- James Stevenson, EMCC Accredited Coach, Applied Positive Psychologist and Coaching Psychologist -
These unique goal setting worksheets can be used to help you think through your hopes and dreams and start turning them into motivational and concrete plans.
They can support you in getting clearer about what you want in life, and help you prepare yourself for what lies ahead.
They can also enable you to do something many find challenging... start to be more specific and confident about the kinds of things that will get you where you want to be. This kind of work can act as a source of encouragement, helping you take action and persevere.
The goal setting worksheets below may be helpful if...
Whatever your reason is, you’ve found something unique here… goal setting worksheets created by a qualified and accredited life and wellbeing coach and positive psychologist.
I've studied the science in depth at university and worked with a wide variety of clients on their goal progress and achievement. I've worked with people who for multiple good reasons, find that setting goals doesn't come naturally.
Through conversation, goals that are personal, unique, meaningful, and motivational emerge. We discuss wishes, hopes, desires, and what most matters. We do this from multiple angles until we reach a point of confidence and certainty. We then explore many creative approaches, backed up by coaching psychology theories, to create action plans and support making the changes in the midst of messy real life.
If you prefer these worksheets blank without the titles and questions so you can add your own, have a look at these goal setting templates.
Below you will find the following:
You may prefer a blank template of this worksheet without titles and instructions so you can adapt it.
A year is a long time. 365 days. 8760 hours. It makes sense to spend some time thinking about and planning where you'd like to go... what you'd like to change... outcomes you'd be pleased to see...
There is something about the start of a new year... It naturally causes us to consider a fresh start and positive change.
Maybe you start to think about what your new year's resolutions are... spend a little time thinking about your year ahead...
There is often more than the average motivation and hope around at the beginning of the year... and this is potentially a great opportunity!
The stats are certainly worrying when it comes to new years resolutions. One study found that only 8% of those who made a resolution reached their goal. Worrying stuff!
I guess the problem is, life can be messy and complex, and when the hopeful honeymoon of new year passes, life carries on. Key success factors like support from capable and knowledgeable others, understanding internal obstacles, safe and supportive accountability, are often missing. Many try to do it all by themselves.
When using the worksheet above you'll be able to set 5 goals. Feel free to set less and leave some blank or print out two and set more. While using the worksheet above you can bring into focus:
This goal setting worksheet will help energise you toward something that's important to you... right here, right now.
What do you feel is the most important thing for you to take on? Is there something, if you were to achieve soon, that would open the path wide to your hopeful future?
If you prefer an empty template where you can choose your own titles and questions, you can download it here.
What's your vision for say... 20 years from now? Many people many haven't thought much about this... When trying to complete this goal worksheet, you can add anything that comes up for you...
There is no wrong answer. This is a kind of brainstorming activity, an exploration rather than a complete and final document. It's better, I think, to have multiple drafts and refine your thoughts as they develop and take shape.
Some questions to consider to get things moving might be...
Imagine everything in your life has gone as you hoped, you have worked hard and achieved everything you wanted. It's not been easy, there have been many setbacks, but you've got there. You've accomplished all your goals, What do you imagine?
What kind of work would you like to be doing? what will you have learnt? How will your character have developed? What will you be like a person? What kinds of things will you being doing? What kind of relationships will you have? What contribution to society will you have made? How will a typical month look like? Who will you be working with? Connected with? What will your home life be like? How about your health? family?
This is about giving yourself time to imagine what might be possible for you. Doing this with the right tools and support, has been linked in research to higher wellbeing and happiness (Hefferon and Boniwell, 2011).
If you have already done something like this before, now could be a good time to revisit what you came up with at that time. It doesn't have to be massive in scale and involve fame and fortune. Fill it out in your own way and to your own satisfaction. A unique reflection of the hopeful part of you is best. and remember, this isn't magic. It's just one significant step of hundreds.
Realism isn't something to worry about at this point. In the shorter term, realistic goals can be more useful but in the long term I think it's wise to be willing to dream. These are aspirations after all...
One of my favourite philosophers, Ralph Waldo Emerson's says, "when you aim above the mark... you hit the mark!". We aim high, and are then happy with a lower but still excellent result.
Whatever you create when you fill out this goal setting worksheet can be added to, adjusted, changed, and updated as the days, weeks, months, and years pass. It can be considered a live document. Forever changing as you change.
Aside from goal setting theory, this worksheet also attempts to utilise a goal setting tool used in coaching called chunking. It's an integrating tool. When you have a big chunk or goal, you can create related smaller chunks or specifics and make it feel real and more possible.
Likewise, when you have an isolated small chunk or goal, something very specific, you can connect it to bigger chunks or goals adding meaning. In discussions about hopes and goals with clients, I'll always be looking to connect the small with the large and vice versa.
If you're unsure about what you want your future to look like and want to try an diary writing approach, you may be interested in trying a positive psychology intervention called "my best possible self". It's a free-flow writing exercise that does a good job at increasing optimism, wellbeing and achievement (King, 2001). Feel free to get in touch if you want some extra help painting the beautiful picture of your future.
Are you interested in using a goal setting worksheet that looks at multiple areas of your life?
If you're feeling a bit stuck, thinking of things in terms of popular areas may help.
Also, considering potential goals in multiple areas can help you choose what to focus on first? So if you're unsure about what to go for... if it seems like there are so many possibilities and deciding is tough, then this kind of activity is a step in the right direction.
One way this can happen, is if you find goals that are in conflict with each other... New awareness of conflicting wishes can be a breakthrough moment freeing up change. Also seeing how some goals are align can give you a confidence boost...
This worksheet will allow you to think through what you want to achieve in 7 key areas of goal setting. Don't worry if you can't fill it all in at this time. Just fill in what you can and keep it handy. I'm sure more ideas will flow in good time.
You might want to print it out and read through the examples below to see which goals feel like something you'd like to shoot for?
This goal setting worksheet can great for planning. You can think about multiple areas, and multiple time frames. It can be a great way of deciding what you might want to focus on straight away, and what for example could take centre stage in a couple of months.
Of course, you don't necessarily need to set goals in all 7 areas. Some areas may just not feel relevant to you.
All these worksheets are best thought if as a creative exercise in self-discovery... a tool to use as a step toward understanding priorities...
Also if you want to choose the 7 areas yourself, you can download the blank template for this worksheet. For example, you could do the 7 areas of coping with mental health struggles, the 7 areas of unique happiness, the 7 areas of self-acceptance, the 7 areas of comparing less.
You no doubt have many roles in life. To some you are a close friend, to others you are colleague... you may be a mother, a brother, a daughter, a neighbour, a boss...
Although I don't like the word "role", at times I have still found it helpful to think about my life in this way. As a range of connections and significant relationships.
If you are interested in thinking about possible changes in this way, this could a good one for you.
This is an opportunity to think about what change you'd like to see in your relationships... what you could try...
and it'll also raise awareness of how connected you are in the first place... which can be freeing and empowering.
If for self-protective reasons, you aren't very connected at this time and you feel you have no relationships, that's ok. You can just start with one area. Which one is going well? and which one would you like to see an improvement in someday soon?
Doing worksheets like these can sometimes bring up internal challenges. Feeling of being "not enough", feelings of frustration, indecision, are all perfectly normal. My coaching clients benefit greatly working through these things one by one with me. Through conversation we raise awareness of the challenges in a kind and supportive way, paving the path for them being able to make changes more readily.
Positive and meaningful connections are one large part of wellbeing and happiness. Multiple models that measure a persons happiness include relationships. The PERMA model (Seligman, 2011), and the Psychological Wellbeing model (Ryff, 1989), both include positive relationships.
Knowing this can give some extra motivation to try and create, change, or improve the quality of these connections in your life?
This worksheet which is quite similar to the "long term dreams, short term goals" one above so I won't go into much detail here. The main difference is this one zones in on 10 of your long term dreams rather than 30. It's really just a matter of personal choice I think.
You could choose the ten most important in this one as a way of confirming that to yourself. It also includes an extra planning element in that you can start to think about when you'll start and reach each one making them feel a little more real.
You can also choose a few action steps for each of your ten long term goals. This doesn't mean you need to do them all. It can be helpful in terms of planning and strategy to see everything in one place like this. It can also help shift your mindset a little just knowing there are options for action steps that can be taken at some point.
If you prefer a copy of this where you can put in your own titles and instructions and use it in different ways you might want to download the free template.
There is also a blank version where you can put in your own titles and questions if you prefer.
This worksheet is for beginning to plan regarding one of your long term dreams. It contains a small selection of some of my favourite questions to ask when I'm coaching.
Click HERE to download the FREE and high quality printable PDF file for the "top 3 main goals right now" goal setting worksheet. See the blank goal setting template for this worksheet if you want to edit it.
It's normal and natural to have a many overlapping goals... Many things you want to do, learn, achieve... Life is complex and there are many things that matter to us.
These little printable cards can can be cut out and used to remind and motivate you about the movement you want to achieve each day.
If you're thinking of doing more than one goal setting worksheet the question of which first, or in which order may have occurred to you.
Because people are all different, I wouldn't feel comfortable suggesting a one-way-fits-all approach.
Some authors/philosphers have advocated beginning with the end in mind. This means focusing on the long term first. Worksheets that look to broaden and connect your various goals such as roles and goals, and the 7 areas one, can be used to support this process if this way speaks to you.
Other writers/philosophers have said often people don't know what they want to achieve in the future and by focusing on the first steps first, an understanding and vision of what matters to them will eventually unfold.
I'm interested by both of these approaches. I think being flexible and responding to what the person needs in each moment can be helpful. Also checking in continually about both long term and short term is good. Everything is changing, all of the time.
If you'd like some support in working out a way forward I'm happy to help.
Last updated: 9/12/22
To make sure your goals are SMART you can use this worksheet.
This article describes how to download the high quality printable PDF. You can use the questions to make sure each goal you set is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timed.
If you're interested in losing weight or reducing your body fat percentage you might want to use this worksheet.
This article describes how to download the printable PDF. You can choose either a blank version or the version with an example already entered.
Do you want to get on top of your finances ? For example, by increasing savings or income?
This article shows you how to download a spreadsheet that can be used for this.
Has the time come to pay off your debts?
You can get super organised with this spreadsheet and work out exactly where you currently stand debt wise.
You can play around with different time-frames of payment and land at a plan that works for you.
If you're keen to think about the many areas in life you can set personal goals in this worksheet might be useful. You can use this worksheet to brainstorm lots of different ideas. Topics include career, family, friends, health, home, learning, love, money, development, physical, and social.
Read this article to find out how to download the printable PDF.
Would you like to use a worksheet to help you budget you monthly expenses and income?
Having the current reality and cold hard facts lay out in front of us can have a motivational impact and can also unlock creative ideas.
This article will tell you how to download the free spreadsheet.
Downey, M (2014). Effective Modern Coaching: The principles and art of successful business coaching. LID Publishing.
Hefferon, K., & Boniwell, I. (2011). Positive psychology: Theory, research and applications. London: McGraw-Hill.
King, L. (2002). The Health Benefits of Writing about Life Goals. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 27(7):798-807.
Ryff CD. Happiness is everything, or is it? Explorations on the meaning of psychological well-being. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1989;57:1069–1081
Seligman, M. E. P. (2011). Flourish: A visionary new understanding of happiness and well-being. Free Press.
Seligman, M. E. P., Steen, T. A., Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2005). Positive psychology progress: Empirical validation of interventions. American Psychologist, 60, 410.
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