Sharon Atkins from SPICE4LIFE chats to Dr. John Demartini, Author, Educator, Business Consultant and Leadership Expert about planning and setting goals in your life.

At what age can we start setting goals?

I believe that human beings have an orientation with intention to accomplish what they intend and goal orientation starts from the very beginning. When a baby reaches out to touch a mobile or look at a colour they have an intention or goal to bring it closer to them so goals start from the very beginning. We have a goal to get out of the womb and get into the room. As far as we can trace back we are goal orientated.

The key with setting goals with kids is making sure they set goals that truly have meaning, that they truly value, that their life demonstrates are truly important to them so that they build momentum and confidence in their achievements. Many times people set expectations on themselves that don’t match what is truly meaningful and they self defeat.

But setting goals that are truly meaningful, that are aligned and congruent with highest values, regardless of age expands their potential and increases their confidence of achievement and awakes up natural born leadership.

Anytime you have a goal or an intention that is truly aligned, truly meaningful, you won’t give up on it, but anytime you set an impulsive quick and what you think is an important goal, you have a tendency to want to give up on it if it gets challenging. This can be self-defeating to confidence.

It is very important to set real goals in real time with real strategies that mean something.

Our brain has an executive centre designed to strategize and achieve goals and it also has an impulse centre that is involved in just impulses and making a distinction between those is very crucial to helping a person maximise their life and achievements.

Where to start?

Start with where you feel certain and let that expand with what you know as you grow. So if you have to ask the question whether this is important to you it’s probably not. But if you know inside and your life demonstrates that you are willing to work towards something this is the goal to reach for.

When I was a young boy I wanted to play baseball and my life demonstrated this, there was evidence in my experiences and my actions. Every day I was throwing a ball and running around, demonstrating it. So if you set a goal around what your life demonstrates is important then you are spontaneously inspired from within to act on it and not needing outside motivation to get you to do it you have the highest achievement potential.

Each individual has a yearning, a natural calling to expand and empower seven areas of life.

  • We all have a desire to have some inspired mission in life, something that is inspiring to us that serve the world.
  • We have a desire to wake up our natural born awareness and genius and our mental capacities. We want to excel in learning
  • We have a desire to go out and do something vocationally, career wise.
  • We have a desire to have more money at the end of our life, not life at the end of our money. Something we have that pursues wealth because of economic value in the world.
  • We have a desire to have family and love and intimacy
  • We have a desire to do something sociably that makes some influence and wakes up that natural leadership inside.
  • We have a desire for physical health and well-being.

So in each of these areas it is wise to put goals in place to ensure things are congruent and meaningful. Each person has one or more areas that they tend to concentrate on the most. If any area in our life we don’t empower, we don’t set goals in, other people will overpower us and set the goals for our life.

On values

Every human being has a set of priorities, a set of values, things that are most important and least important in their life and whenever they set goals that are in line with their highest value they have reached their achievement level and whenever they stay goals that are in line with their lowest value they tend to decrease it.

Whatever is highest on your values, our highest purpose is our most meaningful goal.

When we set goals that are in line with that, the sky is the limit, we keep expanding our space and time horizons and give birth to great achievements.

The key is to set goals that are in line with your highest values. The key also is to knowing yourself, be willing to be yourself and you will get to love yourself.

On our website we have a free download called the ‘Demartini Value Determiner’. There are 13 questions and if you ask them honestly it will help you summarise and define what is truly meaningful to you.

Once you set goals that are in line with your highest values, amazing opportunities come.

Do pictures help?

We are visual creatures. One of our primary senses is vision and without a doubt a visual picture is worth a thousand words. I am a believer that holding a vision and and making sure it is congruent is a very powerful tool on achievement.

Do you remember the books “Chicken Soup for the Soul”? When they launched it their publicist who did all the media for the book kept on taking pictures of stacks of books until they had a picture of a million books. The authors imagined themselves with Oprah holding up their hands, talking about their book. They had these images and they ended up on the Oprah Show and sold over a hundred million books. They saw it in their minds eye before they executed it in their reality.

It’s in the details

Any detail you leave out of a vision is an obstacle or challenge you will face on the journey, so the masters focus on ever finer detail. The more detail you get in a vision that is clear the more present you become and the more you animate your reality and you take command as captain of you ship and master of your fate.

Fear of setting goals

Anytime you set a goal that is not in line with your own values, that are because of the injected values of others, you automatically set things that aren’t congruent you are designed to have fear, you are designed to have uncertainty as this is a feedback mechanism to let you know that what goals you are setting aren’t yours, they are not really true.

The moment you are congruent the uncertainty disappears and the clarity emerges.

On motivation

You automatically set goals whether you are consciously aware of it, or whether you write them down or not.

Writing is a way of crystallising them in your mind. That’s the beauty of writing. A short pencil is much better than a long memory.

It’s wiser to get crystallised because anytime you set goals that are high in your values and focus on high priority actions you grow in self worth and anytime you don’t and inject the value of others and try to set goals that aren’t yours, you lower your self-worth.

We are goal orientated individuals and people who set goals definitely have more fulfilment level than people who don’t. The key though is setting goals that are true and congruent; this is such an important component. If you set goals that aren’t yours, the self-defeating energies emerge to let you know that.

How long should we spend on our goals?

The time it takes to get results. We should focus on our goals for as long and often as it takes them to get resolved. The longer you spend time on something, the higher the probability you will achieve it.

I have been working on goals for 42 years and I read them every day. It’s a daily ritual, like eating and brushing your teeth. If you don’t fill your day with high priority actions that are meaningful it fills up with low priority distractions that aren’t.

It’s your life, it’s up to you. As they say, if it is to be, it is up to me.

On challenging yourself

Anytime someone says they are comfortable, they are probably stagnant. We are not here to be comfortable, we are here to grow and expand and continue to fulfil.

If you are not expanding your life it’s shrinking, if you are not growing, you are decaying. If you are not taking on new challenges you are stagnant. Ask yourself every day, what challenges can I go out there and do that would inspire me and make a difference in the world.

As Norman Vincent Peale said, if I ever wake up without a problem I better get on my hands and knees and pray for one because I have died.

Anytime you are searching for ease you attract difficulty. Nature has a way bringing the balance of life into play to make sure that we grow.

On reaching goals

There is a natural tendency that the second you set a goal or achieve it you want to set a more expanded goal.

The thing to do is to be grateful for the accomplishment, document it, keep a record of it, and keep a journal of what you have accomplished.

At the end of your life you will be asked a simple question within your own consciousness, did I do everything I could with everything I was given. You want to be able to say yes, I gave it my all and I pursued my mission and my dreams. I was relentless in my pursuit of doing something amazing with my life.

Keeping motivated

It is wise to read the biographies of great achievers in every field and science.

I have studied every Nobel Prize winner, great business leaders, financial leaders and great religious leaders.

Fill your mind with the ideas and stories of people that have done great things and it automatically rubs off on you. You can’t put your hand in a pot of glue without it sticking. Fill your mind with that and document their stories.

Keep a journal of what you have accomplished because if you are grateful for what you accomplish, you will accomplish more.

Go to for further information and also for details on Dr. Demartini’s workshops and talks.

Demartini for Spice4Life

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