blog overview
Frans Riemersma, 28 Jul '16

3 Goal Setting Templates and Where to Download

Goal setting templates increase the probability of achieving goals by 80%. Take a five minute crash course and use these 3 goal setting templates to breed success. What are you waiting for?

Well, perhaps you are blocked by a blank piece of paper staring at you.

Stop staring back. Choose one of three goal setting templates and start filling it out in less than a minute per goal. That means you should have your plan ready in under ten minutes.

You can save a ton of time you can spend on other things.

Based on daily practices and research, we have developed three different goal setting templates. To make your life easier. A goal planner helps you create commitment and accountability.

Writing down goals will become a real breeze.

Use (one of) the canvases in your daily/weekly meetings and breed success quicker than you ever could imagine.

SMART goals have just become smarter

You are familiar with SMART goals, right? They often feel a bit artificial to fill out. At best you end up with some scribbles on your blank paper. But still no goal to share and commit too.

Many companies have made SMART goal planners/worksheets available. Still, we think SMART acronym goal planners leave too much room for interpretation.

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To address these imperfections, we have developed the Defintion of Success. For this syntax, we have taken the User Story you already know as a starting point, and added all the good parts of other SMART goal planners to it.

Then we molded it into a canvas. Just like the frankly brilliant Value Proposition Canvas and Business Model Canvas. Those canvases have proven to be very effective over the years.

We have developed and tested three templates we believe are logical and intuitive. Whichever one fits your needs best, you’ll hit yourself for not having included it in your daily routine earlier. Start being kind to yourself and read on.

Structure the goals living inside your head 

Drafting your first goals and setting up your initial strategy is easier using a goal setting template. It turns out to be the perfect way to familiarize yourself with goal-setting.

Once you’ve got your goals planned, you will want to update them regularly. Simply go online to update and monitor your goals properly, like a pro.


“Boardview allows you to collect all the chaos living in your head and structure it."


Structuring your goals into a bigger strategy fuels a thought process that is refreshing. It is a ‘wow’ moment for everybody.

Most of our clients confess they feel much more confident in meetings discussing activities and goals. Just by being certain their activities add value. Managers say their team is much more focused and aligned in executing goals and strategies. 

Writing down goals works – the hard facts 

Gail Matthews published his his scientific report on the effectiveness of writing down goals. He explored which specific habits influenced successful goal-setting most.

He combined those habits into 5 goal-setting scenarios. 5 groups of people were asked to execute a different set of actions. Here are the results. 


Goal Achievement Stats Boardview Gail Matthews

Goal-setting Conclusion 1:

People with written goals accomplish ‘quite a lot more’ goals.

  • Unwritten goals - 4.28
  • Written goals - 6.44

Goal-setting Conclusion 2:

Group 5 performed best and Group 1 performed worst. Sending progress reports like group 5 did creates accountability and correlates with higher goal achievement.

Goal-setting Conclusion 3:

Sending goals and action commitments to a friend creates public commitment and also correlates with higher goal achievement.

Numbers to write home about, or at least write a blog about, I’d say.

3 goal setting templates – the wall is yours

We’re intrigued by these results. Here’s how our three goal setting templates relate to each other, what their pros and cons are, and how each of them facilitates accountability and public commitment, to help you achieve success.

The good thing is, whichever template you choose, you are already ahead of competition. Not too many people write down goals. By using a canvas you’ll have written goals and will be 42% more likely to achieve your goals. Hooray!

Also, because templates are ideal to put on walls and work on together with your team, there is a sense of public commitment using any of the templates. This means you are now 26% more likely to achieve goals than those who don’t share their pursued tasks with colleagues. Hooray, again!

Let’s see which of the templates facilitate accountability, and which one fits your needs best.

Goal setting template #1
– Basic version

This goal setting template is a straightforward and easy to use model. Good for individual use. If you want to try out the Goal Setting Template exercise, use this one. Look to your left and grab a Post-it note. Look right and grab a pencil. Good to go!

Pros – Good exercise to practise shaping your SMART Goal setting skills. It’s easy to create a logical structure within your goals. It includes the Defintion of Success (DoS).

Cons – Specifying ownership is not possible. That makes it hard to prioritize or track progress e.g. by sending colleagues regular progress updates. Therefore, there is no real accountability ensured. 

Boardview DoS Goal Canvas

Click there to download this goal setting template - right click and 'save as'.

Goal setting template #2
– Intermediate version

Easy start for teams. But this canvas has some extra’s.

If you have some goal setting experience, try this one. Feeling confident after using Goal Canvas #1? This is a good next step.

The difference compared to Goal Canvas #1 is that there are additional areas like Impact, Effort and Owner.

Impact and Effort allow you to create a feeling for value creation. The impact on the overall strategy combined with the required effort from the team yields a rough indication on ROI.

By specifying ownership to an individual you increase the level of commitment.

Pros - Easy to build a simple team strategy in the shape of a goal tree. You might want team members to combine their goals into a team strategy, or start from scratch. Impact & Effort allow you to see where most value is created.

Cons - This model does also not allow you to accurately track progress, so sending colleagues regular updates can get messy quickly. Therefore, there is no real accountability ensured. Also, specifying ownership is not possible. That makes it hard to prioritize or track progress e.g. by sending colleagues regular updates. Therefore, there is no real accountability ensured.

Goal Setting Template Goals Planner

Click here to download this goal setting template - right click and 'save as'.

Goal setting template #3
- Advanced version

This template is the most complete one. It comprises everything of Goal Canvas #2 and more: status tracking, tracking success rate & tasks. Easy start for departments.

Pros - Good for when you want to take goal setting to the next level. It includes the Defintion of Success, Goal Owner and Goal ROI (impact vs effort). Additionally you can indicate goal status (ideation - archived), and it gives you the ability to track goal and task progress in bars.

Cons - Prioritizing goals as well as tracking progress accurately may prove tedious to do manually many times over.

Goal Setting template Goals planner 2

Click here to download this goal setting template - right click and 'save as'.

Choose your goal setting template, grow your success

Whichever model fits your needs and ambition best, using a template makes you write down goals and gets you half way down the road to success already.

As you start to feel adventurous and opt for using a more advanced canvases, you stimulate accountability and public commitment in your team and success will appear within reach.

As you start working more intensively with your goal canvas, word starts to spread around the office. Many clients told us that they drew attention from neighbouring teams as well as C-level, since their team members wandered out to collect data to support their goals, as well as seeking for alignment with other teams.

When people pursue, say, 6-8 goals per person, you’ll soon be working on quite a complex tree. More teams will want to update their results more frequently, and when you only have paper to write on, alignment is in danger.

That is the perfect time to take your offline goal canvas ‘experiment’ online to keep things updated, to align your team and to, finally, achieve your goals.

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