Goal Setting Session Instructions

Last year I came across a simple goal setting exercise from I tried the exercise and found it valuable. Then I invited a few friends to do the same. Then another circle of friends. I decided to do it with my family too. It was inspiring to hear the goals and aspirations that everyone had for their lives. It was also interesting how similar many of them were – especially the lifetime goals.

We just had a few more online and offline goal setting/review circles. Some new people and many who attended last year too. I reckon it’ll become a yearly ritual from now on :-). We’re close to 20 people sharing their goals on the GDrive folder, with a few others who have done the session but chose not to share it publicly. If you’d like to do a goal setting session circle email me!

Goals Exercise Instructions (approx: 30minutes)

  1. Open up Google Docs
  2. Create headings for 1 YEAR GOALS, 10 YEAR GOALS and LIFETIME GOALS.
  3. Write down 5 to 7 goals in each category

Key Points:

… Then

In previous sessions people have also found it useful to then write a habits list – distilling the bigger goals into tangible daily actions. E.g. Earn £50k this year > Email 3 new clients every day.


I used to see goals as end points, a certain result that I want so that I can be satisfied or happy. I don’t find that way of defining goals to be valuable. Instead I see goals more as a direction that I want my life to move towards. The measurements help with checking whether I am moving in the direction I’ve chose. It acts as a mirror board to give me feedback at the end of each year.

See the above answer. Also I would recommend not to equate achieving goals with your happiness. Happiness is not something to be achieved in the future. Happiness is a skill that can be cultivated here and now.

Good. Sounds like you are reflecting deeper and deeper. Let them change!

That’s why in this exercise we set lifetime goals too, not just short-term ones. Short-term goals tend to change a lot. Lifetime ones most likely won’t. If your lifetime goals are changing very often, take that as a good sign that you must be growing very rapidly and having some extraordinary insights. Also I’ve found taking deliberate time to reflect on what I want to be tremendously valuable.

That’s fine! I try to lose any attachment to the result. On reviewing this years goals I learned that I set overly ambitious targets for my one year goals. Two goals I stopped wanting, but the others were still relevant for 2017, so I’ve adjusted accordingly. I also spent time reflecting what other reasons there might have been for not achieving them. I learned that my social life in particular (and minor distractions like mindless web surfing) had pulled me away from working more on my goals. So for this year that’s something I’ll be more aware of. Don’t view not achieving goals as a bad thing – they can bring incredible insights into your life.

Process vs. result. Instead of having a goal like, “In three months I will lose 10kg.” Frame it as “In three months I will go to the gym 30 times.” The latter is largely in your control, the former isn’t necessarily so.

Put one in your bedroom and one where you work. It’ll remind you of the direction you want to move towards in life. Many people set new year resolutions and come the end of January they’ve forgotten them. There’s no point in setting goals if you don’t remember them.

If you’ve read this far, Happy 2017! May you grow, learn and find the happiness you seek.

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