5 min read

Use a SMART Goal Setting Worksheet to Plan Your Year

By Kathy Irish on Jan 9, 2020 2:00:00 PM

Topics: Soft Skills
ej4 Blog - Use a SMART Goal Setting Worksheet to Plan Your Year

Everyone starts the new year off with resolutions and goals but you can start any day of the year with this goal setting worksheet. Any motivational speaker will tell you that you have a much better chance of achieving your goals if you simply write them down.

There is a billboard for a local gym that promotes “$10 a month, No Commitment.” I get that some gyms require a contract that locks people in whether they use it or not but isn’t that sign ironic? No commitment? How can you lose weight or get healthy without a commitment? How can you achieve any goal without commitment? 

That commitment starts when you write it down. 

ej4 Blog - Use a SMART Goal Setting Worksheet to Plan Your Year

SMART Goal Setting 

A common best-practice for goal setting is the SMART method. Goals need to be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Specific: Answers the who, what, where and when of the goal. Compiling all these details allows you to see what's really required to achieve your goals. Questions to ask include:

  • Who do you need help from?
  • Where must this happen?
  • What is the end result?
  • When do you start?
  • Where do you start?
  • Which elements are holding us back?
  • What constraints are we facing?

Measurable: In setting measurements, you’re creating milestones within your SMART goal to track progress. Before you lose 10 pounds, first you need to lose one pound. Ask yourself the following:

  • How will you determine success?
  • What numbers can you track along the way?
  • How will you know when you’ve achieved your goal?

Attainable:  Determine if the goal is realistic or just a dream. A good goal will make you stretch, but it shouldn’t be out of reach. If the thought of trying to lose forty pounds is overwhelming, start with a goal of losing five or ten.

  • Do I believe I can do this?
  • Is this goal really achievable?
  • Is it within my own power to achieve it?

Relevant: Consider whether this is worth your time. This helps you determine which path to focus on and where to spend your time. Some methods interpret the “R” as realistic. 

  • Is this goal worth my time and effort?
  • Is it a win-win goal?
  • Is it a priority?

Time-bound: It must have a timeline and a deadline. Items with deadlines take priority. Items without deadlines get lost in the shuffle.

  • What is the target date or due date?
  • Are there milestones along the way with their own due dates?
  • Do you need weekly, monthly, or quarterly goals to be achieved?

Download our free goal setting worksheet and give yourself a better chance of achieving your goals! Use this for yourself and with your employees. 

Download Worksheet Here

Additional SMART Goal Setting Considerations

Change is difficult. Don’t get over-aggressive and try to do everything at once. Stay on track with the attainable and realistic milestones you’ve set for yourself. If you are trying to lose weight and you want to drink eight glasses of water every day, eliminate sugar, eat more protein, and workout four times a week, don’t try to do all of it in week one. Break those goals down into weekly steps. Work up to the big goal. 

Keep your plan visible. Write down your SMART goals, and keep that information easy to access. Use our free goal setting worksheet!

Some people make vision boards. Others go with a sticky note on their bathroom mirror. I have even changed my computer password to include a word that motivates me to my personal goal. 

Measure your success. Do the work to track the actual progress. Apps like My Fitness Pal or Fitbit allow for the tracking of your water and calories consumed, activity, etc. Goodreads to track the books you read. Use a dream journal to make daily lists, write affirmations or even doodle about your goals!  It is very satisfying to track your daily accomplishments or check things off your lists in writing!

SMART Goal Setting with Kids

You can use this same method with your kids. My son recently joined a competitive, select basketball team. He really struggles with the workouts, especially the suicide drills, and he wants to improve his endurance. We recently sat down and talked about his goals around running and filled out his own goal planning worksheet:

  • Specific: I want to run a mile in eight minutes.
  • Measurable: I will know I have reached my goal when the time on the stopwatch says eight minutes or less when I finish.
  • Attainable: I believe I can achieve this goal.
  • Relevant: My goal is important to me so I have more endurance playing basketball, I can play more minutes and be a better teammate.
  • Time-bound: I will reach my goal by March 31, 2020. 

Download Worksheet Here

Employee Training Topics Related to Meeting Goals

If you are working with your employees on setting goals for the upcoming year, ej4 offers a nice variety of courses that can support their goals. If you sign up for a free trial, you can view all of these courses that relate to common goals and areas of improvement. 

  • SMART Goals
  • Time Management
  • Project Management
  • Taking Control of Your Career
  • Developing Your Strengths
  • Science of Sleep
  • When Your Head Isn't in Work Anymore
  • Managing Time Vs. Energy
  • Building Confidence
  • Financial Wellness

Additional Resources

SMART Goal Setting Worksheet for AdultsSMART Goal Setting Worksheet for Kids


Kathy Irish

Written by Kathy Irish

Kathy joined ej4 in 2007 as our first Instructional Designer. She has over 15 years’ experience in Human Resource Management, Training and Organizational Development. In addition to managing and planning ej4’s yearly new content development, Kathy also oversees all the production on updates (both legal and style-wise) to current off-the-shelf content.

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