The Must-Ask Question For ALL Goals! Plus Questions To Explore Your Client's Goal Motivation

Client pondering goals question

Setting Goals - there's a whole science behind it! But if there was one question to ask at every goal-setting discussion what would it be?

The Must-Ask Question For ALL Goals

Top of my list is this question:

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

If your client doesn't answer yes pretty quickly and convincingly, then it's time to ask some questions and dig a little deeper...

And here is a 4 step process to uncover what might be getting in the way

If the client is still not 100% convinced they want their goal? Try the series of questions below to explore their goal motivation.

Note: These questions are easier to ask than to explain!

  1. What concerns do you have? What's holding you back?
  2. What would you rather have instead of [insert concern/s mentioned in question 1 here]?
  3. If you could have the outcome you want AND [insert answer/s to question 2 here], would you take it?
  4. Then keep cycling around these questions until you get a definite "Yes"

The questions explained

These questions get you to the core of whether your client wants the goal and it's just some obstacles/fears getting in the way - or whether they perhaps don't want the goal at all.

Essentially these questions ask 1) What is getting in the way, 2) What would you like instead of those concerns and then 3) If you could have your goal AND your concerns are dealt with, would you want your goal now?

If you liked this article about Goal Motivation you may also like:

Love goal setting? Get your Complete Guide to SMART Goals (with Special .PDF Report!) here >>

Image of Client pondering goal questions by stockfour via Shutterstock


  1. Sirli

    Hi Emma-Louise! Thank you for this article! I really love this question: “If you could have your goal now, would you take it?” However those questions that follow to prove deeper, can also reveal that the client wants his or her goal because of the wrong reasons and that is why there is not 100% convincing "yes".

  2. Colin

    Thanks for the post - this was helpful. I have never taken this approach however as you are obviously highlighting clients may not always be ready for the goal or even ant it ... if so then why? Well done. Could have used this for a conversation today.

    • Emma-Louise

      Hi Colin, thanks for taking the time to comment! And glad you like the article. It's something I've seen with a few clients - they THINK they want it, but when it comes down to it they're not really ready to commit/do what it takes. Especially as life is so busy these days. You have to REALLY want something to make time for it... Warmly, Emma-Louise

  3. KeAndra Macklin

    Emma-Louise, you are AMAZING! I heard you for the first time last weekend at the Berry Fowler Global Coaching Conference. You were super! I truly enjoyed your presentation and your personality. The funny thing (but meant to be) was that, I happen to be searching for tools on the internet and your site came up and I said...OMG, I know her! lol These tools and questions are so helpful and very descriptive. I am very excited to start using them. Thank you so much, Emma-Louise for making my day, and for being a light to so many that you don't even know. May your business and your family be blessed!

    I am starting out in my coaching career. I do not have a website at this moment, but I received my first client TODAY! So this was right on time!

    • Emma-Louise

      Dear KeAndra, what a lovely comment!!! Thank-you for your kind words. And CONGRATS on your first client 🙂 Best of luck, warmly, Emma-Louise


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