How to Set Up Goals for Your Personal Transformation with just One question (and a few optional rules)

Visualize - Plan - Act

 “What do you want Benoit?”

This was the first question my coach Ronan asked me when we started to work together. I was a tennis professional at that time, and was struggling quite a bit mentally to be consistent in my results, and more particularly I had the habit to lose matches after having had match points. This single question and the ones that follow was a shocker to me. For once, I was not thinking in terms of how to “fix my problem”, and instead I was taking distance from it to evaluate, listen, feel what really this Benoit was up to! Not only this question changed my results (I won 5 tournaments in a row after that session), it also showed me the importance of asking ourselves this first question.
So here it is for you now:


And for sure, if you don’t know where you’re going, it’s much more challenging to get there, isn’t it? A Personal Transformation always start from a Vision of the outcome you’re looking for.

This could be a “Being Vision”:

  • I am loving with my wife in all situations
  • I am daring to be myself with my colleagues
  • I am patient with my kids
  • …etc

Which introduces the first 2 important rules for a Goal Setting:

1. Your Goal is written in Present Tense in a positive form, so that saying it, reading it, listening to it and you are already living it! “I want to be loving with my wife, not to react when she gets nuts” doesn’t induce the same kind of power than my first example, don’t you think?
2. Your Goal only depends on You, and You only. This is my favorite, because most of the tennis players answer “I want to win more matches” when asked about what they want. They forget there is an opponent on the other side of the court that is also willing to win.
Same with earning money:”does this only depend on you?” which introduces an even better question: “What does depend on you to earn this money or win this match?”

You see, the goal of setting goals is to place you in a power seat position, where you can drive yourself to the results you want, this is here, you can do it.
Back to the kinds of Visions.

It could also be  a “Doing Vision”:

  • I am traveling 3 times a year to explore new horizons
  • I am living from my passion
  • I am playing golf with my friends twice a week

or a “Having Vision”:

  • I am driving the new model of Maserati
  • I am enjoying living in a house on the beach
  • I am the owner of a retreat center where people can relax and regenerate

And then?

Once you have your Vision, and now a Goal in mind, you are already 70% there if not more. For some, it could be enough and this is enough to propulse you to the next stage.

For others, more precision is necessary:

3. By when do you want to reach this goal? How can you measure you reach your goal?
Being specific like this will make you step into Action, which is the essence of any Personal Transformation. Giving yourself a goal without a time frame doesn’t create the necessary positive stress to go for it. Same if no measurement in your Goal:

  • “I am daring to be myself with my colleagues” becomes “I am saying “no” at least 3 times this week when I disagree with my colleagues”. (if you are looking for assertiveness, this would help)
  • “I am living from my passion” becomes “ by the end of the month, I have created a Business Plan that incorporates my passion for rugby”

“A Goal is a Dream with a Deadline”.

Napoleon Hill

Specific, measurable and Time framed are keys for an effective Goals.

4. Is there any inconvenient to reach this Goal?

Sometimes, asking yourself this question leads you to re-form your Goal. The inconvenient of stopping smoking can be that you don’t have quiet time with your colleagues to discuss with your colleagues, or that you just don’t play the pause button and “breathe” deeply during your day. If there an inconvenient, ask yourself how you could live your goal without this inconvenient, and tada, you get it!

And then?

Then, that’s it for setting your goal completely, and it all comes from the main question: what do you want.

Having said this, remember also the most important for anyone who wants to transform, it’s to TAKE ACTION. Massive action. The difference now is that you have narrowed your action plan to the most meaningful direction for you at the moment. And this focus creates the difference in results…so act now!


2 more quotes to consider for you:


“A goal is not always meant to be reached. It often serves simply as something to aim at”.

Bruce Lee


“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.”

Joseph Campbell


And you what do you think of Setting Goals? Any other way that works for you? Happy to discuss with you about it in the Comments below.