Goal Sheet Template
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- What are goals
- How to set goals
- S.M.A.R.T. goals
- Importance of goal setting
- Benefits of a goal setting template
- What a goal sheet template includes
- Create your goal sheet
- Example personal and business goals
- Set goals and achieve them successfully
Setting goals is an important part of life. Whether it’s personal goals for improving yourself or professional goals for enhancing your business life, goal setting is important – and outlining concrete steps to achieve those goals is an important part of goal setting.
Having a goal drives you to focus, lets you track your progress, helps you avoid procrastination, and motivates you. These benefits of setting goals are the “why.” We’re here to help you with the “how” with our Goal Sheet Template.
What are goals
In the simplest terms and as defined by Merriam-Webster, a goal is “the end toward which effort is directed.” So one could say that a goal requires a three-step process; setting the goal, taking action, and achieving the goal. But it’s never that easy, is it?
Along your path to setting and reaching a goal, you must identify the actions to take, the resources to use, and the obstacles that can stand in the way. All of this applies to objectives you set for personal development as well as those you set for professional growth.
How to set goals
The goals you set, whether long-term or short, should be attainable and not open-ended. For instance, having a goal to win the lottery isn’t necessarily a realistic goal. And setting a goal to make a lot of money in your lifetime is too fluid.
One key to setting attainable goals is with measurable objectives. When you set goals, consider what it is that you want to achieve, when you want to achieve it by, and how you plan to achieve it.
This is how a goal setting worksheet template like ours is useful. It allows you to plan how you will reach your objectives, and in what timeframe.
One method of goal setting that you might consider is a S.M.A.R.T. goal. This type of goal provides structure and assists you with identifying actions for realistic goals within a timeframe. This process allows you to focus on your objective and helps to achieve it.
Here’s what a S.M.A.R.T. goal stands for:
Specific: What specific goal do you plan to accomplish and how?
Measurable: Will your goal have a measurable outcome? How will you measure its progress?
Achievable or Attainable: Is the goal reachable and possible?
Relevant or Realistic: Why is the goal important? What is it relevant to?
Time-bound or Time-based: What is the timeframe for accomplishing the goal?
S.M.A.R.T. goals use this structure for a reason. And if you’re ready to try this method of goal setting, then using a smart goals template like ours is the perfect tool! It gives you the structure you need in an easy-to-understand format.
Importance of goal setting
When you set a goal, it’s not only important because you complete an objective. It’s also beneficial to behavior, and in some cases, job performance. Goal setting:
- is motivational,
- is satisfying,
- can increase overall effort,
- offers challenge,
- provides clarity, and
- requires commitment.
As you can surmise, each of these reasons for setting goals can certainly have an impact on your attitude and thus your overall behavior in both your personal and professional lives.
Benefits of a goal setting template
More than a simple to-do list, a goal sheet or S.M.A.R.T. goals template lets you track your goal from inception to completion. This is an important aspect of successfully achieving your goal and the benefits of a goal setting template can help you to:
- Define your motivation for reaching the goal.
- List every action you must take.
- Identify the resources you need for those actions.
- Set a deadline or time limit.
- Outline setbacks you encounter along the way.
What a goal sheet template includes
When you are ready to set a goal and use a goal setting worksheet template, there are certain things that the template should include. Whether you use the S.M.A.R.T. goal process or another technique, the goal sheet should include everything from your goal and motivation to your actions and setbacks. And of course, the template should be an easy-to-use yet detailed goal sheet.
This is where our Goal Sheet Template comes in to help. You’ll find all of the sections you need to create, set a deadline for, take action on, and complete your goal. In addition, you can track your resources, setbacks or obstacles, and what you’ve learned along the way.
Create your goal sheet
Our Goal Sheet Template is intuitive, simple, and attractive. Each section is labeled clearly and ready for you to begin. To give you a head start, we’ll walk you through each of the areas so you can jump right in.
Writing down or typing in your goal is the first step in reaching it.
Think of your goals and objectives. What would you like to achieve? Remember, your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound (S.M.A.R.T.). If you need help with defining your SMART goal, see this smart goals worksheet.
At the top of the Goal Sheet Template in the My Goal spot, enter your goal.
The more certain your goal is, the clearer your steps to achieving it will be. Plus for a larger, long-term goal, it will be easier to break it down into smaller, more attainable goals to reach the overall accomplishment.
Inspiration or motivation
Defining the Inspiration or Motivation behind reaching your goal is the next step and subsequent section of this Goal Sheet Template.
The incentive you have for achieving your goal can come in any form. As you’ll see as examples in the template, it could be a specific reward, a favorite quote, a motivational video, or even a photograph.
And remember, Excel offers an easy way to insert media if your inspiration is a video, photo, or website link. You can click the Insert tab and choose an option from Pictures in the ribbon. Or, click the Link button and enter the URL for a webpage or YouTube video.
Start and Target Dates
Right below where you enter your Inspiration or Motivation, you have a spot for the timing of your goal. As we explained with S.M.A.R.T. goals, having a deadline or timeframe in place for achieving your goal helps you to focus on it.
Enter the Start Date and Target Date for your goal. You can use whichever date format is comfortable for you and the template will reformat it. For example, if you enter 9/7/2019, the template will display it as 07 September 2019 (Saturday).
The Today Is and Days Left fields are populated for you automatically using your start and target dates.
This section not only helps you create a time-bound goal, but clearly shows you a countdown for how many days remain, from the current day, each time you open the sheet.
The resources for your goal are those tools that help you to reach it. For instance, resources for a personal goal can be external tools like books, websites, applications, or software. Or they can be internal things like education, knowledge, habits, or skills.
Use the next section on the goal setting worksheet template to enter your Resources.
You can use the different boxes in blue and gray to correspond with the subsequent section for Actions and Tasks. But you can also simply list out your resources using those eight spots as you like.
Actions and Tasks
The Actions and Tasks area is the next section to complete. Enter all of the items you need to perform in order to achieve your goal.
This important area is where you will track the steps you need to take or the tasks you need to complete. And the section is divided into weekly and monthly actions. This is helpful for breaking down those larger goals into manageable pieces.
You could change these areas to “today” and “this week” if you’d rather set daily and weekly goals.
As you complete each task, click the corresponding drop-down box in the Check column and select Done. This will show the actions you complete at a glance as well as mark them off the list.
It’s rare that anything we do in life goes perfectly and without a hitch. So, use the Setbacks area to list those impediments you experience along your goal-achieving journey.
Along with setbacks, you may identify obstacles that could stand in the way of reaching your goal. You can easily use the Setbacks section to list those types of hurdles as well.
Reflection upon completion
The final area in this Goal Sheet Template is for Reflection upon completion. Think of this section of the template as mini journal specifically for the goal you reached.
Jotting down what you learned while achieving your goal, how you handled setbacks or overcame obstacles, and the way in which you felt as you worked toward your goal can be very therapeutic.
Example personal and business goals
Maybe you have some long-term goals or short-term goals in mind for your personal or business life, but are struggling with how to express them, what type of actions to take, or which resources to use. Here are a few examples of both personal and business goals using our Goal Sheet Template.
Lose 20 pounds
Take an online advanced computer class
Improve customer service response time by 20%
Implement a marketing strategy for the new product launch
Set goals and achieve them successfully
Hopefully these details, tips, and examples, along with our Goal Sheet Template, will help you on your way to achieve your goals with great success. Remember that nothing comes easy and the harder you work, the more pride you will take in accomplishing those objectives you set out to complete.
Best of luck on your goal setting adventure!
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