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8 Steps in Goal Setting

Discover 8 steps in goal setting in just one minute! What’s the most important goal setting activity we can do? Some might say its to think about what we really want to do in life. Use these 8 steps in goal setting to take a good look at yourself by asking some big questions.

Do you want to know how to set effective goals for your own development in a minute? This is one of our Manage in a Minute pages. These contain essential tips on fundamental management topics. No fuss or side-tracks, they get straight to the point.

Here, in a series of bullet points which can be read in a minute (ish!), are 8 essential steps in goal setting.


8 Steps in Goal Setting: The Questions

1 Why am I here? (Well we did say big questions!)

If you find it too difficult to answer, try the following to give you some ideas:

  • What is my sense of purpose?
  • What is meaningful for me?
  • What moves me?
  • What am I passionate about?
  • What do I care about?
  • What need can I serve?

2 Where have I been?

  • What past experience have I got?
  • Where am I now?
  • What kind of person / manager am I?
  • What abilities do I possess?
  • What am I good at?
  • What are my strengths and weaknesses?
  • What do I love doing?

3 Where do I want to get to?

  • What kind of person / manager do I want to become?
  • What abilities do I want to develop?
  • What learning goals shall I set?
  • What are the organisational goals in which I can make a difference?
  • Which knowledge and skills areas do I need to focus on to deliver both my personal objectives and benefits for my organisation?
  • What is my conscience directing me towards?

4 How shall I get there?

  • What learning and development actions do I need to undertake?
  • What resources will I need to do perform them?
  • How shall I overcome obstacles to my learning?

5 How will I know if I have arrived?

  • How do I measure achievement of goals?
  • Is it money?
  • Is it promotion?
  • Is it another measure of success?

6 What’s holding me back?

  • What’s stopping me from doing what I want to do?

7 Who can help me?

  • Who can teach me?
  • From whom can I learn?


8 Write it Down and Plan to Act

Ensure you find some undisturbed time so you can really reflect on these questions. They’re not easy to answer and probably not things we tend to think about that often.

You may find it useful to write down your thinking and your answers. Writing things down is one of the most effective ways to change vague ideas or aspirations into firm plans.

It’s also essential to ensure you capture your thoughts, even if that means it takes you a while longer to make sense of them.

Then… ACT!


More steps in goal setting

You can also find our more about the benefits of goal setting in our e-guide: SMART Goals, SHARP Goals to help you do just this. The guide contains 30 pages and 5 tools to help you to set SMART goals, then take SHARP action to achieve them. It includes:

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  • How do you define goal setting?
  • What features of goal setting are important, if we want to ensure they are more likely to be successfully achieved?
  • What kinds of goals are more likely to make us motivated to achieve them?
  • How do you set SMART goals?
  • Why do goals matter?
  • What kind of goals should you pursue to be happier in what you do?
  • How do you set team goals?
  • What strategies can you apply to overcome barriers to setting goals?
  • How do you develop SHARP plans of action that help you to achieve your goals?
  • What techniques can you use to get things done?
  • How do you set personal goals?


  • Tool 1: Conventional goal setting
  • Tool 2: Setting SMART goals that motivate
  • Tool 3: The kind of goals that will make you happier
  • Tool 4: Taking SHARP action
  • Tool 5: Team goals flowchart
  • Tool 6: Eight personal goal setting questions

Goal Setting Resources

You can find more of our goal setting resources by reading our featured pages (below).

Goal setting questions

You’ll find our new e-guide: SMART Goals, SHARP Goals is a fantastic, goal setting resource. It’s packed with advice and tools – use it to help you set SMART goals then take SHARP actions to achieve them!

One of our affiliate partners also has an excellent, on-line, goal setting resource. GoalsOnTrack is a “personal success system that will help you really accomplish goals by getting the right things done”.

Where to go from here:


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