Better Goal Setting: John Gray’s 3 Step Process for Achieving More

advice: dating advice: relationship advice: wellness john gray

When it comes to goal setting for a New Year, birthday, or other big milestones, it’s fun to dream big and get clear on our plans moving forward.

The problem I find is that there's a lot of advice out there on setting goals that can be very confusing and even ineffective.

So this is a different take on it.

In this post, I’ll explain why goal setting for your next chapter isn’t what I recommend and share my 3-step process for getting what you want so you actually enjoy the journey to success!


When it comes to goal setting, a lot of people say, "Focus on what you want and go after it.”

They recommend that you become a very high-achiever and…

  • Write out your goals
  • Work hard
  • Achieve your goals


But there’s a BIG problem inherent in that model of achievement.

Let’s start by getting into what it is, and why I don’t recommend “going after your goals.”


Why Goal Setting Isn’t the Best Way Forward


First of all, goal setting and writing down what you want is good to do.

It’s good to be aware of what you want. The problem is if you're only aware of what you want, then you may end up coming from a place of “I don't have.” In other words, a place of lack.

And the secret to success is to come from a place of:

“I do have, and now I just want more.”

In other words, a place of appreciation and abundance.

When you're able to come from a place of gratitude for what you do have with that sense of abundance, then your desire has the potency to create more in your life.

That’s when goal setting can become a truly powerful practice.

Now, some people don't feel comfortable saying “I want more” because it feels like they’re saying “I'm not grateful for what I have.”

And other people are very comfortable saying, "I want more because I'm dissatisfied with what I have."

Often, you’ll find those dissatisfied people may achieve more in their life, but then they're never happy with what they get.

They're always wanting more and more, yet never satisfied.


But our program is designed to help focus you on both:

  • What you do have and
  • What you want


The secret to achieving greater success and happiness begins with both of these things.

In fact, there are three steps to our program. Let’s get into all three...


The Three Steps to Upgrade Your Goal Setting


These are the three steps:

  1. Focus on what you want.
  2. Look at what you really need, and then…
  3. Be grateful for what you have.


We're going to go through these three steps together.

The first is looking at what you want.

I want you to start with a piece of paper and a pen.

Do you have that ready? Okay, let’s start…


Step 1: Focus on what you want

This isn’t about practical goal setting. So before you even start, it’s very important that you don't just look at what's “possible.” Instead, sit with your piece of paper and pen and start writing out what you want — and don't hold back.

This is important because nobody's listening or judging you.

Nobody's going to think, "Oh, you can't do that.” “You shouldn't be so selfish.” “Oh, you only care about money.” “Is that all you care about?"


So don’t be afraid to write down: 

  • I want more money.
  • I want a million dollars.
  • I want to buy a new car.
  • I want a beautiful house.
  • I want to go on vacations and travel to Santorini.
  • I want to have my own yacht.
  • I want great sex.
  • I want romance.
  • I want love everywhere.
  • I want everybody to like me.

Say it all, whatever you feel. Give yourself the freedom to express what you want to yourself. To listen to what's inside.


Maybe, if you tell other people, they’ll think things like: 

  • Well, who do you think you are?
  • How are you going to do that?
  • What's that going to cost you?
  • You don't have what it takes.


So, there may be a lot of objections from other people when you say what you want.

But for this exercise, this is just you listening to yourself. So look at yourself, and ask: "What do I want?" And push yourself, please. It just feels good to say whatever's in there.

Some of us feel like if we want more, we're ungrateful.

No, you can be grateful for what you have and want more.

It's the nature of life to want more.

So, that's the first step.

Not practical goal setting, not realistic goal setting, not plans of action.

Simply writing out what you want. Are you ready for the second step?


Step 2: What do you need?

The second step in my upgraded goal-setting process is to cultivate a sense that you already have what you need.

Here’s why: If you're wanting without knowing that you have what you need, then what happens is that you're desiring from a place of emptiness.

So after you write out what you want, it’s important to connect with and focus on what you need, that you already have or you have access to.

In my book, How to Get What You Want and Want What You Have, I share a variety of techniques to create greater success. In it, I talk about the “10 Love Vitamins.”

The 10 Love Vitamins are the things that we need most to support us in achieving our goals.

We’ll just explore 3 today, as these are probably the most important ones. 


Romantic Love

Sometimes with romantic love, we say, "No, no, that's really, really hard." But that's why we have all my books and all my programs — to help you realize that romantic love doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to be moving in the right direction.

You have the ability to create romantic love using these new insights and tools. If you're a single person, just giving up on romance is not a good idea. Recognize that you can have romantic love. Simply start with a series of positive dating experiences. That's it, just feeling the potential for romance is very important.

And if you are in a relationship and you're ignoring romance to achieve your goals, you're going in the wrong direction. 

Romance balances your hormones inside to give you the support you need in order to achieve your goals out there.

So, don't make work to achieve your goals more important than creating some romance in your life. That's one of our needs, a need for a relationship with some romance.


Loving Yourself

The second need that we have is a need to love ourselves and do what we love to do. Now, part of achieving our goals means giving up some things to achieve our goals. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices. You don't get everything you want right away, but self-love is a foundation for making those sacrifices to achieve a goal down the line. Still, you don't want to feel empty — you want to feel full.

In order to do that, you've got to balance the actions it takes to achieve your goal with things you love to do.



  • You're a little lazy and you want to watch some Netflix
  • You want to go for a drive in your car
  • You enjoy going for walks in nature


That’s fine. Do the things that you enjoy doing and that you love doing.

Sometimes when we’re goal setting, we think we have to give up everything we want in order to achieve. You do have to sacrifice some things to achieve your goals, but it doesn't feel like a sacrifice if you're experiencing a sense of fullness in your life.

This leads you to a feeling of gratitude for what you have, while you're also motivated to give more and do more to achieve your goals.


Unconditional Love.

This third need that we have is the need to give unconditional love.

That's a balancing need. We all have it.

If we don't have that experience of giving unconditionally, helping others, and nurturing others without expecting something in return, we won’t have a sense of balance.


That could be...

  • Gardening
  • Having a pet and caring for a pet
  • Volunteering for a charity
  • Helping people without expecting anything in return


This affirms the fullness that you have so much that you can overflow in that way.

These three Love Vitamins provide a foundation for you to then go out and achieve what you want.

You’ll have the energy and the motivation to do it which will support your success.

So we’ve done step 1 and step 2 of this goal-setting process (what you want and what you need and already have, or have access to).

Now, let’s move on to step 3.


Step 3: Be grateful for what you have

The third thing that you need to do is affirm gratitude for what you have.

A good practice is to just write out what you're grateful for.

Just be aware. Gratitude is creating that awareness of abundance inside.

If you meditate, in your meditation, you might think of some of the things that you want and just affirm how you would feel if you had them.

You can always start by feeling grateful for those things in advance.

This way you're always coming back to a place of:

“Look at all that I have that I am grateful for.”

And that becomes a foundation to move forward, to achieve your goals, and get what you want while also enjoying the journey.


Grow in love,


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