Personal development

personal goal setting template

personal goal setting template

Personal goal setting template made by my dear friend L§T.

When it comes to goal setting there are several methods. There is no right or wrong way. It’s individual, whatever works best for you might be different from what works best for your best friend. Despite that, there are guidelines we can follow. I’ve collected those in our personal goal setting template. What’s more important than how you discover your goal and set it is how to achieve it. To make your goal more achievable there are several things you can do. Let’s start with the things in my personal goal setting template.

personal goal setting template


You should definitely make sure your goals are specific. Having a vague goal, especially a huge one will often become overwhelming. The more specific the goal is the easier it is to know where to start and to see the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. To give your subconscious clear directions and drop chances of feeling overwhelmed. This can be done by making sure your goals are specific.


The second thing to make sure is that the aim of the goal is inline with your mission or purpose. This is the time where you work on your why. Ask yourself questions like why is this goal important to me? Or by accomplishing this, what does that grant me? To strengthen the will to follow through. Motivation often comes from motive, in other words why you want to do it. By making sure you know why this goal is important to you, you are in turn giving yourself a reason why it has to be done. There are also times when you can’t find a solid aim, in that case I would give it up and set up a different goal.


Third part of the personal goal setting template is attainability. How will you know when you have achieved this goal? If you don’t make sure you have a clear finish line then how will you know the marathon is over? If there’s no finish line then how will you reach the goal? It’s easy to stay motivated and disciplined once you know exactly how far you have to go. But if it’s too vague it can feel like you are fighting for nothing and you will soon run out of steam.


There’s no such thing as not having enough time, if something is important enough you make sure you create the time. So this step of the personal goal setting template serves as a reminder for you to prioritise. If reaching your goals are the most important thing for you, how much time can you find to work on reaching there? Are there things you are prioritising way too high that you could cut down on? Spending time on social media or Netflix that you could cut by half to gain more time to work on your goals? If you prioritise social media over reaching your goals, You need to re-think your priorities or find a goal that feels more important to you.


This part of the personal goal setting template was inspired by Tim Ferris. He talks about the term MED in his book 4-hour workweek. M.E.D. means the Minimal Effective Dose. it refers to the minimum time and effort required to get average to good results. Often spending 1 hour doing something can get you good results. While the learning curve plateaus rather quickly. Thus you might have to spend 10 hours to get those good results into great results. In this case the M.E.D. would be spending 1 hour.

This is also applicable to things such as goals and routines. For example if you want to create a routine for working out on a daily basis. You might set your bar really low, let’s say that your daily workout goal is 2 pushups/day. By setting a goal thats accomplishable even with minimum effort, that makes it easy to follow through. Even everyday which lets you build routines easily. It is also very simple to keep doing ten more pushups while you’re at it isn’t it? While we all have bad days where you can push through these two pushups and then get back to bed.


What obstacles might you face during your pursuit of this goal? During this step of the personal goal setting template you can prepare yourself for the worst case scenario. If you are already prepared for and have a way to counteract the worst thing that could happen then nothing can stop you. It is also important you get rid of distractions. Often your willpower and discipline are limited resources and making it as easy as possible to stay focused and on path will help you.


Your brain has a built in reward system. It provides you with a great feeling whenever you do something “good” in the form of dopamine. This is enough of a reward for you to want to keep going. With our phones and social media we also get these bursts of dopamine without any effort. This creates a resistance to dopamine and won’t give you the great reward you so thirst for when you reach a goal. Thus a great idea is to give yourself external rewards. this will strengthen the positive feeling that you get from getting progress. Buy yourself a gift when you reach the goal. Or eat some sweet watermelon once you’re done with your daily pushups. This will strengthen the positive anchoring towards getting stuff done. Train yourself like you would a dog. Punish yourself if you fail and reward yourself if you succeed. That’s how you can create new associations in your brain which will help you achieve more in the future.


In this part of the personal goal setting template you can look at how you can accomplish the goal as effectively as possible. Are there ways in which you can speed up the process that you haven’t thought about? And I’m not talking about shortcuts like the “Get money quick” schemes. I’m talking about you looking at your goal. Making a step by step action plan from where you are today to where you want to go. Then removing unnecessary steps so that you can reach the finish line quicker. As Peter Thiel says “How can you achieve your 10 year plan in the next 6 months?”

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Setting your finish line

This personal goal setting template is effective once you already know what it is that you want. But if you have no idea what goals you want to reach, what your passion or mission is then this won’t help you very much. so I’m obligated to go through two methods that I’ve used to find out what I want out of life. Start with answering this question: If anything was possible, where would I see myself in 10 years enjoying every day of it? Once you have an answer to this you can move on to trying one or both of the methods I use to develop an action plan.

Backtrack method

You start with the position you want to have in the future (Even if you don’t believe it’s a possibility. If you aim for the impossible you might land at the edge of possibility which is better than landing on average). Write down this position or lifestyle you wish on the top of a piece of paper (or a word document). Then you must think backwards: if this was achievable, what would have to happen to lead up to that point? What you do is you backtrack your progress. Look at people who have achieved the thing you want, what did they do that led up to it? What did they do to get to the position where the possibility existed?

Through asking such questions you will create a step by step action plan. By looking backwards one step at a time from the goal you wish to achieve back to the current moment. After that you can proceed to clarify all steps with the personal goal setting template.

What’s next method

This method is better if you don’t know what you want to achieve long term. Since you will focus on short term upon short term. Let me explain this further…

You start with answering the question: What do I want to do? Then the questions: Why do I want to do it? And How can I do it? This will provide you with an aim with motive behind it. You will now know where you are heading. Why you are going there and how to get there. All that’s left is for you to use the personal goal setting template to make the goals more efficient. And then get to work right? The problem with short term goals like these are that they are easily achievable. Thus often leave you feeling empty once you reach them. So it’s important to always have another, higher or more challenging goal to aim for. This is simple and you can do it by asking one question: What’s next? When you achieve the goal, then what? What will you do after that? And once you’ve figured out what’s next, why that’s next and how you can reach it. Then ask again: once you reach that goal, what’s next?

You get the point. It’s a way to set up several layers of short term goals so that you won’t run out of things to aim for. It will get rid of that empty feeling you get from reaching a goal. Since you now know that there are still things to do. Don’t forget to enjoy your success because you have a bigger goal tho. Remember the Rewards part of the personal goal setting template. It’s important to feel good about your progress so that you can train yourself to get more progress.

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