Effective Goal Setting – 10 Great Tips

Effective goal setting is an essential skill for achieving success. If you are being coached or are coaching others goal setting should form not only an integral part of your coaching sessions it should become commonplace in your life.

What is a goal?

A goal is a target to aim for, something which you do not already have but when achieved will enhance your life in some way. It may be something you want to have (a new house, a holiday), be (a more confident person, a healthier person) or do (change career, learn a new skill).

Succeeding at a goal provides enormous motivation for achieving even more.

You may already set yourself goals either at work or in your personal life.

Do you always get what you set out to achieve?

Most of us will start out with great intentions but often fall at the first hurdle. There are often good reasons for this however following these steps will enhance your own success at achieving your goals and also maximise the benefit of your coaching sessions:

10 Tips for effective goal setting

  1. Consider the priority areas of your life are – which areas are you least satisfied with which you would like to address first? This area you choose does have to be important to you or else you will struggle to make changes.
  2. Write down what you want to achieve. Remember a goal is something that you want to be, want to have or want to do. Writing goals down can greatly increase your success at achieving them.
  3. Ask yourself whether you truly ‘own’ this goal – is this what you want to achieve or is it something you feel you ought to achieve. Only those goals which you are committed to are you likely to reach.
  4. Ensure your goal is specific E.g. does it read more like ‘I want to be confident’ or‘I want to be confident at making speeches?’
  5. Ensure your goal is measurable. How will you know when you have been successful? E.g. ‘I want to be able to run 2 miles without stopping’ rather than ‘I want get fit’
  6. Identify what you need to do to reach goal. Write down specific actions to help you. E.g. ‘Go out for a 20 minute run 4 times a week’
  7. How realistic is your goal? We all feel good when we have achieved a goal which stretches us beyond our usual limits however trying to achieve a goal that just isn’t realistic does nothing for our motivation. A great coach can help you really stretch yourself beyond your perceived limits of what you believe is realistic.
  8. Put a timescale on your goal. Putting a deadline on your goal and milestones along the way gives you a specific point in time to aim for. E.g. ‘I want my business to be up and running by end of December’
  9. Visualise what it is like when you have achieved your goal and try stating your goal in the present e.g. ‘My business is up and running and I have 10 clients.’ By having a compelling vision will help you automatically take the right actions and seize those opportunities that will help you to achieve your goals. Act as though you have already achieved the goal. E.g. start acting as though you are that confident person
  10. Set goals for your coaching sessions. You can achieve far more from your coaching sessions if you start out with a goal e.g. 'By the end of the session I want to have identified my first two steps to getting fitter'

    Useful Resources

    How To Set And Achieve A Goal takes you through much more than I can write on my website. You also get 9 worksheets (either paper or on your computer) to make any dreamer become a doer.

    Goals On Track is a great piece of goal setting software to help you stay focused throughout the day.

    See Also:-

    Setting Effective Goals
    Effective Listening Skills
    Challenging Skills
    Scaling Techniques In Coaching
    Become A Coach
    Coaching Skills


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