How to create effective goals [Worksheet included]
Goals; the what’s & how’s?
Goals are not just dreams. When utilized properly, goals are a powerful tool that guide improvement, motivate individuals to achieve, and create confidence through results.
New Year's Resolutions often break down because they are typically grandiose lifestyle changes that are poorly planned out with a heavy focus on a particular outcome or external factor. One of the most important parts of a goal is the process behind the desired outcome, the "how am I going to get there?", which unsuccessful resolutions often lack.
Internally motivated goals tend to be much more effective because when you want to achieve a goal for yourself (in contrast to for others) you set out to achieve it for the fun of it, and because it is something you enjoy. Because you enjoy the challenge, and you are doing it for yourself, there is limited external pressure. Pressure to achieve goals from external factors will often result in fear of failure.
Below, I detail three types of goals that must be considered when creating effective goals. In addition, I provided an acronym "S.M.A.R.T" in order to set detailed, specific, process-oriented goals. Furthermore, I have provided an outline to help you or your team develop "S.M.A.R.T" goals.
Three types of goals.
Process - Developing goals that lay out the steps to a particular outcome. Ex. Improving my accuracy so that my overall aim is better.
Performance - Developing goals relating to past performances or a baseline. Ex. increasing my accuracy from 50% to 60%
Outcome - Developing goals related to results. Ex. winning BlizzCon.
Specific - Using the following criteria. Make the goal as detailed as you can be laying out the steps it will take to get to the ultimate goal
Measurable - Use measurable data such as percentages, time clocks, pace, head-shots, kill/death etc.
Action Oriented - Use action words that will give you a direction and something to do now. Ask yourself, “is there anything I can do to achieve this now?”
Realistic - Set goals that will be achievable, yet still provide a challenge in order to motivate you towards improvement.
Timely - Set deadlines in order to make set a timeline for improvement. Ex. acquiring skill “X” by next week.
Try it for yourself!
Worksheet created by Dan Himmelstein 2016