How to Follow Through With Your Goals [Goal Setting Series – HMHE Ep 14]

Published on 12 Dec, 2022

Show Notes – Ep 014: How to Follow Through With Your Goals [Goal Setting Series]

In today’s episode of the Happy Me Happy Earth podcast, I share five important follow-through tips to help you stay motivated and actually reach your goals!

This is the second episode of my three-part goal-setting series.

Below you can find a brief outline of the episode and the links mentioned in the show. Listen to the full episode above, or wherever you get your podcasts.

This is a picture of a woman following through on her yoga practice. She is doing the ashta chandrasana pose as the sun sets behind her.

Why do most people NOT follow through?

Most people don’t follow through with their goals because they don’t understand how personal change happens. In his book, Atomic Habits: Tiny Change Remarkable Results, author James Clear describes the three levels at which change occurs:

    1. Outcome – what you get
    2. Process – what you do
    3. Identity – what you believe

In last week’s episode, I talked about how to set goals. This is the outcome that you are looking to achieve. Most people make the mistake of just identifying their desired outcome when setting goals or new year’s resolutions. But, if we don’t address the other two levels, process and identity, we are setting ourselves up for failure.

So this week I am talking about how to create processes and shift your identity so that you can stay motivated and actually follow through with your goals.

Follow Through Tips

Tip #1: Make a plan

Most people don’t take the time to make a plan to reach their goals. This is a surefire way to set yourself up for failure. Your plan is the process or system by which you will reach your goal.

Here is a simple process that you can use to make a plan that helps you stay motivated as you pursue your goal:


    1. Do a brain dump. Write down all the steps and/or research topics you will need to complete to achieve your goal. Don’t worry if you feel overwhelmed after making this list. That’s normal!
    2. Next, estimate the amount of time that each task will take. If there is a task that will take multiple hours then chunk it down into more bite-size pieces.
    3. Also, consider the habits that you’ll need to develop to become the person that reaches your goal.
    4. Then, put your action steps in your calendar. Please don’t skip this step! Schedule when you will do each of the tasks that you identified.
    5. Commit to your plan! Each time you follow through on something that you said you’d do you build your self-trust.

Tip #2: Develop an internal locus of control

This step is about developing a sense of personal responsibility. No matter what’s going on in the world around us we can use the next year to make ourselves stronger and more courageous. We can reach our goals!

Someone with a strong external locus of control attributes success or failure to factors outside of their control. These people feel like life is happening TO them. They feel like they’re a victim of external circumstances.

On the other hand, people with a high internal locus of control believe that they control their own success or failure. They don’t see success or failure as the result of chance or fate, so even when an unexpected external challenge pops up they believe they have the power to overcome it.

Below are a few reflection questions to help you develop an internal locus of control so that you can more easily follow through with your goals:


    • What areas of my life related to my goal do I view with an external locus of control?
    • What thoughts, beliefs, and reactions has this external locus of control created within me?
    • What new thoughts and beliefs do I need to develop to reach my goal?

Tip #3: Transform your self-image through your habits

Our self-image work helps us achieve that third, deepest level of change creation, identity. Self-image is the mental picture that we have of ourselves. It’s who we think we are and the beliefs we have about ourselves.

According to James Clear, “Behavior that is incongruent with your self-image will not last.”

So if we want to create lasting change in our lives and follow through with our goals we need to change the underlying beliefs that we have about ourselves.

The Latin roots of the word “identity” are:

    • “esentias” = being
    • “identidem” = repeatedly

Therefore, “identity” means “repeated beingness.”

We evolve our identity through repeated actions AKA habits. So by developing new habits we can transform our self-image.

Ask yourself, “What habits do I need to create to become the type of person who accomplishes this goal?”

Tip #4: Reflect and make tweaks

Schedule a regular time once a week or once a month to reflect on how your journey toward your goal is going. During this reflection, assess: What is going well? What isn’t going well? Lastly, what do I want to do differently?

If you come up against a challenge while trying to reach your goal don’t just throw in the towel. Instead, take whatever lessons you can from the challenge and shift your approach toward your goal accordingly.

By making this reflection time a habit you can help yourself stay in the growth mindset.

Tip #5: Celebrate your successes growth mindset style

If you want to stay motivated to reach your goal it’s important to focus on process praise and to celebrate when you’ve hit milestones on the way to your bigger goal. This will help you establish the self-image of someone who follows through on their commitments to themselves.

It’s important not to be in the all-or-nothing mindset when approaching your goal. Instead, establish small milestones that will give you a sense of accomplishment along the way. I talked about how to establish these milestones in episode 13 of the podcast (see link above).

Plan out when and how you will celebrate along the way.


All of the above concepts (an internal locus of control, an evolved self-image, a reflective process, etc.) will take time for you to develop. Make a plan and then begin taking action toward your goal. Revisit these tips throughout your journey to help yourself stay motivated and follow through. As always, I hope that this episode of the Happy Me Happy Earth podcast was incredibly helpful for you. Be sure to tune in next week for the final episode of this three-part goal-setting series – Ep 15: The Five Phases of Pursuing Your Goal.

Let’s connect!

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Featured image: Photo by kike vega on Unsplash Podcast music: “Bounce” by Coma-Media on Pixbay
This is a picture of Eva Peterson. She is the host of the Happy Me Happy Earth podcast and a life coach for changemakers and aspiring activists.

Welcome! I'm Eva, host of the Happy Me Happy Earth podcast and blog. This is a place for changemakers, advocates, and aspiring activists to learn, heal, and get inspired. As a certified Life Coach, Ayurvedic Health Counselor, and follow activist I'm here to support you in expanding your impact while thoroughly enjoying your life!

Self-care for Changemakers:
Be an Agent of Change Without Sacrificing Your Health