Free Goal Setting Template

smart goal setting

As we begin the first full week of the new year, I wanted to provide you with a free goal setting template. This is the actual form I use and have used for years, though I’ve refined it a bit over time.

As you download it, let’s talk about how to maximize the benefit from it. For this particular download, I’ve inserted an example and some other information to help you get used to the format. If you like it, great—use it as you wish. If it doesn’t fit your style, you’re not going to hurt my feelings by trashing it. But, whatever you do use something! Get those goals written down today!

First, I’ve listed a few categories for you to consider: Personal, Professional, Financial, Spiritual, Emotional and Physical. While you don’t have to have a written goal in each of those areas, you should at least know where you are and where you want to grow in that aspect of your life.

Secondly, I have always included a column where I literally “check” the fact the goal met the S.M.A.R.T. criteria. In my career, I’ve seen several different opinions on what the acronym stands for, but I prefer: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Bound. I suggest you take out a legal pad and just have a stream-of-consciousness writing session—jot down everything that comes to mind. Then go back and hone that down to a workable list of goals you can manage. (Don’t set 47 goals for the year—you’ll never be able to keep up with all of them). I suggest four or five BIG goals and perhaps two or three smaller ones.

Next fill in the form with your goals written in an affirmative manner, “I WILL…” rather than “I want to…”. When you read those goals those words will carry much more weight.

Finally break each goal up into quarters and set your “Mile Marker” dates when you should be 25%, 50% and 75% complete. For example if your goal is “I WILL lose 20 lbs. by December 31. Then you should be down five pounds every quarter. Use these Mile Markers to keep yourself on track throughout the year. It also serves to let you visualize your BIG goal in smaller, more easily attained chunks.

Good luck! I hope 2015 is a great year for you. Download your FREE Goal Setting Template here!