5 Best Types of Goal Setting Techniques (Succeeding at Work)

Goal setting is the process of creating a plan to achieve a specific result. No matter what you’re trying to achieve in life, setting goals is a critical part of the process.

Understanding and knowing the right goal setting-techniques can help motivate you to achieve your goals.

If you are working towards your career goals, accomplishing projects, or simply trying to set more effective goals at work, these goal-setting techniques will probably help you.

What is a Goal Setting Technique?

A goal-setting technique is a process used to set realistic goals that are purposeful and explicit. All goal-setting techniques help you to identify what you want to achieve and figure out the steps necessary to get there.

Generally, all goal setting techniques follow the following framework of success:

  1. Identify the goal.
  2. Determine what steps are necessary to achieve the goal.
  3. Create a timeline for achieving the goal.
  4. Make a plan of action.
  5. Take action and achieve the goal.

There are many different types of goal-setting techniques, each one offering a different approach to the process.

The key is to use the right tools and stick with them for the long haul.

Different Types of Goal Setting Techniques

Goal setting is a great way for you to visualize and understand how you can achieve a specific outcome.

Each goal-setting technique is suited for different situations:

  • Some goal-setting techniques are great for setting goals for a group or organization, while others are good for great for setting individual goals.
  • Some goal-setting techniques are great for setting long-term goals, while others are good for great for setting short-term goals.


SMART goal is the most popular goal-setting tool that emphasizes the objective measurement of the outcome and how it will play a part in achieving the bigger goal. SMART goal setting is suited for both individuals and organizations to set and achieve long-term goals.

SMART is the acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

  • Specific: Specific goals are goals that are clearly defined to align with the objectives that a person or organization sets to achieve a certain outcome.
  • Measurable: Measurable goals are goals that can be quantitatively assessed. For example, “I want to increase my reading speed by 50% in the next six months” is a measurable goal because it can be quantitatively assessed (i.e. how much faster did your reading speed increase by?).
  • Achievable: Achievable goals are goals that you know you have the resources and the ability to achieve.
  • Relevant: Relevant goals are goals that are relevant to your final objective, it should be a goal that helps to bring you closer to what you want
  • Time-bound: Time-bounded goals are goals that have a specific time frame associated with them. This can be helpful in motivating people to achieve their goals, as they know that they will eventually need to complete them. However, it can also be a challenge, as people may feel pressure to achieve their goals within the set timeframe.

FAST Goals

FAST goal emphasizes the alignment of the strategic priorities between parties when pursuing the goal. It helps individuals or groups to focus on what they want to achieve and how they will achieve it. FAST goal setting is suited for an organization’s objective setting or a situation where more than one individual is involved.

FAST is the acronym for Frequent discussion, Ambitious, Specific, and Transparent.

  • Frequently discussed: Frequent discussion should be done to enable course corrections due to changes, this enables agility in the goals that are being set.
  • Ambitious: Ambitious goals all allow improve performance and continuous advancement.
  • Specific: Specific goals can be measured so that we can identify what is working and what is not.
  • Transparent: Transparent goals for everyone involved, so that we can remove activities that are unaligned with our goals.


CLEAR goals is a project management tool that allows the leadership team to set realistic, actionable goals. CLEAR Goal setting can help to set team objectives or team goals. It is a goal-setting strategy that allows you to adapt and be agile when new information or situation arises.

CLEAR is the acronym for Collaborative, Limited, Emotional, Appreciable, Refinable.

  • Collaborative: Goals are achieved in collaboration with the help of another party. This is especially important in human society, where we live as a big community.
  • Limited: Set a limit to the time and the scope of your goal. Your goal’s duration and scope should be clear and achievable.
  • Emotional: Understand the emotions and know-how this goal connects with the employees and taps into their energy and passion.
  • Appreciable: Break down the big ambitious goals into smaller actionable goals so that you can take small but continuous steps towards achieving the final goal.
  • Refinable: Set goals with a clear objective, but be open to the opportunity to refine and modify your goals accordingly when the situation arose.

PACT Goals

PACT goals are a useful technique when you are setting long-term goals. PACT measures your output instead of your results. By measuring your output, you will get more sense of accomplishment, even when the results may not be as apparent. PACT goals help you to set realistic goals and allow you to feel happier while pursuing your goal.

PACT is the acronym for Purposeful, Actionable, Consistent, and Trackable.

  • Purposeful: What you do needs to be purposeful and it needs to be something that will make an impact on your long-term purpose in life.
  • Actionable: The goal needs to be based on the output which you can control.
  • Consistent: Consistency and sustainability are built into your goal, this helps you to follow through and motivate you to reach your goal.
  • Trackable: Tracking is possible when you are performing a periodic review on your process, a simple “yes” or “no” answer will be sufficient to allow you to track your goals.

WISE Goals

WISE goals help to give a bigger picture of why we are doing what we are doing. It gives us a reason why the actions we take matter. WISE goals help you to set goals that genuinely help you closer to your vision.

WISE goals are exceptionally useful when used with other goal-setting strategies such as SMART goals, or FAST goals.

By integrating and synergizing ideas into your actions, you’ll take lesser effort to achieve results.

WISE is the acronym for Written, Integrated, Synergistic, and Expansive.

  • Witten: Written goals allow you to look at your plan objectively, making changes as required for you to reach your final goal.
  • Integrated: Goals can be integrated with other goals so that you can put all your ideas together in the same place. This gives you a clearer picture of what needed to be done, and what actions do you need to do them.
  • Synergistic: Create a synergy on the integrated goals and look for opportunities where you can make them work as one. It is to keep your final goal in mind when you plan your actions and the ability to use the least amount of effort to achieve the maximum amount of results.
  • Expansive: Expansive is the ability for your goal to grow and adapt with time in accordance with your capability into something more than you have ever imagined.

Why is Setting Goals Important?

Setting goals is important because it gives us a roadmap to follow and helps us stay on track. Without goals, we can easily become sidetracked and lose focus on what’s important. Having specific goals also allows us to measure our progress and make necessary adjustments along the way.

A study by Harvard Business reveals that goal setting can help you succeed further and faster.

  • 14% of the people have goals and have a plan in mind.
  • 97% of the people don’t write down their goals.
  • 3% of the people with written goals earn 10 times more than those who don’t.

Ultimately, setting goals helps us achieve our desired outcome more efficiently and effectively.

How Setting Goals can Lead to Success?

Setting goals helps to increase our chance of achieving success as the goal-setting process is the development of specific objectives that will guide our actions and decisions as we work to achieve our desired outcome.

With a focused approach to tackling each of the goals, goal settings focus acquisition of knowledge and let us organize our time and resources accordingly to make the most out of what we have.


  • Which goal-setting strategy suits you? Come let us know in the comments below!

PS. Sick and tired of SMART Goals? FAST Goals is probably one of the best alternatives to SMART Goals!

Up Next… Important goals you need to achieve at your new job?

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