How to Achieve Your Goals: Attracting vs Doing

If you want to learn how to achieve your goals, there are systems that can help.

It doesn’t matter if you want career success, health & happiness, or financial freedom.

There are techniques that can give you an edge – not in one specific area of your life – but instead in all areas. Health. Fitness. Career. Money. Relationships. You name it.

bullseye - how to achieve your goal

We’ve taken a look at two of the most common, and very different types of goal achievement systems out there today.

The first is based on The Law of Attraction. The second is based on what I call The Law of Action. Let’s take a look at each.

The Law of Attraction

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard of The Secret, the wildly famous book and DVD that explained the ancient secret to living a successful life, based on the Law of Attraction.

People who master the Law of Attraction claim to be able to manifest anything they want in life by tapping into the power of their subconscious mind, and the universe. Whether it’s money, improved relationships, career success, or material possessions, Law of Attraction followers believes that if you get your thoughts right, your desires will be fulfilled.

The mantra for this theory is to believe in your dream, focus on it with all your effort, and then let your dream come to life by getting the universe and the power of your subconscious mind on your side.

If this sounds like “hocus-pocus” type stuff to you…don’t worry, it did to me also. Until I started to learn more about it.

Mental Toughness

The second school of thought proposes that instead of letting your dreams happen, you need to make them happen. This school, called Mental Toughness, is a system that focuses on measuring the tasks you need to do daily if you’re to succeed in any area of your life. It’s a process-driven, no excuses system, based on the science of sports psychology.

How Do They Work?

These two personal growth “programs” are similar in some ways, and wildly different in others.

We spoke with experts Jim Jensen, author of Beyond the Power of Your Subconscious Mind, and Dr. Jason Selk, author of 10 Minute Toughness. They outlined the key steps needed to achieve any goal in your life, based on their belief in these different systems.

How to Achieve Your Goals: The Steps

The Law of Attraction aka “Let it Happen” (Jim Jensen)

1. Set a SMART goal based on personal desire or need

2. Write it down with great clarity and precise description

3. Get laser-focused on the end result

4. Make affirmations daily to get your subconscious working on it

5. Visualize and “feel” your success

6. Let your subconscious mind guide you to your goal

law of attraction - rainbow eye

Mental Toughness aka “Make it Happen” (Dr. Jason Selk)

1. Don’t focus on the result

2. Set totally realistic and measurable process goals

3. Measure success in terms of daily achievements

4. Be relentless in your focus and commitment

5. Play a success video in your mind twice a day

6. Tell friends, coworkers, and anyone else you meet about your plan

So Which System is Best?

Although there are steps both of these schools have in common – namely the belief that you’ll need to come up with a specific goal and then visualize your success to achieve it – that’s where the similarities end. The idea of “making it happen” vs “letting it happen” couldn’t be further apart in practice.

So which system does scientific research show is more effective at helping people achieve their goals?

Check out this infographic highlighting the steps needed to achieve any goal.

Mental Toughness

Mental Toughness is based on the science of sports psychology – the same type of work that has propelled some of the world’s greatest athletes to their peak performance levels. Focusing on process-driven goals allows people to focus on the tasks they need to do daily, which can reduce the stress and let-down of only thinking about your “big” goal.

Law of Attraction

While there doesn’t seem to be systemic research on the Law of Attraction, there are apparently loads of studies showing that intention does influence your world, and can help in goal achievement. According to Dean Radin, Ph.D. and scientific researcher at the Institute of Noetic Science and author of Paranormal, these studies do suggest that focusing on your end goal is an effective strategy:

“There have been lots (hundreds) of experiments investigating the role of intention on living and nonliving systems. Those studies suggest, to very high levels of statistical certainty, that factors like focus, motivation, and belief combine in complex ways to apparently influence the world at large.”

The Right Goal Achievement System for You

Following the steps outlined in either Mental Toughness or the Law of Attraction just might give you the edge you need to improve your life and achieve your goals more effectively.

If you’re numbers-focused and are motivated to see progress every day, Mental Toughness could be a good option for you.

If, however, you prefer to have your eye on the final prize, you may want to “let it happen” with the Law of Attraction.

The Takeaway

If you want to learn how to achieve your goals, just remember – in order to succeed, you need to act. That could be as simple as coming up with a very specific goal and then focusing intently on it, or it could be more involved by setting up process goals and measuring those daily.

As the Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu said, “the journey of a thousand miles began with a single step”.

Which step are you going to take?


dan's headshotDan Cassidy is CEO and Founder of, a personal growth site helping people be healthy, happy, and successful. A confirmed self-improvement junkie, Dan is a former collegiate athlete, personal trainer, advertising executive, and current student of life.

Photos by and Ben Mortimer Photography

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