Goal Setting Quick Guide by Best Self Co.

A goal setting formula to finally succeed!

Goal setting is a tricky thing. Best laid plans fall apart if you don’t have all the components in place. When every step seems to be the wrong one it can be downright frustrating. That’s why you need a solid road map that will take you to the end goal. A map that, once in place, allows you to follow the simple path you’ve laid out.
 
Are you ready to start achieving the life-changing goal you’ve been setting aside?

Through each section of this post we’ll look at critical components of goal setting. Once you complete the entire post you’ll have defined goals you can start immediately, that are simple to understand, and easy to take action on. So let’s dive in!

 


Goal Setting Components


There’s three sections we will use to define a formed goal in this quick guide. Each represents an element of goal setting you need to be 100% clear on. The exercises will serve to create this clarity, in the meantime here are the definitions of each so you know what form your results should take.
 
Result Goal: Is a big picture vision of a goal that fulfills a core need, and is aligned with your “Good Values”.
 
Progress Goals: Are goals that represent final challenges. They are milestones of completion, or ways to measure your progress as proof positive of an achieved Result Goal.
 
Actions + Tasks: Are simple and direct activities. These are the things you need to perform daily to meet what’s expressed in your Progress Goals.
Note: If there is someone you trust to ask you probing questions without upsetting you. It’s valuable to do these exercises with that friend.

 


Goal Setting Exercise 1: Define Your Result Goal 

Nuts and bolts here, what are your goals? Which ones really matter to you and your life. Here we will sort these out!

Directions:

  1. For 5 minutes write a list of all the goals you want to achieve.
  2. Rate your goals on a scale of 1-4 for Importance and Difficulty.
  3. For the first number, rate its importance. 1=Most Important to 4=Least Important
  4. For the second number, rate its difficulty. 1=Most Difficult to 4=Least Difficult

 

Results

You’re looking for the Most Important and Most Difficult Goal to be the main goal of a 13-week time span.

 

Write down this item into your journal or notebook as the Result Goal.

 

Multiple Goals
 
Want to do more than one goal during a 13 week cycle? Make sure your second goal consists of a Most Important and Least Difficult option. For a third goal make sure it consists of a Least Important and Least Difficult option.
 
This spread will keep you balanced on the most important task. While still allowing you the ability to do a moderately important thing that’s easy. If you really need a break the third goal will allow you to knock out some low hanging fruit. It will give you that extra boost of confidence and momentum you need to tackle the big one!

 


Goal Setting Exercise 2: Define Your End Result Statement 

Use this to create an End Result Statement. A good way to approach this session is to imagine how your goal will result in your fulfillment in any of the following categories:

Your Certainty, Variety, Significance, Connection, Growth, or Contribution  

Directions:

  1. For 5 minutes write a list of all the reason your goal is important to you. Leave space to the left of your goals for two numbers.
  2. Now assess your list for inspiration. 1=Most Inspirational to 4=Least Inspirational.
  3. For the second number assess for longevity. 1=Long Standing to 4=Recent.

 

Results

Your End Result statement should be formed of the option that is Most Inspirational and Long Standing. Something you have wanted for a long time and that really inspires you will help keep you motivated during the weekly review of your goal.

 

Write down your End Result into the line below the Result Goal.

Result Goal Check-In

How do you know if your goal is a good one or a bad one? Use this breakdown to get a general feel for how your goals stack up. Remember the best goals are the ones you have full control over that means internal facing goals, not external dependent ones.  

Good Goal:

  1. Reality Based
  2. Socially Constructive
  3. Immediate or Controllable

Bad Goal:

  1. Superstitious or Assumptive
  2. Socially Destructive
  3. Not Immediate nor Controllable

 


Goal Setting Exercise 3: Define Your Progress Goals 

A good way you can think about these is like tests or more traditional milestones. If you are building a business or working on a project, milestones work well. If you are doing something more academic or skill building then measuring yourself with a test is your best bet!

Directions:

  1. For 5 minutes write a list of all the things you could measure to prove your Result Goal
  2. For the first number, signifying its Accuracy. 1=Most Accurate to 4=Least Accurate
  3. For the second number, signifying its Viability. 1=Most Viable to 4=Least Viable

 

Results

You are looking for the three Most Accurate and Most Viable goals to be the Progress Goals of your Main Goal.

Repeat this exercise for each unique Result Goal you have.

 

You are looking for the three Most Accurate and Most Viable goals to be the Progress Goals of your Main Goal.

In order to accomplish your goal, you want only want to use the Most Accurate and Most Viable options. Sometimes this will mean you need to do more research or purchase other means of measuring your goal. In a worst case scenario settle for Progress Goals in this order:

Most Accurate and Most Viable
Least Accurate and Most Viable
Most Accurate and Least Viable
Least Accurate and Least Viable

Write down your three highest ranked Progress Goals under your End Goal.

Progress Goals Check-in

If you are having trouble. This is a great time to do some research before continuing the exercise. What will it actually take to accomplish this goal? What standards and measurements already exist out there that you can adopt or incorporate? How does your current lifestyle hinder this goal? What can you do to change things to support it, even just a little?Some advice, stop being so interested in what you can’t do. Write into a list what you can be done, and focus your attention there!

If the can’t do won’t leave you alone, then write them all down, and physically put them aside

Better yet, rip them apart, throw them away, and forget them!

 


Goal Setting Exercise 4: Actions + Tasks 

This is usually the most challenging part of a Goal to fill out, so don’t be surprised or frustrated if you spend multiple cycles here, or if it takes way longer than you expect.

Approach 1

If this is a business or project goal, milestones again will break down relatively easy here. Project planning for these kinds of things tends to provide clear goals. Look at your project requirements or design documents and work back from there!

Always try to focus on the biggest return tasks for your daily actions. Yes, there are always going to be infinite side tasks that come up, but what are the 3 things you can do no matter what that will always keep you moving towards your goal?

Approach 2

If you are doing anything else another approach to the Actions + Tasks is to treat this section as habit building. New habits you need to build or bad habits you need to alter to support your Result Goal. Habits break down into three steps which work well for the three lines of the Actions + Tasks. This is the cycle.

Cue #1> Routine #2> Reward #3>

Assessing this cycle is going to follow this order, and really for each Habit, you assess you should do whichever of the three makes sense for you when in doubt start with Routine, then Cue, then Reward.

The Routine is going to be the consistent action you take to achieve your corresponding Progress Goal. If you have a set of activities, I highly recommend you group them into one overall categorization which you can perform daily, weekly, etc.

Ex. A type of workout is many exercises grouped. If I were to put down a workout as my Routine, I would not write each exercise I was going to do on the line. Instead, I would say, I’m “working arms today”. This is the idea.

The Cue is what triggers your routine. If you are starting a new habit, you are going to want to habit stack your for your Cue. The kind of Cue you are looking for is one that is similar or easily connected to the Routine. In short, if you surround your new routine with things you already do consistently, the familiarity will up the chances of the new habit sticking.

If you are trying to change an existing bad habit. You need to target switching out the routine, rather than trying to change the Cue or deprive yourself of the Reward your current Bad Habit provides. This may take some extra introspection to recognize what triggers your bad habit routine and what you are really getting from it.   

The Reward is the payoff for your habit. This doesn’t mean materialistic, or that you have to buy something, or eat something sweet. My best advice is to consider rewards that active EDSO (Endorphins, Dopamine, Serotonin, and Oxytocin).

For Reference

Endorphins are generally released during some kind of physical activity or when you laugh! Dopamine is released when you check off a box or reach some small goal on the way to a larger goal.

Bonus for the next two, when you trigger the release of these, everyone around you experiences a similar release and benefit from it. Serotonin is released when you are recognized or appreciated for something when you recognize or appreciate someone, and even when you see someone recognized or appreciated. Oxytocin is released when you connect with people around you, do something nice or make them feel safe and wanted.

The more closely related or progressive your habit cycle is, the more likely it is to stick. Remember we are starting with Routine first, even though it will be on the 2nd line.

 

ROUTINE

  1. For 5 minutes write a list of all the things that could be part of your routine to complete your goals. Leave space to the left of your goals for two numbers.
  2. For the first number, signifying the level of Achievement it provides towards you achieving your goal. 1=Most Achieved to 4=Least Achieved.
  3. For the second number, signifying its ability or ease to be Repeated on a daily basis. 1=Most Repeatable to 4=Least Repeatable.

 

Results

You are looking for the Routine that is Most Achieved and Most Repeatable specific to each of your Progress Goals.

 

CUE

  1. For 5 minutes write a list of all the things you could do to Cue yourself to take action on your goals. Leave space to the left of your goals for two numbers.
  2. For the first number, signifying its Static-ness in your day-to-day. 1=Most Static to 4=Least Static.
  3. For the second number, signifying its ability to Compel you to act. 1=Most Compelling to 4=Least Compelling.

 

Results

You are looking for the Cue that is Most Static and Most Compelling specific to each of your Progress Goals. If you are having trouble, try thinking about things that already trigger you, habits you already have, and use them to mold your new cues. Or stack your habits so that performing your new one comes before and after something you already consistently do every day. This will help the integration of a habit.

 

REWARD

  1. For 5 minutes write a list of all the things that you could reward yourself with. These things don’t need to be big, just small things are fine unique to the routine is fine. Leave space to the left of your goals for two numbers.
  2. For the first number, signifying its Engagement. 1=Most Engaging to 4=Least Engaging.
  3. For the second number, signifying its Uniqueness. 1=Most Unique to 4=Least Unique.

 

Results

You are looking for the Reward that is Most Engaging and Most Unique specific to each of your Progress Goals.

 

It’s important to recognize that some of the brainstorms you are doing for one goal, may be relevant to one of your other progress goals. In this way, the Routine is the only element that you are brainstorming relatively new each time. Always examine what things might unexpectedly match up once you have your lists started.

Write down your three tasks or habits that are going to support achieving each Progress Goal. This means you will have 3 Actions + Tasks for each, totaling 9 altogether. 

 

Final Result

At this point, you should have at least one defined Result Goal with an End Result. That result goal should be supported by three Progress Goal measurements, and each of those progress goals should have 3 Actions + Tasks that you need to perform daily in order to meet them.

 

Congratulations! Your goal is ready to start!

 

If that felt very difficult, don’t worry. You will get better at it as time goes by and you think about things in this context. Goal setting is an incredibly valuable productivity skill and you’ve taken the first steps to developing it! Keep moving forward. You’ve got this!

 

 

19 thoughts on “Goal Setting Quick Guide by Best Self Co.

  1. I am wondering if the blue box under the heading ‘Define Your Progress Goals – Exercise’ should refer to Accuracy and Viability, not Most Inspirational and Long Standing? It seems to be a duplicate of the blue box further up the page under ‘End Result Statement’. Is it a Copy & paste mishap or am I just really confused?

    1. No worries, Ros! You are definitely not confused, you are correct! 🙂

      This was an error, and it’s been fixed.

  2. Sounds like a great idea, but I can’t see a print button. Given that the exercises need to be done on paper, a printout of the instructions would be really useful. Could you put the info up in a format that is easy to print, thanks!

  3. I was wondering if you had an example of a completed one using the above steps. Sometimes it is easier to follow if you see how a real goal went through a process. Thanks!

    1. Hi Andrea!

      Don’t be afraid to jump in, just work through one section at a time. There’s lots of self-examination that happens and it can take time if you’ve never done it before, but it will be so worth it! 🙂

      Here’s an example of my own writing goal broken down.

      My Result Goal is pretty straightforward.
      Same for end result.

      Progress Goal 1: I want my story to be 20K words long. 27300 breaks down to 300 words a day (very manageable)
      Progress Goal 2: By the end of the week I should have about 1540 words to edit. This way I’m editing at the same time I’m writing.
      Progress Goal 3: Having an idea for my plot helps me stay in writing mode instead of brainstorming.

      Because it’s writing the first two Actions+Tasks are broken down as habits. The third is a more classical milestone format. In other words, there are three tasks I need to complete.

      You got this! 🙂 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/73b22c8dfcc26f74764f5f9fbd51ecb6cac6747aaa89a6d28ad6643cb214591f.jpg

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