How to get what you want

Set meaningful goals to create real, lasting change in your life

When you’re not getting what you want out of life, you’re not living up to your values and passions. As frustrating as it is, feeling discontent is actually your first step up. Wanting more out of life drives you to pursue bigger and better accomplishments. And when you’re clear on what drives you, you can manifest anything you want. When you commit to being your best self, you can even learn how to get people to do what you want, since everyone is united by shared goals. With the right approach, you can learn how to get what you want in a relationship, career or any other facet of life. 

What is it you really want in life? What is an area in your life that you’d like to change? Is it related to your health? Is there a skill you’d like to acquire? Do you want to take your relationship to the next level? What about your business or your career – is there something specific that you want to achieve? What in your life do you want to master? With a clear sense of what you want, you’re able to create goals and a step-by-step plan for getting there. 

Why goals are essential to get what you want

In 1953, Yale researchers conducted an intensive study where they interviewed the graduating class just before they left school. They asked the students a series of questions about how to get what you want, one being: “Do you have a clear, specific set of goals with a written plan for achievement?” Interestingly enough, less than 3% of the students answered “yes.”

Then, 20 years later, the researchers went back and interviewed the class members again to find out what their lives were like. They noted that the 3% that had written their goals for a specific plan seemed to be happier and more well-adjusted than the others. Of course, that is subjective. But they also found that the 3% group was worth more in financial terms than the other 97% who did not have clear goals.

That study demonstrates the power of goals. Goals allow us to create our future in advance and enable us to get what we want. They allow us to envision our destinies and shape our lives. They give us direction and hope. But they must be the right goals.

The problem with most people’s goals is that they don’t exactly inspire you to jump out of bed in the morning. The key to learning how to get what you want is setting meaningful goals.

Meaningful goals create emotion and drive inside of you. They spur you to grow and expand. Not only do they spark a sense of hunger inside you, but they allow the other areas of your life to thrive as well as you pursue your vision. But if you want meaningful goals, then you must create goals that are compelling enough to draw these emotions out of you.

how to get what you want in life

How to get what you want by setting goals

You might be thinking that the concept of goal-setting isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but here’s the stark reality: most people don’t have a clearly defined set of goals when they start looking for ways to succeed. More than that, the goal-setting process that we are talking about goes far beyond merely having a vision for something greater. You need to build the foundation that will give you the skills you need and allow you to pursue your goals without fear.

 1. Fulfill your essential needs

What does it mean to find fulfillment? It all goes back to our Six Human Needs: certainty, significance, variety, love/connection, growth and contribution. These are the deepest needs of all humans, and they drive everything we do. When these basic needs aren’t fulfilled, we get stuck in harmful cycles. Unhealthy relationships. Destructive habits and addictions. Unfulfilling careers. Lives filled with fear instead of joy.

To break these cycles and achieve what you want in life, you must break these cycles by fulfilling your essential needs first. Surround yourself with good people. Build authentic relationships. Discover your values and create goals aligned with your truest self. When your needs are met through healthy relationships and lifestyle, you’re able to operate at your peak and give more fully of yourself. When you’re thriving, pursuing what you want enriches your life and the lives of others.

2. Overcome your limiting beliefs

Now that you’ve fulfilled your essential needs, you can focus on your limiting beliefs. These are the stories you tell yourself about the way you are and the way the world is. Such beliefs are often formed in childhood, based on how we were taught to earn the love we desired most – or if our needs went entirely unfulfilled. These beliefs are deeply ingrained, but that doesn’t make them true. You can change your story, and when you do, you’ll change your life.

The fear of failure is often connected to limiting beliefs that you don’t deserve success, or that you’re not strong enough to survive failure. Relationships that don’t last are connected to beliefs that you don’t deserve love or a fear of being rejected when you show vulnerability. If you can’t seem to advance in your career, you may hold beliefs that you’re not skilled, leading to confidence issues.

Once you’ve identified these beliefs, you can be on the lookout for the negative self-talk that creeps into your inner monologue. Replace these negative thoughts with empowering ones that help you get what you want instead of holding you back.


3. Adopt empowering habits

Ultimately, your mindset is the basis for how to get what you want in life. If you let your circumstances, emotions and events outside your control dictate your mindset, you’ll always be distracted from your end goals. But when you learn how to control your mindset, you control your outcomes. One way to do this is to adopt empowering habits.

Meditation calms the mind, and when your mind is calm and centered, you’re in touch with your true desires, so you’re able to make actionable plans to get there. If you’re new to mindfulness meditation, you can start a practice in just a few minutes a day. By making mindfulness a habit, you’re able to bring greater clarity and self-awareness to your day-to-day life. 

Gratitude is another habit that can completely transform your mindset. When you realize that life happens for you, not to you, you’re able to approach challenges as opportunities instead of obstacles. You’ll form a deep belief in yourself and become truly unstoppable.

4. Define your goals

To get what you want, you must first define it. It sounds obvious, yet so many people go through life without defining what they want. With a clear sense of what you want, you’re able to create goals and a step-by-step plan for getting there. 

Asking how to get what you want in a relationship, career or project isn’t selfish – it’s what keeps you inspired to grow. And in any collaborative endeavor, asking how to get people to do what you want really means inspiring people to work toward your shared goals. Great leaders inspire action instead of forcing it. They always share an exciting vision as well as specific steps needed to make it a reality.

What is it you really want in life? What is an area in your life that you’d like to change? Is it related to your health? Is there a skill you’d like to acquire? Do you want to create an extraordinary relationship? What about your business or your career – is there something specific that you want to achieve? What in your life do you want to master?

how to get what you want

5. Write it down

Write your goals down – not on a computer, but on paper or in a journal. There’s something that happens when we write something down on a physical piece of paper. You become a creator when you write down your goals. You are acknowledging both to your conscious and subconscious minds that where you are right now is not where you want to be. Your brain then makes this distinction and becomes unhappy with the status quo.

One of the strongest incentives is a sense of discontentment. When you’re totally comfortable and relaxed, you’re not going to be inspired to do whatever it takes to make things happen. Discontentment is a power that you want on your side. There is real drive when you find something that you want to move away from. Tension and pressure can serve as powerful drivers of our actions. Use this as a tool to influence yourself so you can start to take actionable steps toward your success. Learning how to get what you want becomes a strategy instead of just a dream. 

6. Get clear on the “why”

Now, get crystal clear. Write out the details: How would achieving this goal make you feel? What would it mean to you to get what you want? How will it change your life? When you’re clear on why your desires are important to you, learning how to get what you want (or how to get people to do what you want) becomes more natural. 

By getting absolutely clear as to why you must achieve your goal, you will find your purpose. And purpose is stronger than outcome. The purpose of a goal is not so you can get the result – it’s what the end result will make you as a person. Learning how to get what you want becomes a source of fulfillment, since you’re acting in alignment with your passions. 

Knowing this purpose will help keep you laser-focused, and it will help get you through the rough times. If you create a strong enough “why” to keep you going, you will have the fuel to endure anything that comes your way. Realize that material objects or a certain title will not make you happy. The only thing that will make you happy is the person you have become and what you have created in your lifetime. 

So what are the reasons that you must achieve your goal? How will it change your life for the better? What lies underneath your surface aspirations?

find certainty

7. Find absolute certainty

It’s perfectly okay to have no idea how to get people to do what you want or a strategy for achieving your goal. And it’s perfectly okay to set goals that go beyond your present ability or skill. What’s important here is that you operate from a place of absolute belief and faith.

Frame your goals with absolute certainty – that no matter what, you will find a way to make it happen. This is crucial for accomplishing your goals. Even if it seems impossible to you now, you know in your core that you can pull it off. When you have that fundamental belief, you will be taking back control of your life. So even though you may not be able to control the outside world or the challenges that come your way, you know that you will persevere and overcome. 

So many people give up prematurely because they focus on the outcome and then stop and tell themselves, “I don’t know how to do that” or “I could never achieve that.” Or they fail along the way and decide to quit because it seems easier than trying again. What if you didn’t have to figure out how to get what you want , but rather believe that you will figure it out no matter what? That achieving your goal is not only within the realm of possibilities, it is an absolute certainty? Just imagine how that could change your life right now.

8. Deliberate practice and repetition 

Think about the greatest coaches of all-time: Vince Lombardi and John Wooden, for example. They were famous for teaching the fundamentals to individuals who were already the best at what they did. And they did it over and over again. Why? Because repetition is the mother of skill. 

To master how to get what you want, you cannot set goals one time, never look at them again – and then expect long-term results. Your subconscious mind may know the general direction to move in, but the power comes from daily practice and constant review. People looking for a quick fix will never achieve mastery. Reaching your goals takes focus and deliberate practice: You have to repeat skills over and over again in order to get what you want. In personal and professional settings, you must practice the skills of empathy and respect before you’ll ever be able to learn how to get people to do what you want. 

If it’s a new skill you want to acquire, learning how to utilize a deliberate practice strategy is a key part of becoming comfortable within your new practice. If you’re looking to achieve more in your business, then determine the core processes you need to shift and execute those on a regular basis. What about bringing more joy and passion into your relationship? Intimacy is a daily practice.

If you want to master anything you have to ingrain it into your system. And practice is a key part of that. Remember, consistent practice and constant focus – this is what will result in a profound and lasting impact on your life.

Mastering how to get what you want in life isn’t easy – if it was, everyone would be joyful and fulfilled. Getting what you want takes time, commitment and clarity of purpose. We are all capable of accomplishing the things we dream of; we just have to decide to go after these goals with everything we have. 

Are you ready to take control of your life and go after what it is you really want? Start today, and set the future version of yourself up for success. Discover the driving force behind your goals to master how to get what you want in life

Team Tony

Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

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