How Serious IS Your Client About Their Goals? Here are 5 Quick and Fun Tests!

How to Know if Your Client is Serious About Their Goals - Child looking through in Binoculars!

Especially when our clients have BIG goals in mind, it's important to help set them up for success by exploring if they really want their goal - and how committed they are. Not only that, but sometimes with big goals, it's easy to lose our enthusiasm when the going gets tough.

So, whether you have a client just starting out or whether they've just lost their way a little, here are 5 quick tests to explore how serious your client REALLY is about their goals!

5 Quick Tests to See How Serious Your Client is About Their Goals!

1) The Simple COMMITMENT Test

A great place to start is the totally obvious.

  • Ask, "How would you score your level of commitment to achieving this goal, on a scale of 0 to 10" (where 0 is 'absolutely not' and 10 is 'totally committed')

Then, if their Commitment Score is less than 8 – ask them what's getting in the way, and work with them to address the obstacle and then ask again for their commitment score.

Repeat until score is 8 or more.

2) The NOW Test!

This simple, but powerful question is a great way to drive out if they REALLY want their goal.

  • Ask, "If you could have your goal now, would you take it?"

If the answer to this question is yes, great!

But if the answer is no, or they're unsure - it's time to for you to work your coaching magic - and find out where they're sabotaging themselves, what's getting in the way, limiting beliefs or whether it's really their goal in the first place...


So, this question explores how their life might be different 10 years after achieving their goal.

  • Ask, "Imagine for a moment that you've achieved your goal AND you're 10 years in the future. As you look back, what would you tell yourself today?"

Get them to really feel into the question. Then when they answer, are they encouraging themselves or not? Do they seem decisive or unsure? What do they think might be the consequences of achieving their goal? Does achieving the goal flow and fit into the plan they have for their life?

4) The LAW Test!

So, this question finds out if they're willing to fight for their goal.

  • Ask, "If a law was passed that said you're NOT ALLOWED to have (your goal), would you fight for it - or be relieved?"

If they're ready to fight for it, it's time to further explore what's getting in the way.

And if they're relieved - it may be time to ditch the current goal and find a simpler/more meaningful goal!


These 3 questions look at whether your client likes (or has issues with) the person they'll need to be to achieve their goal.

  1. First ask, "Who do you need to be to achieve this goal?"
  2. Then ask, "Do you like this person?"
  3. And finally, "What DON'T you like about this person?"

These questions are also a great stepping off point to explore the attitudes and supportive habits they may need to develop to achieve their goal.

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Finally, love goal setting? Get our Complete Guide to SMART Goals (with Special .PDF Report!) here >>

How do YOU know if a client is serious about their goal? What do you ask? Share by commenting below!

Emma-Louise Elsey Headshot

Contributing Author:

Emma-Louise Elsey has been coaching since 2003 and is the Founder of The Coaching Tools Company and Fierce She's passionate about coaching and personal development. Originally a project and relationship manager for Fortune 500 companies she combined her love of coaching, creativity and systems to create over 100 brandable coaching tools, forms and exercises including 30+ completely free coaching tools. She now serves coaches and the coaching world through her exclusive newsletter for coaches, Coaches Helping Coaches Facebook Group and many other great tools for coaches, plus resources and ideas for your coaching toolbox. The Coaching Tools Company is an official ICF Business Solutions Partner.

Learn more about Emma-Louise & see all their articles here >>

Image of Child in grass considering the track ahead by MvanCaspel via Shutterstock

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