your goals and keep them handy, you will be among the highest achievers. Period.

So, reality check time (be honest). Are you in the 80% group? You read Moxy Mag, so my guess is you are at least part of the 16% club.

Wouldn’t you like to join the 1%-ers?

So those goals of yours (assuming you’ve got them written down now); how confident are you that you will achieve them?

Some people only go after things that they are completely sure they can get. This way, they avoid risks . . . but they also tend to live life on a smaller scale. Others only set goals far beyond their reach, making achievement near impossible and get nowhere fast. Ironically, this keeps them living small-scale as well.

Think through your goals. Have you been sabotaging yourself from the get-go?

Let’s find out.

The Confidence Continuum

This is a fabulous tool for gauging your level of belief in yourself around a specific goal.

There are three markers. Review each, and ask yourself, “Is my goal . . .”

Attainable :: This goal feels easily achievable.

It’s a must-do. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an easy goal to achieve – but you must be certain of your ability to make it happen.

Ambitious :: This goal feels more challenging.

Your gut tells you that you have what it takes to make it happen. You also know that it will take more effort than you usually give, so this must be something you’re willing to push for.

Audacious :: This goal has you feeling less certain.

Maybe even scared. It will require you to boldly go where you’ve never gone before. You’re not sure how you are going to make this happen . . . but you know you are going to give it your all.

Categorizing your goals within this continuum will help you take stock in the amount of risk you are taking.

Do you only set goals that are easily achievable so you avoid any risk of failure?

Do you set goals that you know are out of your reach, providing you an easy out when the work gets too tough?

Or do you set goals without considering the risks and effort required?

To know if a goal is being articulated at the right level, ask yourself:

Just how freakin’ excited am I?

For example: if an Attainable goal is something that you really want and you’re chomping at the bit to get started – bingo. That’s a great goal for you. However: if an Ambitious goal could be ramped up the continuum by setting a more valuable outcome, consider pushing beyond your comfort zone even further. A balanced list of goals would include a good mix across the continuum – some that are slam dunks, some that will push you a little, and some that will push you a lottle.

But the most important thing is:

Your goals should thrill you to the bone!

If they don’t, ditch ‘em. You’ll both be better off.


Jennie Mustafa-Julock (alias: The Audacity ) helps “pretty awesome” people elevate into Extraordinary Individuals, with adventurous missions + lifestyles to match. Drawing from her background as an  and 6 years as a life and career coach, Coach Jennie’s workshops & book Audacity Rules cover groovy goal-setting, productivity + personal accountability, confidence + self-efficacy, and productive, pro-active, adventurous dreaming. In short: Coach Jennie diagnoses suckdom, delineates strategies + drives people to ditch their dusty dreams and drum up new ones that rock.

This guest post is includes excerpts from Coach Jennie’s self-guided coaching program, Audacity Rules: A Cathartic Shove Towards Self-Actualized Brilliance. Find her online at CoachJennie.com, and on Twitter at @CoachJennie.