‘Goal setting is a powerful exercise because it gets us thinking about our ideal future and what we need to do to make that ideal future a reality.’ Goals setting and planning help in many life situations, such as planning for a Wedding or large events. In many cases goals or plans will involve financial decisions and tracking.
Completing step-by-step tasks allow us to complete goals by enabling us to have a clearer view and perspective on the current situation and what it is we would like to attain in the future.
To make goals specific, they must tell a team exactly what is expected, why is it important, who’s involved, where is it going to happen and which attributes are important.
A specific goal will usually answer the five “W” questions:
- What: What do I want to accomplish?
- Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
- Who: Who is involved?
- Where: Identify a location.
- Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
Measuring progress is supposed to help a team stay on track, reach its target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs it on to continued effort required to reach the ultimate goal.
A measurable goal will usually answer questions such as:
- How much?
- How many?
- How will I know when it is accomplished?
When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them.
An attainable goal will usually answer the question:
- How: How can the goal be accomplished?
Relevant goals (when met) drive the team, department, and organization forward. A goal that supports or is in alignment with other goals would be considered a relevant goal.
A relevant goal can answer yes to these questions:
- Does this seem worthwhile?
- Is this the right time?
- Does this match our other efforts/needs?
- Are you the right person?
A commitment to a deadline helps a team focus their efforts on completion of the goal on or before the due date. This part of the S.M.A.R.T. goal criteria is intended to prevent goals from being overtaken by the day-to-day crises that invariably arise in an organization. A time-bound goal is intended to establish a sense of urgency.
A time-bound goal will usually answer the question:
- What can I do 6 months from now?
- What can I do 6 weeks from now?
- What can I do today?
Goal Setting Worksheet
This worksheet will help you organize your goals, to dos, and/or projects to help you make the biggest impact in your life or career.
Here’s what you do:
- Place all of your goals, tasks, or projects in the quadrants.
- Quickly, you’ll find the things that have low effort/ high impact. Work on those first.
- Move to those things in the high effort/high impact quadrant!
Weekly Planner Template
This template (inspired from the teachings of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)will help you organize the most important things to do in each “role” you play in your life. Combined with the Goal Setting Worksheet above, you can easily identify those things that will have the biggest impact.
Creating one each week should not
Here’s how to use it:
- Simply write in all of the roles you have. As you’ll see in my example, I put in things like Husband, Father, Team Leader, etc.
- Then, ask yourself “What is the most important thing I can do in this role this week?”
- Pull the best high impact/low effort and high impact/high effort goals, tasks, or projects that you will accomplish THIS WEEK from the Goal Setting Worksheet, or any other to-do list you maintain.
- Fill in the “Sharpening the Saw” section – which contains the 4 areas of your personal development each week. Sharpening the Saw refers to Habit 7 in the The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, and helps you prioritize your self-growth while organizing the rest of your life. Learn more about organizing your life with FranklinCovey.
- Planning to Live Your Life Your Way
- Click here for a copy of the “My Goal” template
- Life Tick – For individuals and businesses. A web based software that gets you on the path to success and lets you manage others as they set and achieve goals.