GOAL setting


Welcome to our interactive goal-setting page. Here, you can use different tools and resources to set personal goals that can help you take progressive steps to achieve your ambitions. 

How to use this page...

As a rough estimate, this page could take around 45 minutes to complete, but take it at your own pace. It's OK to take less or more time than that. We'd strongly recommend having another way of recording your input on this page as what you enter can not be saved, perhaps you could use...

  • The notes section on your phone

  • Go old school with a pen and paper

  • A separate word document

Before we get started, take time to think about personal ambitions (or bigger goals) that are important to you right now. These might be longer-term goals, some big changes you want to make in the future, or a dream job you'd like to be doing.

When using this page, we'd encourage you to focus on just one ambition and apply some of the goal-setting techniques to take steps towards achieving it.

Use this space to write down some of your personal ambitions...


Recent research in the field of sport psychology tells that it might be helpful to understand different types of goals when looking to improve performance or sustain our motivation (Swann et al., 2020). 

Based on this research, there are two different types of goals we need to be more aware of when thinking about goal-setting, these are Learning Goals and Performance Goals. To achieve your ambition both of these types of goals will be helpful, you can find out why in the space below.


When we use learning goals our focus is on learning new strategies, methods, or processes that can help us master a task. 

Learning goal-focused questions might be, "how can I complete this task more efficiently?" or, "What strategies can I use to help me achieve my ambitions?"

Learning goals can be helpful as they can promote sustainable behavioural changes through gaining and applying of new knowledge. 

However, they might be less helpful for more highly skilled or motivated individuals.


When adopting performance goals we direct our attention to the outcome of a task or how well we completed it - our performance.

Performance goal-focused questions sound like, "Did I achieve my desired outcome for this task?" or, "What does the outcome of this take tell me about my performance?"


Performance goals can be helpful to know if we're staying on track with our ambitions or longer-term goals. When we meet our performance goals it can a great confidence booster.

 However, if we just use performance goals, we can also become demotivated if we do not succeed. In addition, without asking why we did not meet our performance goal, it can be difficult to know how to meet your goal next time

What do these different goals look like in everyday life?


Use this space to take some time to think about how learning and performance goals could be helpful in achieving your ambition. There's some space here to write down some of your own learning and performance goals, but don't forget to make your own copy as your entries can not be saved on the website.


Recent research in the field of sport psychology tells that it might be helpful to understand different types of goals when looking to improve performance or sustain our motivation (Swann et al., 2020). 



It's helpful to know exactly what it is you're trying to achieve. Being specific about your goal can help you stay focused. A specific performance goal may be to walk 10,000 steps per day, on the other hand, a specific learning goal could be to find three new ways of walking more during your day.



It's also important for your goal to be measurable as this helps us know if our goal has been met - this is especially relevant for performance goals. Research suggests 'do you best' goals are less helpful than goals that can be measured and then evaluated to assess the outcome.



An attainable goal is an achievable goal, and we all know that we feel better in ourselves when we're achieving and feeling competent. If our goals are not attainable, we can lose our sense of self-belief when we eventually fail to reach it. If you're not sure what is attainable for you, start small, build your skills and confidence, before setting more challenging goals.

See what Olympic and Word Championship goal medalist, Christina Ohuruogu, said about the vale of goal setting

Heavyweight world champion and Olympic goal medalist, Anthony Joshua, has set a number of challenging goals to be the best

Three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray talks about the importance of time-bound goals...



Keeping your goals relevant will help keep you on track to achieving your ambitions. This is especially important to consider for learning goals, as selecting relevant learning goals will help us develop the required skills or strategies to experience success.



Making your goals time-bound can help you work towards a deadline and keep you on track. Without an end date in mind, your goals can feel unstructured.  Yet with a timeline, you can reflect on where you'd like to be at different time points and adjust your goals if needed.

Take some time to think about how you could set SMART goals to achieve your ambition. In the section below, there's space to think about this in more detail and make your goals a little 'SMARTer'. Again, just a reminder, be sure to make your own copy as your work won't be saved on our website. You might find it helpful to use our goal-setting tool, just click here.

In the space below, you can practice setting SMART goals, it might be helpful to start with one goal and break it down to think about how SMART it is. To do this you can use the sliders which range from 1 (not at all specific) to 10 (very specific). In the texts boxes, you can plan for any changes you'd like to make. 


For example, my goal might be: 'update my CV by the end of the week'. This sounds like a good time-bound goal; however, it's not very measurable as I haven't defined what 'update' looks like. To change this I might say, 'by the end of the week I will have updated the skills, recent job experience, and references sections of my CV'.



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We hope young found this interactive page helpful for setting your personal goals. You can keep using this page to reflect on your goals and we also recommended keeping a personal copy as the work on here can not be saved. 

Just as a reminder, we also have a goal-setting tool included in our toolkit, which is FREE to download, just click here.

Accessible Toolkit Image.png

Finally, we'd love to know what you thought of this page, how helpful did you find it? What else could we have included to make it more informative? Were there any technical glitches? Or any other comments! Just type you feedback in the box below and press send :)

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School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences

University of Birmingham

Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT


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