What are IMPACT Goals? Quite simply the best way to set life goals because you put your values at the heart of your goals when you create them.

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IMPACT Goals helps you set the best life goals to overcome crisis or manage change. Setting personal goals helps you lead a better life.

What are IMPACT Goals?

What does I.M.P.A.C.T. Goals stand for?

I learnt the power of integrating goals with core values by setting goals to get through personal crises and changes.

Research on other goal setting methods made me realise that this could be made even powerful by applying lessons from them.

These were useful to create the IMPACT Goal setting system.

IMPACT Goals are:

  • Integrated
  • Measured
  • Positive
  • Action-focused
  • Challenging 
  • Time-focused

Life changing goals involve going through a journey with ups and downs.

There will be tough times as well as good.

Some people and events will hold you back and deflect you from your course.

Aspects of modern life, such as social media and 24 by 7 News, can distract you from your core values and cause “dis-ease”.

All this makes maintaining motivation and focus on your goals hard unless they are integrated with your core values.

Identifying and truly knowing your core values helps you focus and understand why you are doing something.

It can help you achieve what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls “Flow“, so that your work becomes your passion, and your passion becomes your life.

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There is no doubt that making sure your goals are measured is fundamental to good goal setting.

It is easy to track business goals using measures like a revenue target, an increase in efficiency or a decrease in waste.

Tracking personal goals, particularly if the goal is to do with relationships, is more difficult and nuanced.

IMPACT Goals deals with this by enabling you to create “Gateways” to your dreams.

These Gateways can be:

  • Steps
  • Rewards 
  • Habits

When you set steps to achieve your goal, your next step should be crystal clear. 

Others, in the more distant future, can be vague, providing you with an outline of your path to success.

The smaller and easier the steps that you set, the more likely you are to quickly progress to your destination.

Rewards are there to help motivate you by pulling you forward.

Some people need a push, so a negative reward or penalty can give them a kick start.

Bad habits are a barrier to achieving your goals, so learning how to change them can be helpful.

Many people equate goal setting to earning more.

Most (all!) of us lead busy lives with many important and conflicting aspects to them.

We might believe that more money will lead to more time and better balance in our lives.

Often the opposite is true, as we juggle developing great relationships with family and friends, keeping our body and environment healthy, progressing in our work or career, as well as keeping mentally sharp and developing spiritually.

If our goals are balanced across these and many other areas, then we can consider them as “measured”.


It goes without saying that goals should be positive – there is no point in a negative goal!

But as well as being written in a positive way, do they have a positive impact on your life?

And how do you remain positive as you pursue them, especially in a world full of stress, fear and worry?

Elite Sports increasingly shows us that positive psychology and having a positive mindset can be the difference between being the winner or loser, number one or number two.

A key skill in achieving this is visualisation.

The IMPACT Goals model helps you set positive goals and maintain a positive attitude, especially in the face of fear.


Procrastination is the goal-killer.

If we do not have clear and concrete steps towards our goals, it will be harder to achieve them.

We desire rewards to maintain our motivation.

We want to develop good habits.

Our goals need to be action-focused.

Being action-focused is not the same as being results-focused.

One of the lessons of modern goal setting in Elite Sports is the recognition that you are more likely to be successful if you focus on you actions and the process, rather than on the result that you want.

The idea is that if you look after the process, the result will look after itself.


One of the things about the SMART goal setting method that doesn’t sit comfortably with me is the A and the R. 

I’m not really sure what the difference is between Achievable goals and Realistic goals: isn’t an achievable goal realistic and vice versa?

In any case, where is the fun in something that is realistic and achievable?

Surely it is better to push yourself.

To be your best.

For your goals to be challenging.

As the saying goes “Shoot for the moon, and even if you miss you will land among the stars”.

Elite Sports is about setting challenging goals. 

The ability to get into “the Zone” and keep cool under pressure are a fundamental skills to put you in the best position to achieve challenging goals.

I prefer the sports psychology mantra: “control the controllables” to achievable and realistic, because even if you set challenging goals, you can focus on what you can control.

Collins and Porras found, in their book Built to Last, that the companies that set themselves “big, hairy, audacious goals” were the ones that really excelled in their industry.

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The IMPACT Goal setting approach encourages you to do the same with your life goals.


If the goal is important to you then you should allocate time to it.

There is no doubt that time is key in goal-setting.

Time is important because time is scarce: it is the one resource that we cannot get more of.

Making goals timebound can be key to motivating yourself – there is little more motivating than a deadline! 

More crucially, if the goal is important to you then you must allocate time to working on it.

In short, goals need to be time-focused.

Do you want to learn more about the best way to set life goals?

That’s what IMPACT Goals are: the best way to set life goals.

This is especially the case when you want to set goals to get out of a crisis or manage change.

You can find out more about each element of IMPACT Goals in my blog.

I recommend both the books that were core to the creation of IMPACT Goals and those that have something interesting to say under resources.

And finally, if you would like to set the best life goals, then come to the next IMPACT Goal setting workshop:

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