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I LOVE to set goals. Yes, that’s right. I’m one of those geeks that has FUN setting goals – and let me tell you, it works! It has worked for me every year for the last seven years.  When I turned 24,  I decided that that was the year I was going to sit down, make a template to set goals, and write out what I was going to achieve in the next 1, 5 and 10 years.  Guess what happened? I got closer and closer to my dreams every year.

My Inspiration to Set Goals

What inspired me to set goals using my method?  (The answer will surprise you…)

A Lululemon poster! Yes, that’s right. In case you aren’t Canadian or haven’t heard of this beautiful store, it’s a yoga and athletics store that sells quality items like yoga gear, yoga mats, etc. I used to go to Bikram Hot Yoga every week when I lived in Edmonton, Canada and so I often visited Lululemon for yoga gear. Sometimes, they give you free posters filled with motivational quotes when you purchase something (and I LOVE motivational quotes!). Here is the quote that first inspired me:


Every year I look at my Goal Setting Sheet and I’m amazed at how much I’ve accomplished. Just going through the process of writing down your goals, giving yourself a timeline, and having a method in mind somehow leads to success. I think the “subconscious computer” idea is spot-on 🙂

So, what did I really accomplish in 7 years?

Well, I set my goals in three categories – Personal Relationships, Business, Finance & Career and Health & Fitness. Of course, to set your goals, choose any categories that work for you.

I’ll share a couple of goal success highlights from each year. I’m not doing this to be egotistical. I need you to know that this is what’s possible when you write down your goals and focus. These are just the highlights, not even the whole list!:

  • 2009 – Bought a house. Got my first puppy, a beautiful black Labrador named Kiara (a dream I’d had since I was four years old!). I investigated how to move to the U.K. with a dog before purchasing one.
  • 2010 – Made extra mortgage payments of $1000 every month in line with aim to pay off house in 13 years by working two jobs. I was accepted into a Graduate Certificate program that was more in line with my passions and began my career change (McGill’s Postgraduate Certificate in Education program)
  • 2011 – Met my weight loss and muscle gain goals by hiring a personal trainer. Quit my corporate job to run a tutoring business full time.
  • 2012 – Sold my house and followed my dream to move to Europe (3 years earlier than my goal of “before I turn 30′”)
  • 2013 – Completed my Masters degree at the University of Oxford. Got a Youth Mobility Visa and a job in England.
  • 2014 – Started my PhD at the University of Barcelona. Read 7 books for pleasure, 1 in French
  • 2015 – Returned to a childhood hobby of playing the piano after 10 years to re-ignite my musical side. Went from zero knowledge of Spanish to fluent in 8 months (of intensive classes and hard work!).
  • 2016 – Focused on reviewing French by taking 2 hours per week of tutoring and watching more movies. Plan to take the C1 Advanced French exam in 2017.

Set Smart Goals


When did you last set goals? Specific, measurable, realistic, achievable and timely goals?

Be honest. It’s okay if it’s been awhile.

I’ve actually got the perfect solution for you. I thought you might all like my trusty Goal Setting Template, so I made it pretty and added it to my free printables pack! Eventually, I’ll have a whole library of free printables available for you and I’ll email the password to anyone who signs up. Since this is my second blog post, I’ve just started my library. Have a suggestion of a teaching or motivational freebie you’d like to see? Please comment below this post!

(Sign up at the bottom of this post to grab your freebies, and then follow my 3 step process below to set goals and even help your students set theirs!)

3 Steps To Set Goals That Work

  1. Get in the Mindset –  (page 1 of my Goal Setting Template).
    • Write down how you will feel when you accomplish your goals. Use positive adjectives like  “ecstatic”, “thrilled” or “motivated”.
    • Next, find an inspirational quote that you really believe. I add a new one every six months, and now have a beautiful list. Need helping finding one? Check out my posts on Motivational Monday posters, like this one. Want the poster delivered to your inbox in an easy to print format? Sign up at the end of this post and you’ll get my welcome package and access to a library of printables.
  2. Write Down Your SMART Goals  (pages 2 to 4 of my Goal Setting Template).  Write one short term, medium term and long term item for each goal category. Add a short description about how you will work towards the goal. Imagine you want to write a novel.  Your goal setting sheet may look like this:


3Check on your goals every 3 months. Every 6 months make quick one sentence progress updates. Repeat at one year.

That’s it! Try it out…you’ll be surprised at how effective this trusty little template can be! I’d love to hear about your success, so please leave your comments below if you’ve used my template!

I’ve also included a “Mini Goal Setting Sheet”, which I just used yesterday with a 12 year old ESL student. It’s much less daunting for kids and teenagers than a four page worksheet. It was incredible to get her thinking of what she wanted her future to look like. You can grab your printables below and try them out with your own students 🙂

Thanks so much for reading! Happy Goal Setting!


P.S.  In case you love photography like I do, the photo in the images for this post were taken in Banff, Alberta, Canada in 2010 in the beautiful rocky mountains.

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Join to grab your Ultimate Phrasal Verbs Game and Goal Setting Template freebie. Also, get access to a library of free teaching printables and motivational posters which I update monthly, and other exciting updates! Don't miss out!

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