Accomplish Goals with the GROW model

What Is The GROW Model?

The GROW model is a simple and powerful coaching tool developed in the ’80s by Graham Alexander, Alan Fine, and Sir John Whitmore. It is a straightforward four-step tool that is exceptionally intuitive and simple way to help you accomplish goals.

It is possible to use the GROW model to accomplish goals, both personal and professional goals. Whatever the subject, whatever the problem, the mere existence of a solution to be found or a choice to be made can justify the four phases of the GROW model because it allows you to draw on your resources.

Whether you are hoping to set and accomplish ministry goals, personal goals, or professional goals for yourself, or you are in leadership and helping others walk the goal setting path themselves, the GOAL method can help. If you are working on ministry goals, a good first step would be to evaluate yourself and ministry, and you can read more about that here.

4 steps to help you accomplish goals

The GROW model’s name is simply an acronym of the four steps, which are Goal, Reality, Options, and Will. Let’s walk you through the steps.


We are going to start by identifying your goal or your objective. This can be the objective itself or the expected result. Be clear, concrete, and always focus on the target.

Here are some of the questions you can answer.

  • What do you want to accomplish in life?
  • Is there anything more important than this accomplishment?
  • How will you know that you have reached that goal?
  • How does life look like when you have accomplished that goal?

The goal should be specific enough to give you a direction. The objective can evolve during the various steps of the GROW model, but it should not be major unless it is an important lesson to learn.


In the reality phase, you will be describing the current situation and how is the current situation limiting you or empowering you to reach your goal. List the weaknesses and strengths you have for achieving this objective.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself in this phase:

  • How do I feel in regards to accomplishing my goal?
  • What are the barriers to my goal?
  • What are the values that are the most important right now?
  • Do I have resources to help me with my goal?
  • Am I resisting something in regards to my goal?
  • What limiting belief do I have in reaching my goal?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being not at all, 10 being absolutely), how committed are you to that goal right now?

This phase will help you understand the situation and what led to it. It is useful to approach the situation from a cognitive, but especially emotional, perspective. This step uncovers the interferences (beliefs, objections, etc.) that oppose the achievement of the objective.


This step is essential. It is crucial to consider all options, including the most far-fetched ones. It is to know how to get out of standard solutions, being creative, innovating. Considering everything also makes it possible to rationally eliminate “halo,” those inappropriate solutions that haunt us (ex: the magic pill that will lead you to weight loss).

Here are some questions you can ask yourself in this phase:

  • How can you be more committed to your goal?
  • How can you lift the barriers that limit you from reaching your goal?
  • If you had a magic wand, what option would you choose to realize your objective?
  • If you had more time, what would you do?
  • What if you could start all over, what would you do differently?
  • List all the possible actions to help you reach your goal. 

This phase allows you to think of new opportunities to achieve your goal; What has not yet been done and which could contribute significantly to the achievement of the objective. It will help you support the implementation of behaviors, improvement of a process, and modification of the time frame. It could even help with adopting a different position of perception. Brainstorm all the ideas that come to mind without judging them or limiting yourself. This phase is the time to dream.


The last phase is about commitment and actions. It is the phase where you decide what you will do.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself in this phase:

  • Which option is your best and most actionable? What is the first step or action? When is your start date? What else needs to happen?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being not at all, 10 being absolutely), how committed are you to that first step now? And how can you increase your score to be closer to 10?
  • How will you hold yourself accountable for that first step?
  • How can you know that you have completed the first step?
  • What can you do to celebrate your accomplishment of that first step?

The steps that will be made among the different options will involve a strong commitment to action that can produce change. This action may consist of doing nothing, changing a way of doing something, or a way to stop doing something. The important thing is to check the congruence of the commitment to action. 

Once you have completed a cycle, go back to the option phase, and see if you can accomplish another action, repeat it until you reach your goal.

As you can see, the GROW model is an adaptable and straightforward method to help you accomplish goals. It can take hours or the time of a coffee break. It is a perfect tool for taking a step back, and its regular use becomes quickly instinctive. In private life, the framework of the model allows you to assume your choices and often to identify them faster and more relevant.

How about you? What resources have you used to help keep yourself on track to accomplish more goals? Leave a comment and let us know.

About the Author

Ron is happily married to his best friend, and dad to the best daughter you could imagine. As a teacher and children's pastor, he has over 20 years experience of teaching, leading, writing, creating and consulting. He has written for churches, contributed to several collaborative publications, and written a #1 Best Selling Devotional, Got Fruit? on Amazon. His blog is consistantly listed in the Top 40 Children's Ministry Blogs and Websites. Don't hesitate to ask if you think he could help you and your ministry in any way.

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