The subject of goals has come up quite a lot and those of you who read this blog regularly know how critical I think goal setting is to achieving success in business.  But how do you go about setting and achieving your business goals?  Wendy Lipton-Dibner, president of Professional Impact, Inc. and author of the bestselling book, Shatter Your Speed Limits: Fast-Track Your Success and Get What You Truly Want in Business and in Life weighs in on this with me.

CR: What makes a goal truly achievable?

WLD: The first question is, “Can it be done?” Many people get stuck right there by either failing to do their research or getting caught in comparisons where they come out one-down (“I could never do what THEY did because I haven’t got…”). The solution is to answer these questions:

(1) Has anyone else ever achieved this goal? If so, then you have your answer: yes it can be done! If not, then continue.

(2) What would you need in order to be able to achieve this goal?

(3) How will you get those things? (see question four below)

CR: What do you see as the biggest roadblocks?


(1) DESIRE: We just don’t want it badly enough to do what it takes to make it happen.

(2) RESOURCES: We aren’t able to make it happen because we haven’t got what we need in order to take effective action.

(3) PERMISSION: We aren’t willing to do what it takes and live with the consequences of our success or failure. Put simply, we aren’t willing to change.

CR: You talk about DRP- Desire, Resources and Permission.  Do many people think they have the desire, but really have shiny new object syndrome?

WLD: Absolutely! In fact, nearly all of the people in my audiences and coaching program hadn’t figured out their deepest DESIRES. Once we realize the real reasons we want that shiny object, it takes on an entirely different meaning. Now the goal becomes getting that thing, feeling, experience, relationship, etc. and the shiny object is only the vehicle to getting there.

It’s more than a motivation issue – this gets to the core of goal achievement. Once we understand the deep reasons we want what we want, we begin to see significantly more options to achieve that goal than we realized. This makes getting what we want a lot easier!

CR: How do you assess if you have the resources to pursue your goal?

WLD: That is a critically important question because most of us can only see as far as our knowledge base will allow us to go.

Let’s first define RESOURCES: A resource is anything you need so that you will be able to achieve your goal. That includes (but is not limited to) skills, knowledge, people, money, health, supplies, etc.

How to assess if you have the RESOURCES you need in order to pursue and achieve your goal:

(1) Make a list of what you think you would need in order to take effective action.

(2) Mastermind the question. In other words, get with people you respect (preferably NOT in your industry), tell them your goal and what you think you would need to achieve it, then take voracious notes as they tell you all the things you didn’t think of.

(3) Take a very close look at your assets, i.e., the RESOURCES you have that you normally dismiss as ‘no big deal.’  More often than not I find that my clients have overlooked a critical RESOURCE that they already own/have and take for granted.

(4) Once you have a complete list of what you need and what you’ve already got, determine what’s missing and that’s what you have to go after.

(5) Take that list and calculate how you’ll get each item, whom you’ll get to help you on each item and set a deadline for its attainment.

CR: How does permission factor into the goal seeking equation?

WLD: Ah, now this is huge. In fact, in 30 years of consulting in corporate, non-profit and healthcare organizations, as well as with thousands of small business owners, I have consistently found that PERMISSION is the component of the Action Formula that is most often the barrier to successful goal achievement.

There are 3  means by which we stop ourselves from letting ourselves have what we truly want:

(1) We scare ourselves out of taking effective action by thinking about the possibility of failure and/or the downside of success

(2) We stubbornly refuse to take action out of anger that comes from unresolved resentments

(3) We live according to rules that we adopted long before we were old enough to realize how those rules would affect us later in life.

CR: If there is one thing that a business owner can do to make his professional goals more reachable, what would that be?

WLD: Identify and shatter your speed limits! A ‘speed limit’ is anything that slows you down or blocks you from reaching your destination at the speed you’d like to get there. Here are 4 tips to get you started:

  • Identify your DESIRES. Begin with this question: “If you woke up tomorrow morning and magically found that you had everything you truly wanted…how would your life be different?”
  • Identify the RESOURCES you already have and determine how to get what’s missing so you’re able to take effective action.
  • Discover and break the “rules” that block your PERMISSION to succeed.
  • NEVER settle for less than you truly want – in your business or your life.

If you want a worksheet to put some of this great insight into action, Wendy has generously offered for you to grab it for free at:


Thanks again to Wendy for her insights.  You can connect with her at

or on Twitter: @WLiptonDibner.  Don’t forget to get your worksheet too: