Top 8 Questions For Pre-Assessing Your Goals



Hi and welcome back! We’re doing a week-long series on goal-setting!

In post #1, we looked at 7 Steps for Prioritizing Your Goals.

In post #2 we looked more closely at how to determine your life priorities.

In post #3 we explored 8 questions which will help you set achievable goals!

If you’ve been following this series, you will have seen some of these questions in yesterday’s post, 8 Goal Setting Questions You Need to Ask Today. This is an opportunity for you to delve deeper into each subject and get more specific.

Why do you want to achieve this goal?

Why is this goal important to you? Why have you chosen this project for this client as opposed to another one? If “money” is the only reason, then what does that money represent?

Is the goal in line with your priorities?

If you aren’t sure about this, check out this post about defining your priorities. You’ll have a much higher chance of achieving a goal that resonates with your personal values and priorities.
How and why does this goal fit with your life priorities? Why does it resonate with you?

How can you tailor your goal to fit your priorities?

Sometimes we set a goal because it’s something we “have” to do.  Sometimes we set a goal because it sounds like a good idea or a lot of people are doing it.  In either case, the goal may begin to feel like a chore. How can you tailor the goal or change your thinking about it so that it fits with who you are and what you want?

What obstacles must you overcome, and how are you planning to meet each challenge?

Many people sabotage themselves before they even begin to work on a goal, because they think of all of the obstacles they all have to face but don’t take the time to problem-solve. Other people don’t try to anticipate obstacles at all. They become discouraged or waste valuable time and energy in procrastination or panicking when obstacles arise. If you list out potential problems and obstacles in advance, you can give yourself an advantage by thinking of ways to solve them, or you can decide what help you need in order to get what you want. Alternatively, listing out obstacles may help you see that the goal isn’t a good fit for you right now. That doesn’t mean you have to give up on it, but you can push it into a “long term goal queue” or table it for the time being. I’ll have another post about working through problems and potential obstacles later on.

What Immediate Benefits Will You Receive?

When you conceptualize a goal, it’s easy to focus on the endgame — the ultimate victory. It’s natural to do that. After all, the whole reason that you set the goal is to get the prize at the end, right? Well, it’s important to keep your end goal in sight, but it’s equally important to identify more immediate benefits. For example, if your goal is to finish an 18 week class, the long-term benefit is class credit and the things you hope to learn. But 18 weeks is a long time, and you’ll have more success if you can identify some gains you’ll make in the process. Maybe you’ll have a chance to meet new people or an opportunity to work on a skill you want to develop.

What long-term benefits?

Don’t just state the obvious. What specific things do you hope to gain from having completed this goal?

How much time must you invest?

Include time for research, homework, networking, and any other factors that may not be directly involved in the completion of your goal but that you will need to do along the way?

How much time do you have?

Be realistic about this. On the one hand, saying, “I don’t have time” is a cop-out. There are ways to find time. On the other hand, you are one person with a finite amount of time to invest in each project. How much time do you really have to give this one? What will you be willing to give up in order to make more time?