How I Set Goals (…and this method has never failed me!)

I am asked all the time about goal setting. I have written a few articles about my thoughts on this subject before and I wrote extensively about goal setting in my book, The CAP Equation, A Foolproof Formula for Unlimited Success in Sales. Chapter 21 is entitled:

Goal SeekingEstablishing Logical and Aligned Objectives

 If you haven’t had a chance to review the book, you can click on the link below and read the first two chapters at no cost!


However, I still don’t think people get it and set their goals properly…

Salespeople blow it by focusing on a number that

won’t get them where they want to go!

I want to center this article on a simple, but powerful method and thought process I’ve used for a long time that helps me get to where I ideally want to be. The strategy I outline here can be a game-changer for you (or your team) if you or they are traditionally falling short.

So, here’s the abbreviated version of how I set goals when I really need to hit a certain number…


Instead of picking just 1 goal or number to pursue, I select 3.

  1. My MINIMUM #

This is my drop-dead, take it to the bank number. I will hit this number no matter what. If Los Angeles falls off into the sea, I’ll hit this number…if aliens come to earth and abduct me, I’ll hit this number…or worse, when the Donald or Hillary (or Bernie) wind up in the White House, guess what…I’ll still hit this number.

  1. My TARGET #

This is the number that will make my life better. This number will give me a chance to put some money in the bank or allow me to upgrade my lifestyle. It’s 20 – 30% bigger than my MINIMUM number and it will be harder to reach. It will take better planning and more activity. This is the number I’d really like to get to

  1. My STRETCH #

Ahhhh…this is the number that almost seems impossible to me. It may be anywhere from 25- 100% larger than my MINIMUM number. When I say this number out loud it makes me giggle…cause it sounds crazy.

So I arrive at 3 different numbers. One is comfortable and very doable. The next number is not so comfortable and doesn’t seem as easily achievable. The third number is crazy and doesn’t seem at all probable. It seems more like impossible. I think about those 3 numbers, meditate on them, and then I do something that a lot of people don’t…

…I begin to build my plan, my calendar and my activities around my STRETCH goal.

Yes…the number that seems impossible. That’s the one I focus on.

The 3 reasons I focus on the STRETCH goal are:

  • The STRETCH goal is EXCITING to me

It makes the hair on my arms stand up. It gives me goose bumps. It gives me increased energy. Who the hell gets excited about just getting by…and that’s what the MINIMUM goal and number represents…just getting by. I will work harder to get to that elusive STRETCH number. I will wake up earlier and stay up later. This number gets me pumped!

  • Things go WRONG

 There will always be a few landmines in your way as you pursue your goals. The best plan can be slightly derailed by market conditions or other things out of your control. (Distractions can even come from your personal life) I want to plan for my plan to be screwed with by the Universe. I want to have a buffer when curveballs are thrown at me.

  • My PLAN will be FAULTY (or I will lose focus temporarily)

My best plans have had flaws. I overestimated, underestimated, messed up my calendar, lost focus or concentration. I want to have a buffer for this kind of stuff also. I want to be a conscious incompetent. I want to bank on the fact that my plan won’t be perfect and that I’m not the smartest guy in the room. I want my plan to take into account my frailties.

So, this is how I set goals.

I know what number I have to hit to keep the lights on. (MINIMUM) I am aware of where I’d like to ideally wind up. (TARGET) Most importantly, I know what number gets me jacked and I know what number I better build my plan, calendar and activities around…

…the STRETCH number!

So…2 really important questions for you to noodle on…

#1 – What are your 3 numbers for 2016?

#2 – Do you have your plan built around a number big enough to allow for mistakes, errors, temporary loss of focus and market conditions?

Does this kind of thinking make sense to you?

If you’re ready to go just a little bit deeper, if you want to get ahold of our VERY BEST frontline sales coaching content, click on the link below and take a look at the strategies that all TOP PRODUCERS are practicing.

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Please let me know how I can help you reach your professional goals this year. My personal email address is:

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 Joe Buzzello is a nationally recognized expert on direct selling and sales leadership. He has built legacy sales teams and experienced unprecedented success in individual and business-to-business markets as well as the network marketing industry. Joe has held executive level positions for Fortune 500 companies, but he has never strayed far from the art and science of selling, which he loves. In early 2014, Joe began writing, speaking, and coaching through his proprietary platform, The CAP Equation©. Please visit Joe at:



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