Published on July 29, 2021

How to Find Motivation to Achieve Your Goal After a Setback

How to Find Motivation to Achieve Your Goal After a Setback

Too much of our life is spent doing what we think we should be doing instead of how we actually want to show up and spend our time. The reality is that our thoughts about what it means to live a successful life have been shaped by outside influences: family, friends, and our environment.

Before you put in the hard work to achieve your goal, you should make sure that the goals you create are aligned with your vision of a successful life. Knowing exactly how you want to spend your time is the key to living an optimized life.

With the clarity of what you’re working towards, it’s time to get to work on your goals. While you put in the hard work to achieve those goals, you’ll undoubtedly experience setbacks. Life doesn’t always go as planned, and outside circumstances will set you back.

When you experience a setback, you have a choice to make. You can let that setback keep you stuck, or you can use it as motivation to work even harder. The issue is that feelings and emotions tend to take over during moments of setback and keep success-seekers from pushing forward towards their goals.

The question then becomes, how can you achieve your goal after experiencing a setback? If you’re going to get back up and accomplish your goals, you’ll need the motivation to do so. Motivation is the fuel in your goal accomplishment car.

Here’s how to find the motivation to accomplish your goals after experiencing a setback.

1. Silence Electronics and Get Into a Mediated Vision State

The distraction that comes from access to the Internet and technology sometimes can be overwhelming. During a setback, emotions are running high, and the constant pinging of your smartphone adds to the frustration.


When things aren’t going well, one of the best things you can do is silence the noise. Silence your electronics and take a moment to breathe. Take some time to use the quiet to gather your thoughts and process through what needs to happen next.

Use the quiet time to get back to your vision of what you’re trying to accomplish. Think about what life will be like once you achieve those goals. Create an image in your mind and let the dream quiet the voices of anger. You’re working to accomplish these goals for a reason—your “why” must be front and center.

2. Process Through Your Emotions and Talk About What You Feel With Someone You Trust

Holding all of your frustration and anger inside of you will eventually lead to a moment of explosion. It’s not natural to want to take on challenging circumstances head-on, but it’s one of the keys to success. One of the best things you can do is to process your feelings honestly. All of your emotions and feelings are valid. What you feel should not be dismissed and should not be allowed to fester in your mind.

During a moment of setback, enjoy some quiet time and get into a visual state. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to get those feelings out into the open. Get to the heart of what is bothering you and be honest with yourself about what that is.

It would help if you had an outlet to vent. Whether it’s family or friends or a supportive mastermind group—being able to talk it out will help you recover. Process through those feelings and get support—it’s the key to getting back up after a setback.

3. Spend the First Minutes of Each Morning on Yourself

The best way to understand how to navigate setbacks is through the optimization of yourself. One way to become the best version of yourself is the spend each morning on and for yourself. Self-prioritization allows you to do the work to take care of yourself. Taking care of yourself strengthens your ability to deal with hard times.

Shifting the focus to what helps you takes your attention away from the frustration of a setback. You will accomplish more of your goals when you make yourself a priority. You can’t give what you don’t have, and self-prioritization gives you the energy needed to work on your goals.


Use quiet time in the morning to read books that inspire you, watch videos that educate you, listen to podcasts that help you understand something new, and even use physical movement to burn out any frustration. Use the first part of your day to work on yourself, and you’ll have the mental strength you need to deal with the setbacks. What you’ll notice is that you’ll make significant progress towards your goals through the strategy of self prioritization each day.

4. Focus on Healthy Self-Optimization Habits

Your habits are the key to sustained growth. Building an arsenal of healthy habits is how you will create a strong enough mindset to overcome setbacks. Starting each day working on yourself is how you create healthy habits that make you stronger.

Self-prioritization means you put a significant focus on the habits that strengthen your mind. You’ll be able to withstand the frustrating feelings and emotions that come from setbacks because you will have conditioned your habits to make you stronger.

Create the habits that make you stronger, and you’ll have the fuel you need to overcome setbacks and find the motivation to continue to work on your goals.

Evaluate the significant areas of your life that you’d like to make shifts in. Think about your goals for each of these areas and what it will take to accomplish them. Understand that as you make each of these areas stronger, you’ll have the necessary tools to deal with the effects of any setback.

5. Find Content Sources That Inspire You and Model Examples of Success

One of the best ways to find the motivation to accomplish your goals after a setback is through sources of inspiration. The good news about the modern information age is that we have a lot of access to content. You can watch videos, listen to audio, and read written content that motivates you and educates you on what would help your goals. That availability to content can be the difference between success or failure after a setback.

You’re working on creating healthy habits—one healthy habit is having constant sources of inspiration. There are leaders you follow and learn from—model their success. You need to tap into those sources of inspiration after experiencing a setback.


Use your daily self-optimization time to find new sources of inspiration and model examples of success. The more you build this habit of consuming inspiring and motivating content, the more you’ll be able to tap into that source during setbacks.

Be sure to have content sources that are from those who are living their truth. The goal isn’t any content that looks good, it’s finding the authentic examples of leadership. Don’t be lured by false images of success because those can also contribute to your setbacks. Fill your mind and thoughts with inspirational and motivational content from those that commit to authenticity.

6. Use the Setback as Fuel to Work Even Harder to Accomplish Your Goals

You accomplish your goals with a hunger for wanting more for your life. While some view setbacks as goal-ending events, you can view them as inspiration to work even harder.

Motivation can come in any form that you want to. Dealing with a setback can be incredibly motivating and be the fuel you need to get back up and become stronger. Here’s a thing to understand—you decide what happens next. While you aren’t always in control of life circumstances, you can control your response to those circumstances.

The goal is continual work. You accomplish your goals by working hard over a dedicated period, taking a step-by-step approach to goals. Setbacks mean that there was something that needs adjusting in the journey. View them as lessons, and that will motivate you to keep going.

7. Take This Goal Accomplishment Journey One Step at a Time

We tend to think about the whole picture when we look at accomplishing our goals. We look at the end destination and the one thousand steps it will take to get there. The complete view can be frustrating.

The motivation to accomplish your goals comes from seeing progress. As you take this step-by-step, you will experience a few wins. While we think the end designation is what we want, it’s actually the progress that motivates us the most.


Break down your goals into bite-size chunks. Set a definite timeline and a plan for how you’ll accomplish each step. As you start to achieve the smaller portions of your goals, you’ll be motivated as you see yourself making progress towards the bigger vision.

Final Thoughts

Experiencing a setback doesn’t have to be the end of your goal accomplishment journey. Life offers lessons in many different ways; we have to be willing to listen. Setbacks mean an opportunity to reevaluate what you’re doing and see if there’s a more efficient approach.

You need to use setbacks as motivation and have your sources of inspiration. We’re human beings filled with emotions and feelings that tend to run the show too often. It’s time to take a different approach to setbacks.

You have everything you need to stay continually motivated to accomplish your goals. Goal motivation comes from someone committed to their growth and is consistent in doing the personal growth work. This is your time to accomplish your goals and live a life that brings freedom, goals accomplished, and true happiness.

More Tips on How to Deal With a Setback

Featured photo credit: Malik Skydsgaard via

More by this author

Kimanzi Constable

Author of "Are You Living or Existing?" Writer who helps people live a one-percent life.

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Published on September 16, 2021

What Are Process Goals? (With Examples)

What Are Process Goals? (With Examples)

Ready. Set. Go. For years, this was my three-step mindset when it came to goals. I would reach for the moon and hope to land among the stars without feeling the pain of the fall. This approach was all or nothing, and as a result, I experienced loads of burnout and almost zero productivity. In short, my task list was filled with high-level intentions, but I hadn’t taken the time to create a map to reach the destinations. I was lost in the planning stages because I didn’t understand process goals or have any examples to follow.

Since then, I’ve learned how to embrace the journey and break my outcome goals into smaller and more manageable process goals. This approach has improved my focus and reduced frustration because I’m now working towards a surefire strategy that will take me where I want to go––I’m creating a plan of action with achievable daily targets (a process goal).

What Is a Process Goal?

A process goal is not a destination, it’s the path you plan on taking to get there. For example, if you want to become better at writing, your process goal would be to post one blog article per week and learn from the feedback you receive. The destination is a monthly goal of 12 articles.

This distinction is important because it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that these types of goals are not all or nothing. Think about it. You’ve heard it said: it’s not about working hard but working smart.

Well, a process goal is an actionable target with what we call SMART criteria:


  • Specific – The more detailed your goal, the better. For example, instead of “I want to be fit,” you would say, “I want to lose five pounds.” Make sure your goal is crystal clear.
  • Measurable – You need a way to measure progress and success, so it needs to be quantifiable. This is where you decide what “fit” actually means for you (more on this later).
  • Achievable – If your goal isn’t challenging, then it’s not going to be motivating. On the other hand, there must be a steeper mountain to climb if you want substantial results.
  • Realistic – “I want to run a marathon” is not practical for most people. Ensure you have the time, energy, and resources (e.g., training program) required to achieve your goal.
  • Time-Bound – Your goal needs an assigned deadline or it’s just a pipe dream. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming, but what happens when the fantasy ends?

To summarize, these are the essential components of any process goal: specific, measurable, achievable within a certain time frame, and realistic.

What Is a Destination Goal?

A destination goal is a point in time when you plan to be at a particular destination. For example, if your goal is to get to represent your country at the 2025 Summer Olympics, you right need to focus on smaller increments to attain that success. On your way to that goal, you need to focus on smaller destinations. First, make the national team. Then, compete in a few events and so forth.

If you try to make it to the Olympics from the very start without any milestones along the way, it would be too daunting. On the other hand, if you focus on each milestone as a destination goal, it will all seem possible and achievable.

Process Goal Template

Let’s say you want to become a better cook. Here is one way of writing the process goal: “I will save $100 per week by cooking all my meals at home for 12 weeks.” This would be your destination (monthly), and the steps required to achieve this goal (weekly) would be:

  1. Spend one hour on Sunday planning my meals for the week.
  2. Shop for groceries after work on Monday and Tuesday nights.
  3. Cook all meals at home on Wednesdays through Sundays.
  4. Pack my lunch for work on Mondays and Tuesdays.
  5. Save $100 per week in cash by cooking at home.

This process goal will help you become a better cook by teaching you to save money through planning, shopping, cooking, packing your own lunch, and trying new recipes. It also includes a weekly reward (saving $100 in cash) that will help you stay motivated.


Process goals encourage you to reach your ultimate goals. When you feel like you can accomplish smaller goals along the way, you gain sustainability and confidence to move forward.

In many ways, process goals are a lot like faith. Each accomplishment brings you closer to seeing the fullness of the life that you desire––it breaks through the fog and makes things clearer.

What Questions Helped Me Find My Process Goals?

After several years of setting lofty goals and becoming increasingly frustrated when I wasn’t getting the results I wanted, I decided to take a closer look at my approach.

Now, there are many ways you can do this, but here’s how I went about it. Last year, I asked myself the following questions:

  • What am I doing right now?
  • How can I get better at this?
  • Is this process goal leading me closer to my ultimate goals?

The choices I made from the answers to these questions became my process goals. They were the driving force that kept me motivated and moving forward when I wanted to give up and throw in the towel. Since then, I’ve been able to accomplish lifelong goals that I had given up on years ago. For example, I’ve been able to obtain a publishing contract, create more digital products for my business, and enjoy the moment.


Before I broke down my goals into smaller ones, I was struggling to just get out of bed. The thought of my endless list kept me stagnant. Now, I look forward to each morning and taking on smaller projects to reach profitable outcomes.

What Are Some Process Goals You Can Try?

So, now that you understand the importance of process goals, let’s get you started with some examples that you can utilize this week:

  • Sign up for a new class.
  • Complete one portion of your project by Thursday.
  • Start walking around the block instead of running a mile.
  • Improve your writing by spending 30 minutes everyday journaling.
  • Practice your interview skills.
  • Read at least one book from the library this week.
  • Do ten push-ups each day before you leave for work.

You get the idea. These process goals don’t have to be complicated. If anything, you want to break down your plans to the point of them feeling easy or at least doable without needing a week’s vacation. By breaking your goals down into smaller pieces, you can accomplish a lot more in a shorter period. You’ll also feel more confident that you’re able to accomplish something within the moment.

It isn’t easy to continue towards your goal if achievement feels too far away. You need to celebrate the small things and embrace the process.

What Do You Need for Process Goals?

Think about how much time and money you’ve spent on new clothes, books, technology, etc. Many of us want to keep up with the latest trends and purchase the best gadgets from Apple or Microsoft. But all of these extra investments come at a steep price.


To find your process goals, you may have to face some difficult emotions or situations bravely and confront them head-on. You might need to forgo the new outfit or the latest Mac book to meet your overall objectives.[1] Remember, process goals not only protect you from feeling overwhelmed, but they also keep you from being distracted.

Final Thoughts

You may feel overwhelmed at first when trying to set a process goal. Sometimes, just thinking about change triggers stress hormones, which only leads to more worries and anxious feelings. However, if you keep yourself focused and take small steps in the right direction, you’ll soon realize that goals don’t have to be complicated.

You can achieve your process goals one day at a time, and you can start today by breaking down your larger goal into smaller steps. It doesn’t matter if the process takes a week or six months, what matters most is that you’re moving forward and doing something to make yourself better.

Now, go on out there and achieve one of your process goals!

Featured photo credit: Kaleidico via



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