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Goal-Setting Case Study

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In my previous post, I introduced you to the 9 basic components of a goal.  In this post, I’ll give you a case study of a goal I made and the process I went through.

My goal statement

My goal statement reflected the need to sell my home and find a new residence. I reviewed obstacles and outlined a plan of action. As I put my plan into motion, my on-going evaluation revealed a need to modify my original goal statement, which was:

I will put my home up for sale and find a new residence within my current community to live in.

The obstacles involved finding another home I could afford, upgrading one that was for sale, etc. Listing any obvious obstacles required getting enough information to formulate a workable plan of action. Besides known ones, I had to plan for those that might occur. I would ask myself, “If this happens, I will. . .”

There were no homes for sale within my community that fit my requirements: within my new financial reality, comfortable, and did not require remodeling or upgrading.

I reviewed additional options: purchase and move to a modular home to a site in my community, build a new home or move out of my area. I wanted to remain in my community. The costs and risks involved in moving a modular home were not fiscally sound for me. After careful consideration, I chose to build myself a new home.

Goal-Setting Case Study | FocusWithMarlene.com

So, here is my revised goal.

Goal Statement

While my house is on the market, I will look for a building site, a house plan and a builder. From the sale of my current home, I will purchase a lot and commence construction.


Begin immediately. My time frame now had to include not only the sale of my house but finding a lot I liked, a house plan to fit that lot, and a reliable building contractor.


  • Finding a suitable lot within my means to build a new home
  • Finding a builder I trusted and who I could work with
  • Finding a house plan that I liked and/or could modify to fit my lot
  • Sale of my current house with enough reserve to purchase a lot and build
  • Finding reliable mentors who would help me think through all the critical steps
  • Establishing a construction loan package that would convert to a permanent loan
  • Dealing with higher levels of pain from a deteriorating hip joint

Plan of Action

  • Ask my realtor to locate available, affordable and buildable lots
  • Consult a local builder who had built other homes in my community. Did the people like the homes he built? Was he easy to work with? Did he listen and give specific answers to their questions?
  • Match costs to build with the proceeds of the sale of my home
  • Talk with trusted individuals about my plan of action. I had some previous knowledge about building as my husband and I had built two previous homes together
  • Find a construction loan that would roll-over to a permanent loan with a low fixed interest rate
  • Have my house plan drawn up; review modification particulars and sign a building contract

All plans of action get more involved as you work within them. I found a lot within my budget that I liked, sold my home, put together a loan package, signed an agreement with a builder who modified the plan I brought him to meet my specifics, and entered the hospital to have a hip replacement the day they started building my new home. After my house was completed, I moved from my old house to my new house with the help of many good friends.

Reviewing the process

Once I started, I was committed to following through, but not without some modifications and changes. By reviewing all the potential obstacles, I was able to find ways to overcome them.

I refined and modified my original goal. I affirmed my goal by visualizing my new home. I was an active participant in the whole building process, measuring my furniture to the specifications of my house plan, etc. I also knew it was a home I could live in within my means.

Along the way I celebrated with people who loved and appreciated me. Before I broke ground, I gathered with a group of my friends to celebrate this new transition. Later, my friends were invited to help celebrate my new home.

I love my home. It is right for me and my needs. But for me to have the home I have today, I had to let go of a home I loved so I could create a new reality that was right for me today. The goal planning process enabled me to do that.

Marlene Anderson, MA, LMHC, NCC

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