The ultimate list of goal setting theory systems for those that like massive success

8 goal setting theory systems for big goals

If your goals are slightly vague, so big they scare you, have to be done but you are unsure of how to do them, then these are the systems to apply. Each goal setting theory and method listed has key attributes to massive results. They ignore to some extent the limitations of other theories that require deeper specificity, deadlines and an understanding of abilities at the time of goal creation.

Here we list the most popular systems and methods plus add an extra positive and weakness point for each one for your consideration.


The Grant Cardone system of 10x almost requires the impossible, but the intent is important. Whatever goal you set, times it by 10, then whatever resources you need, multiple it also by 10 and so and so forth. The positive aspects of this system is that you will probably attain much more than otherwise expected simply due to the scaling approach of every step and action. The downside is that you might feel you failed by not attain the arbitrary number.

Positives: Stretches imagination, ensures quality research and effort

Weakness: Unrealistic and can lead to delusion in some cases and circumstances.


Big hairy audacious goals (BHAG) are more of a mission statement of the end point rather than a proper system to help you attain it. So, think of BHAG as a label and interchangeable in its description to other goals. For example, Tesla may want to put an electric charging station for electric cars around the world so that no travel in excess of 300 miles is without access to a charger. You can see, this is a mission statement and end point rather than the detailed process to attain it. - The benefits of BHAG is super for creative or visionary leadership approaches the inspire motivation.

Positives: Inspiring, timeless and clarifies a vision.

Weakness: Lacks process and details to be attained.

OKR (yes its popular in business)

Objective Key Results (OKR) is one of the most common business and organizational applied goal setting theories. It is equally applicable to your personal life so consider it when in pursuit of self development goals. One of the key elements of OKR, is it’s acceptance of failure but also expectation of success when applied to a range of goals. A sweet spot range of about 60-70% success rate by design helps motivate and stretch your motivation and performance whilst being considerate to the practical world realities of failure in higher risk pursuits.

Positives: Already accepted across main stream business organizations, challenges performances and accepts some failure as good performance and goal selection.

Weakness: Takes time to develop accurate % of failure at personalized level, may hide some sand bagging!



This has 3 different descriptions and yet only 2 apply here for massive goal theories that include higher risks. Firstly we have Brendon Burchard’s version which includes Dream driven, Uplifting, Method friendly, Behavior driven and also Dustin Wax with his Dangerously, Unattainable, Monstrously, Big Goals.

Brendon’s version is border line acceptable for this specific article. He does focus on a good mix of emotional elements and actions. Dustin’s theory almost just reads like an excuse to create a fun acronym! Yet, this is just what some people need, do and seek after. To stretch ones abilities well beyond what was thought possible is the aim and so for that purpose can stand tall here.

Brandons Positives: A solid mix between motivators and adaptable process.

Dustins Positives: Goes beyond the 10x theory and is boundless with limitations.

Brandons Weakness: No clear strategy to apply so needs to be tailored which requires time to discover.

Dustins Weakness: Consequences of failure are very high so recovery from failure might not be possible.



This system is our own organic home grown theory. After performing years of research into different goal setting systems, we discovered that the emotional connection to a goal changes and evolves over time. Some days the motivation and inspiration is high, other days less so. So, INSPIRED provides 24 words to associate and reconnect to your goal. The method applies random variable and gamification principles to introduce fresh thinking and approaches to the tasks you need on the day or time of struggle.

Positives: Compliments and fits along side any other goal setting system. Hugh focus on daily struggle motivational needs of the person in pursuit of their goals.

Weakness: Can be over whelming if not pre-prepared with selection of variable inputs.


Law of Attraction

Possibly the most widely known and applied goal setting system. This is also probably the most misunderstood system in its entirety. The system is widely adopted and quoted by “self improvement” gurus but can mislead people into buying silver bullet solutions rather than understanding the amount of work that still applies to the goal. Sending your desires and wishes into the universe into the hope and wish that it will come true is the most frequent application of this method. However, the system actually requires you to work hard, seek opportunities at all times and remain always positive.

Positive: Instant recognition, when applied correctly has behavior impacts and solutions focus

Weakness: Can encourage delusion and does not reflect the natural cycle of human behavior.



Three different systems apply to WISE most commonly uses Written, Integrated, Synergistic and Expansive. However variations of the system include Willpower, Worthy, Initiative, Inspiring, Stamina, Stretched and finally Enthusiastic and Energizing. Each system requires large purposeful goals that do have a balance between massive goals, motivation and adapting a process.

Positive: One of the more detailed driven systems, does address motivational elements.

Weakness: Provides a frame without a specific framework at detail level.

Comparison check list across all the most popular goal setting systems, theories and frameworks.

Comparison check list across all the most popular goal setting systems, theories and frameworks.

Closing Thoughts

No matter what you want to attain and achieve, experience shows that the application of success is best done at a personalized level. The theories offered here do cover the systems that you can deploy and attain amazing success from career to personal development and society level impact. Continual review of how you personally respond to each system may already highlight how deeply you desire your goal and journey. Huge targets become obsessions and quests, so be prepared and armed with this context in mind.