Saturday, January 03, 2015

Goal Setting Workshop

Goal Setting Workshop

The GPS LifePlan
Your Goal Setting Workshop

Setting goals is an excellent way to provide you with direction and purpose. The more you can clearly define your goals (and revise them as needed), the more likely you are to achieve success. Goals can help you to channel your energy towards meaningful activities as you continue along your journey. The purpose of this Goal Setting Workshop is to help you accomplish your goals through an organized process made easy for you.

The workshop is designed to take about 30 minutes. The work you do could change the rest of your life.


Goals + Plans = Success

Here is a summary of the workshop:

  1. Where am I in the goal setting process?
  2. Goal Setting Using the GPS LifePlan
  3. Creating Your Own "SMART" Goals
  4. Workshop Wrap-up






Where Am I in the Goal Setting Process?




Whatever plans you are hoping to make, you will go through a process to get to your ultimate goal.

For most of us, this process involves:

1. Being unaware or uninterested in the need for goals

2. Considering the pros and cons that a goal will bring

3. Create a plan and take action.

4. Maintaining success over time.




Often times we have good intentions about the change we want to see in our lives, however, to take that next step from intention into action can be the difficult part. It is important to understand that if we do the same actions in our lives, we will get the same results. However, if we take different actions than we have before, we will get different results and be able to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves." In other words, "Do the same, get the same - Do different, get different!"


Think of some goals you may have in your life right now. What phase are you in for each of the goals?

Don't have any goals yet? That's okay, we will show you how to write your own in a minute.


"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life's about creating yourself."

~ George Bernard Shaw


Doing Things Different 

Setting goals is an excellent way to provide you with direction and purpose.


Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
by Portia Nelson

hole in sidewalk alongside a buildingI

I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost ... I am helpless. It isn't my fault. It takes me forever to find a way out.


I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don't see it. I fall in again. I can't believe I am in the same place. But, it isn't my fault. It still takes a long time to get out.


I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it is there. I still fall in ... it's a habit. My eyes are open. I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately.


I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.


I walk down another street.


"It's never too late to be who you might have been."

~ George Elliot


 Goal Setting Using the GPS LifePlan


Screenshot of Online Goal Setting Workshop


Throughout this workshop we will be incorporating information and exercises from the GPS LifePlan which was created to help students identify and set goals, and design plans that will lead them to the success they desire. Goal examples and templates can be found on the "Goal Setting Workshop" page of the GPS LifePlan website (as shown in the image to the right).

GPS LifePlan focuses on five areas of development:

  • Career
  • Education
  • Finance
  • Leadership
  • Personal

There are four different versions of the GPS LifePlan depending on your background and current situation that may suit you the best. You can read more about each version at About GPS LifePlan. You can also view a short overview of each version by clicking on the buttons below (a YouTube version is also available at GPS LifePlan Overview):

educationButton.png collegeButton.pngmilitaryButton.png workforceButton.png


Learn More about GPS LifePlan eFolio

One component of the GPS LifePlan is a free electronic portfolio called eFolio. If you would like to learn more about this tool and how to create your own eFolio to manage and track you goals, click on the link below:


Create Your Own GPS LifePlan eFolio





"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step."

~ Lao-Tzu



 SMART Goals - An Overview



Goal setting can help you manage change and handle the challenges that life may present to you.

There are goals and then there are SMART Goals.


S - Specific
M- Measurable
A - Attainable
R - Realistic
T - Timely



Specific: Being specific helps you clearly define what you are going to do.
Example: I will walk 5 miles at an aerobically challenging pace of 179 heart beats per minute, three times a week.

Measurable: When you measure your progress, you stay on track and this can motivate you.
Example: I can measure my target heartbeat by taking my pulse and I can chart your miles and frequency per week.

Attainable: A goal needs to stretch you slightly so you feel you can do it.
Example: Set a goal to walk one mile a day at first and then build up over time will keep it achievable for you.

Realistic: Realistic, in this case, means "do-able." The goal needs to be realistic for you and where you are at the moment.
Example: Walking 5 miles everyday may not be do-able for you but 3 times a week may be more achievable.

Timely: Set a timeframe for the goal. Putting an end point on your goal gives you a clear target to work towards.
Example: I can make this goal a habit at the end of 3 months.  


By having a vision in mind you can organize your daily tasks in a way that you develop positive habits that will build toward your eventual goal(s). Keep in mind it does take about 30 days to establish a habit. So - don't get discouraged in the early stages. Click on the image to the right to read more details about SMART Goal Setting.



"If you don't know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else."

~ Lawrence J. Peter


 SMART Goals - An Example


Using a SMART Goal template may be helpful and a good place to start in your goal setting process.

1. Determine your "SMART" goal. It is important that your goal starts with a verb - action! Setting your SMART goal involves reflecting upon the following questions:

  • What goal do I most want to focus on right now?
  • What good things might happen if I work toward this goal?
  • What difficult things might happen if I work toward this goal?

 Answering the above questions will help you go from "thinking" about a goal to actually "creating" a goal. This reflection will help you develop a brief goal statement as seen in the goal example.


2. Identify the outcome or result that you will get in your life by achieving this goal. This will help you maintain your motivation.


3. Once you have picked a goal, list the tasks (actions/activities) you need to do to accomplish your goal.

It is important to place a time line on your actions in order to measure your progress and see if you need to make any adjustments as you move toward your goal.


4. List Your Support Network. A Support Network is made up of people who are supportive of your goals and believe that you can achieve your goals in life. It can include people who currently are supportive in your life as well as others others in your larger social network.

Not all people in your Support Network may be helpful in every goal you set for yourself. Keep this in mind when listing your Support Network for particular goals.


5. Be Proactive - Not Reactive - An important part of the goal setting process is to identify possible obstacles that may get in the way of achieving your goal. Being prepared and having plans to identify and manage obstacles will make you more successful in accomplishing your goals.


6. In order to overcome and manage obstacles it is important to identify resources and develop plans on how to make adjustments. You may want to discuss some of the obstacles with someone from your Support Network and identify resources. Remember the GPS LifePlan includes a lot helpful information and resources to make the adjustments needed to accomplish your goals.


Remember - having to adjust is not failure! In fact, in many of our plans, adjustments are vital in order to keep us moving forward and ensure we are able to successfully meet our goal. 


"Begin with the end in mind."

~ Stephen Covey


Goal Setting Activity:
Create your SMART Goal

MyMilitary GPS Education goal template.png

Now it is time for you to start setting your goals! Click on the image to the right to open a blank Education Goal template and follow the steps below:


1. Determine the goal you would like to work on and evaluate if it meets the criteria previously discussed of being a SMART goal:

S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Attainable
R - Realistic
T - Timely 

2. Reflect on the following questions to develop your final outcome and results statement:

  • What goal do I most want to focus on right now?
  • What good things might happen if I work toward this goal?
  • What difficult things might happen if I work toward this goal? 

3. Establish attainable action steps including specific dates to guide you in moving forward on your time line toward achieving your goal.

4. Who is your Support Network for this particular goal you have set? Which individuals may be of assistance to you in helping you to achieve this goal?

5. Identify any obstacles that may prevent you from achieving this goal.

6. Brainstorm what adjustments you can make in order to overcome these obstacles to stay on track for achieving your goal. 

You can access additional SMART Goal examples and templates to help you set your goals on the GPS LifePlan website. Click on the version below which best meets you needs :

educationButton.png collegeButton.pngmilitaryButton.png workforceButton.png




"Goals not written down are just wishes."

~ Author Unknown



Workshop Wrap-Up

beach pic sunset.jpg

We hope this workshop was beneficial to you. The GPS LifePlan has many resources and we encourage you to revisit the site often as you continue to work on your goals in order to accomplish the success you desire.

AS you accomplish your goals, it is important to reflect on how to best maintain your success. You may find it helpful to:

  • Reward yourself for your success while learning from your mistakes (ie., take time to watch a movie, treat yourself to something special)
  • Stay connected with individuals in your Support Network
  • Learn to deal with set-backs or what to do if things aren't working out as planned
  • Review your goal to see if you are still on track and consider setting additional goals if necessary
  • Share your goal with others - you will be more likely to achieve your goal when others know about it
  • Print out your goal template and hang it in places around your house that you will easily see it and it will be a quick reminder to keep you motivated in moving forward

Reaching your goals doesn't happen overnight - it takes time, commitment, and dedication. Often it also means finding extra support or motivation to keep working on your goal. It may be important to understand what will keep you motivated in working toward your goal and to also have a plan for what to do when you feel like giving up on your goal. Be sure to identify people in your Support Network who can be a part of this plan to keep you motivated and assist you in working toward accomplishing your goal.


"What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as
what you become by achieving your goals."

~ Zig Ziglar


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