Athletes do it all the time: Set goals, pursue them and achieve them. So why do the rest of us struggle to do the same?

It’s not just discipline that gets them there. Athletes understand a fundamental truth – they must train their bodies and their brains to perform optimally.

The good news? Training your brain is a lot easier than hitting the gym six times a week.

Goal setting is everywhere, permeating all aspects of our lives – our careers, families and health. Despite that, people seem plagued with a lack of motivation and commitment. In fact, even though almost half of us set New Year’s resolution goals, only eight per cent achieve them. That means a massive 92 per cent don’t, leading to feelings of frustration, resignation or failure.

But here’s the thing: it’s not our fault. We’re not lazy or unmotivated or lack vision. We’re simply not taught the science behind successful goal setting. No one ever told us how to do it and we all know that just writing them down won’t get make them happen.

It’s not surprising people often feel defeated before they even set a goal. Wishful thinking never gets us far. Nor does telling people what to do; people need personal goals they can achieve to get results.

The most important element to goal achievement is setting goals your brain loves. Our brains are changing constantly, creating new neural pathways as we learn. What we focus on and pay attention to gets more embedded in our brains.

That means if you learn how to focus on goals and the actions needed to create ones that your brain loves, your chances of success increase significantly. It’s all about building new brain wiring.

If everyone in your organization knew how to tap into their brain’s source of inspiration and leveraged what it needs to be and stay goal-focused, motivation and accountability would skyrocket. So would performance, and maybe even the bottom line. Ready, set, goal!

Noesis delivers neuroleadership consulting and training to organizations handling everyday change and major transformation initiatives. We help our clients permanently and scientifically improve leadership.