Use a SMART Goal-Setting Worksheet to Plan Your Year

Use a SMART Goal-Setting Worksheet to Plan Your Year

Everyone starts the new year off with resolutions and goals but you can start any day of the year with this goal-setting worksheet. Any motivational speaker will tell you that you have a much better chance of achieving your goals if you simply write them down and create an action plan.

There is a billboard for a local gym that promotes “$10 a month, No Commitment.” I get that some gyms require a contract that locks people in whether they use it or not but isn’t that sign ironic? No commitment? How can you lose weight or get healthy without a commitment or setting specific goals? How can you achieve any goal without commitment?

That commitment starts when you write it down. Whether you are trying to achieve a personal goal, you are a student trying to achieve an academic goal, or you have a set of goals at work, using a SMART goals template is the best way to get started. It is a powerful tool and immediately improves your odds of success.

SMART Goal Setting

A common best practice and effective way of setting goals is the SMART method. Goals need to be:

Specific: Answers the who, what, where, and when of the goal. Compiling all these details allows you to see what's really required to achieve your goals. Questions to ask include:

Measurable: In setting measurements, you’re creating milestones within your SMART goal to track progress. Before you lose 10 pounds, first you need to lose one pound. Ask yourself the following:

Attainable: Determine if the goal is realistic or just a dream. Realistic goals are attainable. A good goal will make you stretch, but it shouldn’t be out of reach. If the thought of trying to lose forty pounds is overwhelming, start with a goal of losing five or ten.

Relevant: When you set goals, consider whether they are worth your time. This helps you determine which path to focus on and where to spend your time. Some methods interpret the “R” as realistic.

Time-bound: One of the most important parts of setting new goals is setting a target date. It must have a timeline, a deadline, or a specific date to shoot for. Items with deadlines take priority. Items without deadlines get lost in the shuffle.

Download our free goal-setting worksheet and give yourself a better chance of achieving your goals! Use this for yourself and with your employees.

Additional SMART Goal Setting Considerations

Change is difficult. Don’t get over-aggressive and try to do everything at once. Stay on track with the attainable and realistic milestones you’ve set for yourself. If you are trying to lose weight and you want to drink eight glasses of water every day, eliminate sugar, eat more protein, and work out four times a week, don’t try to do all of it in week one. Break those goals down into weekly steps. Work up to the big goal.

Keep your plan visible. Write down your SMART goals, and keep that information easy to access. Use our free goal-setting worksheet! Some people make vision boards. Others post a sticky note on their bathroom mirror. I have even changed my computer password to include a word that motivates me to my personal goal.

Measure your success. Do the work to track the actual progress. Apps like My Fitness Pal or Fitbit allow for the tracking of your water and calories consumed, activity, etc. Use Goodreads to track the books you read. Use a dream journal to make daily lists, write affirmations or even doodle about your goals! It is very satisfying to track your daily accomplishments or check things off your lists in writing!

Follow personal development and life coach blogs. Everyone needs a little extra motivation sometimes. There are many inspiring writers who can help you create new habits, provide positive affirmations, and help you stay focused on your long-term vision.

SMART Goal Setting with Kids

You can use this same method with your kids and students. My son recently joined a competitive, select basketball team. He really struggles with the workouts, especially the suicide drills, and he wants to improve his endurance. We recently sat down and talked about his goals around running and filled out his own goal planning worksheet:

Employee Training Topics Related to Meeting Goals

If you are working with your employees on setting goals for the upcoming year, HSI offers a nice variety of courses that can support their goals. If you request a free trial of our HSI LMS, you can view all of these courses that relate to common goals and areas of improvement.

Additional Resources

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