Goal Setting Is Not Enough (Plus Giveaway!)


It’s almost the New Year and everyone is making resolutions and thinking of ways they can make their lives better in 2017. If you’re anything like me, you will have one or two goals which come up on your New Year Resolutions list year after year. In my case, I have “gym three times a week”, “Journal daily” and “meditate daily”, creeping up on my New Year’s resolution list yet again, which is honestly terrible!

Although I was able to accomplish most of the goals I set for myself in 2016, I was not able to accomplish all of them. This is not because I was lazy (although, I must confess, I am sometimes), but because I did not have the systems in place to accomplish the goals. In the past I have used tools like: S.M.A.R.T goal setting; visualizing my success (I made a vision board as well); setting daily intentions. But not all of these worked. I have done some research about new ways to make sure we can successfully set and achieve goals.

So how do we make sure 2017 is different and avoid the same goals/ resolutions from creeping into our 2018 New Year’s Resolutions list?  

  1. Pick Four:

I learnt this concept from Seth Godin. He actually made a book regarding this that can be found on Amazon. The idea behind Pick Four is to pick four major goals and work on these goals every single day for 12 weeks straight (i.e. 3 months). At the end of each day you record what you’ve done to accomplish each goal. And on the days when you don’t do anything, you write “NOTHING” in your journal. After writing NOTHING in your journal a few times, you will either feel shitty about not doing anything or realize the goal is not that important to you, and change your mind about achieving the goal at all!

The idea of ‘Pick Four’ shows that setting effective goals is based on 3 things: small steps, consistent effort and group support.

One of my most important goals in the New Year is to grow this blog, and I have broken the goal down into tasks that can be achieved in 12 weeks. I have also dedicated a journal to this, where I write down what I have done for the blog and also what I expect to happen as a result of my actions. (In general, when journalling, I write down what I expect to happen and wait to be surprised – comment below if you would like to see a separate post about journalling).

I find that most goals work best when I don’t try to overhaul many aspects of my life at the same time, because I usually just abandon everything altogether and revert to my old habits. Instead, I focus on a few goals, and make small consistent steps to accomplish the goals. I look forward to applying the idea of ‘Pick Four’ to my goals for 2017!

  1. Fear Setting:

I learnt the idea of “Fear Setting” from Tim Ferriss (whose podcast you simply must listen to!) . Many of us do not do the things we know we should do to accomplish our goals simply because of fear. The fear of failure, the fear of change and so on. But if we actually challenge the fearful beliefs we have, we realize that they are founded on nothing. To confront our fears, we need to drag them out in the open and face them square on. Tim Ferriss developed a simple three-step process called fear-setting to get past doubt that was holding him back, and you can also use this process to help you:

All you need to do is think of a goal that is important to you but you’ve kept yourself from attempting/ you’ve kept on the back-burner. Next you get a piece of paper and divide it into into three columns.

Column #1: Write down all that you fear could go wrong/ all the worst things that could happen if you fail. Try not to leave out any details.

Column #2: Think about and write down what you could do to mitigate the possibility of each of those bad consequences from happening.

Column #3: Think about and write down what you could do to recover from the scenarios in the first column. In other words, what you could do to get back to where you are now if anything wrong happens.

I have done this exercise only once when thinking of continuing with this blog. Unfortunately I can’t find the piece of paper I did this exercise on (that’s one of my resolutions for the new year; to be more organized!) But what I came away with this is that I had only 2 potential setbacks compared to a very long list of results that could potentially make me happy. I found out that I was extremely anxious about something that I should not have been anxious about in the first place, because it just was not that big of a deal!

Doing this fear-setting exercise will help you take the emergency brake off so you can do what you want and go after the dreams you’ve been putting off! 

I have no doubt that combining these 2 new concepts of “fear setting” and “pick four” with other tips I have used in the past will set me up for success in 2017.



In the spirit of Christmas, I have decided to do a giveaway for Investment Conversation readers based in North America. The gifts you could potentially receive will help you set better goals and accomplish the goals you set in the New Year!

So what can you get?

This Is My Year Journal:

Source: MyTaughtYou.com
Source: MyTaughtYou.com

This journal made by Myleik Teele is phenomenal! According to Myleik, it will give you “tips and strategies on how to adjust and achieve your goals; determine your season and how to use it to your advantage; incorporate self-care into your New Year strategy; and finally create and apply your OWN definitions of success and happiness!” This journal would be great for you if you want to, “Go past average and straight into amazing this new year”.

Tools of Titans: 


This book was written by one of my favourite people on the internet, and my mentor in my head, Tim Ferriss. Tim wrote this after interviewing nearly 200 world-class performers for his podcast. This book contains the tools, tactics, tips and life lessons from the guests of his show. If you apply what you learn in this book, it will save you years of wasted effort and probably a lot of money and heartache. As Jim Rohn famously said,

“If you let your learning lead to knowledge, you become a fool. If you let your learning lead to action, you become wealthy”. 

After reading this book myself and seeing just how much it has changed aspects of my life, I recommend it to all readers of Investment Conversations. If you’re not lucky enough to win this, I hope you go out and buy it for yourself! 

*Note: I will be giving this book with a gift receipt, so if you have read the book or have access to it you can return/ exchange the book for other books at Indigo-Chapters locations in North America.

How to enter:

  1. Subscribe to the website here
  2. Follow me on social media – Facebook  and Instagram.
  3. Comment below or here with tips you will use to accomplish your 2017 goals.

The winner will be selected randomly and announced on January 7th, 2017 on Instagram: ic_chinazom.

Good luck!

Note: This giveaway is open to everyone living in North America at the moment (simply because logistics is a hassle, but if you have an address in North America, feel free to participate in the giveaway!)

Update: This giveaway is now closed and the winner has been selected. Thanks to everyone that participated!

I wish you a successful New Year!



Written By

Chinazom Chidolue is a personal finance blogger and an accountant. Growing up in a household with entrepreneurial parents, she developed a keen interest in business and finances. Chinazom combined her background in accounting and her passion for financial literacy and founded Investment Conversations: a personal finance blog which was created to help millennials take control of their personal finances by breaking down complex money topics into easily understandable and fun concepts.


  • As I read this, all that rang in my head was “you’re really lazy” lol. And that’s because I have considered journaling and creating a vision board and also applying techniques similar to the pick 4 type over the past two years but for some reason I get inconsistent and most times lazy to even start.

    As 2016 wraps up, I’m very excited for the new year because I’m so determined to put in a whole lot of effort into organising my life, learning more about money, being more consistent and less afraid. I’d also take out time to do the fear setting excercise I think it will be really helpful! Thanks for sharing.

    P.S: I’m low-key sad that this giveaway is restricted to North America lol but I’m happy you shared so I’d definitely find a way to get the book! Success with your 2017 goals.

    Also, in the spirit of sharing I thought to mention that yesterday I started reading the Outliers (The Story of Success) by Malcom Gladwell. I haven’t gone so far so I can’t say if it’s great but there was a hype about it this year incase you want to research on it.

    • Thanks for commenting, Ugonna!
      Trust me a lot of people have the same feelings you do, including your role models. I think the challenge is trying to find ways to control it so that your fear and boredom (this I believe is why I become inconsistent after a while, might apply to you too) don’t affect the quality of life you want to have! Perhaps you can start an accountability group with loved ones – this will give you more motivation to pursue your goals.
      Good luck with your goals for 2017!

      P.s: Outliers is a great book. Continue reading it, it gets even better 😉

  • Interesting reading but I disagree that knowledge makes fools…..Am so proud of you and all you have achieved in such a short while. ..merry Christmas and a prosperous new year ahead.

    • Happy New Year and thank you so much! I definitely do not think that knowledge makes fools but I understand the point that Jim Rohn is trying to make here. Most people go out of their way to consume information to better their lives but never put what they learn into practice! What’s the point of reading 1,000 books and spending so much money on self-education If your life is going to be the same? That’s a wasted investment! Hope you have an awesome year!

  • Goal setting is really not enough… my 2015, 2016 goals are quite similar. I know I have potential but I’m always too scared…. I’m actually fear-setting right now but once I get to step 2 I start shaking and tear up the sheet. I’ve always told myself. … get over it! Move on! But I haven’t really been able to. The tips I would use are:-

    – Set goals. This is the first step.
    -Break them down into long-term, medium term and long-term goals
    – Fear: False evidence appearing Real.
    …. Honestly I really dunno how to get over this.

    • Hey Chiugo. Thanks for commenting! Fear is normal. Everyone gets scared sometimes including your role models. I think it will be useful to think about this quote by Jamie Foxx when doing the fear-Setting exercise “What is at the other side of fear? Nothing!”
      There is literally nothing at the other side! It’s daunting doing the fear-Setting task but take it one day at a time. Good luck with your goals for the year!

  • Im looking forward to 1. setting realistic financial goals in 2017
    2. reading more about personal finance this year . Having read this article i will pick four
    3. Saying “no” more . Being frugal doesnt necessarily mean being cheap.
    4. Talking about personal finance . Sometimes people say its taboo to talk about money but I think its important to know what other people are doing or have done with their money either for inspiration or as an example of what not to do
    5. Be consistent particularly with journaling

    • Thanks for commenting, Zandile! I definitely agree with you that talking about personal finance is necessary. It’s one of the reasons I started this website! Good luck with the financial goals in 2017 🙂

  • Really loving what you are doing here. I have a lot to add to my financial education and following your work is part of my goal in 2017. Keep going on! People are listening.

  • Really loving what you are doing here. I have a lot to add to my financial education and following your work is part of my goal in 2017. Keep going on! People are listening.

    • Thank you Tilden! I am glad you find the website helpful! If there are any specific questions you have or topics you want to learn more about leave a comment on the page or send me an email and I will try to get your questions answered on the website. Email is info@investmentconversations.com

  • You have a wealth of knowledge that belies your age (which I do not know), and puts you in the bracket of those who have lived a lot in a short period. This is an enviable quality we ought to strive for.

    I am considering using the Pomodoro technique in achieving daily and weekly goals. I basically requires you to have one major goal per day—which if it were the only thing you achieve, would make you feel like you were very productive with your day. You may also set additional secondary goals too. A Pomodoro (Italian for Tomato), is a minimum of 25 minutes, followed by 5 minutes of break. You decide how many Pomodoro’s each goal needs, and once you finish a task, you record the actual amount of Pmodoro’s you used.

    This blog is wonderful, I’ll be back. Great job on it Chinazom! Cheers.

    • Thank you Segun! I’ve heard about this technique from Tim Ferriss and Alex (founder of The Five Minute Journal). I don’t know that I explicitly follow it although I kind of practice a similar ritual unconsciously. Thanks again!

  • I am planning to make major changes to this new year. The reason why 2016 was not as successful as I wanted it to be was because I did not write down my goals or go over them each month.

    I’m 2017 I now plan to :
    1. Write down goals objectives in a planner/ journal.

    2. Write down HOW AND WHEN I will do these goals in a journal.

    3. Talk to a close friend or family to push me and motivate me.

    4. Read more books about how each goal I have set. Ex. Finance ( Read books or online articles/website and talk to a financial advisor for tips )

    5. Always be positive and consistent. If I am always consistent, I will look back at this year and be proud of all the goals I have achieved. Each step matters and I must push myself each day.

    Thank you and I really love this website!

    • Thanks for your comment, Nancy! A lot of people have the same issues with goal setting especially when it comes to reviewing their progress and staying consistent! Hope 2017 is YOUR YEAR!

  • Great article! Love the Pick Four concept, definitely something I want to incorporate this year! I’m actually reading The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss (such a great book, if you haven’t read it please do!) so the concept of fear setting is pretty familiar.

    One other concept I’ve learned from the book that I am doing this year is Dreamlining. It’s kind of like goal setting but differs in that the goals are converted from just ambiguous wants to defined steps, they also have to be unrealistic to be effective – which makes it even more interesting. Essentially, without limiting yourself and assuming you can’t fail, you write down 5 things you dream of having, being, and doing. You do this for two timelines, 6 and 12 months. Then you make the items on your “being” list actionable by writing down one specific thing you’d need to do to achieve each of them. One that’s done, you can calculate the cost of the dreams and figure out a target monthly (or daily) income for both timelines then work towards freeing or generating that income. It’s pretty interesting!

    Aside from that, a few other simple things I am doing are:
    1. Decluttering. Decluterring my email and life in general. I find that clutter really curbs my productivity.
    2. Also, I often fall into the trap of first completing the easiest (and quickest) items on my To-Do lists, and in the process ignore some of the more important ones. I think changing this bad habit will put me on the right track to achieve my goals this year.

    • Love this! I have read the book and it’s awesome. I really like the concept of Dreamlining – done the exercise a few times but not sure if it is very practical for me. Apparently comes with a lot of time and creativity – so will revisit this from time to time.

      I also like your plans. Hope you have a successful 2017!

  • 2017 really needs to be the year I achieve my goals. I am writing the CFE in September 2017 after not passing the 2016 CFE. I have to make a plan to achieve my goals and so I am starting now with a weekly and monthly study plan to get myself on track!

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