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Goal Setting

Once you've used the personal SWOT analysis tool to identify opportunities and areas for improvement, you're ready to set some career goals. We liked to use the GROW goal setting model to set goals in the Project Thrive mentoring programme mentoring.

The GROW goal-setting model


Here is a video that explains the GROW model, which is a model that helps us uncover what you need guidance on. The video explains it from a coach’s point of view. Pay attention to the definitions of each part of GROW.

GROW is a coaching tool that’ll help you':'

  • Think through the goals you want to achieve
  • Consider your current reality, the place from which you'll be starting your journey to achieving your goal
  • Explore the different options and avenues you could take to achieve your goal
  • Decide on the way forward, what actions you'll take towards you're goal

A mentor can help you establish workable goals that make sense in your context using the GROW model. You can also start the work yourself to figure out what you need to do, and where you need external input and guidance.


As yourself the following questions or work through them with a mentor:

  1. What is your goal?
  2. Why do you want to achieve this goal?
  3. What would be the benefits once you’ve accomplished this goal?
  4. How will you know you’ve achieved your goal?
  5. What would happen if you don’t achieve your goal?

Identifying what you're hoping to achieve upfront will help you chart a way forward. Once you've determined what success will look like once you've achieved your goal, it'll also keep you motivated to keep up with the day-to-day tasks that will get you there.

Once you've identified your goal, make sure that it is a SMART goal ➡️ specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.


Once you've established what you want to achieve, it's time to consider what your starting point is. Think about both the good and the bad - any work that you've already done that'll help you achieve your goal, as well as anything that might slow or obstruct your progress such as time or resource constraints and perhaps even self-limiting beliefs.

To help you get an accurate picture of what your starting point is, consider the following questions:

  1. What steps have you already taken to achieve your goal?
  2. What do you need to achieve your goal?
  3. What is the biggest obstacle you are currently facing?
  4. What is your inner critic saying to you?
  5. What fears are present?


Once you've established what your current reality looks like, you're all set to consider the various avenues you can take to achieve your goal. Make sure to be as practical as possible at this point - it won't serve you to consider options that aren't reasonably within your reach.

Consider the following questions to help you figure out which avenue to take; which options make the most sense given your current reality:

  1. What possible actions could you take towards your goal?
  2. What are the benefits and costs of each option?
  3. If money was not an obstacle, what would you do?
  4. What action step do you feel ready to act on?
  5. What strengths can you use to move forward?

Way forward

Now that you've evaluated all your options, it's time to decide on one and commit to it.

This last section of the GROW model requires you to decide on the steps you'll take towards your goal; to create a plan of action. At this point, you'll also need to consider any obstacles that might get in your way and figure out how to compensate for them. You want to make sure that all your efforts pay off.

  1. What is the first step you need to do?
  2. Whatever your first step is, can you think of anything that might stop you from doing it?
  3. How do you want to be held accountable for this goal?
  4. What else do you need to consider before starting?
  5. How will you celebrate when you’ve achieved your goal?