The R.O.O.T.E.D. Goal Setting System helps you to identify and reverse-engineer essentialist goals that bridge the gap between the future you want and the life you’re living right now.

Sustainable, Life-Giving Goals Are:

Last week, we talked about why clarity is QUEEN if you want to set a strong goal, and discussed how to get more clarity about what you want.

This week, we’ll be diving into the mechanics of reverse-engineering.

What is Reverse-Engineering?

“Reverse-Engineering” means to take apart an existing product or piece of technology, dissect it, and study it, so you can learn how to duplicate or enhance it for your own purposes. When you “reverse-engineer” a goal, you move past your vague theories about what it will take to make your goal happen and research until you have concrete and actionable understanding.

This can be an emotionally tough part of goal setting, but it’s vital to becoming realistic about your goals. By becoming a sort of expert on what you are wanting to do, you can make the decisions necessary to support your goal with confidence and understanding.

You can conduct this research in a number of ways:

  • You can talk to someone who has done what you want to do, and ask them to walk you through the steps. (People often hire coaches for this purpose.)
  • You can read a book or how-to article about your goal. (This can be inexpensive and effective, if you commit yourself to taking real action on what you learn.)
  • You can take an e-course and/or join an online membership. (This deep dive can be a convenient and effective way to become very knowledgable about your goal, and the monetary investment helps foster motivation to follow through.)

As you conduct your research, it is important to remember that you’re not just trying to gather any and every bit of random data you can about your goal. Your objectives are specific. You’re trying to identify someone to whom you can relate who has succeeded with the goal you want to accomplish, get a big picture look at their story so you can find where it overlaps with yours, and then zero-in on the action steps that you could take in order to get the results that fulfill your motivating “why.”

You’re looking at someone’s “finished product” (their success), and then reverse-engineering: taking it apart bit-by-bit, to understand how cause-and-effect played out in their journey so that you can mine effective action-steps like gold from the wisdom of their hindsight.

You also need to take care not to get into an endless research rut. It’ll be tempting to do so, but you have to keep your eye on the prize: taking effective (and often messy) action as quickly and decisively as possible.

Here’s a page from the Goals Workbook that we’re developing. It’ll help you organize your research so that you can really nail down what it’ll take to make your goal a reality.


Our subscription box is open to new subscribers for ONE more day! We ship our sub boxes four times a year and they contain 3 Monthly booklets along with curated planning accessories. The Monthly is the muscle of our planning system. It’s a five-week undated day planner featuring week spreads, habit trackers, timeblocked day pages, and plenty of bullet grid flex space to make the planner completely yours. Our sub box won’t open to new subscribers again until late August, so don’t miss this chance to get the right tools in hand!