The Must-Ask Question For ALL Goals! (Plus 4 Questions To Explore Your Client's Goal Motivation)

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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?

Well, top of my list would be this one:

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

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

Still not 100% convinced that they want their goal? Try this series of questions below (NB. the questions are easier asked than described!):

  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"

These questions 1) essentially ask what is getting in the way, then 2) what they would like instead of those concerns. Then finally asking, 3) if you could have your goal AND your concerns are dealt with, would you want your goal now?

Of course the questions are hypothetical, but it gets you to the core of whether they want the goal and it's just some obstacles/fears getting in the way - or whether they just don't want the goal!

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


  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


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