There are different questions on goal setting that you need to ask yourself.
And not only ask, but you also need to figure out the answers to them—so that you can achieve your goals.
These goal setting questions are not only important when you’re setting your goals, they’re also important to ask while you’re executing those goals.
If you get stuck and fail to achieve your goals, these questions on goal setting will help you start again or continue working on the goal until you achieve it.
In this post, you’ll learn all the key questions to ask when you’re setting goals. And the answers to the most asked questions on goal setting will be provided.
Before we get into it, I want you to know that when it comes to goal setting questions, no one answer fits all.
This is because what works for someone else might not necessarily work for you.
But the answers to the most asked goal setting questions can serve as a guideline for you.
As some universal answers usually work for the vast majority when it comes to goal setting.
What you'll learn
The goal setting questions to ask yourself before and after you set your goals
Is this goal important to me?
Although setting goals is important, if the goals you set aren’t important to you, they’re meaningless.
No matter how great the reward of achieving a goal is, if it isn’t important to you, the goal will fail.
To determine how important a goal is to you, you need to consider how urgent the goal is and use that knowledge to set your priorities.
So, what’s most pressing in your life right now?
Depending on your needs, you can easily come up with the goals you need to work on now.
In 1943, Maslow proposed a motivation theory based on 5 tiers of human needs.1
The hierarchy goes from physiological (food and clothing) to safety (job security), to love and belonging needs (friendship), to esteem, and then to self-actualization.
For instance, if you’re currently unemployed, your important goal right now is getting a job.
Because unemployment directly affects your ability to cater to your physiological/basic needs.
If the unemployed person sets a fitness goal—which is a level 2-4 goal—without satisfying his level 1 needs, he won’t be motivated to work on the fitness goal. (Unless he plans to make money from his fitness goal).
What are the steps involved in setting goals?
Setting goals should be easy. It shouldn’t have to involve a lot of processes.
But in real life, it does involve some processes.
There are processes and steps to goal setting that a lot of people refuse to acknowledge.
And this lack of acknowledgment is one of the reasons why people fail to achieve their goals.
Steps to setting goals include;
- Writing down your goals
- Choosing the most important ones
- Creating a plan to achieve the goal
- Setting a deadline to achieve the goal by
- Taking action
- Evaluating your progress
- Reviewing your goals, and so on.
Are there methods I can use to set goals?
The best method of goal setting is a goal setting method that’s tailored specifically to your goal personality type.
We have different goal setting personality types. These personality types include; analytical, intuitive, starter, finisher, hard-charging, laid-back personalities, and so on.
Once you’ve figured out your goal setting personality type, there are different goal setting methods to choose from;
- BSQ (Big Small Quick)
- GOOP (Goal Outcome Obstacle Plan)
- SMART (Specific Measurable Actionable Reasonable Time-Bound)
- SMARTER (Specific Measurable Actionable Reasonable Time-Bound Evaluate Readjust)
- HARD, and so on
Here’s a comprehensive post on the various goal setting methods based on goal personality types.
What are the best tools that’ll assist my goal setting?
Goal setting tools need not be elaborate and expensive—they need to be effective in assisting you to reach your goals.
There are lots of goal setting tools out there—from goal setting apps to full courses on goal setting.
I’m sorry to say that most of these tools do more harm than good.
Most tools over-complicate the whole goal setting process and this can result in goal setting failure.
However, there are some of these tools that are helpful and can help you achieve your goals faster.
Because I’ve used a lot of these tools in the past, here’s a review of the best goal setting tools in the market.
What can cause my goals to fail?
The first reason a goal can fail is if the goal lacked proper planning in the first place.
Apart from planning for a goal, there are other reasons why a goal can fail during the execution of the goal.
These reasons are mostly mental.
These mental reasons often center on your ability to form a habit around the goal you’re setting.
And you can only work on a goal long enough for it to become a habit if the goal is important to you, and you enjoy working on the goal.
This brings me to the next question you should always ask yourself when you’re setting a goal;
Is this goal fun to do?
A lot of people overlook this vital goal setting question.
In life, we rarely need the motivation to work on things that are fun for us.
If your goal is fun, or you can find a way to make it fun, you won’t need to rely on motivation to work on the goal.
Because relying on motivation—which never lasts—is a major reason why a lot of goals fail.
If working on a goal involves a boring process—as most good goals tend to be—you should find a way to infuse fun into the boring process.
For instance, a goal of saving 20% of what you earn every month can be boring.
To make this boring goal fun, you can use 5% of what you save to buy something fun like video games, movie tickets, or a wristwatch.
But you only get to spend 5% if you successfully save the 15%.
Frequently asked questions on goal setting
What are the different types of goals?
Goals can be time-specific: these are goals that you set based on time. Examples of these goals are long-term goals or short-term goals; monthly goals or yearly goals.
Goals can be topic-based: these are goals based on specific areas of your life. Examples of these types of goals are goals you set for your health, your finances, and so on.
Here’s a comprehensive post on the different types of goals we have.
Which areas of life are best to set goals?
It’s impossible to achieve all the goals you set in all the areas of your life.
The hard truth is that it’s impossible to have a balanced life.
To focus on your career, you might need to sacrifice time with your family.
Life is filled with these types of trade-offs.
So, it’s unrealistic to have a dream of setting goals in all the areas of your life.
But how do you choose the areas of your life to focus on at a certain time?
Well, you can sit down and think of the areas of your life that currently needs the most attention.
Or you can make your life seasonal and figure out the areas of your life you want to focus on for a particular season.
For more guidance, check out this post on the areas of your life to set goals.
What are SMART goals and how do you set them?
SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Reasonable, and Time-bound goals.
The SMART model of goal setting is popular because it helps to clarify goals.
And not only does the SMART model helps to clarify goals, but it also helps to make the goals actionable.
To set SMART goals, you need to get more specific about your goals. That is, make the goals quantifiable.
Doing this automatically makes the goal measurable.
Attach a plan of action and a deadline to the goal and you have a SMART goal on your hand.
To learn the step-by-step process of setting SMART goals with examples, check out this post on SMART goal setting process.
Why do my New Year resolutions fail?
The first reason why New Year resolutions fail is that people base these goals on motivation.
Due to the New Year’s motivation they have, they set the goals and when the motivation runs out in the second week of January, the goal dies with the motivation.
Another reason is that they don’t adequately plan for the obstacles they’ll face when they start working on the goals.
Lastly, they don’t break the goals into monthly goals.
So, the goals overwhelm them and as a direct result, they shelve the goals.
Learn how to effectively break down your yearly goals into monthly goals and you’ll see that you start achieving your New Year resolutions.
Do vision boards work for goal setting?
Using vision boards for your goal setting can be helpful for motivation.
And it can also be harmful to taking action on your goals.
Researchers have shown us that if you stare at your vision boards for too long, your brain starts believing that you’ve already achieved the goals.
As a result of this, you might start procrastinating on important things you need to do to achieve the goals.
The key to using vision boards for setting goals is to find the sweet spot between focusing on the goal process and the outcome of the goals.
To learn how to create a vision board that works for goal setting, check out this step-by-step post on how to create a vision board that works.
Conclusion: Questions on goal setting
There you have it.
The answers to the questions you might have on goal setting.
If you have more questions that you need the answers to, use the comment section below to ask those questions.
Lastly, share this post with others so you can help them get answers to their goal setting questions.
- This is popularly known as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.