Setting goals is vital to your growth. Nobody can argue that. I hear it once said that you will fail to accomplish 100% of the goals you don’t set. This is true.

What I’ve also found is that effective goal setting takes careful inspection of your current direction. Once you’ve stopped dreaming and started creating things, you must know what direction those things are taking you in. Andy Stanley says it best,

direction determines destination

“It’s your direction, not your intention, that determines your destination.” – Andy Stanley

You can have the intention of going to Florida but if your actions put you on the i-85 North, you won’t make it to your desired destination.

Where are you headed? What is the current result of what you’re doing? What is working? What isn’t working?

When you’ve inspected these questions you can effectively set goals. You may not have the answer to all of them, but you must at least inspect them. This way you can properly adjust your actions to make sure they are in line with your expectations (or goals).

For a blogger, it’s relatively easy to inspect your results– just look at the numbers. If you have Google Analytics installed there is a gold mine of information you can gather about how you’re doing. This can be overwhelming if you don’t know exactly what to look for.

What I’ve done is create for myself a yearly review process that allows me to inspect my goals and expectations from the previous year. Once I’ve done that, I am ready to set the coming year’s goals and expectations. I’ve actually outlined my entire process over on the Killer Tribes blog. Go ahead and give it a read and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments over there.

Additionally, I wanted to give you a great resource I’ve discovered to help refine your Google Analytics workflow. Dashboard Junkie has dozens of pre-configured Google Analytics dashboards that allow you to easily monitor certain sets of data within your GA dashboard. For bloggers I recommend their Personal Blog dashboard and the Social Media Dashboard.

All you have to do is hit the big green button at the bottom of those posts and as long as you’re logged into Google Analytics, you will be able to add those configurations to your own sites! Very easy, super effective, all around awesome.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this– how do you set proper expectations? You can leave a comment by clicking here


  1. Mark-John Clifford says

    Hi Dustin,
    When I run my program on motivation one of the main areas we discuss is setting goals. We work on the idea of what a goal is and what to expect. The idea of inspection sounds fantastic and I would like to add that to my talks. I believe it is extremely important to inspect.

    Thanks for this post.

  2. says

    Always write your goals down and revisit them often. I think it keeps you on top of your game and allows you to keep them top of mind. It also allows you to more quickly realize when your going astray or need to change direction.

    I teach people this type of thing with my personal finance course. Making a personal spending plan (a budget) for the month, along with a written get out of debt plan, always keeps you moving in the right direction instead of just “winging it” financially. When you have a prescribed path and a final destination that is defined, you’re more likely to get there.

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