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Goal Statement Examples: How to Craft Unique Goal Statements

Table of contents.

Words say the most. Writing goal statements can be lengthy, and the most difficult part for many is the challenge of wording a goal well.

As you craft your own goals, there are certain aspects that you may not be thinking about at first. The future tense is one of those aspects that many people neglect. Future-tense verbs show a sense of dedication and commitment.

In this post, We will address the techniques for crafting unique goal statements and give various examples to guide you in writing yours. Let’s dive in!

scissors and two paper clips beside opened spiral notebook

What Exactly Is a Goal?

A goal is a word, sentence, or paragraph that indicates the outcome you are shooting for. A goal can also be called a “thesis statement,” “personal statement,” or “statement of purpose.”

The term ‘goal’ refers to the main objective you wish to achieve. It is the result you are pursuing. It revolves around two essential factors: Purpose and time frame.

What Is a Goal Statement?

A goal statement is a document that spells out your objective . It’s a summary of the reasons you want to accomplish a goal.

They are usually one to three pages. A goal statement is not meant to be a step-by-step guide that gets you to your goal but describes it. It should also feel like a story that encourages you to keep going and reading.

When applying for a job or graduate school, you’ll want to include a goal statement in your resume or cover letter. It’s a good idea to craft a goal statement to show potential employers or college admissions officers what drives you.

Why Do You Need a Goal Statement?

A goal statement defines the specific goal you wish to achieve, how you will achieve it, and why you are pursuing this goal. A goal statement serves as a guideline on how to achieve your goal.

It is crucial since it will help you plan the measures you need to take to get there. Other reasons are as follows:

1. Motivation Purposes

Your daily duties can be more enjoyable if you know where you’re going and what you want to achieve. While attending a conference or participating in a significant project can help you maintain momentum and gain new skills.

2. Accountability

With stated goals, you can feel certain accountability for completing them. As a result of this information, you’ll know exactly what you’re aiming for and how to get there.

Others can hold you to account as well. For example, sharing your career goal statement with a coworker can help you keep track of your progress towards achieving it.

As a result of having an accountability partner, you’ll be able to

3. Direction

There is less guesswork when you have a goal statement since you have spelled out specific actions to follow to achieve your ultimate target. It’s a good idea to consider your goal statement as a road map to your desired future.

How to Craft Unique Goal Statements

Keep these things in mind when you’re creating your thesis statement.

1. What Is Your “Why?”

If you don’t know why you’re doing what you’re doing, you won’t be able to give it your all. There won’t be any drive to succeed.

Why are you interested in your job? In what ways do you intend to create a lasting impact, if at all? How well do your innate talents match the demands of the job?

When considering these factors, you are more likely to set a goal you want to achieve rather than one you feel obligated to perform. To be motivated to get to work, you must desire to attain your goal.

2. Involve Yourself

Don’t simply focus on the final goal you’re aiming for, but also on the process that will lead you there. You must be aware of all the measures you must follow to achieve your goals.

To avoid being overwhelmed by the challenges you may face, it’s a good idea to study the specific professions in your field of work.

3. Study and Preparation

In terms of research, ensure you have the requisite qualifications, education, training, expertise, and experiences to succeed. In your statement, list all the steps you’ll need to take to reach your goal. To achieve your career goal, you need to establish a clear path that will bring you there.

4. Don’t Allow for Change

You may have to change your plans due to unexpected events in your life, but don’t let that stop you from moving forward. Don’t leave anything in your goal statement open to interpretation; it should be easy for everyone to grasp. However, you must remain adaptable.

As you mature and your life circumstances change, your goals may shift. Unexpected occurrences or factors are almost inevitable when writing a professional goal statement that looks far into the future.

If you want to succeed in life, you must be able to deal with obstacles and not allow them to derail you.

Goal Statement Examples

Imagine your life as a row of heads. You are the first head in the first column, and your goal is to advance to the third column in your life. That is all you need to know.

So what is the goal statement? “I want to advance to the third column in my life.” That is it! Let’s see some goal statement examples below.

“I will get promoted from Assistant Manager to Executive manager in two years or less. To do this, I will exceed my sales target by 15%, further my education in marketing and leadership. I will also ask my manager for more responsibilities that will establish me as a sales lead.”

“My career goal is to be a full-time graphic designer in two years. To achieve this, I will work on freelance graphic design projects to help build my portfolio. I will also attend graphic design competitions and workshops to sharpen my skills.

“I will secure a career change from banking to writing. To do this, I will enroll in writing programs and earn certificates in the field. I will intern with a content producing firm, and practice my writing communication.”

You followed the advice and examples, and now you have a goal statement of your own. So, what’s next? What are you going to do with this?

Keep it in a secure location. Maintaining it in an easily accessible area will constantly remind you of your goals and aspirations.

It’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture when rushing through your daily tasks. Your goals statement can help you take a step back and focus on the essentials.

Goal Statement Examples: How to Craft Unique Goal Statements

Abir Ghenaiet

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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Goal Getting

How to write a good smart goal statement for success.

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Goal setting used to be something only the elite successful few had knowledge of and utilized, but it is now becoming widely known as the smartest first step to achieving success. In spite of this, it’s quite surprising to find that many people don’t know how to write a good SMART goal statement. They don’t write them well or even understand why it’s so important.

What Is a SMART Goal Statement?

SMART is a well-known acronym, which is mostly understood as Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound . However, there are also a number of simple secrets to this acronym that can really make a difference. [1]

When we effectively write a good SMART goal statement, it gives our mind direction, and we see more possibility. We become more focused, and because of this, we often achieve what we want a lot faster. We also save time and work more productively.

And here’s why:

There is a tiny part of our brain called the Reticular Activating System (RAS). It acts like the gatekeeper between our conscious and unconscious mind. It filters information and controls what we become consciously aware of in our everyday environment. [2]

The thing that most people are unaware of is that the RAS filters according to past and present experience, and it deletes anything that isn’t relevant to that.

This means if you don’t write a SMART goal statement with this in mind, you could miss essential cues that could help you achieve it. Your RAS will delete that information.

A SMART goal statement is a sentence or even paragraph written to the formula of the SMART acronym. This contains all the effective criteria you need to help you write a powerful goal. When you adjust this acronym slightly, it brings that formula to life.

Specific: It’s All in the Details

Specific means more than just precise objects like a house, car, or money, although this is important. True specificity is also in the micro details of the experience when writing a goal statement.

It’s essential to take time to reflect on:

Including the sensory details of the experience is vital, such as what you will see, hear, feel, smell, or taste as you achieve it.

This makes your goal statement sensory specific, and because we experience everything through our five senses, it brings your goal to life. It manipulates your RAS, as it doesn’t know the difference between imagination and real experience. We respond almost automatically to this sensory information, which means we will make different decisions. [3]

As you write your goal this way, your RAS will start to provide you with opportunities. Many people call them coincidences, but it’s just that your blinders have come off, and you are more consciously aware.

When writing your goal statement with specific and sensory detail, you will begin to notice many more possibilities than ever before.

Measurable: The Necessary Requirements

This is anything with numbers in it, such as quantities, measurements, amounts, and dates.

If a goal statement isn’t measurable, then it becomes quite easy to veer off track in the long term. It’s like a football field with no goal post. The game would never end, and no one would know which direction to play.

When you make your goal measurable, it gives you a concrete criteria to aim for. This will increase your focus, making your decisions and actions much more defined.

This can sometimes be tricky with certain goals. For instance, it’s easy to write a measurable goal when aiming for an increase in income or a decrease in weight. Goals around things like relationships, friendships, or health require more thought.

Think about how you will know the goal has been achieved and what measurements could be involved. For example, if you want to increase the fun in your relationship, you may be having a date night each week or doing something adventurous once a month. This makes your goal measurable.

As you write your goal statement with a measurement in mind, it will give you a clear vision of what you are aiming for. This is vital to reaching your target.

Achievable: Thinking in the Present

It will benefit you greatly when you write your goals as if they are happening right now. This is because it makes your goal statement a current experience.

If you write your goal statement as a future experience, then it will always be in the future. This is because your mind will delete indicators, which can help you achieve what you want.

When you write your goals in the present tense, your mind starts to think in a different way. Your goal becomes believable for your mind, and you will feel more confident in your ability to achieve it.

Writing your goal statement this way also changes the way your RAS is filtering information. You will notice things you used to be unaware of. This causes you to take actions you may not have taken before or go places you’ve never been.

You may even bump into someone who can give you precise information to help you achieve your goal. These are often referred to as “signs” that you are meant to be doing it. This really just means your goal statement made you more aware.

Instead of beginning your goal with “By 31 December 2019,” I encourage you to write it this way; “It is 31 December 2019 and I am (or) I have.” As you write your goal in the present tense, you will notice how real and exciting your achievement feels.

Realistic: Don’t Limit Yourself

It’s important that you don’t make your goal realistic according to what you have achieved in the past. This is one of the most common ways you could limit yourself.

A great deal is possible, and it is only your own mind that gets in the way of achieving it.

We create things twice, first in our imagination and then in our physical reality. This means if we can see it in our minds eye, we can have or do it. It may just mean learning a new skill or building a key strength.

Realistic means assessing whether the goal is achievable in the time frame you have allowed. For example, if you want to become a competitive tennis player and you are a beginner, then it is unrealistic to expect to do this in one month. Within this time frame, you would possibly have joined a club and begun lessons.

When you set your goals, do a realistic check, and if your time frame is a bit out, just change it.

When you use this version of realistic, you will notice that your potential expands, and your goals move within reach.

Time-Bound: Create Motivation in Your Goal Statement

When you put a date to your goal, it gives your mind a deadline. And as you probably know with any deadline, it gets you off the starting line.

Whether you leave things until the last minute, or whether you action a goal gradually over a longer time frame, it has the same effect.

The thing is, your date must be specific because if it is too vague, it won’t motivate you as much.

Our unconscious mind always wants to protect us from the prospect of failure. One way we can do this is by not deciding on a firm deadline. If we don’t have a clear target date, then it’s easy to tell ourselves it’s not important. We might let ourselves off or get distracted with something else.

Giving your deadline more definition, however, makes it urgent and something to be dealt with quickly. When you set the target date for your goal statement, make it very detailed with the day, month, and year. You can even add the time if you want to be really specific. For example “It is Tuesday 31 December 2019 at 3PM.”

Imagine how vivid this becomes in your mind’s eye when you do this and the incredible sense of achievement you will feel when you reach your goal. This is one of the best ways to steer clear of procrastination.

Final Thoughts

There was a much-quoted study, which was allegedly carried out in Yale University. The stories of this study have persisted since 1953. It showed that only 3% of those surveyed actually wrote goal statements. Findings claimed that the elusive minority achieved their goals more consistently, had more confidence, and earned more money than the other 97% who didn’t.

After further research, this study and its stories were eventually found to be a myth. But, the reason they’ve perpetuated for so long is because their fundamental assertions are believable. The principals have been the practice of the most elite and successful for many years, and in my personal and professional experience I have found this to be true. [4]

Whether the study happened or not, what I do know is this:

One of the main reasons many goals remain dreams is because the deeper meaning of SMART is not fully utilized.

Implementing these powerful principals in your SMART goal statements will dramatically increase your odds of consistently achieving high!

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What is a goal statement?

3 benefits of writing a professional goal statement, how do i write a personal goal statement, how do i write a business goal statement, the bottom line.

Setting a career goal is like plotting your route on a roadmap. Back in the days of paper maps (remember those?), we would put a sticker at the endpoint and work backward from there. We’d highlight the roads, gas stations, and attractions we want visit along the way.

These days, GPS has automated the route-planning process — but there’s no GPS for your career. You’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way. Creating a goal statement is one way to plan your career. 

People often assume that we're stuck with a goal once we pick it. That’s not true. A career goal statement is dynamic and grows with you. Like any road trip, you’re free to change course or pick a new destination altogether. 

Using goal statements, let’s go over how you can set goals that will supercharge your career and personal development.

There are two main types of goal statements: a personal goal statement and a business goal statement. 

Personal statement

This kind of goal focuses on your personal, long-term career objectives. Think about what you want to accomplish, your dream job title, and the new skills you need to reach it. These are all part of your personal goals. Then you have to create a plan to achieve your end result.

You can include this as a statement of purpose on your resume or cover letter to communicate your ambitions to a hiring manager.

Business statement

As the name suggests, a business goal statement focuses on the long-term development of your business. It provides the framework for your day-to-day operations. This kind of goal statement also includes your core objective, key performance indicators, and the tasks required to arrive where you want to be.

This kind of goal statement may be more for entrepreneurs . However, whether you’re thinking of starting your own business or just want to be involved in the development of your current company, a business statement could be beneficial.

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Here are a few reasons why you should consider writing a goal statement. 

1. You can use it as a strong motivator 

A strong goal and plan of action can keep you going on the tough days. If you feel frustrated with where you’re at, you can look back at your goal statement and plan for the next step. 

When in doubt, you can also try positive self-talk and review your progress so far. Looking back at goals you’ve achieved already can give you a boost when you’re not feeling particularly motivated . 

2. Keeps you on task and accountable

Like any good plan , a goal statement will help you measure your progress. Specific tasks with appropriate deadlines will keep you on schedule as you work towards your goal.

You can also share your goals with a friend or colleague. This will add a layer of external accountability to ensure you never stray too far from your ambitions. In fact, studies show that you have a 65% greater chance of completing a goal if you commit to someone else that you will do it.


3. Gives you a clear direction in your life and career

Human beings have the gift of free will. We can take our lives in any direction we choose. But sometimes, the choices are overwhelming . A clear goal will keep you on the right track in your career advancement.

Research even shows that writing down your goal and making an action commitment increases your chances of achieving your goal . 

Writing a goal statement should be exciting as you consider everything you can accomplish in the future. However, if you need extra support, consider a platform like BetterUp . We can help you talk your goals out and keep you on track. 

Want to know how to write a personal goal statement? Follow these six steps: 

Let’s dive into each of these steps. 

1. Focus on your passions

This step involves some self-reflection . Think about what gets you out of bed in the morning. Maybe you enjoy being of service to the public, you’re obsessed with building the next big consumer product, or you love spending time with your family. These are all valid passions to include in your goal.

If you don’t know what your passion is , try experimenting. Volunteering or freelancing is an excellent way to expose yourself to other experiences.


2. Understand what your goal entails

Do your research. Try reading blogs, joining community forums online, and attending conferences. Look for folks who have jobs you want and ask how they reached their position. Arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible as you plot your goal and achieve it.

3. Visualize the future you want

With the information you’ve accumulated so far, think about what your life could look like with this career. Here are some questions to get you started:

Hopefully, these questions will teach you something about yourself and help you write a more personal goal statement. 

4. Use the SMART method

The “ SMART goals method ” is a way of setting and achieving your goals. Here’s what each term means:

5. Make an action plan

Now that you have a long-term goal, decide how you’ll achieve it. Include things like graduate school, professional development courses, and mentorships you might need to get there. 

6. Be flexible

Life is full of unexpected twists and turns. Be ready to adjust, adapt, or replace your goals if that’s what you need to be happy . Remember: This is your roadmap, and you can change your destination or add any detours that you please. 


Example personal goal statements

Here are some personal goal statement examples to inspire you: 

Business goals require less soul-searching than personal goals, but there are still some things you should look out for.

1. Match it to your mission statement

Mission statements are the philosophy of the company. Make sure that your personal goals align with that mission. 

For example, your company might sell paper, and your mission might be to “Build a greener future.” A compatible goal would be to set a clear, measurable recycling quota for your departments.

2. Stack your deck with ACES

“ACES” is another goal acronym that stands for:

These elements will help you keep the ship pointed in the right direction.


3. Track your results

What are your key performance indicators? Every objective should have a measurable goal attached.

The key term here is “measurable.” If your goal is to boost Twitter engagement, define how many “likes” would constitute a success. If you want to improve sales, pick a number. Be as specific as possible, and make sure your specificity is attainable.

Example business goal statements

We’ll say your paper company sells stationery to consumers. While there’s no template or true goal statement format, your mission is to “help customers build authentic connections through letter-writing.” 

One of your business goals might be “give customers an easy way to create personalized stationery.” This goal is aligned with the organization’s mission and is easily measurable. 

You could build a web tool where consumers customize their stationery before ordering to achieve that goal. You can then measure the tool’s performance based on how many consumers use it. Remember, be specific. Maybe you aim for 100 new users per month in the beginning and gradually increase as the platform becomes popular.

It’s important to prepare before embarking on a road trip. You’ll need an emergency kit, a spare tire, and some snacks. Professional goals are no different. You’ll have to be ready for life’s many twists and turns, so set a clear destination, make a plan, and fill your toolbox with the right skills. Writing goal statements is an easy way to point yourself in the right direction.

Thankfully, BetterUp is here to support you on your journey, too. With the right questions, tools, and team, you can achieve anything you put your mind to.

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What are goal and aim statements and why are they important.

Public health has used a form of goal statement, known as an "aim statement," as a starting point for its improvement cycle (Plan, Do, Study, Act) and improvement projects for many years. Different formats exist with various prompting questions and comprehensiveness of content.

These formats have generally prompted users to investigate

What are the components of a complete goal and aim statements?

Goal statement content, how are good goal and aim statements developed.

Plan: Before you start to draft a goal statement, it often helps to first understand what prompted the opportunity. How is this goal linked to the organization’s strategy or a larger goal? Linkage to a larger purpose can often be found in the organization’s quality improvement plan or via interviews with leadership.

Do: Draft your goal statement (six components) using the previously described guidance and attached template .

Study: Once you have drafted your goal statement, test it.

Act: Document, communicate, and start to use your goal statement during each phase of the improvement process.

Examples from PHQIX

Many examples of well-focused QI Initiatives have been submitted to PHQIX. The following table lists examples of initiatives on which PHQIX Expert Panel reviewers have remarked about the clarity of the aim statement and the extent that the initiative was well-focused. The aim statements presented in these initiatives are not all structured exactly the same; however, they all contain the components of good goal/aim statements described above.

Think about the goal/aim statements that you have created. Do they address all of the items covered in the examples? Take advantage of learning from others. What will you improve for the next one?

Bujak, C. & Vecellio, P. What are goal and aim statements and why are they important? Wed, 08/12/2015. Available at https://www.phqix.org/content/what-are-goal-and-aim-statements-and-why-are-they-important . Accessed 03/06/2023.

Mindvalley Blog

How to Craft the Ideal Goal Statement to Manifest Your Dreams

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A goal statement can help kickstart the motions toward living your best life. Discover how to craft your own to manifest your most audacious dreams.

According to Isaac Newton, all systems tend to disorganize and deteriorate. This universal principle is called “entropy.” It affects everything in the Universe every second, including everything in your life — if left alone, it will eventually fall apart.

So it’s paramount to bring into the system and order every aspect of your existence; this is what goal-setting does. And this life-organizing process starts with writing powerful goal statements.

Here’s what you need to know to craft yours:

What Is a Goal Statement?

5 reasons why you need goal statements, how to write a goal statement: 6 tips from lifebook founder, goal statement examples.

No matter what you want in life, the first step is to decide you want it. Then you commit and set a goal and move towards its realization.

A goal statement is a written description of your long-term goal . It guides you on your path and helps you find your purpose. Simply put, it’s your vision of the future that reflects your deepest aspirations for your life.

According to Jon Butcher , creator of Lifebook and trainer of Mindvalley’s Lifebook Online Quest, it’s the ideal state you would like to reach in every area of your life. 

In Lifebook, there are 12 major areas comprising your human experience:

The first 11 comprises its goal statements and the twelfth is a round-up of all. When you craft them, you tune into how you want to feel in each dimension and what it will take for you to achieve them.

young man standing on a busy road

In the world of modern distractions, where media, organizations, companies, and people compete for your attention, time, and focus, having clear personal goals are crucial. If you don’t do it yourself, someone else will do it for you. And before you know it, you will be pursuing someone else’s dream.

Most importantly, having clear goals is paramount for your success. In fact, all successful people are goal-oriented, so goal-setting is the master skill of success.

Jon says, “Realization of your vision boils down to your ability to set and accomplish goals it requires.”

Here are five reasons why you need goal statements:

In essence, goal statements serve as a roadmap to help you achieve your goals across all areas.

Think of goal-setting as a funnel focus — your life vision is at the very top of it, followed by your goals in other areas of your life. And every goal breaks down into smaller subgoals — what you need to accomplish in a year, a month, a week, distilled to the actions required daily.

Here are some tips for mastering the funnel focus by Jon Butcher:

     1. Think deeply about your values and beliefs

Your core values and beliefs about a specific area direct your actions, decisions, and behaviors. In other words, they either expand or limit your vision. When your values and beliefs are empowering, you can dream as big as possible.

     2. Create a compelling life vision

Jon explains that goal-setting against a clear vision accelerates your results significantly. “Every goal you set in any category is directed at that target,” he adds. So your compelling life vision gives you a big picture of where you want to go and serves as your North Star.

     3. Choose your foundational goals

These are the five to six main goals your life vision depends upon. Once you accomplish them, you will be living your life vision. Jon explains that you can achieve some of them within a year, others will require a few years, but they all significantly impact your life.

     4. Identify your overriding goal

An overriding goal is your one single important goal. It’s your single highest leverage point. The accomplishment of this goal will allow 70% of your goals to fall into place, according to Jon. He says, “It’s your most important battle and key focus. So you should know everything about it.”

     5. Make them SMART

A SMART goal statement stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound:

      6. Have a goal-tracking system

It can be a habit tracker such as “12 Sacred Choices” developed by Jon and Missy. This technique allows you to track your most important habits each day.

You can also join an accountability group that will help you track your progress and stay focused and motivated.

When writing your goal statement, remember the SMART model. In other words, it’s not just a description of what you want to achieve in a specific area of your life. It should also include your strategy for achieving it.

Let’s look at some inspiring goal statements examples for each dimension in life.

Financial goal statement

According to Jon, money is a symbol of human productivity and human achievement. So this area is all about your talents and skills and how you can use them to add value to other people’s lives.

Here’s a financial goal statement example:

“I will attain financial freedom five years from now. I will accomplish this by learning how to invest wisely, saving more, and spending less.”

Career goal statement

Your career goal statement includes your vision for your career and your commitment to growing your personal and professional skills. It’s also known as your personal goal statement, often used as part of a job application or your career plan.

Here’s a personal goal statement example:

“ My goal is to become a successful entrepreneur and make a meaningful impact in the world. To achieve my goal, I will focus on learning entrepreneurship and leadership skills, expand my networking, master communication, and cultivate a better growth mindset. ”

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Relationship goal statement example

This statement outlines your vision for relationships with a romantic partner, family members, and friends. It reflects how you will create strong and nurturing connections that last. 

Your relationships determine your happiness and overall life satisfaction more than any other area because human beings are wired to be connected with others.

Here’s a relationship goal statement example:

“My relationship goal is to manifest love . I am committed to healing my relationship wounds and working on meeting the needs that my parents haven’t met. I will forgive myself and others to open my heart to new love.”

Character goal statement example

To change your outside reality, you should change who you are inside. So this statement is about character traits you are committed to cultivating. 

Here’s a character goal statement example:

“I will cultivate determination to accomplish anything I set my mind to. I am committed to eliminating all unfinished work and responsibilities by the end of this year. I will train myself to finish every task I start and be consistent with my duties and responsibilities.”

Intellectual life goal statement example

Your intellectual growth has everything to do with developing a strong mind. It includes learning new skills, cultivating a better growth mindset, and expanding your knowledge.

Jon believes that intelligence is not about what you know but whether you can apply it to live your life intelligently. 

Here’s an intellectual goal statement example:

“I will train myself to read a book a day in a month. To do that, I will learn how to read faster and smarter by training on speed reading.”

Health and fitness goal statement example

Your physical health affects every single aspect of your life. This area holds your overriding goals that make other goals possible. Simply put, you can’t live an extraordinary life without a good state of health.

Here’s a health and fitness goal statement example:

“I will reach my ideal body weight within the next 12 months in a healthy way. I am committed to following a healthy diet regime, exercising at least 3 times a week, and making intermittent fasting a part of my daily routine.”

Emotional life goal statement example

Your emotional life goal statement reflects your aspiration for emotional well-being and your commitment to work towards cultivating inner peace and self-acceptance. Jon explains the willingness to experience your emotions is healing in itself.

Here’s an emotional life goal statement example:

“My emotional life goal is to cultivate inner peace and emotional regulation. I will learn to manage my emotions effectively and practice self-care, doing things that bring me joy and fulfillment.”

Spiritual goal statement example

This goal outlines your vision for spiritual growth and your commitment to self-discovery and self-actualization . Spiritual purpose often holds one’s purpose in life .

Here’s a spiritual goal statement example:

“My goal is to live in alignment with my spiritual essence. I am committed to practicing mindfulness and meditation to align with my intuition and higher guidance. I will remember that my life is about the lives of people I touch.”

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The quality of life goal statement

Your quality of life goal statement encompasses three areas: 

In essence, this goal reflects what happiness and fulfillment mean to you. Ideally, every goal statement in different areas leads to improving the quality of your life. 

Here’s the quality of life goal statement example:

“I will build a new home in Hawaii in a serene environment with a breathtaking view by 2030. I am committed to spending less, saving more, and learning about new investment opportunities.”

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We all have tremendous potential. The trick is to tap into it. And you can tap into it by setting authentic goals and committing to moving forward to make them happen.

Jon believes that your goals bring out the best in you. They are instructions and commands to yourself, moving you in the direction of your values and virtues. 

When you write down your goal statements, you create your Lifebook — your ultimate guide to unlocking your fullest potential and living an extraordinary life.

If you want to discover what you want, why you want it, and how you can achieve it, take a free, 90-minute Lifebook Online masterclass with Jon and Missy Butcher. They will guide you through the fundamental process of envisioning your ideal life in multiple areas.

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Jon Butcher

Jon Butcher is one-half of the dynamic duo. He and his wife, Missy Butcher are the founders of Lifebook, a transforming lifestyle design system that empowers people to envision, plan, and achieve their best life. Prior to their now-incredible life, Jon was an overworked entrepreneur who came to a breaking point before a big client meeting and experienced a severe anxiety attack that left him incapacitated and housebound. The event spurred him to explore a more conscious and holistic approach to life. This evolved to him and Missy creating a specific and personal game plan that aligned with their purpose, what they wanted, and the life they wanted to live. And thus, Lifebook was born.

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Irina Yugay

As a self-development and self-transcendence writer at Mindvalley, Irina uses words to transpire empowering ideas, transcendental feelings, and omniversal values. She's also an ascension coach who helps her clients grow their spiritual awareness and actualize their true nature.

With a deep empirical understanding of the spiritual journey, Irina shares her insights and experiences with the readers to inspire them to transcend their limiting beliefs and achieve higher states of consciousness.

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Soft Skills

11 minute read

Your Guide to Career Goals Statements (and Why You Need One)

Kat Boogaard

Kat Boogaard

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Imagine that it’s a Monday morning, and you’ve just arrived at the office. You sit down at your desk, ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

Now, tell me this: What’s on your mind?

Are you thinking through the meetings on your schedule? The emails that need to be answered? The tasks that must be completed that day? All of the above?

If so, you aren’t alone. Our workdays are busy, which means our minds are often consumed by what’s right in front of us. We take things day by day.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with that (after all, that stuff does need to get done). But here’s the problem: It’s far too easy to become overwhelmed by those immediate things, that we neglect to zoom out and get a broader view of what we’re actually working toward (beyond completing that day’s to-do list).

This is exactly where a career goals statement comes in handy. It reminds you of your main objective and gives you a greater sense of direction. So let's look at some career goals statement examples!


What exactly is a career goals statement?

As the name implies, a career goals statement is your personal vision for the future of your career. Think of it as the ultimate target that you’re aiming toward.

For example, perhaps you’re currently employed as a marketing analyst, but your long-term career plan is to start your own marketing agency that primarily serves software clients. Your career goals statement should formally document that objective.

What exactly is meant by “formally document”? Put simply, your goals statement should be written down—it’s not just something that lives in the back of your brain. We’ll talk more about why that’s important soon. But with all of that in mind, here’s what that career goals statement could look like:

I will start my own agency that provides an array of marketing services to clients in the software industry by the year 2025. I will accomplish this by maximizing any marketing position I fill in order to refine my skills, getting involved at community and social events to strengthen my connections, and scheduling informational interviews with current agency owners.

Many graduate schools actually require that a goals statement (otherwise referred to as a personal statement or statement of purpose) or a similar essay be submitted with a student’s application materials.

However, for the sake of simplicity, we’re going to focus on career goals statements that are used personally—for people who want to formalize their objectives and increase their understanding of what they’re working toward in their careers.

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Why does your career goals statement matter?

At first glance, a career goals statement might seem like an unnecessary formality. But make no mistake, working on your own career goals statement comes with several benefits.

1. It forces you to ask yourself the hard questions

Chances are, your average workday is full of questions. Should you do this or that first? Where’d you put that important file? What should you grab for lunch? Do you have time to snag another coffee ahead of that meeting?

Yes, you’re asking yourself plenty of questions—but you probably aren’t taking any time to reflect on the really important ones. When’s the last time you’ve checked in with yourself about things like:

Those are exactly the types of questions you’ll need to answer when creating your own career goals statement, and that chance for reflection is valuable for ensuring you don’t get caught up in the minutiae of your day-to-day.

2. It gives you a sense of direction

Have you ever felt sort of rudderless in your career? Like you were just clocking in and out each day for nothing more than a paycheck?

This is another benefit of creating your own career goals statement: It breaks you out of the monotony, dangles a carrot in front of your face, and renews your sense of motivation.

That’s because, as the Goal-Setting Theory explains, goals themselves are incredibly motivating. You feel much more inspired to get to work when you actually have a clear idea of what you’re working toward.

Additionally, focusing on the end game allows you to get a stronger grasp on what skills you’ll need to develop or refine in order to make that goal a reality.

3. It increases your accountability

There’s something almost intimidating about writing your goal down, isn’t there? You’ve documented it—it’s real, and now there’s a greater sense of accountability.

As frightening as it might seem, that’s actually a positive thing. Research shows that people who are able to vividly picture or describe their own goals are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to actually achieve them. What better way to get that clarity than by writing that objective down?

Plus, doing so will help make that goal stick. Other studies show that writing things down improves your memory of them.

5 tips to write your own career goals statement

A career goals statement offers numerous benefits. But what do you need to know to write one for yourself? Let’s cover five tips you should put into play.

1. Invest the time in reflection

Remember when we talked about the opportunity for self-reflection above? Before jumping right in with scribbling down your career goals statement, make sure you actually take the time to do that

This will help you avoid setting a goal that you think you should have and instead focus on one that you want to have.

That’s the most important piece of a goal: It should be something that you actually want to achieve. Setting one only because you think it’s expected of you ultimately won’t do you any good.

2. Get specific

In order for a goal to be impactful and provide the necessary sense of direction, it needs to be specific. Something general like “climb the ladder” or “earn more money” is too ambiguous to ignite any motivation.

When establishing your career goals statement, try using the SMART goals framework. Here’s what that stands for:

Specific: Clearly state what you plan to accomplish (i.e. “start my own marketing agency focused on software clients”).

Measurable: Similarly, outline what your benchmark for success is so that you know when you’ve actually achieved your goal.

Achievable: You don’t want to set yourself up for disappointment, so make sure that your goal isn’t so lofty that it’s unattainable.

Relevant: Ensure that what you want to accomplish is actually relevant to you (this is where that self-reflection really comes in handy!).

Time-bound: A goal is nothing without a deadline for when you plan to achieve it by. Your career goals statement should be somewhat long-term (and not something you want to accomplish by next week). But “long-term” can mean six months to some people and 20 years to others. Get clear on exactly when you want to reach this objective.

3. Use confident language

Your career goals statement isn’t the place for wishy-washy and noncommittal phrases. There’s no starting with, “I really want to...” or “I really hope I can…”

Open your career goals statement with a certain and confident, “ I will .” Not only does that phrase further remove any ambiguity, but it also gives you a nice nugget of encouragement whenever you refer back to it.

4. Develop an action plan

Setting a goal is a great start, but setting a finish line for yourself means nothing if you don’t understand what you’ll do to cross it.

The latter part of your career goals statement should outline the steps you’ll take to accomplish that goal. This gives you a roadmap that you can follow, rather than just saddling yourself with an objective and feeling clueless about how to get started.

5. Be flexible

Here’s one more thing that’s important to recognize: Goals change. Of course, the very purpose of your career goals statement is to give yourself something long-term to work toward, but that doesn’t mean it’ll always be set in stone.

What if after talking to some other agency owners you decide that business ownership really isn’t for you? Or what if you have personal circumstances come up that require you to remain in traditional employment for a while—meaning the 2025 deadline is no longer realistic? Or what if you achieve your goal and need to come up with a brand new one?

Whether good or bad, these things happen, and you need to be flexible and willing to roll with the punches.

If and when your goal shifts, don’t completely trash or delete your previous goal. Instead, keep it and write an entirely new one. It’s interesting to see how your objectives evolve over time, and that progression can actually be quite enlightening and motivating.


Get inspired: 5  career goals statement examples you can learn from

Nothing helps provide some clarity like a solid sample. So with all of the above tips in mind, let’s take a look at a few different career goals statement examples that you can use as inspiration for writing your own.

Career goals statement example #1:

I will be promoted to a Project Lead at CompanyXYZ within the next five years. To do so, I will refine my project management skills, obtain my PMP Certification , and express my desire for growth and advancement to my current supervisor.

Career goals statement example #2:

I will land a job as a Data Analyst at a large financial institution by the end of the year. To accomplish this goal, I will improve my skills in Excel and PowerQuery and connect with other Data Analysts in my network to find out more about their job search processes.

Career goals statement example #3:

I will foster a positive reputation and secure a public speaking gig for a session of over 300 attendees within the next calendar year. I will do this by continuing to refine my public speaking abilities and networking with conference planners in my industry.

Career goals statement example #4:

I will pursue and complete a career change from a Graphic Designer to a Web Developer within three years. To make this happen, I will return to school to get my Associate Degree in Web Development and complete online courses that cover all of the major programming languages.

Career goals statement example #5:

I will gain a Certified Public Accountant license within a year. In order to achieve this, I'll create a study plan and I'll take a CPA exam review course . I'm going to study each day for 2-3 hours after work to pass the CPA exam.

What should you do with your career goals statement?

You did it—you implemented the tips and followed the examples, and now you’re equipped with your own career goals statement. Uhh...now what? What do you do with it?

Keep it somewhere safe. Better yet, keep it somewhere you can easily accessible so that you can refer to it whenever you need a gentle reminder of what you’re working so hard for.

Whether you had a bad day or just need to be encouraged that your career is about so much more than churning through your daily to-do list, your career goals statement will help you step back and get the perspective that’s so easy to lose sight of in your everyday life.

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Kat Boogaard

Kat is a writer specializing in career, self-development, and productivity topics. When she escapes her computer, she enjoys reading, hiking, golfing, and dishing out tips for prospective freelancers on her website.

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Writer at typewriter as metaphor for writing goal statements

How to write goal statements

How to write goal statements in 3 simple steps.

Writing goal statements can provoke lots of debate and passion. There are many ways of approaching them and of getting them wrong. Here are some simple steps that will get you to a clear statement, avoiding the common pitfalls and issues.

Man writing using typewriter to write goal statement

Typical time to write goal statement: 10 minutes

Goal selection and statement in 3 steps

Brainstorm the outcomes and results you are looking for

Use whatever tool you are most comfortable brainstorming with. Focus on outcomes and results , not activities and tasks .

Sign up for the Sawdust and Running Diet Plan

...is a task or action .

Maintain a healthy body weight

...is that result that you are likely striving for when you sign up for that diet.

light bulb, representing the concept of brainstorming

Sort your goals by breadth, select goal to define

In Step 2 you rank the brainstormed objectives, with the most strategic at the top, the least at the bottom.

When you brainstorm goals around a particular topic, some of those goals will be low level.

Which goal should I choose?

Generally, we will set the goal based on the most strategic of the goals we have brainstormed, though you may have a specific reason to choose a lower level goal.

Let's say we are brainstorming goals around personal health and fitness. We might come up with both...

'We use comfortable running shoes'
'We have a long and healthy retirement'

Clearly the goal 'We have a long and healthy retirement' has a broader scope than 'We use comfortable running shoes'.

sports podium icon as a metaphor for ranking

Write your goal as 'future fact'

Write your goal as though it has already  been achieved. You can call this ' tomorrow's truth ' or ' future fact ' (credit to Stacey Barr for that term).

The draft goal statement...

Build warehouse C17 by March

...is a task with a target delivery date. It is not clear why we should care about a new warehouse being built and what benefit it will deliver. Rewording this, focussing on outcomes and removing targets and goals, it becomes...

upward chart on phone icon as metaphor for ideal future state

3 common mistakes writing goal goal statements, and how to fix them

Why goal wording matters.

'How to write a goal statement' is one of the most common questions that come up when learning to build KPI Trees and is something many people find difficult. The good new is that a few simple principles can make it much easier. Having run hundreds of goal writing sessions, as the start point for KPI Trees, there are three common mistakes that keep on popping up. Here are those three issues, and the simple fix.

The problem of writing goal statements using just tasks, action or activity

Problem 1. Goal statements that are really 'Tasks, activities or actions'

If I go on a diet, my goal is not 'go on a diet', it is to 'reach and maintain my ideal body weight'.

'Goals' that are tasks, action or activities, perhaps including a deadline, may look like goals but are not goals.

Here are three simple examples of goals statements that are really tasks, activities or actions:

These are not goals as they don't describe the impact of those activities. On a practical level, once the task is complete, they cease to be meaningful, and that's not a great foundation for our KPI design.

Taking our first example, once 'Build warehouse C17' is built, what happens? Why should we care? What is the benificial outcome? All we have described is a task and a deadline for that task.

Put simply goals are about the results and outcomes we want to achieve, not the actions we take to achieve them

Actions, tasks and activities have their place, typically as part of the OKRs that we develop alongside our KPIs. The should not be confused though.

The problem of how to write goal statement - Activity + Target + Timeframe

Problem 2. Goals that are 'Activity plus Target plus timeframe'

A target + timeframe goal will typically follow the verb + subject + target + timescale format. Here are three examples of this format...

The challege with these statements comes in two parts.

Firstly , targets can be highly emotive and can distract from selecting meaningful measures.

For example, in a commercial organisation, few people would argue with the concept of 'increasing profit'. However, if you were discussing a KPI Tree with a sales team and you added the goal of 'Increase profit by 10x' there's a good chance many will have a very strong opinion about the legitimacy of that goal. That anger and emotion will distracted from the almost certain agreement that 'increasing profit' is a good and sensible thing for the organisation.

Secondly , good targets take time, care and effort to create.

At this stage in the process we probably don't know how we will measure something and or what 'great' performmance looks like. Targets should be a separate , later, discussion from whether we should be measuring something.

For both of these reasons, we should deal with targets separately and later in the process (Step 5 in the ROKS Enterprise method).

The problem of how to write goal statement - Achieve Result X through Task, Action or Activity Y

Problem 3. 'Achieve result through task' goals

Another common structure for written goals takes the form verb-subject-action (credit to Stacey Barr for this description), like these:

The issue with this kind of goal is that is far too easy to focus our measurement on the activity , or task , rather than the outcome . In fact, the wording actively encourages us to do this. So the focus for our first example would be to implement the 'Sauron Data Capture System' rather than focus on improving our Line E2 Efficiency.

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How to write goal statements? Fake it 'till you make it!

A simple way to avoid these three problems is to word your goal as though it has already been achieved. You can call this ' tomorrow's truth ' or ' future fact ' (credit to Stacey Barr for that term).

So here are our original three examples...

Rewriting these goal statements as 'future fact'

These look good, but they still have a problem, woolly words .

Sheep - metaphor for woolly words in the context of writing goal statements

Woolly words. Sound great, hard to pin down

Woolly words are words that sound inspiring but are really hard to measure or describe. Extreme examples include...

These are words that you will often find in advertising copy, mission and vision statements. They can make the reader feel great, but can be very difficult to clearly define and, as a result, measure. If woolly words creep into your goal statements.

In our example, our woolly words are...

If you still need persuasion that wording counts, checking out this 'wording horror story' regarding the Cobra Effect !

Let's see what those three statement looks like with those woolly words replaced with clear simple language.

So there we have it when it come to 'how to write a goal statement' describing an ideal future state of the result we care about is one of the most powerful and natural ways of doing this. Write as though it has already been achieve, making sure you avoid 'woolly words'.

These statements are now in great shape to be turned into KPI Trees .

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How to write a goal statement FAQs

Shoud i use pronouns when i write my goal statement.

The use of pronouns such as I, we, us, our is optional, but from experience that they help the 'future fact' statements flow naturally, so their use is encouraged.

Should I use SMART as a guide for how to write goals statements?

People tend to reach for SMART approach (based on the work of Locke and Latham) as soon as they hear the word 'goal' mentioned.

The SMART approach states that all objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Targeted. In truth, SMART is more about setting specific targets than describing outcomes or results.

Experience has shown that as soon as you start mixing targets with broad objectives, the focus shifts to discuss the size of the target, taking focus off the objective and our reason for wanting to achieve it.

Once you have read this post (How to write a goal statement) and are ready to set targets, try the ROKET-DS approach for a field-tested approach to setting effective targets and key results .

How can I tell if my goal statement has covered everything?

If you are writing goal statements for an 'ideal future', you can test it/them by asking the simple question 'could we achieve that goal (or those goals) but still have problems?'. If the answer to that question is 'yes' then your goal statement(s) is/are incomplete.

This approach is known as 'reverse brainstorming' and you can find out a lot more about it in this in-depth reverse brainstorming page  (along with a free downloadable how-to guide).

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October 13, 2022

How to Write a Goal Statement for Graduate School

How to write a goal statement for graduate school

Note: This article uses the terms “statement of goals,” “goal statement,” and “statement of purpose” interchangeably, to reflect the variable language used in graduate application prompts.

Motivations matter

Your statement of purpose is one of the best ways you can sell the admissions committee on you as a well-qualified, purposeful candidate. A strong goal statement will demonstrate your knowledge of your chosen field, your suitability for it, as well as your intellectual development, maturity, and ability to write and think clearly. Further, it will prove that you understand what you’re getting into and that you are committed to attending and completing a demanding academic program.  This is important, because graduate admissions committees want to know that you understand and are realistic about your academic and professional goals, and how your chosen program will serve you in reaching these goals.   

As a first step in planning the content of your essay, think about your motivations for your career choice. What first got you interested in this course of study? What experiences have confirmed that this academic focus is ideal for you? When did you realize that this wasn’t just a casual interest but a serious and sustained interest that has become the basis of a career? Additionally, identify specialty areas that interest you most. If you are applying for an art history MA, for example, name artistic traditions, historical time periods, admired artists, and methods of analysis that appeal to you. Refer to particular scholars who have shaped the field, and professors, especially those at your target school , who will play critical roles in your academic training.

Share some “snapshots” of the experiences that made you want to enter this field. As you consider which anecdotes to share, include those that will reveal your career motivations behind the financial. Additionally, write about elements of your background that make you stand out from the crowd of other applicants who want to achieve much the same thing.

Show your prep work

Your undergraduate major may be a starting point to reveal the foundation you’ve already laid, but you may have also taken post-graduate courses, earned a certification, or worked in the field for a period of time. These activities provide a track record of your commitment to this career or field of study. Explain not only what you know about your field, but also what you don’t know. Openly conveying this  awareness shows you’ve done your homework about why you need this program and how you will apply the knowledge afterward.

Personality counts

Being well suited to a career involves much more than academic talent alone. Your personality, aptitudes, and interests also play a role. For example, some people enter the academic world because they have a burning desire to teach; others are born researchers whose dream job would involve spending all day in a lab. If you are going for a social work degree, can you see yourself handling the constant flow of listening to people’s serious, often heart-breaking problems? Do you have the balance of empathy and boundaries so that this is suitable for you? Think about your personality profile and how you have discovered in what field, and in what role, you will fit.

Work with a grad school admissions expert to create a statement of purpose that gets you accepted >>

Consider your “fit” with your target school

You may have always dreamed of getting your degree from an Ivy League school, but remember: The best school for you is the one that fits YOUR needs, and the school where you also fulfill the needs of the program. 

How do you assess whether there is mutual “fit”? Read the program’s website closely; read student profiles and blogs, read up on faculty profiles and identify who has done work in your field of interest, written books or taught courses that appeal to you. If you plan to apply for teaching or research assistantships, have you contacted faculty members with experience or publications in your area of interest who could sit on your committee? Have you come up with a “short list” of courses that will bring you closer to your career goals?

What sorts of departmental opportunities exist, such as special labs, study-abroad programs, internships, or clubs or monthly workshops? How does the location of the program suit your academic, professional, and personal goals? Make sure it is clear to both you and to your target school why you are a perfect match.

What’s your post-graduate plan?

How well versed are you in the career options available to you after earning your degree? Be prepared to identify the potential places of employment and/or job functions you hope to get after completing the program. Your research can include internet and library searches, talking to people already in your field of choice, and reading articles on industry websites. 

If you are headed into academia, do you envision yourself on the “tenure track,” teaching and researching at a large university? Or teaching at a community college where you may have a private practice on the side? Will you be able to achieve your career goals with your master’s degree, or will a Ph.D. be the natural next step? Be clear in your statement about where you hope to land professionally or academically at the end of the program. 

Remember that graduate school is one step in an ongoing and flexible process. No school requires that you “promise” them you’ll assume a certain career post-graduation. Still, even if you anticipate that your career could take you in several different directions, try to commit to a single clear career path in your application. You can always change your mind!

If you would like the guidance and support of experienced admissions consultants as you work on your statement of purpose or other parts of your grad school application, Accepted is here to help. We offer a range of services that can be tailored exactly to your needs.


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  1. 40 Best Goal Statement Examples [Professional / Personal] ᐅ

    goal statement by

  2. 40 Best Goal Statement Examples [Professional / Personal] ᐅ

    goal statement by

  3. 40 Best Goal Statement Examples [Professional / Personal] ᐅ

    goal statement by

  4. 40 Best Goal Statement Examples [Professional / Personal] ᐅ

    goal statement by

  5. 40 Best Goal Statement Examples [Professional / Personal] ᐅ

    goal statement by

  6. 40 Best Goal Statement Examples [Professional / Personal] ᐅ

    goal statement by


  1. What Is a Goal Statement?

    A goal statement is a text intended to provide insight into the personal, career and educational goals of an applicant. The statement demonstrates the writing skills of the applicant and gives a glimpse of his personality.

  2. What Are Some Examples of Sales Goals?

    Achieving a certain volume of sales or a certain dollar amount are common sales goals in an organization. A salesperson might have a monthly target of $20,000 in product sales, for instance. In a car dealership, a sales representative may h...

  3. What Is a Professional Career Goal Statement?

    A professional career goal statement explains a person’s current or future career goal. Career goal statements are used in resumes or stated in cover letters. They are also a central component of an action plan.

  4. Goal Statement Examples: How to Craft Unique Goal Statements

    A goal statement defines the specific goal you wish to achieve, how you will achieve it, and why you are pursuing this goal. A goal statement serves as a

  5. How to Write a Good SMART Goal Statement for Success

    A SMART goal statement is a sentence or even paragraph written to the formula of the SMART acronym. This contains all the effective criteria

  6. Do Goal Statements Actually Work? Find Out Here

    Mission statements are the philosophy of the company. Make sure that your personal goals align with that mission. For example, your company

  7. Career Goal Statements: Definition, Importance and 6 Examples

    A goal statement is a written description of your long-term professional objectives. This may include specific accomplishments, like receiving a

  8. 40 Best Goal Statement Examples [Professional / Personal] ᐅ

    What is a goal statement? · The outcome that the goal must produce · The beneficiaries of your goal · The benefits that the result will generate for each of the

  9. What are goal and aim statements and why are they important?

    A good goal statement is a basic starting point for teams or individuals to plan their work and identify whether it is successful—goal statements are

  10. How to Craft the Ideal Goal Statement to Manifest Your Dreams

    A goal statement is a written description of your long-term goal. It guides you on your path and helps you find your purpose. Simply put, it's

  11. 4 Career Goals Statement Examples You Can Learn From

    As the name implies, a career goals statement is your personal vision for the future of your career. Think of it as the ultimate target that you're aiming

  12. SLO Example Goal Statement principal

    GOAL STATEMENT. High-quality SLOs start with a plan. The SLO plan should provide enough detail to support the peer or evaluator in their.

  13. How to write goal statements in 3 super simple steps

    Goal selection and statement in 3 steps ; Step 1. Brainstorm the outcomes and results you are looking for · Example ; Step 2. Sort your goals by breadth, select

  14. How to Write a Statement of Goals for Graduate School

    A strong goal statement will demonstrate your knowledge of your chosen field, your suitability for it, as well as your intellectual development