Goal Setting

How to Write Goals

How to Write Goals


When you’re looking at how to write goals you need to know only one thing – how much do you already know about what you want.

This means you don’t have to struggle to get your goals on paper.

You can choose from a variety of ways to zero in on what you want and put yourself in a position to take action to achieve it.

How to Write Goals When You Have a Future Vision

Some people have a very precise vision of exactly what they want the future to hold. They can see what it looks like and imagine what it feels like. Their mental picture is clear and well detailed.

The task of writing goals in that case is the process of jotting down the information in your vision. When you have that description in hand you rewrite it as goal statements and voila – you’ve got goals.

For more on turning your vision into goal statements click here.

For free goal setting worksheets to use in creating a vision, click here.

How to Write Goals Using A Wheel of Life or Career Wheel

How do you write a goal when you don’t have a pre-existing vision? Writing goals requires a target; the object of the goal is to reach the target.

A Wheel of Life, sometimes called a Balance Wheel, is a popular tool used in coaching to help define a vision of the future we want. You can get similar results working with this tool on your own.

Briefly, you look at different aspects of your life and do a mental check on how they’re going on a scale of one to ten. To the extent you rate areas less than wonderful, the wheel shows where improvement could take place and prompts you to identify to what change you would like to make.


Sample Sheet Here: #1 

Sample Sheet Here: #2 

To look at aspects of your work and career in detail instead of life as a whole you want to work with a career wheel. The process is the same for both but the categories upon which you reflect differ.

When you know the changes you want to achieve you rewrite them into goal statements.

Get started now working with a Balance Wheel or a Career Balance Wheel.

How to Write Goals Based on Your Personal Mission, Core Values or Key Life Categories

The question of how to write goals also comes up as part of a self-development or personal improvement plan. In that case you can use the insight you are developing from that work as a springboard for creating goals.

There are two ways to do this. If the work you are doing involves creating a personal or professional mission statement the statement itself can be a starting point. List the values that are represented in the mission statement and then create goal statements that relate to each value.

Follow along on an example of how one man moved from a mission statement to goal statements that would support an action plan here.

Even if you’re not writing a mission statement your self improvement work may help identify the values that are most important to you personally and professionally. Again, compile those values in a list and then use that list as a basis for creating goals. Click here for an example of this process in action.

Writing goals based on important life categories is very similar to creating goals from a list of your values. This method of how to write goals involves going through a variety of categories and selecting what needs to be changed in each one.

We generally set goals in one of seven categories:

family & relationships
education & career
spiritual or personal development
community & physical environment

You can use these categories as a starting point for a brainstorming session about your own goals. Run through the categories one at a time and jot down what occurs to you as your goal in that area.
When you’ve got a list, polish the items you wrote down into goal statements and once again, you’ve got goals to work with. Here is a sample of a list of values and goals. created this way.

Give one or more of these methods a try and you will be well on your way to setting and achieving goals that work for you.

FREE Templates:

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