The S-Factor In Goal Setting

Here are five S factors that will help you to achieve your goals and stay motivated.

 1SMART 2. Story 3. Strategy 4. System 5. State


The goal should be SMART, S-Specific; M- Measurable; A- Achievable; R- Realistic and T – Time-bound.

Clarity is power. The goal should be specific and clear. Like how we use our phones to get directions to a destination, in our brains we have something called RAS (Reticular Activating System) which is more powerful than a GPS. Whenever we are clear and specific, our subconscious mind will support us to achieve the goal.

Action Plan - A powerful exercise is to write down your goals on a notepad every day. Wherever focus flows the energy flows there. Looking, reviewing, and prioritizing your daily actions is very important to stay focused.


For the next principle let me start with a story

A young man asked Socrates the secret to success. Socrates told the young man to meet him near the river the next morning. They met. Socrates asked the young man to walk with him to the river. When the water got up to their neck, Socrates took the young man by surprise and ducked him into the water. The boy struggled to get out but Socrates was strong and kept him there until the boy started turning blue. Socrates pulled his head out of the water and the first thing the young man did was to gasp and take a deep breath of air. Socrates asked, ‘What did you want the most when you were there?” The boy replied, “Air.” Socrates said, “That is the secret to success. When you want success as badly as you wanted the air, then you will get it.”

The story is your WHY! Whatever is your resolution or goal why do you want to accomplish that? Is the reason compelling enough to take action? What is your motive behind the action? What would that mean to you? How will it change your life? Be clear on WHY you want to achieve your goal.

Action Plan – Write down your reasons for achieving a particular goal. Your PURPOSE of achieving the goal if you have enough reasons to do something, you don’t need any external motivation to take action. 


If your goal is to see the sunrise and if your strategy is to walk toward the west, however passionate you are towards your goal, you will not make it. To achieve any goal you have to identify the right strategy. If your goal is to lose weight, identify people who achieved that and learn from them what they did differently to get the results. Success leaves clues, you don’t have to re-invent the wheel. That’s the difference between hard work and smart work. Work on what works!

Action Plan – Model someone who achieved what you want to achieve. If you know someone personally, interview them and get suggestions and ideas. If you don’t know anyone personally research on the internet and come up with effective strategies to achieve your goal. There is no dearth of resources, even if you want to go to the moon you can find out how to do that.


Goals are about the results you want to achieve. Systems are about the processes that lead to those results. You have to design a foolproof system in place to achieve any goal, otherwise, it is just a wish. Ultimately, it is your commitment to the process that will determine your progress.

There is a wonderful book am reading (actually listening) called Atomic Habits’ by James Clear. An Atomic habit is a little habit that is part of a larger system. Just as atoms are the building blocks of molecules, atomic habits are the building blocks of remarkable results.

You get so focused on the outcome that you forget to plan all of the steps that are needed along the way. By writing out the individual steps, and then crossing each one off as you complete it, you'll realize that you are making progress towards your ultimate goal

Action Plan – Create an execution plan to achieve your goals with clear actions or activities. Review the goal plan every week with your success buddy (accountability partner)


The state is your state of mind. Sticking to one’s plan is difficult. We, humans, are notoriously poor at following through with our plan. The last and the most important thing to achieve your goal is your state of mind. How committed you are with respect to what you want to achieve? No goal can be achieved without discipline. We have to consciously put an effort to overcome our weaknesses and push ourselves with passion every day. The other silent killer of goal achievement is procrastination, we have to do what it takes to get of rid procrastination and work on our determination/willpower muscle.

Action Plan – Identify areas where you tend to compromise, have a no-give-up plan to overcome your weaknesses. Take a good look at where distractions and procrastination are originating from and work towards eliminating them.

To summarize to achieve any goal - Be Specific, have a purpose, make clear strategies and systems. Stay persistent and determined and you’ll eventually reach your goals.




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