Do you have a LONG list of things you'd love to accomplish this year? Do you feel overwhelmed by your to-do lists and just don't know where you should put your focus? You are not alone! My worksheets to set your goals for the year, quarter, month, and week can help.
When talking with friends and family about exciting things they would love to accomplish, I have noticed a common theme. NO ACTION.
I promise I'm not pointing fingers, because this is so often the case for me too! Why are we so hesitant to take action toward the potential for something great?
My theory is that these big, exciting ideas are just too daunting when imagining the final product. Breaking things down into manageable chunks can keep us from feeling paralyzed.
What I'm proposing is to continue to dream big, but then, finding realistic ways to accomplish these dreams/goals. Take action!
How to set goals for the year, month, quarter and week:
Several weeks ago, I went through key areas of my life, making 1-3 goals I would like to accomplish by year end in each area. I won't lie when I tell you it was terrifying to put some of these to paper!
What if I fail? How will I find the time? To be honest, I don't know if I will have success. But one thing is for certain, if I don't try, failure is a guarantee! So, I encourage you to think about what you want out of your life this year and start somewhere.
Frankly, simply starting is what I believe to be the key to unlocking our dreams!
To be candid, I'm a goal setter by nature. I've been a speech pathologist in a hospital setting for almost 20 years. I've written goals for patients my entire career. Every goal I write must be measurable. By outlining measurable goals from the very beginning, I know exactly what tasks need to be accomplished to help my patients have success and improve.
By applying these same principles into my personal life, I improve my focus and accomplish so much more.
Take a look at my strategies and start applying my goal setting techniques to your life!
Set Goals in the following areas of life:
These areas will look different for everyone. For example, for me, I have two career focuses at this stage in my life. As you know, I am the author of Love Our Real Life and as I mentioned earlier, a speech pathologist in a hospital setting. So for my career goals, I developed specific goals related to blogging as well as speech pathology.
These goals are quite different. As I mentioned, I've been a speech pathologist for almost two decades, but I have been blogging for less than a year. As a speech pathologist, I am established in my profession. Of course, I am always striving to improve and complete relevant continuing education, but I feel confident in my skill sets at this point.
Blogging is a completely different story! I am learning new things every day. It often feels like I am floundering to do 100 things and never fully learning or completing anything well. The past several months I have worked hard on narrowing down my focus, while letting the rest go for now.
As with any big goal, it will take time. My hope is that you don't let yourself get overwhelmed with all the things! I promise, I am in this with you!
Use this system to get a better grasp on what you are hoping to accomplish, then go for it!
A quick note regarding 'relationships': think of this area as goals for marriage, friendships, coworkers, neighbors, etc. As with all of the goals, make these goals specific and meaningful to you and your circumstances.
Setting goals for the year:
Begin by deciding what you would like to achieve by year end in each of the areas I mentioned above. The key is to be realistic, but at the same time, dream big! Also, don't forget your goals should be measurable in some way. It's not enough to just say "I want to save money for a new car".
By being more specific, you can keep your focus and find ways to actually meet the goal you need to achieve. So, a better goal might be "I will save $7,500 to go towards a car by the end of the year". As you will see, this can then be broken down further into real actionable steps to help you reach that target.
In the above example about saving money for a car, now that the amount is clear, the steps to achieve it will be more apparent. Pick up one extra shift a month, bring lunch to work instead of buying it, dine out only two times a month, etc. Every little action will contribute to success in the end.
Keep in mind, no matter your yearly goal, it will not happen over night. Dreams/goals are scary. When the goal is specific, the steps on how to reach it will come! Dreams can become reality.
(When you click on any of the goal worksheets, you will have the opportunity to sign up for my newsletter. You will then receive a confirmation email and gain access to all of these worksheets plus all of the other printables in my free resource libarary!) -- See how I'm working on my goals already;-)
Try to keep your yearly goals between 1 - 3 for each area. The intent of this task is to give you focus. What do you really want to see happen by year end? If you know what you really want to accomplish, it's easier to outline a realistic plan to help you achieve it.
You will be breaking these goals down even further as you will see shortly.
If you are feeling overwhelmed even deciding what goals you might have, here are some examples for each of the areas I outlined above:
1) I will grow my blog email list to 1200 subscribers by the end of 2018. (Yep. That is one of my goals! Now that I've made it public, I am feeling a bit queasy.)
2) I will be making $ (certain dollar amount) /month on my blog by year end. (Sorry, I'm not brave enough just yet to reveal my goal to the world!)
3) 1000+ Instagram followers.
1). We will save $ (certain dollar amount) by year end.
2). We will put $ (certain dollar amount) in kids' 529 plan by year end.
1). Complete a minimum of 2 bible studies this year.
2). Complete daily devotional reading majority of days for year (>20 days/month. To be tracked in my daily planner's "habit tracker" section).
1). I will run a 10K and minimum of one 5K.
2). Average 3 workouts/week for each month over the course of the year (To be tracked in my "habit tracker" section of daily planner)
1). Jason and I will have minimum of 1 date night per month, each month of the year.
2). We will invite friends over minimum of 12 times by year end.
Hopefully these sample goals give you an idea of a place to put your focus. Some of my goals are more daunting than others. But, all of them will require work and ACTION to achieve. You will also see that all of the goals are measurable in some way.
That leads me to the next step of breaking down your goals.
Goals per quarter:
To improve personal accountability, it helps to check in with yearly goals several times over the course of the year. By breaking down each of the yearly goals slightly, things become more manageable.
Plus, your focus becomes more obvious. After your quarterly goals are established, you can then develop a monthly, and later a weekly plan to ensure you will meet your goals.
On the worksheets you will need to write in goals to be accomplished at the end of each quarter.
I'll spare you from me providing ALL of my quarterly goals in each area above. But, just in case you need some guidance for quarterly goals, I'll give you example goals under each quarter for CAREER, focusing on my blog.
My examples are intended to be a guide to show you how to break down these goals so you are able to find realistic ways to take action. The real "action" begins in the monthly breakdown that is coming next and even more so in the weekly goals.
Example quarterly goals to be accomplished by March 31 (end of 1st quarter):
- 300 email subscribers
- >200 Instagram followers (don't judge me; my focus has been on Pinterest and Facebook!) If you want to help a girl out, please follow me on Instagram!
- Complete 2 sponsored posts by end of first quarter.
Example quarterly goals to be accomplished by June 30th (end of 2nd quarter):
- 700 email subscribers
- 500+ Instagram followers
- Complete minimum of 6 sponsored posts (total) by end of 2nd quarter
Example quarterly goals to be accomplished by September 30th (end of 3rd quarter):
- 1000 email subscribers
- 750+ Instagram followers
- 9 sponsored posts total by 3rd quarter end
Example quarterly goals to be accomplished by December 31st (end of 4th quarter):
- 1200+ email subscribers
- 1000+ Instagram followers
- 12 sponsored posts by year end
Once you have your yearly goals broken down into achievable quarterly goals, it's time to find real ways to complete these with your monthly goals!
Goals for the month:
This is where you really start to break your goals into actionable steps. Look at each of your goals by quarter and find ways to take action each month.
You will need a worksheet printed out for each month of the year. Only determine one month's goals at a time. Then mid-way into the month, write out the next month goals.
Do not try to write out all of your monthly goals at the beginning of the year. Things will come up that you didn't expect! As we all know, that is part of life.
Be prepared to adapt and make changes in your plans. As we further break things into weekly steps, you'll quickly learn what is working and what is not. Do not let the "what is not" get you down!
In my opinion, this is just as important as what IS working. You don't want to waste your precious time on something that will not prove to get you closer to your goal.
I tend to have several monthly goals. But, once again, be realistic about your capabilities. Also, the monthly goals should be more action than the quarterly and yearly goals.
Sticking with my examples under the career section for my blogging career, here are my monthly goals for January:
- Post 5 out of 7 days/weekly on Instagram.
- Redesign my email opt-in forms and place on my side bar, footer, and within every previously published post.
- Contact 3-5 businesses that fit my blogging niche regarding sponsored posts.
- Watch 2-3 tutorials regarding Instagram best practice for bloggers.
- Interact in FaceBook Groups with focus on building Instagram following.
- Email newsletter subscribers weekly to inform them of what's going on at Love Our Real Life.
- Redesign categories menu at top of blog home page to make more user-friendly.
- Continue 1-2 blog posts each week.
Goals for the week:
I prefer to write my weekly goals into my daily planner in the weekly view versus using a printout. But, the printable is available to you if that's your preference!
My "to-do" list is where I frequently write in the tasks that will ensure I meet my monthly goals.
In addition to using my "to do" list, it's important to schedule things into your weekly calendar for a specific day. If it's on your calendar, chances are good you will take action!
I think you've got the idea of what you might include in your weekly goals. Just remember to really break down what you set up for your monthly accomplishments and schedule it like it's your job! Your dreams are at stake here!
Grab your worksheets to set your goals for the year, quarter, month, and week by signing up for my newsletter here!
You can do this. I'd love to hear what goals you come up with for 2018. Please drop me a note and let me know what you have planned. I'm cheering for you!