We’ve all done it. We set a personal goal that we are motivated to achieve. We plan it out. We’re excited about the change we want to make in our lives. Yet, we flounder and get off track, despite putting forth our best effort. Your problem may not be lack of self-motivation or discipline. Setting yourself up for success or failure begins with how good you are at setting achievable, realistic goals from the start.

Take this short quiz if you would like to rate your goal setting abilities.

The Goal Setting Quiz


Chose the response that best describes you for each statement. Please be as honest about yourself as possible when answering. Do not be concerned if some responses seem to score in the “wrong” direction. When you are done, go to the Scoring section and calculate your total score.

#1. When I set a personal goal, I usually:

a)  Keep it a secret so I’m not embarrassed if I fail.

b)  Tell only my closet family or friends.

c)   Make a public declaration to several  friends and family members and/or post my comittment to my goal on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

#2. When I make plans to achieve a personal goal, I typically:

a)  Imagine what my life will be like in six to twelve months, after I achieve my goal.

b)  Keep the goal in mind as I go about my daily life.

c)  Create a written, step-by-step plan that includes actions I will need to take with their deadlines.

#3. I believe that monitoring my progress toward my personal goal is:

a)   Not a top priority. Besides, I don’t have the time to do it on a regular basis.

b)   Fairly important. Something I do once in a while. I tend to avoid it if I’m not making  progress.

c)   Very important. I track my progress nearly every day using a smart phone app,           written diary, or PC software.

#4. When I think about the obstacles that might get in the way of my goal, I tend to:

a)  Put those negative thoughts out of my head so I won’t get discouraged.

b)  Talk to supportive people about my worries.

c)  Write down a specific plan of action for dealing with each obstacle that might come up.

#5. The personal goal that I am working toward:

a)  Will probably not change my life or how I feel about myself very much.

b)  Will have a positive impact on my live and my self-perception.

c)  Reflects my core beliefs and values and will improve my life significantly.


Give yourself 5 points for every a) response. Give yourself 10 points for every b) response. Give yourself 15 points for every c) response. Calculate your total score.

Total Score =    25 – 35

You are enthusiastic about your goals but you probably struggle with maintaining consistent progress. Your chances of success will likely increase if you seek out more support from others. Make a public comitment and ask your friends to go easy on you  when you struggle. Also, break your goal down into smaller steps with specific time frames. Give yourself little rewards each time you achieve your action steps. It will boost your self-confidence and increase your motivation.

Total Score =    40 – 60  

You are quite good at goal setting. You recognize the importance of monitoring your progress and you seek out support from others. So why do you fail to achieve your goals sometimes? Tracking your progress more regularly and creating a specific plan to cope effectively with obstacles before they come up may increase your chances of success.

Total Score =    65 – 75

Congratulations!  You have very strong skills when it comes to setting realistic goals. However, try taking a closer look at your current goal. Does it reflect your most important values? Will achieving it make your life more satisfying? If not, then you might consider developing a more meaningful goal. Studies show that people have greater success when they work toward goals that represent their most deeply held values. And, the more a goal inspires you, the more likely you are to enjoy your journey working toward it!

Disclaimer- This quiz was developed by Dr. Christy Thrash for educational purposes only. The information contained in this blog and the results of the quiz do not represent medical or mental health advice, treatment or diagnosis.