The One-Sentence Formula That Reveals The Missing Ingredient In Your Goal

By Josh Spector

I start every Creator Clarity call with the same question:

“What’s your goal?”

Most people struggle to answer it beyond a vague reference to what they want.

That’s a problem because, without clarity around your goal, you’re unlikely to accomplish it.

I’ve come up with a goal sentence formula to help. 

Fill in the blanks:

“I want to get _______ by helping _______ get _______ without doing _______.”

That formula ensures your goal includes three key elements:

1. A result you want. 

2. A specific value you’ll provide to a specific group of people. 

3. A thing you won’t do. 

Here’s a closer look at each element…

What Result Do You Want?

Be selfish — it’s YOUR goal.

The time and effort you put into something should lead to a reward you want.

That reward can be financial, personal, external, or internal, but it’s important to identify why you’re doing something.

But don’t confuse your result with your mission or purpose.

For example, one client initially told me his goal was to “help creative people make a living.”

That’s admirable, but it doesn’t explain why he wants to do that or what’s in it for him. 

The truth is what he really wants is to earn a solid income for himself by helping creative people make a living.

Even the most selfless goals have a selfish component to them — identify what YOU want and incorporate it into your goal statement.

For me, the result is “I want to build a successful solopreneur business.”

What Value Will You Provide And To Who?

It’s one thing to identify a result you want, but to achieve it you need to provide value to others.

That’s why the second element of my goal formula is to name (as specifically as possible) who you want to help and how. 

Don’t just say “people,” or “companies,” or something generic like that.

What kind of people? What kind of companies?

As far as how you’ll help those people think in terms of a transformation you’ll help them make.

How will you help them get from Point A to Point B and what is it they want to get?

For me, the value I want to provide is “to help creators grow their audience and business.”

What’s A Thing You Won’t Do?

This is the most overlooked element of goal setting.

Once you know the result you want, people you want to help, and the value you want to provide, it’s important to recognize there are infinite ways to do that.

But some of them you don’t want to do.

For example, let’s say your goal is to help poor people.

There are a million ways to do that:

Do you want to donate money? 

Work in a soup kitchen? 

Organize a community initiative? 

Create job opportunities? 

Help one person at a time? 

Help people in your city? 

Help people in third world countries?

Consider all the things you don’t want to (or can’t) do and explicitly exclude them as part of your goal statement.

This helps clarify your goal and approach.

For me, while I always want consulting to be a part of what I do, “I don’t want my solopreneur business to be solely based on consulting revenue.”

Goal Statement Examples

A quick note about my goal statement formula: 

You don’t have to format your goal sentence exactly as it’s listed in the formula above, but do use the formula to identify the elements you ultimately incorporate into your goal statement.

To give you a sense of how this all comes together, here’s my goal statement based on the snippets I shared above:

 “I want to build a successful solopreneur business helping creators grow their audience and business without it being solely dependent on consulting revenue.”

See how that goal statement can guide everything I do? It’s been a huge help as I decide where to invest my time and effort.

A couple of other examples of goal statements from clients I’ve worked with on Creator Clarity calls:

A freelance speech writer’s goal:

“I want clients who do work I believe in to hire me to help them do their communications and view me as an expert in persuasive writing.”

A blogger’s goal:

“I want to create something I find fulfilling that gives me a sense of purpose, incorporates my skills, is rooted in my personal experiences, and helps makes people’s lives easier and more meaningful.”

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