Determine Your Goals – 3 D’s

calm Goals

Goals are more than desires, more than ambition. They are specific accomplishments that you set in your heart and mind that you will achieve. Goals become your guiding light, your north star, and your destination.

Everyone has desires. Everyone has wants. Desires and wants are meaningless without action. The first step to creating actionable goals is to make sure your mind is in a state that is able to accept change, believes in your potential and is open for education. Once your mindset for success is formed you can then chip away and become your true self.

There are three steps you can take to determine what you will accomplish:

  1. Decide what your abilities and talents are.

  2. Define what your calling and purpose means to you and what it means to others.

  3. Defend your mission to your support team.

Decide. We must decide what our purpose will be. We all have been given talents and must focus on developing our true core selves. While working on strengthening weaknesses is important, more success will be found if your focus is doing what you were born to do. Finding what you are good at is the first step. Are you good with numbers? Do you recognize patterns in sets of data? Do you connect well with children and youth? Do you understand and empathize with people who are hurting? Can you organize complex details and explain them to others? Do you have the ability to teach? Are you a writer? Are you public speaker? Do you have a good memory? If you know what you excel great, move on to step # 2. If not write down the 10 most successful moments of your academic and work life. What were you doing during those times. Next, ask your 5 closest friends and 5 closest family members to give you a list of the ten things that you do well. Once you can aggregate all of the items from others combined with your 10 most successful memories, you will be able to paint a clear picture of what you do well. (Note, this is not about specific business or academic fields, but more so the characteristics and abilities you possess)

Define. Every situation we are placed in has a meaning. That meaning is created by us. We can choose the meaning for every event, every circumstance. We have the power to control our thoughts and responses.There are unlimited possibilities that could be our calling, the beauty of life is, that we can choose our calling as much as the calling chooses us. Once you have decided on your main ability now you must define how it you will use it.  Is your calling to build a business in our local community that creates jobs for others, it is to teach youth about self-esteem, is it to reduce conflict in divorces, is it to help bring technology to those who do not have access, it is to help make food more available to others? Whatever you define becomes your meaning. Specifically write down what your ability will do for others and for yourself. How many people will you help? How much money will be in your bank account? How many people use your services? What type of relationship do you have with those you love? The areas to think about are professional, monetary, service, spiritual, family, and community. This is where traditional goal setting comes in – you take your talents and turn them into results. Make sure your dream big, not what others think is possible, but what you actually want to accomplish. What will be your legacy? What will you leave behind? Your purpose is created by your intention, your ability, and your action. You need to know yourself and be detailed in what you want to do with your passions. You can define 3 goals, 5, goals, 20 goals, or 100 goals, it does not matter the number of goals. What is important is that they align with your belief system, that they have a powerful effect on you, and that you are willing to do whatever it takes to get them. The final step in the define stage is to organize them in order of importance to you.

Defend. The last step might be the most important. It is determining how you feel as you explain them to others. Go to your spouse, your best friend and tell them about your goals. Make sure the person is naturally someone who encourages you and believes you. Do you feel inspired or passionate when you are explaining them, or are they just empty words? When you defend your goals you realize how much they mean to you. If you do not feel excited or passionate about your goals, go back to step 2.  If saying your goals out loud, defending and explaining them give you energy or make you feel alive then you know you are on the right track.

In order to achieve your potential you must know what you really want to accomplish. Not vague dreams, but specific results of your individual contributions. Your accomplishments are as real as you make them. Your talent and passion when aligned with purpose and action will help you form a creative guiding force in your life. As you analyze your abilities and align them with your ambitions, you can create the life you want and realize your potential.

– Mareo McCracken


Some additional resources include a great book by Brian Tracy called Goals!: How to Get Everything You Want — Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible

Mindset for Success


Success through achievement is more than action – it is a mindset.  Often, we think that success is based on physical execution of specific tasks. When in reality true success is having the ability to control our responses to the world around us. When we control our thoughts, emotions, and attitude our actions will take care of themselves.

Whatever has happened to us in the past cannot be changed, but more important: nothing ever really “happens” to us. There is the environment and then there are our responses to that environment. Our outcomes are determined by our ability to control our thoughts. Thoughts lead to actions.

The famous author and pastor Charles Swindol said:

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.”

When it comes to success in work and life everyone talks about execution. In reality execution is only 10% of the equation. The action is important, yet before the action can build the results, the foundation needs to be made sure. Our attitude, the other 90% is the true determinant of success.  Our attitude is what success is built upon.

While easier said then done, creating the proper mindset for success is the most important act anyone of us takes in order to truly fulfill our potential. In order to create the foundation for our minds, we need to do three things:

  1. Erase Excuses. There are many things out of our control, those things do not matter. Other people who detract from our potential need to be removed from our lives (or at least their influence).  It is not the economy’s fault. It is not our boss’s fault. It is not because of lack of opportunity. Everyone has a different story and a different path to success.
  2. Embrace Change. In order to reach new levels of success you must reach higher, stand taller, do things today that you were not doing yesterday. Therefore change your habits of today and create new ones that coincide with your real potential.
  3. Enlighten through Education. Read, listen, and learn. Study those who have been successful. Read more. Read often. Read success stories, biographies, and inspirational stories. Read material that helps you become an expert in your field. Read material from other fields. Be curious. Thirst for knowledge. The mind and soul need to be refueled, often. In order to make sure the garden of the mind is well groomed, it has to be filled with proper thoughts and ideas.

Incredible levels of success are created when the mindset that creates the action takes responsibility for all outcomes, is willing to change and is humble enough to keep learning.

– Mareo McCracken