The Coaching Academy BlogThe Coaching Academy Blog

02 Jul, 2010

The 7 Wonders of Achievement by David Finney

Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: Coaching Articles|Life Coaching Articles|Personal Success

Was there a time when you once said ‘one day I am going to ….…’ and then didn’t get round to do whatever it was you said you were going to? Maybe that day has now come; when we set ourselves goals we face an interesting dilemma: do we make the goal small that it can be easily achieved or do we make it so large that it feels too big to conquer? When facing a career or lifestyle crossroads, there are numerous things to consider.

There are 4 cornerstones to job satisfaction:

  1. Community – to feel that I am part of an interacting group
  2. Worth – to feel that I am heard, appreciated and valued
  3. Inspiration – to feel I am challenged and motivated into action
  4. Growth – to feel that I am continually learning and developing

Mark each cornerstone out of 10 in terms of your current job satisfaction. What are the ratings telling you about what you need to do or where you need to go? It’s easy to forget the key principles of goal setting – even for those who are active in learning and development like trainers or coaches.

In selecting and defining our goals we should observe the 7 Wonders of Achievement:

1. Everything starts with a CONVERSATION and so the quality of that conversation determines everything. That first conversation might be with a boss, a prospective employer, a colleague, a friend or a loved one; or maybe it’s a conversation you need to have with yourself. “What conversation are you not having now that if you were to have could have a significant and positive impact on your life?”

2. Focussing on the benefits of the goal leads to a greater COMMITMENT and an unwavering determination to achieving goals. Patience, persistence and positivity can be a healthy mantra to add to the morning ritual. Abraham Lincoln experienced two failed businesses, a nervous breakdown and eight political defeats before becoming president of the United States in 1860.

3. An essential part of designing a goal is that it should present a CHALLENGE to the achiever. This is something trainers in The Coaching Academy will tell you a lot about on its coaching courses. If there is an insufficient level of challenge, motivation levels can dip; whilst if the goal is too overwhelming, panic can set in. So imagine a mid-point between ‘Comfort Zone’ and ‘Panic’ and ensure there is an element of ‘stretch’, so that you feel challenged although not overwhelmed.

4. The fourth wonder is the importance of visual stimuli and so a ROADMAP can aid navigation and provide landmarks to aim for. The insertion of rewards at each milestone can bolster motivation and increase the feel-good factor whilst breaking the journey into achievable chunks can reduce panic. Sometimes the path to the goal can be just as much fun as achieving the goal itself, if not more so.

5. Probably the most common appraisal and development tool in the corporate world is the SMART acronym. The goal should be specific; measurable; achievable; relevant; time-bound. No surprises here to include ‘Smart’ – the tool is a vital part of goal setting and acts as a great checklist.

6. The goal should be aligned to personal VALUES and also attuned to emotional needs. Without this alignment internal discord can weaken resolve and may lead to future conflict – internal and external. An example might be a person who values family time and chooses a career which involves frequent travel. Coach training courses at The Coaching Academy include a clear focus on goal alignment.

7. The greatest power a human being has is the POWER OF CHOICE and that we should never forget that there is nothing that we ever ‘have’ to do. You have the power of choice, doesn’t it feel great?

David Finney is managing director of The Energy of Conversation, a company dedicated to learning and improvement and providers of coaching & training services.

For more information, contact

6 Responses to "The 7 Wonders of Achievement by David Finney"

1 | Vivienne Leach

July 2nd, 2010 at 2:00 pm


Well done David Finney for encapsulating so succinctly “The 7 wonders of achievement” and for sharing with us the 4 cornestones of job satisfaction.

As a Business Adviser, Skills Trainer and Coach, I resonate with the title of your business “The Energy of Conversation”. I am passionate about making a difference to the lives of others, and it is this ability to transfer my energy and enthusiasm via conversation, as well as operate from well-grounded knowledge and the application of skills that not only helps my clients but also enhances my own learning and development. So, let us all keep reading these blogs so we ensure we keep relevant and up to speed! Viv Leach, Vitality – for life and learning, S Wales

2 | Sarah Fraser

July 2nd, 2010 at 2:31 pm


Hi David,
Thanks for the article. I’m particularly keen on this idea of ‘choice’ (number 7 in your list). So often clients feel powerless and held back by ‘how things have always been’. Some of the biggest breakthroughs my clients have had have been through recognising that at every moment in their life they have a choice – a choice of how to feel about something, how to react in a situation and who they want to be. It can be so liberating for them. Thanks for sharing!

3 | diana jervis read

July 6th, 2010 at 10:24 am


Well done David, I think the 4 cornerstones is a particularly neat way to discover why a job may be falling short, or to make sure the next job ticks the right boxes. Thanks for that!

4 | Karen Cheeseman

July 6th, 2010 at 11:04 pm


This is a geat article – point 4 offering a roadmap – this I feel is particularly relevant. So many times we set goals and set objectives and whilst there may well be a great commitment to gaining acheivment, there are times we get lost because we dont have anything tangible – there are times when having a tangible aid not only helps us reach our goal but in the process of doing so can help organize our thoughts and make the path clearer.

Thank you David for sharing this with us – a job well done.

5 | David Finney

August 20th, 2010 at 12:45 pm


Thank you very much for all your kind feedback

6 | Alex Dail

May 24th, 2012 at 2:27 am


Good solid advice David. Oddly enough I found there are times I can improve performance by backing off goals. It not they are not achievable, though sometimes they may be too ambitious. It is when they mean too much to me, when I push too hard.

One of the traits I’m learning is to be open. Is is possible that goals can be blinders and result in missed opportunities or a more advantagous way of arriving at a goal.

Comment Form

Blog Calendar

February 2019
« Oct    

  • Emma-Louise Elsey: CONGRATULATIONS to The Coaching Academy! I'm a bit late to the party here, but that's wonderful news. Well done for all your hard work and dedication
  • donna: That's me in that pic!!!!
  • Harry Singha: Great shout Thanks

About The Coaching Academy

The Coaching Academy is at the forefront of coach training worldwide. As the largest UK school for coaches, The Coaching Academy has developed a reputation for quality training and has trained over 30,000 people in coaching skills over the last ten years.

The team of trainers you will work with are hand-picked from the cream of the UK’s finest coaches and trainers... [read more...]

  FREE Coaching Report


  Please tick if you have attended or applied for our FREE Coaching Course:
FREE Coaching Report
Log in