Auto Shop Coaching Blog

3 Secrets to Setting & Achieving Your Goals

“Aim high enough with your goals so that even if you fall short, you’re still winning!” Coach Twiggs

It was the first week of January, and the gym was packed. It was hard to get a machine. It was hard to find room to work out! But people were starting their year off on the right foot!

But now it’s later in the year, and the gym crowd is thinning out. Why does this happen? Here’s why:

Most people create resolutions instead of goals! defines a resolution as a firm decision to do something.

For example, you’ve decided that you’re going to lose weight. You’ve decided that you’re going to work out. You’ve decided that you’re going to read the rest of this blog post! (Hopefully!)

These are merely decisions.

There’s a big difference between deciding to do something versus doing what you decide.

When you commit to setting goals the right way, you will be more likely to act and less likely to forget about what you “decided” to do.

By now, you may be thinking: “This sounds great, Twiggs, but how do I go about setting goals the right way?

Well, since you asked, I will leave you with the three secrets to setting and achieving your goals!

Ideas to grow your businessNon-ATI Members: Discover more valuable tips and strategies for how to reach goals, grow your business, and increase profits in ATI’s shop owner events. Register at

1. Fast Forward to the Future

Imagine for a moment that you have time-traveled exactly one year into the future. You’re talking with your business partner or spouse, and you say: “We did it! This has been the best year ever!”

What did you do? What are three to five accomplishments that would make you feel like you had your best year ever?

Here are the five most common answers that I hear from shop owners:

  1. We paid off that line of credit!
  2. We grossed $2.5 million in revenue!
  3. We hired my replacement in the business!
  4. We added a second location!
  5. We took that vacation trip that we always talked about!

What specific accomplishments would make your future list? You should include whatever you say next on your list of goals.

It’s harder to see your future when your focus is limited to the present. Fast-forwarding shifts your perspective and helps you gain clarity on what you really want.

2. Get Specific

I have a weird scheduling habit when planning Zoom meetings with the shops I coach. I schedule meetings to start at 2:06 pm Eastern time!

Why do I start six minutes after the hour when everyone else begins right on the hour? I do this because 2 pm means different things to different people.

For those who have a military background, 2 pm means 1:55.

For others who prefer to be fashionably late, 2 pm means “2ish,” and they will arrive within five minutes.

But 2:06 pm is specific. There is no gray area or wiggle room.

I challenge you to remove the gray area and wiggle room from your goals!

For example, setting a goal to “make more money” is vague. Do you want an extra penny, a dollar, or an extra hundred dollars? There’s a lot of wiggle room!

On the other hand, setting a goal to generate an additional $100,000 in net profit by December 31st is clear and specific.

Setting clear and specific goals will inspire you to take clear and specific actions.

Getting specific can get you to your destination ahead of schedule. On the other hand, being vague and failing to establish a due date will leave you feeling like you are fashionably late for the opportunity of your dreams.

3. Set Stretch Goals

Okay, here is where you and I may disagree.

The common thought is that you must be “realistic” when setting goals. Most people are afraid to stretch because falling short will make them feel like failures and losers. Have you ever felt like “most people?”

Here’s what “the experts” don’t tell you about goal setting: You may come up a little short on many of the targets you set.

The key is to aim high enough with your goals so that even if you do fall short, you’re still winning!

For example, I coach a shop owner named “Helen” who finished last year with $1.8 million in revenue. Her initial goal for this year was to do $2 million. “I would like do $2 million in revenue, Coach, but I would love to do $2.5 million,” said Helen.

We agreed to set a stretch goal of $2.7 million! If she falls short and finishes the year at $2.5 million, she’s still winning!

Focusing on a larger outcome will force you to stretch to become a larger person. It will require reading more books, listening to more podcasts, taking more classes, and engaging more with your 20 group members.

Helen will have to become a better version of herself to achieve the $2.7 million goal.

If you can achieve your current goals without having to get better, you aren’t aiming high enough!


So, there you have it. The heaviest weight at the gym is the front door. But, if you fast forward to the future, get specific, and set stretch goals, you will open the door to the gym and everything else you want in life.

Non-ATI Members: For more tips on how to achieve your goals and run a productive, profitable shop, check out our shop owner events at

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Eric, the Accountability Coach, is an Executive Coach at ATI and has coached since 2009. Eric came to ATI having managed over 60 different automotive repair facilities and having supervised over 500 employees at a given time. He loves seeing members progress beyond what they thought was possible and improve their shop to the point where they can leave for weeks at a time and come back to a business that's better than when they left.