Goal Setting Process


My Goals

Goal Setting Process




Step 1

Identify your goals


By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know what you have to concentrate on and improve.  When there is a target, people feel driven to meet it. 


Decide specifically what it is you want.  Identify, as goals, two things you want to accomplish this year.  When setting goals keep in mind; a persons’ reach should exceed one’s grasp.  In other words, set goals that will be challenging to reach but not so difficult you may not reach them.


Answer the following questions to help you set some goals.

  • What do I want to accomplish in the upcoming years?
  • What are some thing that I find interesting?
  • What are some things that I really like to do?
  • Are there one of these things that I would like to learn more about or learn to do better?
  • Are there completely new things that I want to learn to do?

“Your goals are the road maps that guide you and show you what is possible for your life.” Les Brown





Step 2

Write your goal down


Writing down your goals turns them from wishes into realities, and is the first step in committing to the goal.  When you put pen to paper you turn your thoughts into something tangible.


Writing down your aspirations and goals is an important first step towards achieving them.  First, because by writing them down it forces you visualize your goals. And second, because the act of writing them down creates a commitment on your part. Only about 3-5% of the population actually takes the time to write down their goals.


Write your goals down in precise, positive statements.  The best goals are fully defined visions of how you want things to be.  The more specific, measurable, and challenging the goals are the more motivated people will be in attaining them.  Set a deadline for the achievement.  Put a date on it.


Determine a deadline for accomplishment. A goal must have a deadline. If you do not have a date on it, the goal is only a wish or a dream.  Decide what you want to accomplish. The goal should be very specific. If you want to close more sales, how many more sales do you want to close? What do you want your closing ratio to be? If you want to move into a different job, what are the characteristics of that job?  Determine that the goal is believable to you. You must feel that the goal can be realized. If you believe it is impossible to achieve, you will never take the action necessary to make the goal a reality.

When the words are written and then repeatedly re-written they have maximum impact.


A basic goal has these five elements:


1. They are expressed with action verbs.

2. They are written in specific language.

3. They specify measurable results.

4. They challenge you without being unreachable.

5. They specify completion dates.



Examples of basic goals:


I want to learn to play four songs on the piano by the recital
I want to run the entire 5k race On June 1
I want to paint my living room and dining room before Christmas




     Write your goal in the positive

     Write your goals out in complete detail

     Write in present tense



Give your goal the “control test.”  Do you have control over what you want to do?  Does the action part of your goal tell what you will do?   You will have control over a goal such as “I will read five book this summer.”  However, if the action in your goal statement is what someone else will do, it does not pass the control test.  The goal statement, “I will win the first place in the 100 meter race,” does not pass the control test because the outcome in not in your control.  You may race against other extremely gifted runner.  However, if you make your goal “I will run the 100 meter race in 11 seconds”, you will meet the control test.   


“I feel that the most important step in any major accomplishment is setting a specific goal. This enables you to keep your mind focused on your goal and off the many obstacles that will arise when you’re striving to do your best.”  Kurt Thomas 



Step 3

Needs Analysis


After you identify each goal, think about what you need to do to reach your goal.  Where are you now?  Complete a needs analysis.  You will never know how far you have to go if you do not know where you already are.  Do you need to read or do research about something?  Do you need to learn a special skill?  How much practice will it take? 

Identify all the skills, information, knowledge, resources, and help from people and organizations that you will need to achieve your goals, and the people with whom you will need to collaborate. 


Analyzing Skills and Knowledge

Think about what skills and knowledge you will need to reach your goals.

  • How good am I already at these things?
  • How much do I know about this already?
  • What skills do you need to achieve this goal?  
  • What information and knowledge do you need?  Knowledge is using your brain like knowing how to throw a curve ball.
  • What resources do you need?
  • What help, assistance, or collaboration do you need?


When you are thinking about how to achieve goals, focus on the elements that lead to their achievement:

  1. List the skills required to reach your goal.
  2. List the knowledge required to reach your goal.
  3. Identify the people and groups you need to work with to reach your goal.
  4. List the resources you need to reach your goal.





Step 4

List Benefits and Obstacles


Make a list of the benefits you will receive from attaining your goal.  By creating a list of benefits you become more intrinsically motivated to achieve your goals.

Also, make a list of anticipated obstacles.  List the obstacles to overcome in accomplishing your goal.  If you are aware of the obstacle you can make plans to overcome it.


“You measure the size of the accomplishment by the obstacles you had to overcome to reach your goals.”  Booker T. Washington




Step 5

List Objectives


In order to be successful, you will need to break things down into smaller tasks.  These smaller tasks are called objectives.  Objectives are the practical steps needed to help you achieve your goal.  Objectives allow you to track your progress more efficiently.

  • Objectives are not so overwhelming
  • Objectives are easier to achieve
  • Objectives let you feel the progress



Types of Goals and Objectives




Possible objectives for provisional goal of Painting House:

  • Determine the best paint
  • Determine color
  • Determine the most efficient way to paint (brush, spray, etc…)
  • Create list of supplies
  • Obtain supplies (paint, brushes, drop cloth, etc…)
  • Scrape old paint
  • Apply primer
  • Apply paint



“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” Vincent Van Gogh





Step 6

Create a plan of action


Develop a plan of action to complete each objective and reach your goal.  Set up a time frame for your goals and objectives.  Break each stage into basic tasks.  List the primary things that need to be done first. 


Goals have a deadline. They are broken down into steps or objectives, with each step having its own deadline.  When all of the separate deadlines are reached, the overall goal has been achieved.


A person may have a list of objectives that they want to achieve on a Saturday.  They would create an action plan on how they would accomplish those objectives. 



Developing an Action Plan

Determine the specific steps that will be necessary to achieve the goal. Consider starting at the accomplishment of the goal and work backwards.


Action plan for provisional goal of Painting House:




  1. Determine the most efficient way to paint (brush, spray, etc…) by using the internet to research. 
  2. Complete a cost benefit analysis for the most efficient way to paint



  1. Determine the best paint by using the internet and asking professionals
  2. Determine color
  3. Find a local distributor who sells that particular paint



  1. Create list of supplies with the store they can be obtained at



  1. Obtain supplies (paint, brushes, drop cloth, etc…)
  2. Pick up power wash at rental company



  1. Scrape old paint using scraper and power wash
  2. Apply primer to exposed areas



  1. Apply paint to entire house (except trim)



  1. Apply paint to trim




“The world makes way for the man who knows where he is going.”  Ralph Waldo Emereson






Step 7

Share your goals


Talk about your goals with another.  Share them with your friends and your family.  When we talk to others about our goals, it helps us get a better idea of what we are going to do.  Also, post your goals where you and others can see them.




Step 8

Take Action and Assess Your Goals and Objectives


Take daily action towards the goal.  Goals are evolving and changing things that need to be revisited and revised constantly.  Therefore, you should assess your progress on a regular basis.  Work in a systematic way to review, modify and up-date your objectives constantly. 


A football coach would assess the performance of their team throughout the first half and then make some adjustments at halftime.  The coach would then reassess the team during the second half and make some potential adjustments for the next game.  



“We will either find a way, or make one!”  Hannibal





Step 9



The most important thing is to recognize your progress and your success, and to celebrate them. 


Reward yourself for your successes.  Once you have made progress toward or reached your goal, you should celebrate and be proud of what you have accomplished.  Every now and then, think about how you feel about your progress.  Sometimes goals are hard to stick to.  It takes a long time to see results.  So as you complete a step and meet a deadline you need to give yourself a boost or energizer. “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”  Zig Ziglar


“The moment of enlightenment is when a person’s dreams of possibilities become images of probabilities.”  Vic Braden





Step 10

Periodically Evaluate your Goals


Periodically, take some time to review your entire goal list and evaluate your progress.  Use your failures as lessons for planning future successes. 

Goals do not occur in isolation. We have many different goals in our lives, and we need to figure out how to set priorities and still reach our different goals.  Although you have assessed your goals on a constant basis, you must also take some time to evaluate your goals and your progress.  Assessing entails making small adjustments to your objectives.  Evaluating your goal entails reviewing your entire goal to ensure you are heading in the right direction, need to adjust time frames, or if you no longer have this goal in your life.

A football coach assesses his team’s performance during their games, however it is important for a coach to sit down and evaluate the overall performance of the team and potentially make some significant changes.  He may redesign the defense or add new plays. 

As you evaluate your goals, you will make changes based on your experience and your circumstances.  Your failures will provide valuable lessons for future goal setting.


You may need to:

  •      Make your goals more challenging
  •      Make your goals easier to accomplish in a shorter time
  •      Seize new opportunities
  •      Improve your deficiencies 



“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.”  Henry David Thoreau



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