Why You MUST Set Goals and Review Them to Achieve Anything

by | BiggerPockets.com

More than a decade ago, I made my living playing music. I had dreams of becoming famous and playing all the amazing venues over the world. At the time, there was an incredible venue I fantasized about headlining, located right here in my hometown. It took me nearly four years, but I got my name on the monicker, they played my songs on the radio, and hundreds of people did show up to see my show there. By that time, though, my goals and dreams had evolved, and I was no longer interested in touring and playing for a living, but it was a night I will remember for my lifetime.

Why is this story important? Because I knew I would be on that stage YEARS before I ever played there.

Within my real estate business, I started with basic dreams and goals as well. First was to cover my car payment. Then it was to cover our house payment. And then it was to get my wife home from working to be able to focus on being mom for our children.

Again, all of these things have happened.

So what? I believed in them—and cultivated them until they became real.

No matter what your goals are, you have to take the next step past just having goals. You have to write them down and read them every day. Wake up in the morning thinking of whatever your goal is and dream of it when you fall asleep. They have to be a part of your soul. Seriously.


Related: How to Set Short, Mid & Long-Term Goals on Your Quest for Financial Freedom

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The Thought Process

First thing, think about what your goals are. I highly encourage you not just think about income or net worth. Your goals need to be about more. It’s not about the money, it’s about the time with people you love and care for. Money is simply the tool. You might include traveling several times a year to Florida, a weekly date night with your spouse, or a food budget to buy all organic. Whatever it is, write it down.

The money component is also important; just make sure you put it in its place. I’ve always associated money with the item in my life I was trying to cover the cost of. Eventually, it was about my savings and investing goals, future passive income goals, and personal, professional, and family goals.

Write Down Your Goals

My guess is that this time with yourself may make you a little uncomfortable. Why? Because you will begin to question yourself. Am I writing down a “reasonable” or “realistic” goal? Do I sound selfish? Is this a reasonable thing to ask for? Do people really get to vacation once a month? (This is on my list.)

I have a few rules of thumb when I am writing out my goals: Don’t have goals that harm or hurt others. Make sure to form goals that encompass your entire family and that connect to their dreams. And most importantly, push yourself to write things down that are far enough outside your comfort zone or current reality that they feel like big accomplishments.


Related: There is a Major Problem With Your Goals

Review Them Often

Then, make the time to visualize those goals happening. Writing them down is so important, but it’s not the last step. Once you’ve written them down, you have to review them over and over. Read through the goals you’ve laid out and let them be so clear in your mind that you can see your travel destination. Feel the acceleration of the car you want to drive. See your children’s faces when they meet Mickey at Disney World.

As you allow yourself to visualize and dream about these goals, they seem less foreign, less out of reach, and more real. If you believe it can happen, then it can.

I love this Jerry Rice quote: “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.”

Final Thoughts

The goal is just the vehicle for motivation to the end result. You may have written “$20k a month in passive income” and maybe you end up with $18,263 per month. Was this a failure because it didn’t hit the goal? Of course not.

You didn’t fail. Stop being so afraid to fail that you don’t set the goals. Take the fear and put it where it belongs, a distance back from the desire to live however you want to. Believe in yourself. Review your goals often. Have fun along the way. With persistence and time, your goals will be conquered.

Do you write down your goals? What strategies help you stay on track?

Let’s talk below.

About Author

Nathan Brooks

Nathan Brooks is a dad, husband, worship leader, and real estate investor in the Kansas City market. Foodie. Coffee addict. Crossfit junkie.


  1. Ernest D.


    Great read. I found this helpful as i was searching for a go-by in setting my own goals to strive for in real estate investing and how they can effect my life for the better. I like the recommendation you give to “feel the acceleration of the car you want to drive.” This could be as useful as setting up a ‘vision board’. Thanks!

    • Chris Kuzma


      Wonderful post. I find myself needing to hear this advice over and over to get back on track with my goal setting; I must make more time for the visualization and review aspect for sure!


      If you have Netflix, I must recommend “The Secret”. If you have never heard of it, it’s a documentary about many successful people throughout history (as well as contemporary successful people) and their habits pertaining to goal setting and visualization. It’s a good one!

  2. Dmitriy Fomichenko

    Excellent advice, Nathan!

    Further, writing down your goals on a piece of paper makes your chances of achieving them even higher because you know what you’re precisely aiming for. Like you said, the goals need to evolve over the passing years. I would suggest evaluating them every couple of months and cross any goals that you have already accomplished.

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