Each month, I block off an hour to sit down, reflect, and set some goals for the upcoming month. This habit helps me to recognize all that I’ve accomplished in the last month, think through where I want to go, and figure out HOW I can actually get there & what I will need to do to stay on track. I’ve been doing this for about 5 years now, and it’s a habit that I’ll never let go of – THAT’S how much I believe in it. It helps me to keep my momentum, prioritize what I need to get done, and simply remember to pay attention to, enjoy, and even celebrate all of the areas of my life. Here’s how my monthly goal-setting process works:
GET A PIECE OF PAPER.
Or power up an excel sheet if you prefer to go digital! I personally like physically writing my goals down on paper, but everyone is different! Just make sure that you use something that you’ll be able to remember to check up on frequently throughout the month!
NOTE: If you’re using an excel sheet – use reminders or calendars on your computer to remind you to check your goal sheet each week to mark off the ones that you’ve accomplished & figure out which ones you’ll tackle next!
CHOOSE 6-8 FOCUS AREAS
So the next step is the most important one – you’re going to choose anywhere between 6-8 (or more, or less) focus areas for your goals, depending on your own life! For me, I personally choose the following areas:
These areas have changed drastically over the years – and that’s totally okay. Your areas should be personal to you, they should match some of the bigger visions that you have for yourself and your life – while also touching on some of those areas that you need to keep track of (finances, I’m looking at you). Not sure which areas to pick?
Check out the list below for some additional ideas!
Here are some examples of areas you could choose:
Personal Projects – blogs, books, hobbies, etc.
CHOOSE 3-4 GOALS PER AREA
Okay, now it’s time to actually set your goals! You’re going to choose 3-4 BITE-SIZED, attainable, goals for each of the 6-8 areas that you selected in the step above. Remember – these are NOT supposed to be BIG, LOFTY, goals – rather – the more specific, the better.
FOR EXAMPLE: Instead of writing “start practicing Spanish,” write, “Download the Duolingo app” as one goal and, “Practice Spanish for 5 minutes everyday” as a second goal – the more specific you are, the more likely you are to actually get it done!
In addition, make sure it’s realistic! What can sometimes happen with goal-planning (it’s happened to me at least) is that you get WAY too ambitious and then end up setting these big ass goals that you can’t actually get done – and then you have to look at them on your goal list ALL MONTH LONG – talk about a major motivation drain. If you want to gain momentum and actually make this habit STICK – start SMALL. Sit down and truly think through what you can handle this month and what you’d need to do to achieve it. Think about what’s important to you, which challenges and competing demands may get in the way, how much you can handle in each area of life, and which area is needing the most TLC.
Here are a few examples of some specific monthly goals:
– Do abs 3x per week (FITNESS GOAL)
– Have 120 oz. of water each day (HEALTH GOAL)
– Post to my blog 3x/week on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday (BLOG GOAL)
– Organize the image files on my computer (MENTAL HEALTH GOAL)
– Practice gratitude for 5 minutes per day (EMOTIONAL HEALTH GOAL)
NOTE: If you’re having trouble making your new goals/habits stick – make them even MORE specific. So instead of, “practice gratitude for 5 minutes per day” – make it “practice gratitude for 5 minutes per day at 6:00 a.m. after I do my Spanish practice.” This makes your goal more specific AND it bundles it together with a pre-existing goal, making it more likely that you’ll follow through on it!
USE WEEKLY GOALS TO ACCOMPLISH THE MONTHLY GOALS
To actually make sure that I stay on track towards accomplishing my monthly goals – I use weekly goals! Check out this blog post: WEEKLY GOAL SETTING – to set some weekly goals each week to help you CRUSH those September goals!
HAPPY SEPTEMBER EVERYONE!