Setting Personal Goals: Templates and Tools

Setting personal goals provides direction and purpose. They give you a path and a plan to achieve what you are aiming for. What do you want to achieve in your life? This is a big question that requires serious thought.

Here I provide a step-by-step guide to setting and achieving your personal goals.

These include:

  1. Practice 'no limit' thinking to develop a clear vision
  2. Write down your long-term personal goals and clarify your next actions
  3. Develop an action plan to achieve your short-term personal goals
  4. Create daily habits of excellence

1. Practice ‘no limit’ thinking

Before setting goals you need to think about your life and what you want to achieve otherwise you may spend a great deal of time climbing the ladder only to realize that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.

Imagine if you had no limits on money, talent, or time....What would you want to? What would you like to become?

Do you just want to fit into your jeans again....perhaps have a holiday overseas.....complete a course of study....or land that dream job?

Setting personal goals is about deciding what you want for yourself.

setting personal goals

This goal setting worksheet enables you to create an ideal vision of what you want to be you build a foundation for setting goals. These right brained goal setting activities enable you to brainstorm your ideal self.

2. Set long-term goals

Your 'no limit' thinking has allowed you to dream big and create a vision of your ideal personal self. What actions can you start to make to move you in the direction of your ideal personal self?

Download this personal goal setting plan (PDF file).

On this sheet write down your BIG long-term goals and the supporting short-term goals. This is one of the key goal setting strategies that takes the abstract out of goal setting and makes it real and concrete to you.

For more information on breaking your big goal into bite-sized chunks see these goal setting templates.

3. For each short-term personal goal identify your supporting actions

Setting personal goals gives you direction....a road map to success. But on your road map to success there are clear markers that you want to achieve. These markers are completion of your actions that support each of your short-term goals.

For example:

  1. You may have a vision to achieve financial independence, so your long-term goal may be to achieve a certain income in 20 years.
  2. You then want to break this goal into smaller goals, such as 5 year goals, 3 year goals, 1 year goals, and then even smaller goals such as 6 month or 1 month goals.

Use this goal setting plan to identify each short term goal and the supporting actions for this goal. Make sure that your goals are SMART goals.

4. Develop habits of excellence for setting personal goals

With each of your supporting actions put them them into printable master to do list.

Download your printable master to do list (PDF file).

Each week, identify the 3 most important actions and put them into your weekly planner. The aim of this is to create a habit of excellence.

As Aristotle said:

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

If you liked setting personal goals then you will also like these goal setting forms.

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