Why Your Goal-Setting Held You Back in 2016

By Ameen at Seera Masters | Personal Growth

After years of learning and implementing different goal setting techniques, I’m done with it.

At first I got excited with the idea of having a 20 year plan for my life. Until I realised there are waay too many changes that will come in that time and so it was kinda useless. Then I moved to 1-2 year plans which worked better for me especially while I was studying. But now I’m dropping all goal setting.


I’ve read books, analysed interviews and attended seminars to drill down on what it takes to be successful. Meaning what it takes to acheive your personal life goals. The conclusion I’ve come to is to do.


Yes, it’s true that 10 minutes of planning saves hours down the line. I’m still down with that but when thinking and planning and theory get in the way of pure ACTION, I’m not on board anymore.


So what does this mean when it comes to goal setting? Surely we still need a target if we are to accomplish anything? What I propose we need is to take those goals and transform them into actions.


I want to memorise Surah Al Mulk (30 ayat).
This matches 90% of the criteria for the POWER goal setting system that I normally use. What is missing though, is the exact action I will take to accomplish this.

Break It Down

Surah Al Mulk is 30 ayat. For me I think I can memorise 3 ayat at a time comfortably. Doing that daily will probably not last long so I’ll do it twice per week at the beginning, at least.
So 3 ayat, 2 times per week. That’s 6 ayat per week and so it will take me 5 weeks inshaAllah. This is just an example and you may think this is really slow but that’s Ok for now.


The difference between “Memorise Surah Al Mulk” and “I will memorise 3 ayat each Tuesday and Friday at 4pm in my bedroom” is one thing. Action.

I suggest you set goals for no further ahead than 12 months and then translate each one into an action like I’ve done above. What matter is what you DO much more than what you dream to do.


Set up action based systems rather than just goals. Here are some examples:

  • Goal: Become a regular volunteer in the community. System: Dedicate 1 hour on 1st of each month to seek out events/projects to volunteer with and contact them there and then to commit.
  • Goal: To be a healthy Muslim. System: Have a healthy breakfast of eggs, olive oil and minimal bread each morning. Have no more than 1 meal with carbs each day. Exercise for 1 hour each Friday and Sunday.
  • Goal: To learn the complete fiqh of prayer. System: attend weekly class on fiqh of prayer and take notes to revise 1 hour each week.

I hope these examples have helped you turn this new concept into concrete ideas. Let me know some of your goals and systems in the comments below and I’ll give you feedback!

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About the Author

Founder of Seera Masters, a blog that helps Muslims design their mindset and lifestyle to reach their goals. Massively passionate about Quran, travelling, technology and life-long learning!