The 5 stages we go through when chasing a goal

written by Philip Stefanov  |  MAY 24, 2022

Change is difficult and often requires sacrifice, discipline, and clear goals. To that end, I’d like to outline the five stages we all go through while chasing goals.

Stage 1: Roses and Sunshine

The first stage is often exciting because everything is easy. We are excited about the possibilities and can’t wait to get started. Many people find themselves hopping from one goal to the next because the first stage feels so rewarding and makes them feel like they are making progress. You’re also more likely to do research and plan what you’ll be doing, which is equally rewarding.

So, you write down your goals, make the plan, and venture into the world…

Stage 2: Calm Before The…

You’re no longer running in a field with clear skies and sunshine above. Clouds are beginning to build up, a strong wind picks up speed, and you’re starting to feel chilly.

As you spend some time in stage one, you notice that things are no longer as easy or exciting. The easy diet that was going to help you get abs is a handful, and that training plan is more challenging to stick with. Planning is much easier than doing the actual work.

Stage 3: Storm

The storm might come early, or it might take a while, but one thing is clear: it will eventually come.

Beyond the first two stages, most people start to experience doubt, frustration, and confusion. Despite doing the work and staying consistent, they aren’t making the progress they hope for, and things are taking much longer than expected.

The third stage is where most people give up and go back to old behaviors or decide to pursue something else. 

Stage 4: The Mountain In The Distance

As you make your way through the heavy rain and thunder, you notice something in the distance. At first, you can only make out a silhouette of something huge. But, as you take steps forward, you can see it better and better: the mountain in the distance.

Rain is still falling, you’re still chilly, and you still have some mud to go through. But you’re now picking up speed and can see the destination. Giving up and going back is still an option, but you’re more likely to move forward and get to stage five.

Stage 5: Reaching The Mountain Top

The last stage is self-explanatory, and one everyone wants to reach. Unfortunately, stage five is the most difficult to get to because that often requires great discipline, sacrifice, and consistency. How long it takes to reach the mountain top depends on the objective and how serious you are about reaching it.

Reaching this stage is bittersweet because you’re happy that you’ve achieved your goal, but you also realize what comes next: setting a new goal and going back to stage one.

So, What Do All These Stages Mean For You?

Everyone has unique goals they want to achieve. But, regardless of what yours are, your journey won’t be that much different from everyone else’s. Whether you’re looking to drop 30 pounds, pay off your debt, or develop a skill, knowing what’s in store increases your chances of sticking with it and reaching your goals. You will feel excited at first, and you will eventually become frustrated. So long as you keep going and trust the process, the mountain top will be waiting for you.

Thank you for taking the time. Until next week,


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