How to Use SCAMPER to Improve Goal-Setting
Goal-Setting,  Creativity,  OKR

How to Use SCAMPER to Improve Goal-Setting

Ever felt like your goals were playing hide-and-seek, and you were stuck blindfolded?

Yeah, been there.

That’s why I’m excited to spill the beans on a game-changer – SCAMPER.

Now, this isn’t some magic wand for goal-setting; it’s more like that crafty friend who hands you the treasure map.

So, let’s talk goals – the elusive targets that sometimes feel like they’re speaking in riddles.

But don’t sweat it because SCAMPER isn’t here to bombard you with fancy strategies or business lingo.

It’s about keeping things simple and making goal-setting a tad less headache-inducing.

In my world, SCAMPER is the beacon in the goal-setting fog.

No need for elaborate goal-setting frameworks; instead, it’s a set of questions that turn your goals into a practical puzzle.

It’s the friend you call when your goals are doing a vanishing act.

We’ll be diving into Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify/Magnify, Purpose, Eliminate/Minimize, and Rearrange/Reverse – the seven wonders of goal-setting.

No, it’s not rocket science; it’s about tweaking your goal-setting game in a way that clicks.

So, if you’ve ever found yourself drowning in goal-setting jargon or lost in the sea of objectives, you’re in the right place.

We’re about to make goal-setting less of a guessing game and more like plotting a treasure hunt.

Time to SCAMPER your way to goal-setting mastery – let the adventure begin on how to use SCAMPER to improve goal-setting.

Table of Contents

Elevating Goal-Setting with SCAMPER: A 7-Step Guide

Alright, let’s get real about goal-setting.

It’s like trying to hit a moving target – tricky, right?

But fear not, because in my quest to make sense of goals, I stumbled upon a game-changer: SCAMPER.

No, it’s not a magical fix; it’s more like a trusty sidekick in the wild world of goal-setting.

Now, I’m no goal-setting guru, but when my goals started resembling a cryptic puzzle, SCAMPER was the compass I didn’t know I needed.

No need for overcomplicated strategies; it’s a set of questions that transforms goal-setting from a head-scratcher to a practical puzzle.

Substitute is the rebel in the goal-setting rebellion, asking, “What if I swapped this goal for something more in tune with reality?

Combine is the buddy suggesting, “Can I mix up my goals for a fresh cocktail of achievements?

Adapt is the cool cat proposing, “Let’s add a sprinkle of flexibility to the goal recipe.


It’s the magnifying glass for goal-setting.


That’s the maverick asking, “Could this goal shine brighter in a different light?”

Eliminate/Minimize is the minimalist saying, “Trim the fluff, focus on the core.”

And Rearrange/Reverse?

Picture reshuffling your goals like a playlist – suddenly, everything clicks.

It’s not about drowning in goal-setting jargon; it’s about turning the chaos into a roadmap.

In my world, SCAMPER is the goal-setting companion, turning “How do I even tackle these goals?” into “Why not approach it this way?”

It’s not about impressing with grand plans and complex strategies; it’s about goal-setting with a touch of simplicity.

So, if your goals are giving you a headache, let SCAMPER be your goal-setting sidekick.

No need for overthought plans, just a practical toolkit to make goal-setting less of a riddle and more like a roadmap.

Trust me; it’s goal-setting without the guesswork.

  1. Substitute: Challenge Traditional Goals

    • Step: Substitute traditional goal-setting with alternative objectives.
    • Insight: Break free from routine by questioning established goals and considering alternatives that may better align with current circumstances or evolving priorities.
  2. Combine: Fuse Diverse Objectives

    • Step: Combine diverse objectives to create holistic goals.
    • Insight: Integrate multiple aspects into a single, comprehensive goal to promote synergy and address various dimensions simultaneously.
  3. Adapt: Tailor Goals to Evolving Context

    • Step: Adapt goals to the changing landscape.
    • Insight: Recognize that goals need to evolve; regularly assess the context and adjust goals to ensure they remain relevant and achievable.
  4. Modify: Experiment with Goal Formats

    • Step: Modify the format of goal-setting sessions.
    • Insight: Experiment with different goal-setting techniques, such as mind mapping, vision boarding, or collaborative workshops, to stimulate creativity and foster engagement.
  5. Put to Another Use: Repurpose Achieved Goals

    • Step: Put achieved goals to another use in a different context.
    • Insight: Identify successful strategies from accomplished goals and repurpose them to tackle new challenges, maximizing the impact of proven approaches.
  6. Eliminate: Weed Out Redundant Objectives

    • Step: Eliminate redundant or non-essential objectives.
    • Insight: Simplify the goal-setting process by eliminating goals that no longer contribute significantly to the overall vision, reducing complexity, and focusing efforts.
  7. Reverse: Begin with the End in Mind

    • Step: Reverse the goal-setting process by envisioning the desired result.
    • Insight: Start by visualizing the ultimate goal, then work backward to outline the steps required, providing clarity and direction from the outset.

Bonus Point – Connect: Utilize Technology for Goal Management

  • Step: Connect goal-setting with technology for efficient management.
  • Insight: Leverage goal-setting apps, OKR Tools, project management tools, or collaborative platforms to enhance the tracking, monitoring, and achievement of goals through seamless integration of technology.

By integrating the SCAMPER technique into your goal-setting process, you can infuse creativity, adaptability, and strategic innovation, paving the way for more dynamic and impactful objectives.

What is SCAMPER?

SCAMPER is a mnemonic that stands for Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put into Perspective, Eliminate, and Rearrange. It is a thinking technique developed by Bob Eberle in the 1970s, aimed at enhancing creativity and innovation. SCAMPER encourages individuals to explore various strategies and perspectives to improve existing ideas or create new ones.

Understanding the concept and origins of SCAMPER

Imagine SCAMPER as a set of tools in a toolbox. Each tool represents a different approach to problem-solving and goal-setting. Just as a handyman uses different tools for different purposes, SCAMPER provides a range of techniques to help you tackle your goals effectively.

Bob Eberle, a renowned practitioner of creativity development, created SCAMPER by drawing inspiration from various fields of study, including psychology, business, and innovation. He believed that borrowing ideas and concepts from diverse domains can help us think more creatively and generate better solutions.

When you substitute, you replace an element or component of your idea or goal with something else. This can lead to fresh perspectives and unexpected breakthroughs. For example, if you’re trying to improve a product, you can ask yourself, “What can I substitute to make it more innovative or appealing?”

Combining involves merging different ideas, concepts, or elements to create something new and unique. By exploring the possibilities of combining, you can generate innovative solutions that may not have been apparent before. For instance, if you’re working on a marketing campaign, you can consider combining traditional advertising methods with social media strategies to reach a wider audience.

Adapting requires adjusting or modifying an existing idea or goal to suit a different context or situation. This strategy allows you to leverage existing resources and knowledge while adapting them to new circumstances. For example, if you’re developing a new training program, you can adapt successful techniques from other industries to make your program more effective.

Modifying involves making alterations or improvements to an idea or goal to enhance its functionality or effectiveness. By examining your idea or goal from different angles, you can identify areas for improvement and implement changes accordingly. For instance, if you’re designing a user interface for a software application, you can modify the layout and navigation to make it more user-friendly.

Putting it into perspective requires looking at your idea or goal from a different viewpoint or considering it in the context of a larger system. This strategy helps you gain a broader understanding and identify potential opportunities or challenges. For example, if you’re developing a sustainability initiative, you can put it into perspective by considering its impact on the environment, society, and the economy.

Eliminating involves removing unnecessary or redundant elements from your idea or goal. By simplifying and streamlining, you can focus on what truly matters and increase efficiency. For instance, if you’re organizing an event, you can eliminate non-essential activities or features to create a more streamlined and impactful experience.

Rearranging requires reorganizing or reordering the elements or components of your idea or goal. By changing the sequence or arrangement, you can uncover new possibilities and improve the overall structure. For example, if you’re writing a book, you can rearrange chapters or sections to create a more compelling narrative flow.

How SCAMPER can be applied to goal-setting

Applying SCAMPER to goal setting involves using the seven strategies as a framework for generating ideas, improving existing goals, and overcoming obstacles. By leveraging these techniques, you can explore new possibilities, break mental blocks, and achieve goals that are both exciting and meaningful.

When setting goals, you can substitute elements of your initial plan to make it more ambitious or aligned with your values. By considering alternative approaches or resources, you can expand your vision and increase the potential impact of your goals.

Combining strategies can help you create synergistic goals that leverage the strengths of different areas of your life or expertise. By integrating different aspects or domains, you can create a more holistic and fulfilling set of goals that align with your overall purpose.

Adapting goals allows you to adjust your aspirations to changing circumstances or new opportunities. By being flexible and open to adaptation, you can seize unexpected chances and navigate through uncertainties more effectively.

Modifying goals involves continuously refining and optimizing your objectives to ensure they remain relevant and challenging. By regularly assessing your progress and making necessary adjustments, you can stay motivated and maintain momentum toward your goals.

Putting your goals into perspective means considering their impact on various aspects of your life, such as relationships, health, and personal growth. By taking a holistic view, you can ensure that your goals contribute to a well-rounded and balanced life.

Eliminating unnecessary or unaligned goals allows you to focus your energy and resources on what truly matters. By decluttering your goal list, you can create more clarity and prioritize actions that have a higher likelihood of success.

Rearranging goals involves reordering or resequencing your objectives to create a more logical and effective progression. By considering the dependencies and interrelationships between goals, you can optimize your efforts and maximize efficiency.

The Benefits of Using SCAMPER for Goal-Setting

Now that we understand the fundamentals of SCAMPER, let’s explore the incredible benefits it offers for goal setting.

Enhancing creativity and innovation in goal-setting

According to research conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA), incorporating creative approaches into goal setting leads to higher levels of satisfaction and achievement. SCAMPER provides a structured method to infuse creativity into your goals, resulting in exciting and innovative targets that inspire you to take action.

Overcoming mental blocks and limitations in goal-setting

When we set goals, our minds often get trapped in familiar patterns and limited thinking. SCAMPER breaks these mental barriers by encouraging us to substitute, combine, adapt, modify, put into perspective, eliminate, and rearrange our goals. This freedom to explore new possibilities can help us overcome limitations and unlock our full potential.

Increasing motivation and engagement in goal-setting

A study conducted by Harvard Business Review revealed that individuals who set meaningful and challenging goals are more engaged and motivated to succeed. SCAMPER can bring a fresh perspective to your goal-setting process, making it exciting. By incorporating SCAMPER techniques, you can create goals that resonate with your values, leverage your strengths, and ignite your passion.

Step-by-Step Guide for SCAMPER in Goal-Setting: How to Use SCAMPER to Improve Goal-Setting

Now that you understand the benefits of SCAMPER, let’s explore a step-by-step guide to applying this technique in your goal-setting practice.

Step 1: Substituting goals with alternative approaches

Substitution involves replacing elements of your goals with alternative approaches. For example, if your goal is to exercise for 30 minutes every day, you might substitute it with other physical activities like swimming or dancing. This technique allows you to explore different paths to achieve the same objective and keep your goal-setting journey dynamic and exciting.

Step 2: Combining goals to create new possibilities

Combining involves merging multiple goals to create new possibilities. For instance, if you have separate goals for fitness and personal growth, you might combine them by taking up a martial arts class. By integrating goals, you can create a synergy that enhances your overall goal achievement and brings more fulfillment.

Step 3: Adapting goals to fit changing circumstances

Adaptation involves adjusting your goals to fit changing circumstances. Life is full of unexpected events and challenges, and it’s essential to be flexible. For example, if your goal is to travel the world but unforeseen circumstances limit your ability to do so, you can adapt by exploring local travel opportunities or virtual experiences. Adapting goals allows you to stay on track despite external changes.

Step 4: Modifying goals to improve effectiveness

Modification involves tweaking your goals to enhance their effectiveness. As you progress toward your goals, you may identify areas that require refinement. For instance, if you find that your original goal of reading one book per month is not challenging enough, you can modify it to two books per month. This technique ensures continuous improvement and keeps your goals aligned with your growth.

Step 5: Putting goals into perspective through elimination

Elimination involves removing unnecessary or less important goals from your list. As you gain clarity and insight, you may realize that some goals no longer align with your values or priorities. By eliminating such goals, you can focus your energy and resources on what truly matters, leading to greater overall success.

Step 6: Rearranging goals to optimize outcomes

Rearrangement involves reordering or reorganizing your goals to optimize outcomes. Sometimes, the order of your goals can impact your progress and motivation. Consider rearranging your goals in a way that provides a sense of momentum or maximizes synergistic effects between them. This technique ensures that your goals work together harmoniously, propelling you toward success.

Real-Life Examples of SCAMPER in Goal-Setting

Let’s delve into some real-life examples to understand how SCAMPER can be applied to diverse goal-setting scenarios.

Case study 1: Using substitution to achieve a fitness goal

Sarah aimed to improve her fitness but found traditional gym workouts monotonous. Applying substitution, she replaced her gym sessions with dance classes, adding an element of fun and creativity to her fitness routine. As a result, she achieved her fitness goal while discovering a newfound passion for dance.

Case study 2: Combining goals for career advancement

John had separate goals of expanding his professional network and upskilling himself. Applying a combination, he joined a professional association that offered networking events combined with educational workshops. This allowed him to achieve both goals simultaneously, resulting in accelerated career growth.

Case study 3: Adapting goals to overcome obstacles

Mary aspired to start her own business but faced financial constraints. Instead of giving up on her dream, she adapted her goal by starting a small online business from home and gradually scaling it up as her circumstances improved. By adapting her goal, Mary overcame the financial hurdles and eventually built a successful venture.

Case study 4: Modifying goals for personal growth

Jason had a goal of learning a new language, but he felt that his progress was slow. Applying modification, he increased the intensity of his language learning sessions by incorporating daily conversations with native speakers. By modifying his approach, Jason accelerated his language learning journey and achieved fluency in a shorter timeframe.

Case study 5: Eliminating goals to prioritize self-care

Emma had a long list of goals related to her career, relationships, and personal development. However, she found herself feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. Using elimination, Emma removed several goals that were not aligned with her values or were causing excessive stress. This allowed her to prioritize self-care and achieve a better work-life balance.

Case study 6: Rearranging goals for improved work-life balance

Alex noticed that his work goals were consuming most of his time and energy, leaving little room for personal and leisure activities. By rearranging his goals, he set boundaries and allocated specific time slots for both work and personal endeavors. This enabled him to achieve a balance that enhanced his overall well-being.


SCAMPER is a powerful technique that can revolutionize your approach to goal setting. By substituting, combining, adapting, modifying, putting into perspective, eliminating, and rearranging your goals, you can unlock your creativity, overcome limitations, and achieve remarkable results. So, grab your SCAMPER toolbox and embark on an exciting journey of goal setting that will lead you to greater success and fulfillment.


What is SCAMPER in goal-setting?

How to Use SCAMPER to Improve Goal-Setting

SCAMPER in goal-setting is a dynamic technique that involves Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify/Magnify, Purpose, Eliminate/Minimize, and Rearrange/Reverse. It’s a creative framework designed to transform traditional goal-setting, offering a practical puzzle of questions to enhance innovation and effectiveness.

How can SCAMPER simplify goal-setting?

Setting Clear Goals and Objectives

SCAMPER simplifies goal-setting by providing a set of practical questions, eliminating the need for complex frameworks. It acts as a compass, turning intricate goals into a clear roadmap. With strategies like substitution and elimination, SCAMPER streamlines the process, making goal-setting less overwhelming.

Can SCAMPER be applied to personal and professional goals?

A clear glass jar filled with various colored marbles

Absolutely! SCAMPER is versatile and applicable to both personal and professional goals. Whether it’s career advancement, fitness, or personal development, SCAMPER’s Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to Another Use, Eliminate, and Reverse strategies can be tailored to diverse objectives.

How does SCAMPER enhance creativity in goal-setting?

How to Use Dance to Enhance Creativity

SCAMPER boosts creativity by encouraging unconventional thinking. Techniques like combining diverse goals or adapting to changing circumstances stimulate innovative ideas. It’s a toolkit for breaking mental blocks, fostering creativity, and ensuring your goals are exciting and inspiring.

How does SCAMPER benefit personal growth goals?

A ladder made up of various objects and symbols representing personal growth and self-improvement

SCAMPER benefits personal growth goals by promoting constant improvement. Through modification and adaptation, you can refine your goals to match your evolving aspirations. It ensures that your objectives align with your personal development journey, fostering a continuous path of growth.

How does SCAMPER contribute to work-life balance goals?

A dad balancing a baby bottle on one hand and a laptop on the other

SCAMPER aids work-life balance by allowing the rearrangement of goals. Techniques like rearranging or combining goals help individuals set boundaries and allocate time effectively. It ensures that professional goals harmonize with personal endeavors, contributing to a balanced and fulfilling life.

Can SCAMPER be applied to long-term and short-term goals alike?

A winding mountain trail with hikers surrounded by lush greenery and breathtaking views

Yes, SCAMPER is adaptable to both long-term and short-term goals. Whether you’re planning for the distant future or focusing on immediate objectives, SCAMPER’s strategies can be tailored to suit various timelines. It’s a versatile tool for individuals with goals of different scopes and durations.

How does SCAMPER differ from traditional goal-setting approaches?

A retail store manager surrounded by various tools and resources

SCAMPER differs by offering a creative and dynamic approach to goal-setting. Unlike traditional methods, SCAMPER focuses on asking specific questions related to substitution, combination, adaptation, and more. It transforms goal-setting from a routine task to an exciting puzzle, making the process more engaging and effective.

Was this article helpful?

Solopreneur | | I help (Purposeless) Overachievers, Mid-Career Professionals & Entrepreneurs find meaning at work | Wellness Activator | Healthy Living Enthusiast | SEO Expert | Dad x 3 | 4x Founder (Exit in 2023) | Ex -Dupont, Mercedes-Benz

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *