Creating a goal-setting framework that works for you. But you need to know a few more things about goal setting before you get started with a framework. During the process of setting goals, you want to find the sweet spot between your ambitious objectives and managing your to-do list with measurable goals.

Is goal setting effective?

In short, yes. Setting clear goals is an effective way to get your desired results. The increased motivation from achieving small goals builds momentum to help you achieve complex goals. But the goal-setting approach can be the most important thing when it comes to accomplishing your overall goal.

You can set goals to achieve at work, in your relationships, when it comes to your physical and mental health and in anything that is an important focus for you.

What are the 3 types of goal-setting?

There are a few different types of goals. And it’s important to understand them

Process Goals are specific actions that you perform. For example, reading for 10 minutes every night before bed. Process goals are a great way to start building habits and they are controlled on an individual level.

Performance goals that are based on a standard. Sometimes it’s a standard you have set for yourself, sometimes it’s set by others. For example, a grade you wish to achieve that you have set or a grade you need to be accepted into a course.

Outcome goals are based on winning. For example, landing your dream job or making the Olympic team. Outcome goals can be difficult as it relies on a large amount of outside influence or input.

What are three goal-setting strategies?

Once you have determined what type of goal you have, you can work on building a strategy to attain your goals.

  1. identify the goal
  2. identify the framework that will work best for you and your goal
  3. get to work on your goal

What is a goal setting framework?

A goal-setting framework is a plan of action to help you accomplish your goals. It clarifies your intention and provides you with a clear picture of what needs to be done to achieve the outcome.

It provides direction and focus for you and gives you higher chances of success.

How to choose a goal setting method

To help you choose which framework will work best for you, evaluate last year’s goals. By reflecting on this you will be able to see which of these frameworks you may have used, even without knowing it.

After you have chosen your goal, the first step is to choose a goal-setting method that will work best with both your personality and your life stage. The final step is to get to work!

OKR Framework

ORK stands for Objectives and Key Results. It’s a collaborative goal-setting technique used by team members as well as individuals. It’s best used to set challenging and ambitious goals that have measurable results.

Objectives – The objectives outline exactly what is to be achieved. They are action-oriented outcomes. And when they are created correctly, they are often the antidote to the ineffective execution of a good goal.

Key Results – The key results monitor how to get to the objective. Successful key results are specific and time-bound as well as measurable and verifiable. You either meet the key result, or you don’t.

When following the OKR process, it is important to track progress. This is tracked and graded on a scale from 0 to 1 in 0.1 increments.

The OKR grade scale:

  • 0.0 to 0.3 = failed to make real progress
  • 0.4 to 0.6 = made progress but fell short
  • 0.7 to 1.0 = delivered


As you might have guessed, SMART is an acronym for the steps you need to have in place in order to achieve your goals. It’s also referred to as the smart framework or the 5 components of goal-setting.

Specific – your goal needs to be specific. For example, the goal of reading more becomes to read five books. There is a clear end goal.

Measurable – your goal needs to be measurable. Like in the example above, the goal of reading more becomes to read five books. And the number of books is the benchmark you will use to measure your success.

Achievable – your goal needs to be achievable. For example, if you haven’t read much in recent years, it would not be achievable for you to read 100 books in a year. But reading five books in a year could be achievable.

Realistic – your goal needs to be realistic. For example, you may need to set some boundaries on the maximum number of pages a book can have for you to be willing to read it. Save books like Les Miserables and War and Peace for another time.

Time-bound – your goal needs to have a timeframe attached to it. You will need to set a realistic time frame to complete your goal.

It’s also beneficial to include how you will achieve your goal. You might need to write out more of an action plan than just having set a goal

So in all of the above examples, your goal goes from reading more to reading five books with a maximum of 400 pages during this calendar year.

The 12-week year

Most people and even organisations, tend to work in the context of annual goals. I’m sure you set new year’s resolutions with the aim of completing them by the following new year. But the 12-week year avoids the pitfalls of low productivity due to how much time you have to accomplish your goals.

Trying to accomplish your goals in a 12-week period creates urgency. And it creates focus and clarity. Meaning that the important stuff gets done and the impact is seen much sooner.

Brian P Moran’s book, The 12-Week Year, provides step-by-step instructions and examples of how you can implement this framework in your life.

Stop thinking in terms of a year; instead focus on shorter time frames.

― Brian P. Moran, The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months

Big Hairy Audacious Goals

A Big Hairy Audacious Goal, or BHAG for short, is just that. They are the bold goals that seem so far out of reach and almost impossible. But that’s the keyword, almost. It’s a clear and compelling explanation that doesn’t need further explanation because they are well-defined goals.

You might have also heard it described as a push goal or a stretch goal. Something that you have to push and stretch yourself to accomplish.

The Backward goal

The backwards goal is a reverse-engineered way to get your desired end result. First, you set the desired outcome, then work backwards to work out what needs to be done to get there.

Once you’ve set your goal, you’ll need to brainstorm the steps involved. Each step may have several sub-steps and they might also have sub-steps.

Once you’ve determined your steps you can create a list of jobs to be done. Make sure to put this list in order of what needs to be done as a priority and take dependency into account. Some steps will need to be completed in order for subsequent steps to be completed.

It helps to keep each step as simple as possible. This will help you build momentum. And also prevent you from experiencing burnout.

Using a backward goal can provide clarity on what needs to be done in order to achieve your ultimate goal. It creates urgency by making the next step easier to achieve. And it also creates an alternative if you don’t want to work on a particular action. There are often other small steps that you can work on depending on what you are in the mood for.

Goal Pyramid

A goal pyramid connects your main goal in life to your everyday tasks.

The top of the pyramid represents the main goal, and everything else under that is building towards the main goal. Just like the top is your primary goal, the bottom is made of the tasks you do daily and weekly that support your primary goal.

For example, if you aim to be an Olympic athlete, almost daily practice will support this along with some short-term goals and long-term goals. 

Key Performance Indicators

Key Performance Indicators or KPIs are often used in professional settings to assist with business objectives. They are specific goals that support the desired outcomes of a business, which is supported by your involvement.

In a business, salespeople are often provided with KPIs to meet the company objectives of particular sales targets for certain periods like the upcoming year.

And when it comes to the workplace, your superior often have bigger business goals, You might not get to see the top goal, because it’s not relevant to you. But with everyone in the business working towards their goals, they all add up to the bigger picture. The product manager will likely have different KPIs to the product team. And it’s unlikely that the entire team have the same KPIs.

KPIs don’t just have to be career goals, they can be personal goals too. To set some KPIs for yourself, you might need to brainstorm with a trusted friend to come up with some realistic goals to help you with the big picture.

One-Word Goal

As the name suggests, this is all about using one word to describe your goal.

You can also use one-word goals to set different goals. You might choose to use the words fitness and nutrition to focus on your health for a period of time.

Choosing a word of the year is a great way to use the one-word goal. And setting a new year’s resolution is often the best time to do this. You could also set a different word for each month as monthly goals, depending on what you want to focus on.

Long-term goals

Long-term goals answer the question of where you see yourself in five or ten years. Often a daunting question but it can be helpful to have some massive goals that will see you through that period of your life.

Some examples of long-term goals

  • learn a language
  • learn an instrument
  • visit every country in the world
  • become an Olympic athlete
  • pay off your mortgage
  • run a marathon

Short-term goals

Quite the opposite of long-term goals, short-term goals focus on a shorter time frame. Generally, smaller goals are ideal for short-term goals as they are easier to achieve in a shorter time frame. Short-term goals are great for habit-building. They are great for building routines and eliminating bad habits. And it often comes down to simplifying how we do things.

Some examples of short term goals:

  • grow a tomato from a seed
  • complete a short course
  • wake up earlier to work on a personal project
  • create a savings plan
  • read more books
  • learn a new recipe



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