setting goals and objectives

Setting Goals and Objectives

By distinguishing between goals, objectives, priorities and tasks we are in a position to understand: What we are doing? Why are we doing it? What the end goal will be? These top tips will help you work through setting goals and objectives.



A goal is a major achievement in life – something that can take a long time to achieve but is well worth the effort.

We need to set ourselves goals in life and work, then break down these goals into smaller realisable objectives, specify these clearly and then go for them! Going for them involves the following steps:

  • Stating the goal clearly and concisely
  • Splitting the goal into achievable objectives
  • Prioritising the objectives
  • Setting time limits against each objective
  • Re-assess goals, objectives etc. against realistic time projections
  • Take the first steps and keep your end goal vividly in mind!!



To achieve a goal we must have a series of smaller goals or objectives that will help us to reach our goal.  We must define the goal first, then break it down into smaller pieces all of which help towards that goal.  Objectives must be:

S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Achievable and agreed
R = Relevant – i.e. Relates to your purpose
T = Time bound

To create objectives from an end goal first you should ‘brain storm’ them onto a piece of paper to get all the ideas together, then sort them into a logical order – both in terms of time and place.

You should take care not to go too far with listing your objectives since you may have got into the detail of TASKS i.e. to do lists  since you may have got into the detail of TASKS – what is needed to make the objectives work.

You should aim for no more than 10 objectives to achieve any one goal.  More than 10 and things get unwieldy and perhaps you need to re-set your goal.



By putting precise timings and measurements on your objectives you not only make them clearer, but also get a picture of how to prioritise them appropriately.

It is at this point that you can distinguish between speed of action and urgency of action.



These derive from objectives and are the actions that must be taken to make those objectives happen.

After each key task you need to write the DATE you actioned it; WHAT the result was; any further ACTIONS and other pieces of information.

Key tasks form part of your ‘to do list‘ – but are not exhaustive since this also includes all the other actions you need to do as a person.

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