Locke Latham Goal Theory
Most of us know the current goal setting theory of SMART, but there is a more thorough model known as the Locke Latham Goal Theory, which I feel is equally beneficial for budding online entrepreneurs like us.

And here’s why.

We all know to be successful we need to set goals right?

What most of us don’t know is that we are selling ourselves short by setting mediocre, lacklustre goals.

Think Big … Really Big

Back in the 1960’s Dr Edwin Locke pioneered research into goal setting. Don’t be alarmed that this research is over 60 years old, it is still as relevant today if not more so than back then and has been the basis of many modern goal setting techniques.

Inspired by Locke’s research Dr Gary Latham applied it to employees within the workplace with his findings supporting and confirming Locke’s. And the Locke Latham Goal Setting Theory was born.

The bottom line from all this research is that clear goals followed up with appropriate feedback motivates people. Further to this that working towards a set goal increases motivation and hence increases performance.

Not just any goal though. They further recognised that challenging goals motivated people 90% of the time.

With that in mind let’s set some challenging goals for ourselves.

5 Principles to Success

The research highlighted 5 principles that are necessary to truly motivate people to achieve and become as successful as possible.


This where the SMART mnemonic comes in handy. Goals need to be:

  • Specific – exactly what is it you wish to achieve.
  • Measurable – how will you know when you have achieved your goal. What can you put in place to measure it?
  • Attainable – think big here, don’t sell yourself short. Your goal needs to be attainable but not so easy that it doesn’t motivate you to take action.
  • Relevant – ask yourself why do I want to achieve this goal? Is it relevant to what I want to achieve
  • Time-bound – there needs to be a definite date by which you will have achieved your goal.


By setting your goals this way they become clear. There should be no guesswork to what, how, why and when you will achieve your goal.

I want to get out of the rat race – is a very poor goal because it addresses none of the SMART goal setting, and provides no clarity for you to direct your efforts towards.

I want to make $10,000 each month consistently by June 2020 – now that’s a goal to get excited by.

Start by setting your long-term goal, let’s say a 1 to 2 year business or career goal. What will motivate you to get out of bed every morning and do what needs to be done to achieve the life of your dreams?


Challenge yourself by setting an inspiring, reach for the stars type goal. If you really want to earn more than your current salary, don’t set your goal to earn as much as you get now – Double it, Triple it!

Sports car

What would this do for your life? Get inspired, immerse yourself in the feelings of success, of achievement that you will feel when you are no longer stretching to make ends meet.

Will you go on more holidays? To where? For how long? Who with?

Will you buy a new car? What make and model? What colour?

Let yourself imagine what your life will be like when you achieve this goal.

You need to feel passionate about your goal.

You need to really want to be that person, living that life. If you don’t then don’t pursue it, let your mind think it over for 24 hours and see what comes to you.


Staying committed to the goal for the long term requires a bit of effort on your part.

I personally love vision boards for collecting and displaying my goals. I started off doing this kinda scrapbooking with actual printouts and magazine cut-outs of my goals all kept in a beautifully bound book.

Online Vision Board

These days I use online software to create collages of my different goals as I find it easier to snip or copy and paste images and quotes, much less time-consuming!

Rather than take up a heap of space here I would like to steer you to my colleague Jerry Huang’s training on creating online vision boards.

Jerry is colleague and his blogs and training are simply fantastic. Check out Jerry’s How To Make A Vision Board training.

Also visualisation techniques help me to remain focused when I feel my commitment to my goals waning. It might sound all new age and woo woo but believe me it works. I wrote a short blog recently and again rather than recreate it here you can check out my technique for visualisation that actually works by clicking here.

These two techniques alone will ensure you stay committed to your goal until you reach it.


As a budding online entrepreneur, you are probably working alone and will need to be responsible for your own feedback. No worries it’s easy to do.

By setting micro-goals on your way to the BIG ONE you will have ample opportunity to check your progress and receive feedback on how you are progressing.

Milestones which should be set with the same SMART technique are simply micro-goals. My preference is to set monthly, 3 monthly & 6 monthly milestones on my way towards my annual goal.

As each of these dates arrives I schedule a time to sit down and review where I am in relation to my milestone, what has worked well and what needs changing to keep me on track.

So I have a micro-goal to write 30 fantastic blogs for you all by the end of this year (hoping to sneak them in before Xmas so I can have a few days off).

This is a 6 monthly milestone on my way to earning $10,000 a month by June 2020 and escaping the rat race.

To hit this micro-goal I have broken down my work into monthly (5 blogs a month) and three monthly goals – by 31st August I need to have 15 done and by 31st Dec I will need to have the 30 completed. Pretty simple to do and I will have concrete measurements to provide the feedback I need to a) keep me powering along and b) actually reach that target.

Also, if I slip a little one month, I will clearly see where I need to make up that slippage so I can still meet my end goal.

Task Complexity

Some goals we have set for ourselves may have a lot of moving parts that all need to be orchestrated to come together at the right times to make the goal achievable. And this is OK you just need to ensure that you break them down into micro-goals so that you don’t become overwhelmed by the sheer size and complexity of the task.

Eat That Frog
I read a great book many years ago, which I recommend for all budding entrepreneurs, called “Eat That Frog”.

The premise of this book was that if you have an unpleasant task to do it is better to get stuck in and do it first and get it out of the way early so that it doesn’t play on your mind.

In essence, if you had to eat a frog a day you should do it first thing in the morning – yuk!!

While you are considering the various smaller tasks that will make up the whole of your success towards any particular goal assess the complexity and break it down into manageable chunks.

So I am building out this website, I have an overall vision of how it will function, what content I want to put up and how it will look down the track and it requires many, many different complex tasks to get it doing what I want.

Each of these tasks is broken down into micro-goals with another whole sub-set of tasks and actions that need to happen in order to get this thing done. It’s a long-term project and I am content with that.

I am not stressed about getting it all done tomorrow because I have realistic deadlines for the smaller tasks and I can pick off each one and get it done knowing that I am being effective in working towards the end goal – I am eating a lot of frogs!

Some of my goals overlap. So I am committed to enhancing my education so that I can be a great online entrepreneur (just love that word). To do this I am working my way through the training offered at my #1 recommended platform in the area of online marketing.

This dovetails into creating the Rat Race Escape Project website. While both goals are complex they enhance each other and by achieving one I am contributing to the other.

Does that make me doubly efficient? I’m not sure but I know it does make me feel accomplished, successful and moving in the right direction.

Key Points in Review

It is essential for your success to set goals.

Use the Locke Latham Goal Theory to set goals that inspire you, drive you and keep you motivated to achieve.

You can be wildly successful, don’t set the bar too low and short change yourself into living a mediocre life.

Good Idea

Turbocharge your success by using the tools provided above to set clear challenging goals that inspire you.

Commit to timelines and break down your complex goals into achievable micro-goals.

Don’t forget to take time to assess your progress, and reward yourself once you’ve reached your milestones.

Don’t let fear of failure stop you from achieving your wildest dreams.

Join Us and Change Your Future

Do you often wonder if there is more to life than what you are currently experiencing?
Do you want to set some financial and lifestyle goals that are really big but you are not sure how to reach them yet?

Do you want to be your own boss and create the $$ and the freedom you deserve?

You are obviously a go-getter to have arrived on this page, willing to set goals and work towards them.

That’s what we are all about here at the Rat Race Escape Project. If you are searching for a way to escape the 9-5 humdrum that is the rat race join us as we work towards becoming online entrepreneurs through affiliate marketing.

Join me where you can create your own online business empire and we can work together to change our fortunes. This is the best training and website hosting platform on the internet, you do not need anything else to create the future you deserve.

Don’t take my word for it, you can try it for yourself completely FREE, no strings attached, no credit card required. It really is free to explore everything this platform has to offer so you can make an informed decision about your future.

What have you got to lose? Click on the Guide and let’s get started.

If you have any questions about goal setting, the Laucke Latham Goal Theory or Goal Setting Theory generally, post your comments below.

I love to help out, that's what we do here at the Rat Race Escape Project.

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About the Author


It doesn’t matter where you are starting from, what you currently have or don’t have, if you too feel like there is more to life than what you are currently experiencing and you want to take charge and create a better life for yourself (and your family) then join me and we will do this together.

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  1. Wow
    This is the best article I have read so far this night
    ”Setting Goals”. And I like your five principles to success. But i think endurance should also be there. You see after these goals have been set, you will notice that on the way there are so many hurdles that tend to divert you from those goals and it takes endurance and focus to still stay in line.
    Thanks once again for this masterpiece.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Matron, so glad you enjoyed the article. Oh yes, endurance it’s definite an attribute successful people have in spades. Might require a whole new blog I think. 

      Especially for those of us in the world of affiliate marketing. As with all businesses it takes time to get really established and people need to have a long term vision and the endurance to keep working away until success shows itself. Unfortunately too many give up right on the verge of achieving great things.

      Best wishes to you on your goal setting.

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