Believe it or not, most people don't have an issue knowing what they have to do to reach their goal. The problem often comes down to why they want to reach their goal. As Oprah Winfrey shares in her new book, The Wisdom of Sundays, intention supersedes the what.

Instead, to set your best goal, you need to focus on one major thing. Jim Rohn explains it in his powerful audiobook The Art of Exceptional Living:

It's not what you get that makes you valuable, it's what you become that makes you valuable... Set the kind of goals that will make something of you to achieve them. If I set this goal and go for it, not only will I achieve it, but what will it make of me in the process? What a whole new concept on setting goals!

Rohn talks about the goal of becoming a millionaire. What exactly would you do with your fortune? How would you change the world? How would you change? Knowing what the money would enable you to do is more important than just the basic goal of getting more money.

The mistake most people make

Unfortunately, the focus is often on reaching the goal itself, not on the time after the goal nor what consequences may come from reaching the goal.

I talked about this in a previous column, sharing the wisdom from successful marathon runners:

However, when I've spoken with marathon runners, they always talk about aiming beyond the finish line--you can't focus on the 26 miles, but on making it to the space after the 26 miles. Why do you have to go beyond? Your body, already under a ton of stress, will begin shutting down before you get to the finish line. It knows you are reaching the end. That's why you see pictures of people falling when they are within arm's length of victory.

If the goal is to sell your startup, then you really need to think about how the process of creating, building and selling your baby will transform you (as I experienced) as well as what kind of life you'd ideally like after the goal is met. It's no wonder that founders will often experience depression, listlessness and confusion when they actually get what they want!

It pays to set your goal not just based on your desire, but on what you will become as a result of achieving it and what you would be able to experience when you accomplish it.