Focus On This Podcast

120. The 5 Gifts of Goal Setting



The holidays are here—which means it’s the season of giving and goal setting.

In this short and sweet holiday edition of Focus On This, Verbs, Courtney, and Blake unpack the five gifts of goal setting. These gifts can transform 2022—and the years to come.

In this episode, you’ll discover—

  • Why clarity drives success
  • The best Freudian slip in Focus On This history
  • One strategy for developing greater motivation
  • How goal-setting leads to new experiences
  • The ultimate reward for achieving a goal



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Episode Transcript

Verbs: Classic question. Here we go. What is your favorite part about Christmas and the new year?

Blake: Ooh, it has to be the nog.

Verbs: Err! Wrong. It is gifts.

Blake: Oh. And gifts.

Verbs: It is receiving gifts. Come on, Blake.

Blake: You’re right. It’s about getting gifts.

Verbs: I could be wrong.

Blake: It’s the season of getting. That’s what they say. Right? Unto us a child is born. Unto Blake a gift is given.

Verbs: Well, technically, yes. When it comes to gifts, it would be the giving of and the receiving of, because it truly is better to give than to receive.

Blake: So, what we should do in this episode to celebrate is let’s give each other some gifts. I know what you’re thinking. “Blake, I hope you didn’t overdo it, you stuck to the budget.” I did. All of these gifts I spent zero dollars on, because some of the best gifts are intangible. I know that makes me sound cheap, but for the sake of an audio medium podcast, I think we should unwrap some gifts together. Okay?

We’re going to unwrap gifts of goal setting. I know. Maybe it wasn’t on your Christmas list. Let me finish. Goal setting comes with it a lot of gifts. There are plenty of benefits, things we overlook, and we default to just a New Year’s resolution. When you set a goal, it’s even better. There are gifts to be unwrapped. So gather around. Bring your eggnog, bring your hot cocoa, bring your frankincense and myrrh, and let’s unwrap some gifts together.

Verbs: Welcome to another episode of Focus on This, the most productive podcast on the Internet, so you can banish distractions, get the right stuff done, and finally start loving Mondays. I’m Verbs, here with Courtney Baker and Blake Stratton. Merry Christmas to you all.

Courtney: Merry Christmas.

Blake: Merry Christmas to you, good sir. Wow. I love this. Ooh, warm and cozy here.

Courtney: So toasty.

Blake: Okay. We’re doing gifties, you guys, nifty gifties of the intangible kind. We’re talking about goal setting. In the busyness of the holiday season, you don’t want this “fresh start” moment to slip by, so we brought some gifts to you, the listeners, and to each other, to one another, to remind each other of the gifts, many gifts, of goal setting. So, who wants to give the first gift?

Verbs: I’ll go first.

Blake: Okay, Verbs.

Verbs: Blake, I went ahead and got you something. I don’t know if this was on your Christmas list or not, but here you go, my bud.

Blake: Okay. Let’s see.

Verbs: Feel free to open.

Blake: Verbs! How did you know? Verbs has given me the gift of possibility, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s just my size. Thank you, Verbs.

Verbs: It is.

Blake: What made you think of this gift of possibility for me?

Verbs: Well, I know it’s easy to get stuck in the emotions… I’m sorry. It’s easy to get stuck in the motions.

Courtney: That is the best Freudian slip I’ve ever heard in my life right there.

Blake: It is easy to get stuck in the emotions.

Verbs: I seriously read “emotions.”

Blake: It’s easy for me to get stuck in the emotions. I think that’s what you were thinking. That’s why you gave it to me.

Verbs: I know it’s easy to get stuck in the motions, just going through the demands of every day, but setting goals really gives us a reason to stop and think, not about what is but also about what could be. So, we enter into a place of possibility thinking, where we imagine a better world. When I thought of that, Blake, I thought of you. Setting goals is truly an invitation to pause and be hopeful about our futures.

Blake: I know. I love that. It’s one of my favorite things about this time of year. You get to slow down and pause and start getting excited about something different, something new, something exciting, something about your future that you would like to change or influence. When you create a goal, you get to do exactly that. So, thank you, Verbs. I appreciate the gift of possibility.

Well, Courtney, Santa over here… I picked this out for you. Now, full disclosure. It was on sale. I am always looking for a bargain. No, I’m just kidding. I paid full price for this, so here you go. You can shake it around and see if you can guess what it is.

Courtney: It sounds like jewelry. Is it jewelry?

Blake: You’re on the right track.

Courtney: Okay. Yeah, you got me the gift of clarity.

Blake: Yes! Very similar to jewelry. Right? You need that diamond to be shimmering and whatnot. I thought of you, Courtney, because sometimes we have a vague idea about what we want. You know, you want more time with family. Maybe you listening are looking for a better job. I know Courtney has reached the apex of any career we could hope to have, as the chief marketing officer of Michael Hyatt & Company, but maybe you have other things you want.

You’re excited about possibility, and maybe you’ve gotten some possibility. I don’t know if Verbs got that for you too, but you don’t stop there. At that point, it’s just an aspiration. A goal can actually create clarity. That’s why we have this SMARTER framework we talk about all the time. It’s not just setting a goal or having an aspiration; it’s about making it specific, about making it measurable. That will ensure you know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish.

I know we’re kind of joking around here with the whole gift thing, but clarity is a gift. If you have clarity, you can go fast (I know you like to go fast), and you can empower others. You can connect them to your vision, and you’re great at connecting… Do you have the biggest team at Michael Hyatt & Company? I think you do. The marketing team?

Courtney: I think so. It’s close. I think the creating team is catching up, but, yes.

Blake: Just in terms of sheer numbers. You’re great at mobilizing a team, and I thought, “You know what would be perfect for Courtney this year is some extra clarity.”

Courtney: I think this is the perfect gift, because I feel like in a season like we’ve all been in… We said this last year with 2020, but again with 2021. In addition, I now have a 1-year-old. I know both of you have experienced the first year of having a baby in the house. There are a lot of things that are more challenging. Your focus kind of hones in quite a bit on what is possible. I think this gift of clarity on what I want and taking aspirations for the future and turning them into goals, getting clarity on that, is actually really timely for me in my life stage. So, Blake, thank you for that gift.

Blake: Hey, don’t mention it.

Courtney: All right, Verbs. It’s my turn. Here’s the gift I gave you. Now, specifically, before you open this gift, I would like for you to know my true intention with this gift, which is I want some verse laid down. Is that the way you would say that?

Blake: Some what laid down?

Courtney: Some verses.

Blake: Verses. Some bars.

Courtney: What do I say here? Some bars?

Blake: Yeah. You use the bars.

Courtney: I know so little about music. I can’t even say what I want.

Verbs: What are you trying to say?

Courtney: I would really like this gift to be a gift for your music making, specifically, so here it is.

Verbs: Okay. Let me see. Wow! This is truly something I’ve been longing for all year round. Courtney, you went above and beyond. Thank you for the gift of motivation.

Blake: Motivation. Some mo!

Verbs: Some mo. Give me some mo.

Courtney: We talked about this last week with your limiting belief around making music, so I thought this gift would be perfect for you. As we talk about goals, they really are gifts because they are exciting. Again, the way we’ve framed the SMARTER framework is not like, “Oh, I’ve just got to do this thing because I have to do it.” Our goal-setting framework is to make goals exciting. When a goal is exciting, you naturally are going to have motivation. You’re naturally going to have a sense of purpose and meaning. If you don’t, it’s probably not a goal in the first place and you need to go back in time and maybe re-work through those.

When you have that excitement and you get that motivation, it kind of compounds on itself. It’s like the more goal progress you make, the more achievement you’re making, the more satisfaction you’re getting. It’s like it compounds, because it gives you more motivation. Getting across that finish line becomes easier and easier over time, and then the end result… I think this is true with all goals. It’s not just the end result that is satisfying, but that whole process, that journey to get there is part of the satisfaction.

Verbs: That’s great, Courtney. I appreciate it. I do think just even having the gift of motivation in my hands now puts me into a mindset of going through some of those potential goals I could set and really digging down on motivations behind what those could be and identifying those to help go forward into the new year. So, thank you, my friend.

Blake: All right, guys. We have two more gifts of goal setting to give. I think we should give one of these to our producer, Nick, who is here. Okay, Nick. I know maybe you weren’t expecting it.

Nick: No, no. I was not expecting one.

Verbs: Welcome to around the tree.

Blake: We were thinking of you with this next one. This is a big one. This is the biggest box under the tree right here. So, here you go.

Nick: Thank you so much. It’s too big to shake, so I’ll just undo this ribbon here and open up the lid. Oh my! Blake, this is what I wanted. It’s new experiences. How did you know?

Courtney: Wait. Nick, that’s from all of us, not just Blake.

Nick: Oh! It just says “Blake” on the tag, so you have to talk to him about that.

Blake: Yeah. Sorry.

Verbs: Don’t let that guy write the cards anymore.

Blake: Sorry. I had them Venmo me quite a bit of money just so I’d make sure I’d have enough for this one. Yes, we got you new experiences, Nick, because we know you’re tired of us and are probably looking over the horizon.

Nick: Yes.

Blake: No. I’m just kidding.

Nick: Oh! I was too.

Blake: When you set a goal, Nick…I thought maybe you’d appreciate this…it’s going to get you outside of your comfort zone. It’s going to feel a little risky, maybe be a little different, but as a result, you get to create some new memories, have new experiences, try new things, meet new people, start a new podcast that’s, like, a weekly podcast about Verbs making his next album. I’m just throwing it out there, just a random idea I had.

You can do all of these new things. New experiences come as a result of setting risky, exciting goals. In the process of new experiences, Nick… You know what? As a fellow Four, you’re going to like this. You’re going to learn a little bit more about yourself and about how you’re a unique, precious flower that no one will fully understand, but we can admire your beauty. You’re a beautiful man. That’s the point of this gift, I guess.

Nick: Well, yeah. Anytime someone gives me an opportunity to reflect on how special I am, that’s a gift. And it feels new every time, so it’s a real win. Thank you so much.

Blake: New experiences… This is real, though. I mean, I’ve set goals. You don’t always get to choose what those new experiences are. That’s why this box is so big: because it can contain a lot of things that are unexpected, but inevitably, it has led me to new jobs. This job, I think, initially was related to a goal. Courtney, I know that’s similar for you, the job you have now, a new experience doing what you’re doing connected to goals. So, for you listening, you get to have new experiences as well. In fact, you guys, should we give this last one to them listening? They’ve been so patient.

Courtney: Absolutely.

Verbs: I think it should go to our faithful listeners and our unfaithful listeners, if they’re out there.

Blake: Whether you’ve been naughty or nice… Verbs, do you want to present this one to them? Honestly, let’s be real. You’re their favorite one. They’re kind of hoping, “Okay. I wonder what Verbs got me this year.” Why don’t you go for it.

Verbs: I’d love to do the honors. Let me go ahead and pull this ribbon and open it up here. Aha! For those listening, you have now been gifted growth, not just for 2022, but in the years beyond that as well. Now, let me just share with you why this gift is so important. When you set goals, you inevitably become a different person. These are almost like the keys to transformation.

When you pursue things that are new and hard and outside of your comfort zone, then you change. That’s kind of the point. That’s why we’re here on a weekly basis. In the words of Michael Hyatt, a goal is not about what you accomplish; it’s about who you become. Pursuing goals will change the way you engage the world. They can even change the way you relate to yourself. So, if you want to grow and you want to change, goals are one of the best ways to do just that.

Blake: I totally agree. I think this is the greatest gift of all…from goals, that is. Obviously, the greatest gift of all is a PlayStation 5 or 6, or whatever it is, but when it comes to goal setting, the greatest gift, I think, is the growth you experience. Who you become in the process is always more powerful than the thing you ticked off the list or that you accomplished. I mean, you don’t have to send us a “thank you” card, but if you wanted to drop a five-star review in exchange for that gift, that would be fine.

Verbs: We just want to take a moment to thank you for celebrating with us as we’ve unwrapped the gifts of goal setting. Remember, possibility, clarity, motivation, new experiences, and growth can be yours when you set SMARTER goals. Any final thoughts for our Focus on This listeners for this holiday season?

Courtney: Just a reminder that it’s not too late to join us for Your Best Year Ever LIVE. So much of what we talked about today in goals is laid out in that course or joining us for the live event. So, if you haven’t signed up yet, you can do that at Again, it’s one of my favorite things I do all year and really sets up the next year with my Full Focus Planner to be successful.

Verbs: Thank you all for joining us on this holiday edition of Focus on This. God bless you, everyone. This is the most productive podcast on the Internet, so share it with your friends, and don’t forget to join our Full Focus Planner Community on Facebook. We’ll be here next week with another great episode. Until then…

All: Stay focused!