5 Goal Setting Activities

These 5 goal setting activities focus on your personal values and what is important to you. Why is this important for goal setting?

If your personal values do not match up with your long-term goals, then your long-term goals are less meaningful for you. In the parlance of goal setting theory, you lack commitment.

Tapping into your commitment is the "white gold" of motivation. With commitment and the right goal setting plan you achieve more than you dreamed of.

Here we provide 5 goal setting activities that help to clarify your vision and the values that are important to you. These activities also give you the tools to take the purposeful steps to achieve your vision.

Goal setting activity #1: Your retirement dinner

Imagine it is your retirement dinner. It is an unusual retirement dinner at which your family, friends, and colleagues stand up and describe the type of person that you are for them.

How would you like to be remembered? What do you want your children and friends to say about you? How would you like to be described by your colleagues?

By creating a vision of what you would like to be in the future, in different areas of your life, you often reflect the personal values that are most important to you in each of these different areas.

goal setting activities

1. Think of the different areas of your life and what you would like each person (or future self) to say about you in each of these areas of your life.

2. How would you currently rate yourself in each of these areas?

For example, the center of the circle is 0 (not satisfied at all), and the outer edge represents 10 (very satisfied). This activity gives you an intuitive feel for those areas that you need to set goals.

3. Think about what is important to you and the type of person that you would like to be.

Download these goal setting forms and identify those areas of your life that are most important to you. This can help you to clarify priorities for future goal setting strategies.

Goal setting activity #2: Emulate somebody you admire

If you have trouble visualizing your retirement dinner in goal setting activities #1, then imagine somebody that you admire and respect. What qualities do they have that you admire?

If time is lacking and you want to set and track your goals with minimal fuss then goal setting software may be for you?

Often the characteristics that you admire in another can say a lot about the type of person that you would like to be.

Take a blank piece of paper and write down the qualities of this person in each life domain. Write a paragraph on the type of person that you would like to be in each area of your life. Practice 'no limit' thinking. Don't limit yourself by your fears, lack of money, or a lack of time - clarify a vision of your ideal self.

These may include:

  • Career
  • Finance
  • Family
  • Personal relationships
  • Community citizenship and any others that you can think of.

Goal setting activities #3: Develop goal setting plans for each area of your life

In the above goal setting activities you have provided an ideal vision of the different areas of your life, spanning

  • career,
  • family,
  • social and
  • personal life.

It is helpful when you are trying to create a vision of the type of person that you want to be to consider your life from these different aspects. The following goal setting activity makes these personal visions of you more concrete.

Family goal setting. Do you want to spend more quality time with your family? What sort of parent or partner do you want to be? From this page you can download a family goal setting plan.

Education. Do you want to learn something new or become an expert in a particular area? What new skills do you want to acquire?

Fitness goal setting. Do you want to lose weight or become fitter? Perhaps you want to improve your game or remain motivated to keep training. Do you want to remain healthy as you get older? What steps do you need to take? From this page you can download a fitness goal setting plan.

Setting financial goals. What sort of money do you want to earn? Do you want to achieve financial freedom? If so, then how? From this page you can download a financial goal setting plan.

Setting personal goals. Do you want to maintain a positive mindset? Are there behaviors that you want to improve? Do you want to have more pleasure and happiness in your life?

Career goal setting. Where do you want to be in your career? What type of job do you want to work in? What skills do you want to learn for your job? From this page you can download a career goal setting plan.

Goal activity #4: Practice setting SMART goals

In the above goal setting activities you have:

  • clarified your personal vision, and
  • made these abstract goals more concrete by developing goal setting strategies in goal setting activity #3.

In this goal setting activity you are going to try to develop SMART goals. SMART goals are a proven method of maximizing goal setting success.

Pick one of your goals. Whether you choose a career goal, a fitness goal or a personal goal, try to identify how you can make your goal SMART.

Activity #5: Prioritize your goals

Enthusiasm for goal setting is great - but sometimes enthusiasm needs to be focused into what is important for you.


A by-product of enthusiasm can mean that you set too many goals. This can spread you too thin and result in not achieving any of your important goals!

Perhaps you want to

  • achieve financial success,
  • spend more time with your family
  • achieve greater fitness, or
  • get that dream job.

While these are great things to aim for, too many goals can be a distraction and take your focus away from the main prize!

This goal setting activity can help you to prioritize your goals according to what is important to you. These goal setting tips can help you to avoid making some of the more common errors in goal setting.

If you found these goal setting activities interesting then you may also like these goal setting strategies.

What Goal Setting Activities Have Worked for You?

Do you have a great goal setting activity? Share it!

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