keep your goals on target

Stay on Target with these Goal Setting Tips

These goal setting tips will help your family patiently seek after and accomplish goals.

As mentioned in our lesson why we set goals, our family focuses on goal setting three times a year. We like to focus a Family Home Evening lesson on goal setting around these times.

This lesson provides several tips to help you and your family set and achieve your goals.



“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” – Attributed to Zig Ziglar

In this lesson we focus on some basic goal setting tips to turn our dreams into something achievable.

Setting a goal is like developing a budget for our time. We budget our money because it is finite – there is only so much available and we can run out of it.

Time follows more strict finite principles. Unlike money, everyone has the same amount of time to work with. Whenever we direct our time and energy towards something, we sacrifice the ability to do something else.

When we set goals, we dedicate time to things we value and will bring blessings to our lives. After setting goals, we are often tempted to do what feels good now and lose sight of blessings that seem so far away.

Goal setting requires patience. We must strive to see the benefits and results that will motivate us to overcome more immediate distractions in our lives.

We are kept from our goal not by obstacles but by a clear path to a lesser goal. – Robert Brault

Watch this Mormon Message “Continue in Patience” embedded below, and discuss how patience applies to achieving our goals.

There are 5 basic questions we should ask ourselves to decide if we are setting effective goals.

Is this my goal?

If you don’t claim ownership for your goal, if it isn’t something YOU actually want, then you will be unable to sacrifice the time and effort required. Lots of people can point out many goal ideas in our lives. We should keep an open mind to these ideas, but unless you decide it is your goal, there is little chance for success.

Here is a quick list of ideas to get you thinking about your own goals.

  • Duty to God
  • Personal Progress
  • Faith in God
  • Scouts
  • school projects
  • athletics
  • work projects

Also, consider some of the ideas listed in Pursuit of Excellence.

Ponder over your ideas and pray about them.

But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul. – 2 Nephi 32:9

Is my goal specific?

Try imagining yourself winning in some area of your life. Begin with general thoughts like “I want to be happier, healthier, or more spiritual”. These general ideas are not specific, but are often the first thoughts that come to our mind. We recognize the blessings associated with being happier, healthier, or more spiritual, but we need to look closer at how we will achieve these blessings.

Likely your goals will fit in one of three categories or a combination of all three:

  • Learning something new
  • Practicing a skill
  • Participating in a specific event

If you want to be better at something, you should seek new knowledge. If you want to be a better runner, you should learn about training techniques and equipment. You will need to practice skills to improve. A great way to end a goal is to take part in an event like a race, recital, or exhibition.

Is my goal measurable?

Try to define your goals so you know when they are complete. When you make your goal measurable, you are also making it more specific.

Continue with the idea of being a better runner. You can make your goal measurable by determining how fast you want to run a certain distance.

Make sure your goal is realistic. When your goal is complete, you will clearly know if you achieved success. If you fall short, you can learn from your experience and set better goals in the future.

Does my goal have a time limit?

Goals are dreams with deadlines. – Diana Scharf Hunt

Determine when you are going to start and when you will finish.

By determining when to start working on your goal, you start overcoming procrastination. The excuse…”Maybe I’ll start tomorrow…or next week” paves a path of good intentions never completed.

Without a firm deadline, you may never feel the pressure that will help you finish. Without a deadline many people are paralyzed by perfectionism. The thought “It’s not good enough yet” may cause people to give up on their goals and never finish.

Is my goal written down?

Write down your goal and place it where you will see it everyday. You should be able to read it in less than 1-minute. This simple step will make you more committed to your goal. Why do people hesitate to write their goals? Because things get serious when we make a commitment. Failing to accomplish our goals may bring feelings of pain and distrust. Even failing to fulfill a commitment to ourselves hurts our internal integrity.


Spend some time discussing personal or family goals. Use the goal setting worksheet to organize goal setting thoughts. We usually give a prize (candy bar) when someone completes the goal setting process. These candy bars are not always earned immediately since we encourage everyone to take time thinking about their goals. We discuss them for a few minutes each day until they are complete.

Be careful not to force anyone to set goals. Remember question #1, is this my goal?

By the way, if you’ve set a goal to have family home evening each week, be sure to follow us by email or on Facebook to receive new lessons and ideas each week.

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I’ve been asked several times for book recommendations related to goal setting. Most of our influence and ideas came from single chapters of various books, so it was hard to identify one source. After reading The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months it clearly stands out as a complete resource incorporating many of the best goal setting ideas in one book. This is my new recommendation for a comprehensive understanding of goal setting.

2 comments for “Stay on Target with these Goal Setting Tips

  1. Shelby
    August 8, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    O.O wow! This was amazing! Thank you for the awesome resources and quotes too! Where did you learn about them? This lesson was exactly what I needed and I will be referring to it often. I cannot get over how perfect this was. Thanks again for sharing. Your family is sn inspiration.

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