And just an fyi, goal setting and planning doesn’t have to be for the ultra-intense-super-achiever (although it can be), it can also be for people who have personal goals, such as becoming less anxious or being more social, and it can be for everyone to help them reach their career/life/financial/educational/etc goals!
So for this post, I wanted to focus on creating the perfect goal setting worksheet that is tailored to your own personal needs and goals.
How helpful can a goal setting worksheet actually be?
For some people, a goal setting worksheet might be just another piece of paper that gets crumpled and stepped on and used as a napkin or doodling paper.
But if you actually commit to using one, it can be an amazing way to motivate yourself and remind yourself frequently to stay on track!
Before you start:
You need to remove the expectations that society/ your parents/ and any other sources are putting on you and start to think about what you really want.
So with that being said, here are two big questions you need to ask yourself:
1. What would I do if I didn’t need to impress anybody?
2. What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail? (cliche I know, but important)
These questions are simple but we tend to ignore the answers because our fears of disappointing others and of failure are too strong.
keep this in mind as you go through the next steps and starting making your goal planning worksheet.
Step 1: Figuring Out What You Really Want
I want you to focus on what you want to do and how you want to feel.
Understanding what you do want
For your general work/life goals, here are some prompts that can help you to better understand what you want:
What activities/work make you feel the happiest?
These are questions that will help you to decide what you really want and what will make you feel good in life if that is what you want to do.
Understanding What You Don’t Want to Do
You should also address what you don’t want to do in life. When pursuing any goal in life, there are going to be aspects that you don’t enjoy that much. You might be able to deal with some of the more difficult tasks, but there might be some things that aren’t really worth it to you. And that’s totally fine – it will just show you that that specific path is not the right one for you.
What/who is significantly negatively impacting your life and causing you stress?
What things do you really not enjoy doing in your regular life that you find yourself doing quite frequently?
Understanding the Factors Holding You Back
There also might be certain aspects of your life that are preventing you from reaching your full potential in your professional goals. I have outlined some questions that could help you figure out some personal development goals that will help you to create the right skills to help you out in the future for your life goals.
Are there certain times in your life where you feel a block/barrier that is preventing you from doing things that you want to do?
Are there things you wish you had the courage to do, but can’t?
Are there habits that are wasting time for you? (TV, sleeping, nervous habits)
Hopefully these questions will give you some indication of some personal goals you could start with or give you an idea of the goals that you might not want to pursue because of the negative aspects that you might not want to deal with.
If you want some more help with finding the right goals for you, you can check out another article of mine: How to Find Goals that Align With Who You Really Are
Step 2: Categorizing Your Goals
Now, what areas in life do you have goals for and which are the most important to you?
- Professional goals (career, job, livelihood)
- Physical goals (body, health, weight)
- Relationship goals (romantic, friendly, familial)
- Financial goals (savings, wealth/money, financial habits)
- Emotional/mental goals (feelings, mental health)
- Spiritual goals (connection to something greater, your spiritual path and values)
- Experiences/hobbies goals (travel goals/other fun experiences)
- Educational goals (learning and knowledge)
- Philanthropic goals (giving back to the community, world)
These nine areas should give you a good basis for the areas in which you should base your goals. This also might show you that you actually might have more goals than you might have thought.
So when you fill out your proper goal setting worksheet that you can download here: it can be best to only focus on one goal at a time.
Step 3: Narrowing Down And Focusing On One Goal At A Time
You can go through the next few steps for each goal if you’d like so that you can narrow it down into more manageable pieces.
Basically, you are going to have your main goal, which you have determined using the steps above, but you also want to find the smaller goals and steps that you will need to achieve first in order to reach this bigger goal.
So what you need to do is further break down your goals into mini goals and then break those down into micro goals.
Mind Map/Flow Chart
It is a good idea to do a mind map or a flow chart to see if any of your bigger goals are actually steps to reaching your other big goals, or if there are mini-goals that will help you work towards multiple bigger goals.
Tip: This is also a good time to check in to see if there are any goals you have that really don’t fit in with your major goals. Sometimes we don’t have time to complete all of our goals and sometimes certain things we want are more distracting than anything else.
In the image below (which is from my goal planning workbook) will help you with a visual representation of your goals and mini goals.
Step 4: Defining Your Goals
For all of these goals (especially the bigger goals), you want to be as descriptive as possible because you want to have a very clear idea of what you want and the steps that it will take to get there.
So, there are a few exercises that you can do to help define your goals. And don’t worry, I have compiled all of these into a goal setting worksheet (or workbook, rather) that you can download.
5 Ws + H
So the first thing you want to do is answer the Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How? Answering these questions will give you a lot more insight into what it will take to reach this goal.
More specific questions you can ask are:
Who will be involved in this Goal?
Who will be affected by this goal?
Who’s help might you need in order to achieve this goal?
Be as specific with this goal as you can.
What is the final result you will achieve with this goal?
What resources will you need to achieve this goal?
Where will this goal take place?
Where will you need to be/go in order to reach this goal?
Where will you work to reach this goal?
Why is it important that you reach this goal?
Why do you want to reach this goal?
This question is a bit of a double-check to ensure that you really want to complete this goal and that it is for you and not for someone else. Also, it’s a great way to motivate yourself with all the reasons that you want to do it!
Making SMART Goals
You will also want to check that your goal is SMART. Smart goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
To check that you have a smart goal, you can go through the following:
Be very clear with your goal. You want as many details as possible so that you know exactly what you need to achieve.
how will you know that your goal is complete? ex: how much weight do you want to lose? what will you have achieved?
How will you reach this goal? Are there any constraints that might prevent you from reaching this goal? (ie. financial, where you live, other commitments)
This will be more for your mini goals. Do they work towards the overall goal that you want to achieve and towards the life that you want?
You need to make sure that you have a deadline or series of deadlines that you can adhere to so that you stay on track.
Once you do this with your bigger goals, you can go through again with your mini goals and micro goals.
Now that you have your goals well-defined, you can start to make a plan.
Step 5: Making a Plan
You can start to map out when you want your milestones to be.
Mapping Your Milestones
1 Year Goal:
Once you have those goals figured out, as well as your mini goals and even micro goals – you can start putting your plan into action by filling out a yearly calendar, then monthly, weekly, and daily. I have included yearly, monthly, and weekly calendars in the printable goal setting worksheet here.
If you want an even more thorough goal setting worksheet (well actually it’s a workbook), check out this one. I use it myself and it is so thorough and so detailed. It’s around $30 but totally worth it! It has 60+ pages and even just using a couple of them has helped me out a lot!
But if you don’t want to shell out the cash, you can download my free goal planning workbook below: not as thorough but I will be working on updating it and making it a lot better!
Also, a huge part of achieving your goals is your mindset, so you should check out my free mindset training course. It will be specifically dedicated to reframing your mind and habits toward reaching your goals.
Sagesse ("Say Jess")
Owner of Mindaya