Goal Achievement: ESPER – 5-Step Goal Achievement Framework

This is part 2 of a 7-part series on what it takes to successfully achieve goals.

ESPER: Successful Goal Achievement Framework

ESPER: 5-Step Framework to Successful Goal Achievement

E-S-P-E-R is a 5-step framework for successful goal achievement. These 5 steps are:

  1. Establish: Set the vision and goal in place
  2. Strategy: Devise strategies to succeed in the goal
  3. Planning: Identify plan elements based on the strategies
  4. Execution: Bring the plan and goal to life
  5. Review: Assess the outcome and next steps

ESPER is actually a term used frequently in games that refer to creatures with demigod power. With ESPER, you will be able to crack down even the toughest goal. Goals you never thought achievable will start becoming within your reach, and in a matter of time, conquered. I personally use this to achieve my long-term goals and it works wonders.

Do not let the simplicity of the framework fool you. While these 5 steps look very simple (too simple, in fact), they underlie successful goal achievements, especially for huge goals where the ‘What’ and ‘How‘ toward achieving them becomes elusive.

That being said, ESPER is not a miracle pill which takes out the hard work to achieve goals. ESPER is not an elixir which allows you to achieve your goals without lifting a finger. At the end of the day, you still need to put in any time or energy for your goals.

But with ESPER, you will find the whole goal achievement to be significantly easier and surmountable. Instead of success being a random, haphazard occurrence, it will become a predictable, securable result. You will start seeing your goals crumble before you so naturally that you wonder why you struggled so long with them in the beginning.

ESPER is what is going to take the question mark out of your goal achievement process. ESPER is what will put your goals right within your grasp and lead you to a sure fire success.

In this article, you will have an overview of what ESPER is about. The subsequent parts will cover the steps.

Why ESPER Is The Single Framework You Will Need For Successful Goal Achievement

You often see many other self help writers expounding different methods to goal achievement.

Some talk about how goal achievement is all about not procrastinating, being motivated, persistent, self-disciplined, ‘just doing it’, and so on. At best, these are very fluffy, air-fairy methods to goal pursuit. While these soft skills are important no doubt, they do not give you any insights as to ‘what’ exactly are the key steps needed achieve your goals. Persistence and desire can take you far, but they can only take you so far without a proper strategy to hold everything together. You certainly cannot rely on persistence and desire alone to achieve your huge goals. A smarter, more structured approach is needed rather than just randomly firing at different things. Would you prefer to be firing 100 shots every time and hit only once, or funnel your energy properly and get a 80/100 hit rate with a proper constructed strategy?

Then you have frameworks like SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound), GTD (Getting Things Done), etc. While these are great methods in themselves (I use principles of GTD in my life), they are one-dimensional in the scope of goal achievement. For example, SMART only pertains to goal setting (first step of ESPER) and it does not guide you on what is to be done between setting the goal and actually reaching the goal in the end. Even then, SMART itself is not exhaustive on the principles of what makes a good goal. GTD is great for planning and executing (third and fourth steps of ESPER), but it deals with the lower levels of goal achievement, neglecting the higher levels of goal establishment and strategizing which are pertinent for successful goals.

What is lacking is a holistic, single system that captures the key essential steps for successful goal achievements.

ESPER is this single, holistic framework that covers all that is to be done in goal achievement, from start to finish. It starts off with the establishing of your goal, right up to beyond your goal pursuit, where you review what you have done and the lessons you can adopt for the next time. It maps out the key steps you need to do for every goal you pursue, and guides you along throughout the whole process.

Things to Know about ESPER

1. Applicable For Any Goal.

What goals do you have? Finding a job you love? Losing weight? Increasing traffic of your blog? Setting up your business? Improving your health? Buying a new home? Building stronger relationships?

No matter what goal you have, ESPER is totally applicable and relevant. In short, it can be used for virtually any goal in the world. If we take the example of building the Eiffel tower, this is what we will see with the framework:

  1. Establish: Set the vision of building the world’s tallest building and decision to bring that vision to life by engineer Gustave Eiffel
  2. Strategy: Devised strategies to build a “300-meter high tower”, such as overcoming wind resistance, ensuring the tower can support its own weight, among others
  3. Planning: Identified plan elements such as building location (Champ de Mars in Paris), size of team, safety precautions, exact type and quantity of materials to use in construction, etc
  4. Execution: Hired 300 workers, Procured construction materials, Started actual building of the tower
  5. Review: Assessed the final structure. Gustave further improvised on the elements regarding operation of the tower

2. Each step serves its own role and is pertinent to the success of the goal.

They are individual parts of a system that make it whole. While the only essential step is the fourth step – Execution, trying to skip any of the other steps will jeopardize your chances and degree of success.

3. The steps occur in succession of one another.

The steps occur in succession of one another – meaning the first step needs to be done and locked before going to the second, and so on. Thus, each step should be defined as accurately as possible before moving to the next to prevent disruption and rework. Say for example, you set the goal for yourself to lose 30 lbs of weight. You make a series of strategies and plans. But as you start losing the weight, you find yourself feeling tired, unhealthy and looking weak. You realize that you do not exactly want to lose 30 lbs of weight; you actually just want to be healthy. Since the basis of the goal is different, this changes in-between steps, like an increased focus on exercise, choosing healthy foods, instead of just losing weight. The further down you are in execution and the larger the magnitude of change in the initial step, the more disorienting it will be to revise your plans to reflect the change. Thus, it is important to be rigorous with each step of the framework.

4. Progression through the steps symbolizes your goal being manifested from a mental creation to physical creation.

As you start off with the first step (Establish), it is essentially a creation inside your mind. As you move through the steps, you are essentially taking that virtual creation inside your mind and giving it physical form and shape in our physical reality.

5. Best suited for medium to big goals.

ESPER is a framework for busting your big goals which i) you have tried to achieve but have not succeeded or ii) you feel are too overwhelming for you. If you have small goals which you are reasonably confident in achieving, it might be faster and more efficient to barge ahead and conquer them. Planning through from each of the 5 steps takes investment of time and effort which might not pay out with small-scale goals. The larger the goal, the more crucial the role ESPER plays.

6. Sets you up for success in your goal.

Having this systematic approach to goal achievement helps dramatically increase your chances of success for two simple reasons: 1) Firstly, if there are problems with achieving the goal, you can always look back and identify exactly which stage the issue arose, then resolve from there. 2) Secondly, it ensures all bases are covered and you do not leave any stone unturned.

In this series, I will be detailing the specifics of each step, the role it serves, how to apply it in real life. Check out for the next part in the series on establishing your goal. :)

This is part 2 of a 7-part series on what it takes to successfully achieve goals.

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  • http://www.joyfuldays.com Daphne

    Hi Celes,

    I’m always impressed with how much you know about strategic thinking. I might try ESPER sometime, just to feel like a ‘demigod’! My strategy is a lot simpler: Ready, Fire, Aim, Fire again, Aim again… :)

  • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

    Thanks Daphne! :) I used to do a lot of Ready, Fire, Aim, Fire, Aim in the past, until I found that it doesn’t really work for my larger goals. I still use it a lot today for both my small goals and to get quick learnings for my large goals :)

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  • http://www.apexgiftboxes.co.nz Diane

    Hi Celes
    I could really use your ESPER for a number of different goals in my life right now. I think when things get tough in life and you haven’t set out your goals well, then you just kind of float from one thing to another and you don’t achieve anything, and in the end you get more disillusioned about life. When things are like that in life, if you take a step backwards, you can then see that if you have a set of goals in place you will have something to aim for. Thanks for this.

  • Josh

    Celes I think this is a great framework for achieving your goals!

    I did an exercise a few years ago to figure out what process I had used when I had achieved some of my biggest dreams and goals (like a solo 1500 mile bike tour – I had never been on a road bike before). I found my steps to be very similar to ESPER, but one less: See -> Plan -> Do -> Feel (and bring the feedback from the feel back to See).

    I think it’s also best to continually feel, or take a gauge on what you are actually doing to evaluate if you need to change your approach or strategy. Also, making sure you have specific due dates or a start date that your friends, family or business partners can hold you to makes it much harder to procrastinate and try to endlessly perfect your plan.

  • Gracea

    Hey! I have been reading your blog lately. It is really inspiring

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