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FREE and Stylish PDF Goal Setting Worksheets

-   By James Stevenson (MSc, IEA) - EMCC Accredited Coaching Psychologist and Positive Psychologist

Take a look at the carefully designed goal setting worksheets below... 

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, 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. 

Who might use these?

The goal setting worksheets below may be helpful if...

  • You're a teacher who'd like your students to achieve more of what they're capable of?
  • You're a coach/therapist looking for resources to support your clients...
  • You're a trainer, or in a leadership role in your organisation...
  • You're facing a situation and would like to create perspective, motivation, ideas, and action plans.
  • There is something you'd like to achieve or progress in and you want do some planning.

What makes these goal worksheets unique?

Whatever your reason is, you’ve found something unique here… goal setting worksheets created by a qualified and accredited coach and psychologist.

I've studied the science in depth and worked with a wide variety of clients on their goal progress and achievement. I have a MSc in psychology and coaching. 

continually set goals ikeda

My job is, through powerful conversations, to help goals emerge that are personal, unique, meaningful, and motivational. 

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

List of goal setting worksheet descriptions and order 

Below you will find the following: 

  1. Yearly goals - Decide on some things you'd like to achieve in 2024
  2. Your main goal right now - to go through your main goal in detail
  3. Long term vision - Short term goals - Create a long term vision for your life and decide a few short term goals and steps
  4. Set goals in 7 areas of life over multiple time-frames (social, family, health, career, finances, learning, character)
  5. Set goals in each of your roles (friend, colleague, brother, mother, son etc...)
  6. Long term dreams planning sheet - Set 10 long term goals and consider best first steps
  7. Think through one long term dream in detail - a worksheet to zone in on one dream
  8. Top 3 goals - Choose your top 3 things to focus on 
  9. Daily goal cards - Printable daily goal cards to keep with you as a reminder throughout the day

1. What are your Goals for this year?

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 feels like it could be a fresh start.

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. Detailed planning can help with this. Harnessing support from capable and knowledgeable others, understanding internal obstacles, thinking through multiple pathways, many key elements to success are often missing. 

How to use this "my goals for this year" worksheet

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:

  • what 5 things are most important for you to focus on this year
  • when do you hope to see some positive result in each goal
  • what action steps / possible steps could you potentially take that will cause progress?
  • you can also tick the box when you've done an action to create a reminder that "I'm doing it" and "I've done well" Keeping in mind the changes you have made is motivational!

2. What will you go for first? Your main goal 

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?  

Each section of this worksheet, each question, is designed to support your motivation, perseverance, and wellbeing to get you where you want to be quicker.  

The question, "what will be different when you achieve your goal?" for example, is intended to help you get clearer about what exactly will be appealing about the end point. A deeper and broader emotional connection to that outcome, it's significance, what it leads to, who it impacts, these details all create motivation, drive, and creativity. 

3. Long term dreams - Short term goals

What's your vision for say... 20 years from now? Perhaps you haven't given much thought to this... This is often because an over-focus on the future can take away from the present, which is a fair point. Certainly I want the majority of my efforts and focus to be on now, today, the immediate situation. 

Yet, as long as the majority of your attention is on efforts in the present and following months, and it's just 5-10% of your focus on the distant future, it can help your motivation and efforts in the now. 

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 extra questions to help with filling out this worksheet 

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 person will you have become? 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).

4. Seven Areas of life Goal Setting Worksheet - Choosing where to aim in different areas in your life

Are you interested in using a goal setting worksheet that looks at multiple areas of your life?

When to use this worksheet

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...

Some extra questions to help do this worksheet

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?

  • Your social life - What improvement would you like to see? What positive change regarding your friendships and connections? What's your ideal when it comes to a fun and interesting social life? What matters to you personally?
  • Your family - What change would you like to see in your family? What relationships would you like to improve? Who would you like to spend more or less time with? What would you like to contribute?
  • Your health - What would you like your health to be like?  What kind of exercise is appealing to you? How would you like to eat? What improvements would you like to see in your wellbeing?
  • Your career - What do you want to do career wise? What would be a dream job? What job would enable you to make the best contribution to society? What job do you think you'd thrive at if you had all the training etc? 
  • Your finances - What matters to you financially? Where would like to be? How could money support you? What opportunities would it create?
  • Your learning - What would you like to learn? What new thing would be interesting to learn? Which topic would you like to have deep and thorough  knowledge about? 
  • Your character - How would you like to be thought of? What area would you like to make progress in? What change, if it were possible, would make the most difference? What strengths would you want to use more? By the way, you can discover what some of your most important and natural strengths are with this FREE 15 minute strengths survey.

Multiple areas, multiple time frames 

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. 

5. Set goals for each role in your life

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. 

How to use this worksheet

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.

Significance of relationships

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? 

6. Long term dreams planning sheet (10 dreams and first steps)

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.

7. Thinking through a long term dream 

This worksheet is for beginning to plan one of your long term dreams. It contains a small selection of some of my favourite coaching questions. 

8. Top 3 things you're focusing on right now

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. 

9. Daily Goal Setting Cards

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. 

You may also use them after setting your main goal to break it down into days. 

Recommended order of worksheets

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. 

Last updated: 23/11/23

If you liked the above... you might also like...

New SMART Goal Setting Worksheet

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.

Smart goal worksheet

To-do list from WiseGoals

If you love to do lists, this may make you smile... 

It comes with a "when will you do it" planning box, and a tick box for when you complete each thing! Use in combo with one of the worksheets above for even greater effectiveness! 

Smart goal worksheet

Weight Loss Goal Setting Worksheet

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.

Weight loss spreadsheet

Personal Finances Goal Worksheet

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. 

Personal finances spreadsheet template

Debt Reduction Goal Worksheet

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.

Blank spreadsheet for debt planning

Personal Goal Worksheet.

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. 

Personal goals table

Budgeting Goal Worksheet.

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.

Budgeting goals template

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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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