4 Actionable Goal Setting Techniques


In a nutshell, goals are the wanted results an individual plans and commit to obtaining to achieving. Many times goals are used by people and organizations in pursuit of development.

A Few Questions to keep in mind when setting goals.
  • Who is this for?
  • What is the purpose of this goal?
  • When will this goal be achieved?
  • How will this goal be achieved?

The Importance of Goal Setting

You have a Set Plan | When you are embarking on a new endeavor it can be pretty daunting. When you set a plan you will be able to map out what exactly you are looking to achieve and how you plan on achieving it.

You are Able To Monitor Your Progress | When you set a goal you essentially create an outline or a guide if you will. This guide will walk you through your goals and keep you on track to obtaining them. When you monitor your progress you are able to see your efforts as you work towards your goals.

Eyes On The Prize | When you set your goals it is good practice to know what it is that you are chasing after. What is the end result? What is your reason for obtaining it?

You are More Inclined to Stay on Track | When you set goals you add structure to your life. When you create a goal you give yourself a means to an end. With this, you give yourself a purpose to achieve more and to better yourself. When you have goals set in place your goals become that much more obtainable because you create for yourself a plan of execution.

Offers Motivation | Goal setting can be inspiring. When you set goals you are creating an incentive for yourself to do better and achieve more in life.

Things to Remember When Goal Setting

Write Them Down | When you write down your goals you are able to revisit them time and time again. A good idea is to place your goals in a safe place that you frequent often. This way you can always see them.

Create Goals You are Passionate About | Your goals should benefit you. They should compel you to want more for yourself. Goals should also be something that you are interestest in. When you truly care about your goal you are more likely to achieve them.

Have a Plan | What steps are you going to take when achieving your goals? What may stand in your way and how do you plan to keep motivated? Do you have a support system that you can turn to? These are all things you will want to keep in mind when goal setting.

Don't Give Up! | Achieving your goals will not be easy, if they were everyone would do it. Goals are meant to challenge and push you to grow, develop, and improve.

4 Actionable Goal Setting Techniques

1. The OKR Method

Pioneered by Andy Grove and later used by Bill Gates.

Objectives | This is the goal itself. What is it that you are looking to accomplish?
Key Results | What is your plan for achieving this goal? What is the time frame? What is your emotional connection to this goal and is it realistic?

2. The SMART Method

Developed by George T. Doran's in Management Review. This is a popular method for goal setting.

Specific | Your goal should be targeted and specific.
Measurable | Make sure that you can measure your progress. Using numbers, indicators, and charts to track your progression.
Achievable | Your goal should be challenging within reason. Know your limits and gradually expand upon them.
Realistic | You should be able to achieve your goals with your given resources. You should not need to overextend yourself in order to achieve your goals. Build up to your goals.
Timely |  There should be a specific date attached to your goal. You are basically giving yourself a deadline. This will create urgency and help keep you in line.

3. The HARD Method

Developed by Mark Murphy in his book Hundred Percenters the hard method is an acronym for Heartfelt, Animated, Required, and Difficult.

Heartfelt | You should have an emotional attachment to your goals while you are setting them. Think about your why and the emotional attachment you have to it.
Animated | Looking towards the future, consider the happiness and joy that completing this joy will bring you.
Required | Develop a sense of urgency around your goal. Why is it so important and why do you need to accomplish these goals? Why is it important that you reach them?
Difficult | Make your goals a challenge and face them head-on.

4. The WOOP Method

Developed by Gabriele Oettingen and Peter Gollwitzer, who are psychologists at New York University. The Woop Method is also known as Mental Contrasting with Implementation Intentions (MCII).

Wish | Consider your dreams in life, chose one a realistic one that excites and challenges you.
Outcome | Consider the end. What will happen once you have achieved this goal? How will you feel? How will this change your life for the better?
Obstacle | Think of every possible obstacle you may face while attempting to achieve this goal. Are you ready for this? Are you willings to go through the hardship you may endure?
Plan | Plan for the obstacles. Create an if/then chart regarding these obstacles. How do you plan to overcome these challenges as they arise?

Tips to Encourage You To Obtain Your Goals

Create Mini-Goals | Once you have your goal in place it is helpful to create small tasks that are easier to obtain so that you don't feel as though you are making no progress.

Reward Yourself | You are working towards your goal and any small accomplishment should be celebrated! Have reasonable rewards in place for reaching your goals.

Announce Your Goals | When you set a goal, let others know. Create a support group of individuals that will encourage and aid you in the achievement of your goals.

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