in

Top 10 Goal Setting Exercises To Create Achievable Goals in 2024

blog thumbnail 1

‘How we spend our days is how we spend our life’ 

Humans aspire to achieve an abstract and tangible world; at any given rate, we are destined to set a goal within ourselves and go for it.

Any day we wake up, we set the purpose of our days, gradually walk towards our goals, and break down our hopes and desires into plans whether consciously or not in every wake of our lives, whether professional, personal, mental, or psychological.  

How we spend our given day is how we retain our conscious action, take accountability and make our preferences to spend our lives with. However harmonious we are to have our experiences, elevating our state of being and living.

So we find it crucial to have this as a focal point in our aspirations. We exercise our goal setting prospects on a daily basis for ourselves, hence it is a need to be met by our surroundings, especially in the most practical form at our workplaces.  

Locke (1964) came up with the very first Goal Setting Theory, where he focused on goal setting within the workplace. He found that employees were motivated more by clearly set goals and actionable feedback to help them achieve those goals.

Our ways of goal setting exercises may vary from individual exercises to group goal setting. These questions are to be addressed in this article, so let us proceed further. 

5 Goal Setting Exercises for Employees  

Now, let’s explore the 5 goal setting exercises for employees!  These team goal setting activities are great for carrying your organization further.

1. Standing Ovation   

This exercise involves participation from multiple employees. You can start by asking all the participants to close their eyes and imagine they have achieved their set goals. Now, ask them to visualize as if they are present and standing in front of a large audience.  

Once they open their eyes, you have to ask them what their achievement was and which steps it involved to get there.   

Now, ask them to write down all these details on paper. However, you have to rewind from that standing ovation moment to the present.  But, now the world is changing.

So, you have to replace the concept of paper with a tool. And, Teamflect for Microsoft Teams is a prime example. Not only does it allow you to write down your goals in a “SMART” way, but it also tracks them.   

goal setting exercises

2. Reflect Your Yesterday 

To set goals, it is better to know your capability first. And, you can do so by simply reflecting on your past work. Don’t worry; you do not have to go all the way before. You can start with yesterday. 

This exercise includes listing down the result of multiple employees and their career goals. This way, you can also compare their responses and contributions to the organization.  

3. Sticky Notes for One or Many  

We are not telling you to write down your goals on sticky notes and look at them every day. Well, this exercise is a bit different. It requires contribution from several employees to mention their goals on sticky notes and compare with each other.   

This goal setting exercise can be one of the group goal setting activities but also can be for individuals. That is because it allows you to share ideas and gain inspiration instead of working on a personal goal.   

4. The Balloon in The Air    

goal setting exercises

This might be the most fun exercise. You will need a balloon and two or three groups of participants for this. The task of the groups is to keep the balloon in the air for a specific number of hits without touching the ground. But no member can hit the balloon twice in a row.   

Now, ask the participants how many hits they can manage and strategize. Each group will go three times, and, in the end, the team with the highest number +of hits in one attempt will win.   

5. Note Down Your Average Perfect Day  

Take pieces of paper and start writing your average perfect day. It should include all the tasks you do daily. Note that you should not involve in unusual activities, such as a trip. 

Once you have it all written down, you can start noticing which daily tasks you can take out from the day and which ones you can include. This pattern will help you focus more on writing your goals, and you will start seeing opportunities that you have been missing out on for a long time. 

5 More Goal Setting Activities

Here are five additional activities because you know what they say, “More is more!”. These exercises can either be incorporated to work life as a group goal setting activity or they can be used by your employees individually.

1. Imagine One Year From Now

Another popular and effective goal-setting activity is “one year from now”. This can be used to think of your ideal work-life after a year. Tasks that are linked to long-term goals are frequently postponed by employees because they believe they can find more time to complete them later.

After a year, the outcome can often be a stagnation in performance. With this activity, participants can quickly determine and analyze what should happen each month to achieve the result they want.

After imagining where they want to be in a year, they need to consider what steps are necessary to get there. The key is picking realistic goals and not trying to do everything at once.

goal setting exercises

2. Work Bingo

Work bingo is played by using a bingo card and it is one of the goal setting team activities. The card is filled with occasions or tasks for professional goals. The rule is marking the slot if one of these things occurs.

Your employees need to fill a straight vertical, horizontal, or diagonal line.  At this point, they will have a bingo, which means they have won the round.

When five scenarios occur in a row, column, or diagonal line, your employees will be completing all of their career goals. This activity will motivate your staff to reach their goals and win a bingo before their teammates. This game can also result in fun competition which will boost productivity.

As we mentioned work bingo is among goal setting exercises for teams, and you can easily encourage participation within your team by giving the winners an inexpensive gift.

Prizes need to be affordable but valuable. One simple gift you can give the winner is a $25 gift card to their preferred store.

3. Definition of Success

In this activity, your employees will consider this question, “What is the definition of success for me?” There are numerous ways to answer this simple question and it helps with visualization of success. 

This activity not only works well to align everybody in the team, but it also teaches your team that success can mean different things to others. Among the goal setting activities for employees, this one demonstrates how others define success and help eliminate stereotypes.

4. Mind Mapping

goal setting exercises

The big goal or goals can be broken down into manageable steps using mind mapping. This type of activity is an excellent way to make your goals more concrete.

You can find a sample mind map above. On this mind map, you can see how the first objective is general and how it becomes more precise as you move outward. The actions employees need to perform to make those positive improvements and reach the ultimate goal are outlined in the final steps of the mind map.

5. One-Word Goal Setting

This activity has similarities with mind mapping. In this one, you establish goals around a single word. It’s an easy way to goal-setting, and it works well. First, your employees need to find a word to describe themselves within the past year. 

Reliable, adaptable, innovative, and positive are a few positive examples. If they think there are some areas that need improvement, your employees can then ask themselves “How to be more __ at work?”.

Your employees also answer these questions by writing down their future goals and the steps that will get them there.

Picking the right goal setting platform

There are many incredible goal setting activities you can run with your team. That being said, the goals you set or the goal setting exercises you implement are only as effective as your goal setting platform. Not all goal setting exercises are compatible with remote work.

One of the best ways to practice goal setting in a remote environment is through the combination of Microsoft Teams and Teamflect.

Goal module screen of Teamflect in Microsoft Teams with one active goal

Teamflect is an all in one performance management / OKR software for Microsoft Teams that will increase the efficiency of any of the goal setting exercises you implement within your organization.

With customizable goal labels, automated check-ins, a strong OKR module, and so much more, Teamflect is the ultimate goal setting platform for any of your goal setting activities, practices, or needs!

Some other features include:

  • Setting group goals
  • Customizable feedback templates
  • Customizable team praise
  • An intuitive dashboard
  • A free version with full functionality for up to 10 users
Manage performance inside Microsoft Teams
No sign-up required.
Teamflect Image

 

What is Goal Setting?  

Let’s start with the basics; what do you mean by goal setting? In general, setting goals helps you view where you want to go and from where. For instance, most people dream of becoming doctors, engineers, etc. 

However, that is defined as personal goal setting, primarily focusing on a specific goal. It can be summed up as working to achieve the desired outcome in professional terms. But, it all starts with planning where you are beginning.  

Many small businesses start with some long-term goals, which is not correct. Instead, it would be best to always start with being more grounded. This way, you can achieve more than one goal within a specific timeframe.

In other words, you can summarize goal setting as a “Mind Map” or a vision board that helps you view your path forward and create more professional goals. 

Sounds easy but, how to do it? There are various goal setting exercises for practical goals that we will discuss later. But as the first step, we need to understand the importance of goal setting. 

Goal setting exercises

Why Goal Setting is Important? 

But, the real question is why goal setting is important? Is it an essential part of a company, or can it still survive without it? The straightforward answer is yes, setting and achieving goals is critical, and an organization can not survive without these processes. 

Goals Give You A Reason   

When an employee is working in an organization for too long, they forget their purpose and place. Primarily, they focus on an ultimate goal (company goal) but forget about their individual goals. Thus, employees start procrastinating and spend a long time doing achieving nothing. 

However, you find a reason to work if you set goals and objectives regularly, monthly, or even yearly. This way, employees do not procrastinate and stay productive until they achieve their goals.   

Achievable Goals Keep You Focused  

Whether long-term goals or short-term, they keep you focused throughout. The most significant benefit is to ensure total attention from employees, regardless of their past performance.  When you set achievable goals, you make a productive environment where employees work with complete focus and dedication.   

Goals Keep You Within A Boundary  

Smart goals keep you restricted in a boundary. It defines where you have to start working from and where to reach. Plus, it also tells how you can do that. But, the concept of boundary does not just end there.   

These boundaries are also time constraints. Since goals are also restricted to a time duration, you also have limitations here. However, goal-setting exercises ensure you are still intact to these boundaries.   

Smart Goals Make The Work Interesting  

Goal setting can make your tasks enjoyable. That is because you see the destination from a mile away. To reach there, you have to struggle, and the goal-setting exercises help you with that.   

Goals Empower Collaborative Efforts  

Goals and Objectives are not restricted to a single person or one department. While it might be true in some cases, it benefits the organization overall. Therefore, you get to collaborate with others as well.   

The prime examples are goal-setting exercises which require collaborative efforts to the fullest. Thus, you may understand the preference of working for the company, aka an ultimate goal rather than a personal goal.   

Why Setting SMART Goals Are Better for Companies? 

Goal setting assists us in creating our roadmaps in the blueprint of our organizations, hence how we set our goals helps us designate where we will be landing with this certain prospect. Setting a goal in its concreteness and applicability will be the decisive point in designating the direction and achieving it in its objectives and key points.  

Vagueness and ambiguity in types of goal setting will be letting us fall short in the conclusion prospect of it as this leads to a directionless set of aims, it will not be assisting our goal setting cycle.  

The power of SMART goals lies in the simple formulae related to this easy-to-remember acronym. When our goals are Smart, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic/Relevant, and Time-Bound we strengthen your opportunity to achieve our end results. 

However, it may sound, goals are to be scalable and trackable in unison with the organizational structure, however grand it may be, the sizeable prospect will be that grand and detailed at work.  

The old school ways of tracking or goal setting with Excel sheets are certainly out of fashion as one of our concrete goals in our operations is to keep our goals time-bound, triggers the streamlining of time-consuming operations and strategizing to keep it at a minimum and seamless.

One of the most time-consuming elements of the workplace is to spend (dare we say, waste) time on such outdated practices such as keeping our prospects in Excel sheets with tons of schematics.  

In the last 15 years, gradually so, we have witnessed a substantial number of performance management tools that came into aid to assist us in this, however, these services got more flexible, our time consumption in goal and objective tracking got reduced, easy to work with and almost playful.

Especially with the high rates of remote working, to engage employees in the circle of feedback and solutions, the need for quality software-as-a-service is heightened. Using goal setting exercises for teams is a great way to begin here.

Conclusion  

This detailed article has covered several aspects of goal setting exercises for teams. With these ten goal setting activities, you will find it easier to achieve what you are working on.  Moreover, you will understand the importance of setting goals and taking the smart route towards achieving them. 

Do You Want To Join Us?

goal / OKR tool teamflect screenshot

If you need to create high-performing and engaged teams – even when people are remote – with our easy-to-use toolkit built for Microsoft Teams, schedule a demo!

Start using Microsoft Teams to manage your goals!
No sign-up required.
Teamflect Image

Frequently Asked Questions

What is goal-setting?

In general, setting goals helps you view where you want to go and from where. For instance, most people dream of becoming doctors, engineers, etc. 

However, that is defined as personal goal setting, primarily focusing on a specific goal. It can be summed up as working to achieve the desired outcome in professional terms. But, it all starts with planning where you are beginning.  

Many small businesses start with some long-term goals, which is not correct. Instead, it would be best to always start with being more grounded. This way, you can achieve more than one goal within a specific timeframe.

In other words, you can summarize goal setting as a “Mind Map” or a vision board that helps you view your path forward and create more professional goals. 

What are some good goal setting activities for employees?

  1. Standing Ovation
  2. Reflect Your Yesterday
  3. Sticky Notes for One or Many
  4. The Ball in The Air
  5. Note Down Your Average Perfect Day
  6. Imagine One Year From Now
  7. Work Bingo
  8. Definition of Success
  9. Mind Mapping
  10. One Word Goal Setting

Why goal setting is important? 

Goals Give You A Reason: The prime examples are goal-setting exercises which require collaborative efforts to the fullest. Thus, you may understand the preference of working for the company, aka an ultimate goal rather than a personal goal. 

Achievable Goals Keep You Focused: When you set achievable goals, you make a productive environment where employees work with complete focus and dedication.

Goals Keep You Within A Boundary: Smart goals keep you restricted in a boundary. It defines where you have to start working from and where to reach.

Smart Goals Make The Work Interesting: Goal setting can make your tasks enjoyable. That is because you see the destination from a mile away. To reach there, you have to struggle, and the goal-setting exercises help you with that.

Goals Empower Collaborative Efforts: The prime examples are goal-setting exercises which require collaborative efforts to the fullest. Thus, you may understand the preference of working for the company, aka an ultimate goal rather than a personal goal.

Written by Emily Helen Arnold

Emily Helen Arnold is a content writer at Teamflect. She is obsessed with organizational behavior studies and loves writing/thinking about how a carefully designed people strategy can transform a company.

performance review software for small business

Top 5 Amazing Reasons to Use Performance Review Software for Small Businesses

okr software for startups

Best 6 OKR Software for Startups in 2024