A goal setting worksheet can be a useful tool in knowing where you want to go and what is important to you. Having this information is critical to success in everything you do. It doesn't matter if you are setting goals to lose weight, build muscle, getting stronger or whether it is some other goal in business or finance. Setting goals and filling out a goal setting worksheet does not have to be difficult or time consuming but it does take a little bit of thought to ensure you are on the right path.
Before jumping into the goal setting worksheet, I recommend starting by just taking out a sheet of paper or opening up a notepad on your computer and listing out everything you want. There is no need to filter this list or worry about spelling just yet. The point is to get all your goals, objectives and desires down in writing so you can start refining the list. For example a list might look like this
Lose weight, build muscle, get stronger, double my income, buy a new car, start my own business, finish the basement, etcâ€¦
Once you have your list of things you want it is time to start categorizing and refining the list into more tangible goals (not time for the goal setting worksheet just yet). In the business world most have accepted SMART Goals as the gold standard for employee goals, project management and corporate objectives. If it is good enough for the big dogs then I think it will work just fine for us. I personally have been using this as the sanity check for my goals for as long as I can remember. SMART is mnemonic used in project management that serves as a way of evaluating the goals.
So if we take our list and run this check against it you can see we have some work to do. So let's just take the first item from the list and see how we could apply the SMART check and rephrase the statement to meet the conditions.
To make it specific we need to say how much we want to lose. The reality is we probably really don't care about the weight so much as the body fat percentage because would you really care how much you weighed if you had six pack abs and ripped muscles? So let's say instead "I want to lose 10% body fat". For building muscle we might say something like I want to add 10 pounds of lean muscle mass. For building strength we could say increase the bench press by 50 pounds.
By being specific we almost always capture the measurable criteria but just for sake of argument what if we had something starting your own business. We would have rephrased in the first step to something like opening you own personal training studio. This is certainly measurable, either it is open or it's not. We might want to set a different goal so that we keep motivation along the way though. Something like continue to focus on making progress toward opening a personal training studio on the east end of town would fit into the goal setting worksheet better.
Is your goal attainable? I think all we have discussed so far is certainly attainable but the body fat goal might be questionable. Check your current body fat against the body fat charts and ensure that your goal would be something that put you in the healthy range and then we can say yes.
Are the goals relevant? So is it something that is important to you and your plans in life. This is something only you can answer but I would assume the answer is yes if it is on your list. Not many people I know would go through the trouble of filling out a goal setting worksheet for something they didn't think would benefit them in some way.
Is it time-bound? Nope we haven't put a deadline on anything yet. We need to look at our goals and determine a reasonable but aggressive timeline for attaining them before we put them on the goal setting worksheet. We can lose about 1% body fat a week if we have a lot to lose, maybe more like 1% a month during the home stretch. We can add about 2 pounds of muscle a month. We can increase our lifts by about 5-10 pounds a week. Doubling our income, buying a new car, starting a business, and finishing the basement will come down to your determination and your budget so think through those.
Okay so if we through the list and apply the same method to each goal we might end up with a list that looks more like this.
I will lose 10% body fat by (date 5 months from now).
I will add 10 pounds of lean muscle mass bring my weight to xxx by (5 months from now)
I will double my income from $50,000 to $100,000 by (6 months from now)
I will own a BMW 5 series by (1 year from now)
I will build a business plan for my personal training studio on the east end of town by (3 months from now)
I will finish the basement by (3 months from now)
Now what we need to do is apply some positive thinking, visualization, and emotions to our goals before we move on to the goal setting worksheet. By rephrasing our goals to paint a picture of what we want in the best possible light with the emotional reasons we want to achieve the goals we increase our chances of success by almost 80%, according to several recent studies. Another big school of thought suggests that you should phrase your goals as if you have already achieved them in order to enhance the mental picture. I find this very awkward and feel like I'm half delusional when I write out my goal setting worksheet this way so I keep the goals in the future tense but include all the positive and visualization statements I can.
Basically this boils down to adding a reason statement to what we already have so.
I will lose 10% body fat by (date 5 months from now) because I enjoy being healthy and being able to do physical activities with my family & friends on a regular basis.
I will add 10 pounds of lean muscle mass bring my weight to xxx by (5 months from now) because I enjoy the feeling of big strong muscles and need to pick up more girls at the bar.
I will double my income from $50,000 to $100,000 by (6 months from now) in order to prepare for the future, pay off my student loans, and purchase a home.
I will own a BMW 5 series by (1 year from now) so that I can be the talk of the town and impress my neighbors.
I will build a business plan for my personal training studio on the east end of town by (3 months from now) because I am dedicated to a healthy life style and want to help others be their best
I will finish the basement by (3 months from now) in order to host a super bowl party.
Having done goal setting for over 15 years to achieve numerous things in my life I have found the best way to go about it is to structure your goals based on priority and keep them as close as possible.
I typically use my birthday as the milestone and every year (after cake) I sit down and write out my goals. I start by reflecting on the goals from last year and whether I achieved them or not. I write out my goals as a 5 year plan to start, and then take a look at what I need to do each year to move me towards those goals. The end result is about 2-3 goals for the year that are prioritized to move me towards where I want to be in the next few years. If my goals don't change the 5 year goal just gets one year closer and the action steps become more aggressive. To make you own goals for the year just follow the advice in this article and use the goal setting worksheet to write them all down.
Be sure to hang you list in areas you visit frequently where you can stop and read it several times a day. A goal not written down is just a thought. A goal written down but not reviewed regularly is just a dream. Write your goals down, review them frequently, and never lose focus.
Next we look at building a structured plan to achieve your fitness goals in specific that goes beyond the goal setting worksheet.