Have you set your 2024 goals? If so, you are ahead of many. In fact, you are in the top 14% of business professionals! Are they written down? Even better! Do you have specific strategies and milestones for achieving them? You are on your way to success!

But if you are like most, you are struggling to create clear annual goals with specific objectives and strategies. You may be procrastinating this process due to a lack of clarity, or you just don’t know where to start. Unfortunately, this often leads to another year where you are reacting to the latest “fire” or doing whatever is in front of you instead of prioritizing and making progress toward goals and priorities that will allow you to reach your vision and dreams. Why not take a different approach to annual goalsetting this year?

5 Annual Goalsetting Questions

Creating intentional, well-thought-out annual goals does not have to be difficult. You just need some focused time to answer the following questions (note these questions work for an individual, team, or business):

1. What do you want to achieve? Be thoughtful, specific, and clear.

2. Why does this goal matter to you? Why do you want to achieve it? How does it fit into your greater vision?

Honestly answering Question #2 may cause you to determine a goal is not important, does not support your greater mission or vision, or is not a priority right now. It is ok to put that goal aside to review in a future year, or remove it for good!

3. When do you want to achieve your goal?

Choose a target end date for your goal. Or, decide which quarter(s) of the coming year you will focus on the goal. Knowing your target date will help break the goal into intermediate milestones in Question #5 below.

4. Who will be involved? Do you have full control over the outcome of the goal? Do you need someone to provide support and accountability?

Use your answers from Questions 1-4 to write your goal in 1-2 sentences.  Goals that are written are three times more likely to be achieved. Once you have a clearly written goal, it is time for Question #5.

5. How will you achieve your goal? What strategies or steps will you use? What are key milestones, including dates? List these strategies and target dates to ensure you are on track throughout the year.

5W1H Annual Goalsetting

These 5 questions form the basis of 5W1H Annual Goalsetting™:  What, Why, When, Who, and How. (Wondering about the fifth “W”? The fifth “W” is to help you remember to “Write” it down!)

You may be familiar with SMART Goals: those that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. The 5W1H Goalsetting questions support the thought process needed to develop SMART Goals.

Use the button below to download a 5W1H Annual Goalsetting Template which includes space for answering each question and a table for recording your strategies and milestones. Choose one goal you want to achieve in 2024 to practice the process. Once you have that completed, choose another. Before you know it, you’ll be a pro!

Annual 5W1H Goalsetting Template


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Annual Goal Review and Tracking

When defining goals, it is important to distinguish between goals that are project-based and goals that are habits to create or change. How you define and track these two types of goals is very different. It is important to have a tool and process in place to regularly review and update your project-based goals as well as habit tracking tools for your habit-based goals. I will cover the review and tracking process, and potential tools, in a future blog. Stay tuned!


If you are still struggling with setting annual goals for yourself, your team, or your business, please reach out. I am here to help you clarify and reach your work and life goals.

Contact Lori at Life Made Simple or schedule your free 30-minute consultation.