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Developing a SPLASH Goal Plan

Dog jumping in water

In my last post, I outlined the acronym SMART as it relates to setting goals. Each goal we set should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. A goal that contains these elements has a greater probability of being reached.

Perhaps your new to the concept of setting goals and don’t know where to start. There are so many areas of our life in which to set goals it can become a little overwhelming. So today I would like to talk you through a program we introduced at our school several years ago that helped our faculty and staff narrow their goal setting focus to specific areas of life. It’s called a SPLASH Plan.

Yes, SPLASH is another acronym. (Teachers love those you know.) Each letter relates to a distinct area of life where you could set a goal. A SPLASH goal plan covers the following areas:

Spiritual. This area relates to our inner being (one’s spirit) and it’s connection to the supernatural power of your choice. I have placed my faith and trust in the God of the Bible, so my goals in this area relate to my relationship with Him. Goals I could focus on would include items like reading the Bible, spending time in prayer and mediation or attending church regularly. I place this one first because I believe the formation of our spirit and it’s depth of connection to God is the starting point to victory in all other areas of life.

Professional. For a professional goal, I would mostly be referring to anything related to one’s career. However, it does not have to be limited to your work life. This category could also include skills, hobbies, or passions that you want to develop.

Leadership. You may not feel you are a leader and can therefore skip this category. Truth is, we are all leaders in some form. Leadership is all about influence. In fact, research has shown that even the most introverted among us influence around 10,000 people in our lifetime. If that is the case, it’s imperative we think about ways we can improve in this area as we lead people in our departments at work, in our families and in the many friend relationships we pursue.

Attitude. It seems like it’s human nature to focus on the negative aspects of life. This tendency can have a long term, detrimental impact on our attitude. We need to routinely examine our attitude so we don’t end up slogging through life with such a bleak outlook. I think this is the hardest SPLASH item to make a goal for, mostly because we have to look in the mirror and be honest with ourselves. We resist doing that all too often.

Social. This category is associated with our relationships. What new, meaningful connections do we want to form this year? How can we keep our positive relationships successful and moving forward? Are there relationships that need to be mended? All would be great questions to ask when developing goals in this category.

Health. In my opinion, this is the second most important goal setting category so I always try to have a health related goal I am working on. We have been given body in this life to take care of. If we neglect our health, our attitude about ourselves will most definitely suffer. We also will not have the energy needed to be social, influence others, or push ourselves to advance in our career.

My suggestion would be to pick one goal in each of these categories to work on this year. Working on 3-6 goals at a time is doable. Anything beyond that becomes a little overwhelming. Another approach could be focusing on several you feel could have the most impact based on your current life situation. At some point, however, you will want to touch on all the categories as each serves a vital role in our life development. And remember, make each goal SMART.

Not all goals fit nicely into one of these categories. But hopefully this SPLASH plan has given you a starting point as you think about areas of your life in which to set goals.

Click on the link below to get a sample plan and blank worksheet you can use for your goals.

A SMART SPLASH Goal Plan Example

Which one of these categories do you think would be the toughest or easiest to work on?

Next Post: My Goals for 2013

Prior Post: How to Set Goals: Make them SMART

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  1. John S @ Frugal Rules says

    I had never heard of the SPLASH method. I love how the spiritual and attitude aspect are included in it. However, like you said, attitude is the toughie. I think so much, if not all of it, rests on that. You can try as you might…but if the attitude is not where it should be then you’re in trouble.

    • Yeh…I’m not sure the acronym exists outside of our organization (uh – until now). We made it up to use in leadership training sessions with our team. It has proved valuable for our team and in my personal life so I thought I would pass it along.

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