Got Goals? Join Brooke's brand new Big Goals Workshop here.

How often do you find yourself setting a goal, and then not following through?

You might think, “I just can’t get myself to do this.”

You might feel frustrated with your lack of discipline.

Some people don’t even bother setting a goal in the first place because they just don’t believe they can truly achieve it.

This week, I share why you can achieve the big, scary, compelling goal you desire, and how.

There is so much magic in the evolution that comes with working on a goal, and it all starts with a thorough cultivation of it. Find out why simply writing down your goal isn’t enough, why you might be getting discouraged by your dream, and how to experience the real magic of big goal setting.

Join me in Get Coached for a live, 3-day Big Goals workshop! Click here to plan your big, compelling goal with me.

What you will discover

  • Why some people don’t want to set big goals.
  • When a goal has the most impact on your life.
  • The process you need to go through for every big goal you set.
  • What your brain naturally does when it doesn’t have a big goal to focus on.
  • How to properly plan your big goal.

Featured on the show

Episode Transcript

You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo episode number 519.

Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach instructor, Brooke Castillo.

Hey, beauties. How’s everyone today? I am up very early. I’m in San Diego. And I snuck downstairs, we’re staying at a villa. There’s a lot going on in my life right now that is very exciting. So you have to come be part of Self-Coaching Scholars to see behind the scenes to see what is going on in my life. We’ve had some really awesome changes just happen.

So that’s why I’m here, San Diego. It is so gorgeous here, you all. The hiking is insane. Love, love, loving it. But I wanted to sneak down and do this podcast this morning before my day gets going because I want to talk about big goals and how fun they are and how important they are.

And I’ve been doing a lot of coaching, as you know, this year, talking to a lot of you all about your goals and your life, and your visions, and your future selves, and getting yourself to do the thing that you most want to do. And oftentimes, I feel like the missing piece with many of you is having a big, compelling goal.

I do a lot of coaching on, “I can’t get myself to do this,” or “I have all these really well-laid plans, but I don’t follow through and I’m frustrated with my lack of discipline.” And we do work a lot on managing urges and making plans with the prefrontal and committing and taking responsibility to our own action line.

Those are all really important things, but oftentimes when you think about what is the one thing that would make all those other things easier, and it’s having a big, compelling goal. And I think there’s a few reasons why people don’t want to have big, compelling goals, big fun goals, goals that light their life up, is because of the lack of belief in being able to achieve that goal. And also the lack of desire to do the goal, to take the action.

They want the result that they believe that the goal will give them, but they don’t want to go through the process of laying out the goal properly. They don’t want to go through the process of taking the action every single day in order to get the result. And I think a lot of this comes from the idea that goal setting is about the result and goal setting is about what you get to achieve on the other side of it.

So for example, if I have a goal to weigh a certain amount in my body or to have a certain amount of muscle tone in my body, then the point of the goal is to get there and to arrive there. And once we’re there, then the goal gets fun, because then we have the body and the weight and the clothes and the bikini or whatever.

And oftentimes the goal is far away, especially if it’s a big goal. Especially if it’s a huge stretch possibility goal for us. It could be five or 10 years down the road before we’re going to arrive at that result. And I understand why a lot of people would quit on their goals, would give up on their goals, if the only reason to achieve the goal is to achieve the goal to get there, right? To have the big goal arrive, because there’s this belief that it will be better there than here and once we get there, then we will be able to enjoy ourselves. Enjoy the goal, enjoy our lives so to speak.

And so many people that I talk to, when I ask them what their goal is, what their vision is, how much money they want to make, what kind of contribution they want to make, they really don’t have a clear answer. And mostly because they’ve kind of given up because it’s taking too long and there’s too many bumps in the road and there’s too many challenges. And they look and they don’t see the result happening quickly enough. And so they kind of let that goal go.

And I don’t blame them, because if you’re using the lack of result towards your goal against you, then goal setting actually isn’t fun at all. It’s such a bummer, right? Because you’re just pointing yourself out, remember that ridiculous goal you have that you’re not even close to? Yeah, nice work.

And then we wonder why we can’t get ourselves to take any action, because the action that we’re creating isn’t producing the result that would prove that that goal is going to come true sooner rather than later. And mostly this is because the whole process of creating a big goal hasn’t been done, right?

A lot of you write down the goal, and you have the goal in your mind. You have it written down, but you haven’t gone through the full process of cultivating that goal into your life. And when that is done, when you fully cultivated the goal and you’ve gone through all of the coaching steps and the process that I recommend, you’ll have a very different experience with goal setting and a very different experience with evolving because of your huge goal.

If you approach this in kind of a haphazard way, which is I’m going to set this huge goal because I think it’s possible for myself and then let’s see if I achieve it, you’re not going to get anywhere. And in fact, you could end up going backwards because you use it against yourself. But if you go through the process of really taking your time to set your goal up properly, then it doesn’t become about the result of the goal.

It becomes about the process of the goal and who you become because you have the goal as a possibility, not because you’ve achieved the goal already. The goal has the most impact on your life when you set it, not when you achieve it.

Please hear me on this. Once you’ve dropped a new possibility into your life, into your brain, it changes you. It changes your direction. It changes your focus. It changes your day-to-day activities. It changes how you show up, how you feel, who you are being.

That has to change before the goal is accomplished. You have to become the person who can accomplish the goal before the goal is accomplished. You don’t become the person who can achieve the goal after it’s accomplished, but I think a lot of us have that backwards in our mind. And so what we don’t realize is that between where I am right now and when I achieve my goal, that’s the fun part. That’s the magical part. That’s the evolution. That’s what being human is really about.

I think a lot of times we see the before and after picture and we just think we want the after picture and we don’t want that river of misery in between. We don’t want the process in between. We don’t want to take the steps every single day unless we’re getting the result right away for the goal.

But I will say I have a very big goal for my physical health right now and I’ve given myself a year to do it. And one of the things that’s been really powerful for me through this process and working with my trainer is, you know, she’s used to working with people who want to see results right away and they want to track their results and see that this is working. They want to see the effect on the scale or they want to see the effect on their body or whatever.

And for me, I understand that if I keep doing these workouts that I’m doing, and hating by the way. I don’t like working out, but I love the process of being consistent. I love the process of discipline and I love the process of committing to something and following through for myself. I love the process of pushing myself and increasing my strength.

And so for me, it hasn’t been about measuring the results. It hasn’t been about making sure that my body is changing in a certain way. Of course it is. I see it, right? When I’m working out, I see an increase in strength and I see how my physical body is changing tremendously. But the focus is more on the connection that I have with myself and the discipline that I have to go to the gym, to show up, to do the workout no matter what.

Most of the time I don’t feel like it. Most of the time it’s inconvenient. I have to find a gym. I have to get in there. I have to adapt the exercises to make sure that they work with the tools that I have. That, to me, is the magic of big goal setting. It’s embracing the process of change and setting myself up for long-term success.

And I didn’t just one day say, I want to have this goal and then start working towards it. I went through the entire goal cultivation process to set myself up to succeed. And because I have a plan and because I know I’ll stay committed to it, by the end of this year I know that I will have achieved that goal. But so much more than the result or having arrived there is this experience that I’m having now of living within the future, living within my capacity to stretch myself.

Now, I have big goals in lots of areas of my life. And because I know this process and I know how to set myself up to win, I have a lot of exciting things going on in my life right now. Lots of exciting activity, lots of exciting movement, lots of exciting just anticipation of each day.

And for me to be able to feel like I’m growing, to be able to feel like I’m expanding, to really feel like I’m improving every single day, I have to show up for myself. And my goals in the future anchor me to the direction and the plan, but it’s the day-to-day showing up that makes the quality of my life now so delicious.

So I’ll get on a coaching call with many of you and you’ll talk to me about how you haven’t achieved your goal yet. There’s a lot of talk about that. And there’s very little talk about really embracing the process and learning from the process and learning the meta skill within the goal of learning how to have a relationship with yourself that has very big dreams that you don’t give up on.

And so I want to make sure that everyone understands when I am inviting you on a consistent basis to dream bigger and you’re discouraged by that, you’re discouraged by the bigger dream, it’s because you’re too focused on the result and getting it too fast and measuring yourself too much and not feeling into the life that the process of achieving the dream can create for you.

And there are some very specific steps that I have created and taught all throughout this podcast over the last 10 years and inside of Get Coached in Scholars that set you up for success. I’m teaching another one of these because this has been happening so much. I’m teaching another one of these in Get Coached. It’s a three-day workshop where I’m going to take you through not just the concepts and the ideas, but we’re actually going to workshop. We’re actually going to go through each of the steps together on the calls, on the classes to get the goals set up properly.

And so if you’re already in Get Coached, you just join those classes with me. There'll be three days in a row coming up here in April. And if you aren’t in Get Coached, you have to join for the month in order to join us for that class.

And because I want to invite you all to this class, I wanted to set it up so you can join just for the month if you want. Just a one-time fee to join for the month so you can join me for this workshop. And you can go to to find out more about the Big Goals Workshop.

But here’s the process we’re going to go through in this workshop, and this is the process you want to go through whenever you set a goal. And big goals require cultivation. They require thoughtfulness. They require planning and they require adjusting. Most importantly, they’re going to require you to have an identity shift. And that’s the fun part. That’s the magic part. That’s the evolving part.

With any goal, the first piece of it is knowing what you want. And that is very difficult for many of us, knowing what we actually want to do. And as I mentioned before, there’s a way of thinking about your goals that will help you pick one that makes sense to you, because if you only think about the result that you want, and you don’t think about the process that it will take to get the goal that you want, you could end up setting a goal that creates a lifestyle you don’t want.

I’ll give you an example. I was coaching someone the other day, and they were talking about how they wanted to expand their coaching business. They were making, I think she said $500,000 a year and she wanted to make – No, no, sorry. She was making $500,000 a year as an ER doctor, and she had two other types of businesses that she wanted to expand into. But she was afraid that she was going to just replace one job that was requiring her to work so much with another job that was going to require the same amount of work.

And I said, no. I said, when you set the goal, you include that in the stipulation. I want to have work where I make $500,000 a year and I only work three days a week, or I only work two days a week, or I only work eight to five every day. And you set the goal up so it includes all the ingredients that you truly want.

Regardless of whether you believe it’s possible at the exact time that you set it, you want to make sure that in the back of your mind, you’re not like, oh, I’m setting this goal, but this means pain and suffering and a life I don’t want. You want to create a goal that includes the process, that includes the life that you want to have along the way.

I was very lucky when I set my first business goals because I had been studying Dan Sullivan, and he had talked so often about how important it is to have time off to think and time off to just have free time and just have fun, and then really focused time to work. And so because I had learned that from him at such an early stage in my career, I always set myself up to work three days a week.

And I was able to create this very successful business in that amount of time with a very balanced mindset because I included it in my goal. And so we need to make sure when we’re creating our goals and we’re writing down what it is we actually want to expand ourselves into, that it includes the process, it includes the steps, and considers the lifestyle that we want to have.

And so finding out what you want can be a long process. Some of you will come and you will know exactly what you want and you’ll have it in your mind and you’ll have all the things that are included with it. But many of you struggle with even knowing how to access what you want because you haven’t been asked that question enough.

And so we need to get clarity around that, and that’s a really important step. And then how you write your goal to yourself and how you have a relationship with it, how you relate to it, is going to be the next step. And really making sure that we’re looking at how you feel, how you write the goal, how it touches all the points within your life where you want to expand and why.

You see, a goal isn’t really relevant if it doesn’t make you more of who you want to be, if it doesn’t expand your presence in the world, your capacity in your own life. And I think a lot of times we think about things that we want that would be nice to have, but we don’t consider, okay, what does that mean for me as a human? And am I willing to go through the process of living my life in a certain way in order to be the person that achieves that?

When you fall in love with the process of the goal, when you fall in love with the day-to-day of the goal, with the challenge of it, with putting yourself up against your own humanity, really, you develop skills that are called strategic byproducts that end up being way more valuable than the ultimate goal. Because once you set a huge, big goal for yourself and you challenge yourself to overcome the day-to-day things that you’ll need to overcome to achieve it, those skills, those character traits that you develop are then transferable to newer, bigger, different goals.

And so you’ll notice that usually someone that has a lot of success in one area can transfer that into other areas, into other ventures, into other ideas in their life. Successful people typically are successful if they’ve done their success in a way that’s been very deliberate.

And so when you learn the skills of choosing what to think and choosing how to feel and generating energy and taking massive action in one area of your life, that becomes who you are. And that’s the point of having a huge, massive goal.

And people say, well, I don’t want to set a big, massive goal because I’m super happy. Setting goals isn’t about happiness. You don’t set a goal to be more happy. You set a goal to see what you can do with your life for fun.

So once we’ve developed that, and in this class I’m going to go through that in detail. We’re going to actually write it all down as we’re going through. But the next step that we really have to do is figure out the how. How you’re going to achieve that goal, anticipate the obstacles and create the strategies.

And this work takes a lot of mental energy on the front end of any goal that you are going to cultivate. And I would say that being able to anticipate the obstacles in my life in a very big way and in a very small way is what creates success for me. And no one can anticipate the obstacles for you. You know what your obstacles are.

So if we go to my example of working out every day, or five days a week, I can anticipate the bigger obstacle, which I’m going to lose interest. I’m going to make excuses. I’m going to not see results fast enough, so I’m going to give up. I’m going to quit.

Like I write down anything and I try to come up with the best excuse, I’m injured, I can’t possibly go to the gym, that I can imagine coming up with that would interfere with me working out five days a week for the entire year. And then I go through and I anticipate the obstacles that might come up within the workout, going to the workout, anything that might come up.

And going through this process with yourself and kind of anticipating your own game, your own nonsense, your own excuses in a gentle kind of playful way is a way of really creating intimacy with your relationship with yourself and just being like, I kind of know you, I know what you’re going to do. And here’s my answer to you for anything that might come in between you and the big goal that you set.

And then day-to-day, it’s like you standing up for yourself. You having your own back. You pushing yourself gently to do the thing that you want to do because big goals are achieved by little actions every day.

So if you can help yourself get up and take the little actions that you need to take every day in order to have a huge goal manifest in your life, you have figured out your life. You figured out how to obey yourself. You’ve figured out how to use your prefrontal cortex, the highest part of your brain, to run your life instead of being in survival mode.

And the process is not difficult if you plan for it. The process is not difficult if you cultivate your goal properly. So when I look at my goals, I have at least five pages of cultivation, five pages of planning before I even start taking action for that goal.

And so I want to help any of you that want to go through this process with me, do it in this workshop, okay? So we’re going to anticipate the obstacles and turn them into strategies. And I’m going to help you do that because I want to make sure that you’re taking the time, you’re exploring every single thing that could possibly come up because a lot of you will come on and tell me, oh, I had a goal, but life happens, right?

But life doesn’t just happen. Life’s life. You either happen or you don’t. And I think it’s fun to impress yourself. I think it’s fun to blow your own mind and see what you can actually do and how planning and being careful with yourself makes it so much easier.

When you learn that goal cultivation is really about decisions, it’s making a decision to set a goal with a deadline and that’s astronomical. The decision to plan for it through this process. The decision to take the action that must be taken every single day in order to have the result that you want to have in order to be the person that you want to be.

And decisions ahead of time and learning how to commit to decisions and make them and follow through is what pure emotional adulthood is all about. And it is, I think, the most powerful stance we can have as human beings, is knowing that we’re going to follow through and do the things we said we’re going to do. That we can trust ourselves. That we don’t constantly let ourselves down. That’s what goal setting does.

And I want to end with like the last piece here, because I think it’s not a matter of should you set a goal or not, or should you set a big goal or not? I think it’s an imperative activity to have a big goal that your brain is focused on, that your brain is committed to.

Your brain is a filtering mechanism. It only looks for what you tell it to look for. And if you don’t give it something to focus on, it’s going to be in its default survival mode. It’s going to be looking for danger. It’s going to be looking for pleasure. It’s going to be looking for danger. It’s going to be looking for pleasure.

And that combination, I mean, that’s basically being on Instagram, looking at all the negativity and the scary things happening in the world, and then also looking for pleasure. And you could spend your entire life just default idling in survival mode and you will miss out on the opportunity to see what you’re capable of, to see what you could do, to see how you could feel about who you are, and to notice how you handle very big goals in very big ways.

And so if you’re listening to this and this intrigues you, if you think, “Wow, I don’t think my goals are big enough,” or “I don’t think I’ve created my goals in a way that’s exciting,” I want to invite you to come with me to this workshop in April, where I’m going to do a three-day workshop. It’ll be an hour a day. There will be homework in between, where I will take you through this process step-by-step. I’ve never done this in this way for big goals.

And for those of you that already have big goals, you could come through this workshop and just test and make sure you’ve gone through each one of the steps and that you have it documented in a way that’s really clear and exciting for you. And for those of you who don’t have big goals, we’re going to start from the very beginning in figuring out what it is you truly want, how to explore different possibilities for what you could set your goal at, and then all the steps that you need to do before you even start it.

Over three days, we’re going to get it all completely done. This process that I have talked about, these steps that I have talked about, will genuinely change your life in a way that is so awesome, so amazing.

I just recently was telling my son, Christian, who’s about to graduate from college and go on his big goal of playing pro golf, and I’m insisting that we go through this process as a team, me and him and the other members of his team, his coaches, so we are very clear with each of the steps that need to be done before he even ventures out on this huge goal.

This is precious work that I will do with my son, and that I will do with each and every one of you to make sure that you’re living your life in the highest way. And goal setting is as old as people are, right? Having goals, as soon as we had a prefrontal cortex, our brains had the ability to think ahead and set goals.

They are the game changers, because if you don’t have a goal, it’s like if I never have a goal to make my body change, or I never have a goal to build my business to a certain size, or I never have a goal to get married or finish college or any of those things, I wouldn’t have done it.

So what are you going to say 10 years from now that you wish you would have had a goal for? Because in 10 years, you will become a completely different person in the attempt, not even in the achieving of it, but in the attempt to achieve it, in the process of achieving it.

So come join me over there. Come to Otherwise, my friends, if you’re not going to join me, make sure you go through the steps I outlined here. Make sure that you look at the other podcasts here that talk about goal setting, and make sure you’ve done your goal setting properly. All right, I’ll see you inside of our Big Goals Workshop. Talk to you soon, bye.

Hey, if you’ve ever wanted to work with me as your coach, now is the time to do it. You can join me in Get Coached in Scholars by going to This is going to be the best year ever. It’s your turn to change your life. Let’s go.

Get Coached in Self Coaching Scholars Today