Use group games & activities to explore goal-setting


The process of setting goals, and working towards them, is very clearly and unquestionably beneficial to your program.

Research has repeatedly shown that groups achieve more when they set a goal because goals motivate people as much as guide and direct their energy towards a common objective.

Setting goals is more than just facing everyone in the same direction, though. It’s about giving people a reason to participate especially if their (or your program) goal sits outside of their Comfort zone. To this end, it is particularly powerful to involve your group in the goal-setting process (if possible) because this choice will give them more control of, and allow them to feel more responsible for, the final result.

Goals can be explicit or implicit, casual or very formal. They are the lens through which every exercise and interaction should be viewed as you design and deliver your program.

Short programs – such as conferences and business meetings – tend to adopt very simple, often implicit goals, whereas longer programs – such as a classroom, the development of a healthy organisational culture and weekly youth group meetings – always benefit from investing more time and effort to the process.


SMART Goal-Setting

A poor process for setting an effective goal, or worse, the absence of a goal, are two of the main reasons programs fail. In my goal-setting endeavours, I have found it useful to follow the SMART goal guidelines to set effective goals. SMART goals are:

  • Specific – clear and concise, one goal at a time
  • Measurable – in time and quantity
  • Achievable – realistic, but also a stretch
  • Relevant – has direct significance and connection
  • Trackable – allows monitoring of progress

The technology of SMART goals is leveraged in the book Serious Fun, by Mark Collard, to expand on the R factor (relevance ) to help you articulate the difference your program is going to make to your group.


Group Activities Which Explore Goal-Setting

The images below provide links to a sample and wide-variety of group activities which involve or explore setting goals, drawn from playmeo’s comprehensive activity database.

Enjoy browsing to your heart’s content.

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