2 steps to killing it in 2016 (Pt 2)

Hopefully you had a chance to do part one of this exercise that you can find here.

There you reviewed 2015, in particular focusing on re-living the ways that you killed it and could have killed it more, even imagining that you had...That was step one.

Here's step two: Set goals for 2016. 

Here you're going to lay out five categories of goals for 2016. And you're not just going to set them, but work your way through a ridiculously powerful four-step process to get yourself to stick to your goals...

1. Set the vision

Dream and scheme, baby. Sit back, close your eyes if you want, and imagine your year playing out how you want it to be. Really imagine it. See it. Make it bigger and brighter. And feel it. Really feel like this is your year, and watch yourself taking the actions and getting the results you want.
Now, for a few moments go beyond this year: Look out 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, a lifetime, and see how 2016 is setting you up! Feel the excitement!! 

2. Choose five categories of goals.

You will break down each goal in more detail in step 3, but for now choose your goals. 
For instance, my five goals are: Loving my fabulous life (yes, I set it as my #1 goal to be loving my life). Driving my business. Family. Friends. And most importantly, my spiritual path and serving. Notice that for me common goals like health, personal development, mindset, and success are missing because they are omnipresent in my life. Some others might be missing that are most important for you.

3. Break down each goal into sub-goals

For example, a sub-goal of Driving my business is writing my third book, set specific goals for 2016, and then apply the filters A-E: 

A. Add Pain

Look, the truth is that us humans more often than not respond to pain more than pleasure. So before you get all excited about what you get from achieving your goals, first ask yourself, what pain will you get from failing to commit and take action? What pain will you feel if you let yourself down? If you wimp out? Will you feel like someone who can't cut it? Someone who isn't willing to do what it takes to succeed? Is that who you are? Feel it, add that pain to giving up on your goals, and give yourself the leverage you might need. 

B. Add Pleasure

Really feel what you get from your goals. Don't just think about it, but really feel it. I mean, really. So, if you said, you want a new man or woman in your life, ask yourself, what do you get through that? What is the feeling? Loving someone? Being loved? Sharing deeply? Really, go into the feeling and ask yourself, what do you get through that feeling? If it's being loved, what do you get through that? And through that? And that? Keep asking this question, going deeper into bliss, and tying as much pleasure as you can to your goals... 

C. Get clear on your outcome

Get clear on your target and visualize your goal, feeling what it's like to blow through your target. Really feel it. Imagine yourself at the end of 2016 looking back and seeing that you killed it. How does this feel? Really, again, like you did in Step B, go deep into this feeling. Punch the air. Celebrate. Imagine what you will do and how you will feel. Imagine, who have you become?  

D. Get clear on your process

The reason most people will never get what they want is because they are focused on "manifesting" the outcome, when they need to be absorbed in taking the actions that drive success. Look forward and get clear on what needs to happen to get the results you want. Draw up a plan, imagine yourself taking the actions, and commit right now to take them. Infuse the pleasure of your goal into the actions you imagine taking and also the pain you will get from failing to take them...


Goals are not about what you get, but who you are becoming. Look, if you've set a real goal (one that actually requires you to get better or otherwise fail), then you must grow if you want to succeed. So, how are you going to grow? How do you see yourself differently? What do you commit to do differently every day to become the person who is crushing your goals? Write out five things you plan to do differently and apply pain to failing to do them. Is that overcoming fears? Building new skills? Training your mind and body for success? Again, commit yourself to doing what it takes, ask yourself how you will feel if you wimp out, and commit to take action. 

4. Super-review

For each of your goals, take your time to carefully work through Steps A-E. Then, after you imagine each goal coming together, sit back and close your eyes for at least ten minutes and imagine all of the pieces coming together making your year even more magical than you could have imagined.  
I suggest you take hours if not days or weeks (as I have with a number of clients) to write out detailed ideas for these steps and to specifically tune how your pain and pleasure and focus and actions and growth bring all of this together for you. 

Then for the duration of 2016, review a summary of your goals every morning, and the detailed notes at least every couple of weeks. Use this to hold yourself to your goals and to commit yourself to the progress targets required to achieve them. 

Oh, and have fun. I'm serious. Look, I'm serious about goals. I'm serious about my business. I'm serious about you getting what you want, but you've gotta be having fun. This life, this one moment, this one year, this is all we have...LOVE IT

Think of Kobe Bryant. He's competitive as heck and wants to win, but every time he runs out on the court he's playing the game he loves...AND KILLING IT.

Make 2016 the same way!

Geoff Blades is the author of Do What You Want on Wall Street. A former investment banker at Goldman Sachs and investor at the Carlyle Group, Geoff Blades is an advisor to senior Wall Street executives, CEOs, and other leaders on strategic matters as well as topics of personal and professional development.

Comments (6)

Best Response
Dec 30, 2015 - 11:57am


I personally always find the opposite. I thought that the people here would appreciate something less vague and generic. I think perhaps it is the American vs European constant desire for "self-help"?

Geoff and I are both Aussies, which makes me feel like I can relate to him more than other posters on this forum. He has a very impressive background, which in turn inspires me.

Also, I disagree that his advice is vague and generic. His advice requires active thought, consideration, planning and execution. In fact, I think the constant advice from others to 'just network, get good grades and have fun' is generic.

Jan 5, 2016 - 11:11pm

I'd like to back QGKZ - I'm also an Aussie and it's quite satsifying finally having a perspective that isn't US/UK centric.

In regards to the 'generic' advice, he is providing strategic advice. Strategy is generic by nature - it's not some prescription of do x,y,z - instead it's providing a valid framework which a person can either adopt all of, part of or none at all. The task is then on the person to realise the framework for their specific situation. I don't think you could ask nor expect more from someone who posts for general consumption?

Start Discussion

Popular Content See all

How can we do better?
+309IBby Managing Director in Investment Banking - Industry/Coverage">Managing Director in IB - Ind
Leaked EY Email
+38IBby 1st Year Analyst in Investment Banking - Industry/Coverage">Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Life Hacks during WFH | How do you avoid burnout?
+21IBby 1st Year Analyst in Investment Banking - Mergers and Acquisitions">Analyst 1 in IB-M&A

Total Avg Compensation

January 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $911
  • Vice President (28) $348
  • Associates (137) $229
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (18) $155
  • 2nd Year Analyst (84) $153
  • Intern/Summer Associate (88) $144
  • 1st Year Analyst (343) $134
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (297) $83

Leaderboard See all

LonLonMilk's picture
Jamoldo's picture
Secyh62's picture
CompBanker's picture
redever's picture
frgna's picture
bolo up's picture
bolo up
NuckFuts's picture
Addinator's picture
Edifice's picture