Everything you would like to know about goal setting - Part 2.


From my latest article you could find out what a well-set goal based on the SMART model is like. Today, in the second piece I will show you how the dynamics of goals changes with time and how they are related to motivation? If you liked my previous article, just get ready for the follow-up from today!

A well-set goal can be PAST, PRESENT or FUTURE focused.

But what is the difference?

In a nutshell:

  • PAST GOALS (BE ALL YOU USED TO BE): because of his positive memories the coachee would like to reexperience a fruitful period of his life from before, fro example restart and activity, during practicing of which he felt much more alive. In this occasion the task of the coach is to exactly identify why the past is important for the client and whether recalling the old goals is realistic or not.
  • PRESENT GOALS (BE BETTER NOW): the coachee is motivated to start with the first steps towards kis goal right now, immediately. A good example for this is the real life situation, when the client knows that her fixed-term contract will expire in a month's time and she will need to look for a new job. In this case, she will need to take the necessary steps right at once, in order to positively change her life.
  • FUTURE GOALS (BE ALL YOU CAN BE): let's suppose that at the age of 35 you decide to build up a successful enterprise with a deadline of 5 years. In order to achieve this goal, you will need to build well-structured, smaller future goals on one another, which in the end will lead you to the desired end result, the desired life.


  • The set goals can be based upon INTRINSIC MOTIVATION. An excellent example for this is when in your childhood you set the goal of becoming a successful media expert and as a result of fulfilling your inner desires you finish a media school. Afterwards, you start working for a famous television channel. These goals come from deep inside, not as a result of an external factor. Thanks to this, they usually prove to be long-lasting.
  • Contrary to this, the goals built upon EXTRINSIC MOTIVATION (for example you would like to have your own car just because all your friends already have one) do not come from the inside, but they reflect the impacts arriving from your environment. Since you cannot really identify yourself with them, most likely they will not last long and there will be a smaller chance of realizing them, than in case of goals based on intrinsic motivation.
  • The goals originating from combined INTRINSIC and EXTRINSIC MOTIVATION can be easily recognized if your intrinsic motivation is strong enough. For example, the doctor tells you that in order to reduce your blood pressure you should exercise regularly and you can also identify yourself with this goal. This is a good example of combined motivation.

What is sure: too general or irrealistic goals can be demotivating. Smaller goals direct our energy to well-managable steps and tasks. If you break down your bigger goals to a series of smaller steps, you will get a clearer picture and you will more likely be successful in the long run. This is also YOUR goal, isn't it? Get in touch with me still today and let's start a successful collaboration together!

Károly Vizdák

business and life coach, motivational advisor


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