When it comes to growing and managing your life and business, you try your best to stay productive and achieve results. I know, I’ve been there too. But let’s be honest… there are moments where we lose our sense of direction or feel just blah. If you’ve ever felt like I’ve felt, remind yourself that this is all a part of the journey. It’s 100% normal and you’re doing just fine. I promise.
And most other business owners have been in the same boat – no matter how successful they appear.
You’ve probably come across popular strategies to achieve your dreams and the big picture. One of the best strategies is setting and achieving monthly goals. Break up your goals into smaller chunks to reach your end goal.
But realistically speaking, it’s hard to keep up with monthly goals, and before you know it, the month is over! How many times have you been there? I know I have time and time again.
In this article, we help you plan how to set and achieve monthly goals by highlighting action steps to follow and answering some frequently asked questions. Have a huge dream you want to accomplish by the end of the year? Take that first step by setting up monthly goals every month to reach your desired destination.
Keep reading to find out how!
Setting Monthly Goals
Monthly goals are a short-term method to achieve a long-term goal. It’s important to understand that you can’t possibly accomplish everything you want overnight. I repeat, you can't accomplish it all overnight. Definitely repeating for myself so I can hear that again too. Sometimes I have all these monthly goal ideas that take over and it's just not possible to do it all.
It takes time, patience, and resilience.
Creating beneficial habits and sticking to them will help you succeed in your business. Fulfilling monthly goals will not only help you better yourself, but it will also help you become a more successful business person.
Look at it this way – monthly goals are a connection to your year’s purpose. You can break down the big projects you’re working on into actionable steps that you can achieve in 30 days or less. This will make gradual progress towards your end goal!
Whether you’ve tried setting monthly goals before and it just hasn’t worked out or if it’s a habit you’re trying to start, know that it’s not an easy process. Time slips you by when you’re busy working hard and trying to catch up.
Monthly goals are a huge part of your success, and we want to help you achieve them! So if you’re wondering what some actionable steps are to set and accomplish your monthly goals, you’ve come to the right place. In this next section, I'll go over action steps you can start taking to check off all your monthly goals to ultimately achieve your goals.
Action Steps to Set and Achieve your Monthly Goals
Create Your Yearly Goals First
Before you start creating a list of monthly goals, you should clarify your end goal(s) first. This is a crucial starting point when it comes to creating goals that will change your life (and business).
Think about your ultimate end goal for the year. If you have more than one yearly goal, that is A-OK! For me, I do this process for a few different areas in my life and business.
Areas I create my goals:
I do this process on for each main area I am focused on. Yours might be different and that is totally fine. I just do my best not to have too many different goals in each category so I don't set myself up for failure with the ability to achieve your goals.
Choosing Your Goals
With each area, I actually do a brain dump. I'll turn on a song and I'll brain dump all the goals “I think” I want to accomplish that area. I purpose do it to just get it out of my head. It really does help me to clear space too.
Next I look at the goals and I eliminate all but 5 of them. Then I look at the 5 and see if there are any that could be done together. Or I see if I achieve any of the top goals if it will get me closer to the other goals. Once I do that, I normally get it down to 2 or 3 and then I go with the one I “feel” will get me closest to the goal. Honestly, I go with what feels most aligned for me in my time of life.
Then I do the same for the other areas. You can always do that too when you are looking at creating your goals. It will definitely get you out of your comfort zone, but that's okay.
If this doesn't work for you. Take what does and then create a process that will work for you to help you. This will help us get clearer on our monthly goals.
Monthly Goal Ideas
If you need some help trying to figure out ideas on what you can create goals around, here are some general ones that could help you:
- Lose weight or muscle gain
- Get a good night's rest (go to bed earlier)
- Make extra income
- Save more money (maybe that looks like having a certain amount of money in an investment account or some other form of financial goals)
- Start a gratitude journal (make a goal to write every single day)
- Create a new morning or night routine
- Learn a new language
- Spend quality time with family one night a week
- Get 64oz of water in each day and track it
- Go on a weekly or bi-weekly date night
Of course you would use these monthly goal ideas to get started but you would make them specific to you. These are just some general ones that popped into my head as I am writing this. Hopefully it sparks something within you.
Clarity On Your Goals
Now that you've done the process above, or a version of it, it's time to write out your final goals and make sure you're clear on them.
Just be sure to have a sense of clarity on each end goal before moving forward.
My mentor, Amber McCue would tell us to use a Goal Card to write out yearly goals that we want to achieve. It's always nice to have it clear in front of you so you can see the big picture. Also, I love having my big goals on a smaller goal card because then I can take it with me wherever we go.
Solidify your yearly goals and write them down where you can see them and be reminded of them.
When you can point out how you’d like your end of the year to look, you will be ready to move on to the next step and get closer to improve your life.
Future You Letter
Side note: Another thing that I do, is I write a “past” letter from future me. Okay, that sounds confusing. I write a letter as if I'm already in the future. Exactly 1 year in the future. And I talk about how grateful I am for my goals being hit and how I feel and who is in my life.
I go into detail down to who I'm with that day and what we are doing. If I have enough time, I even talk about what I'm eating that day. It's all about the mindset & belief that it's going to happen.
I start my letter off with something like this:
I am so proud of everything I accomplished this year. I was able to lose 15 pounds without depriving myself of food. I am so grateful that I moved my body. Doing yoga, lifting weights and really taking the time to recognize my breathing habits changed the game.
I used the fitness one because that is an actual goal of mine that I'm working towards each month.
I keep it in my journal or I will hang it on my wall so I can see it regularly.
Set A “Milestone” For Each Month
Now that you have your big yearly goals, it's time to break them down and set monthly goals. You can now break up your “yearly goal” into chunks or short-term achievements to progress to the end. Write out some goals you can achieve this month to advance you closer towards that big yearly goal.
There are, obviously, 12 months in a year. I would break down the goals into monthly chunks.
Remember not to clump everything together or write an unreasonable amount of goals. When you bite off more than you can chew, it will show. You'll lose your motivation and it can cause you to give up. Take your time to think of goals that you can fulfill and make steady progress towards that end-of-year big goal.
For each month, try including a manageable “milestone” monthly goal. By setting milestones for each month, you will feel a sense of excitement and positivity that you hit a (small) milestone before moving on to the next month. It will give you a boost and pave the path to successfully hitting your yearly goal!
Add Fun (And Challenging) Monthly Goals
It’s important not to get lost in all things business. While creating these habits, you may start feeling overwhelmed when there is no “fun” in it. To not get burned out, try including something non-business-related in your list of monthly goals.
Examples of this can include spring cleaning, starting those French lessons you’ve been putting off, or taking a dance class. I love hip hop and zumba dance classes. Those are super fun to me and they feel like a release, especially on those days that feel hard.
Is there anything you've been meaning to do but haven’t gotten around to it yet? Those can be fun and challenging goals to add to your monthly goals. I remember when I would set goals before, it would be this “serious” ordeal.
And while I'm all about business growth and personal development, I'm also a fun, sarcastic and outgoing human. I like laughing and being goofy and so I had to infuse some of that into my processes.
Adding these fun goals will help give you a breather from solely focusing on your business and reduce the chance of causing burnout! Everyone deserves a break, so why not try something fun and be productive simultaneously?
And remember, with personal development and business growth, it's personalized. This is about you achieving your goals. And you should do that in a way that feels good to you. Otherwise, you won't really improve your life, you will create more stress in it.
Choose Habits To Develop
Alright, now that I'm off my soap box, let's choose some habits. Picking up a new habit or a mindful practice can bring about more positivity into your day-to-day routine. You can formulate a “habit tracker” in your monthly goal planner and start developing a new habit to enhance your life!
The habits you choose can be something you want to turn into a lifestyle (for example, meditating for 5 minutes every morning) or a challenge for the month (such as a 30-day squat challenge).
Tracking your habit day-to-day will help hold yourself accountable, measure your progress, and give you that much more motivation to continue and accomplish your end-of-year goal! Seeing yourself in action and pushing yourself will motivate you to hit all your monthly goals and help you trust yourself more.
Make Your Goals Visible And Accessible
Some people give up on monthly goals because they write them down in their planners and tuck them away until the end of the month. It becomes “out of sight, out of mind.” It's me. I used to be “some people.” And I would never hit goals because I would never see them consistently.
Now, I've even gone as far as buying mirror markers so that I can write my goals & affirmations on my bathroom mirrors since I use that multiple times every day. It's a great visual to see my goals and keep me on track.
After writing your well-thought-out goals for the month and closing the planner, don’t be surprised if the month breezes by and you completely forget to check off your goals. The best way to remind yourself of your monthly goals is to make them more visible.
You can choose to do this in a variety of ways! You can make a copy of it and pin it above your desk or make a sticky note and attach it to your computer, or you can put it on your bedside table or wall to have a constant reminder. Put it in a place you know you will look at day-to-day and achieve those goals.
Another place I like putting them, is on our fridge. That is another place that I go to multiple times a day, so it's a great way to be reminded of things!
Month after month, you will be making magic happen, and by the end of the year, you will have reached your end goal! We all need a reminder sometimes. Keep those goals visible to get the best possible results for you.
Reflect At The End Of Each Month
At the end of each month, before you start your next month’s list of goals, reflect on your goals, habits, and achievements. Reflecting is one of the most important tools for self-growth. My mentor, Brendon Burchard talks about the importance of really reflecting. In his app, GrowthDay, he does daily reflections. It's pretty neat. I also love how you can score your days, weeks and months. What I love about the reflections in here is that you get to reflect and then adjust.
Reflecting over your progress every month will help you do better the next month and so on until you reach that end-of-year big goal!
You can ask yourself these questions:
- “How much did I get done this month?”
- “What went well?”
- “What am I most proud of?”
- “What can I do better?”
- “What do I feel grateful for?”
If you don't like these questions, create some that feel aligned to you. Remember, and yes, I will keep saying this – make this feel good to you so you want to do it. This is about you achieving your goals, so make it work for you.
Answering these questions will help you make sense of the month and your accomplishments and they will push you to get even better results the following month. Try not to skip this step as it is very beneficial in getting the results you want.
FAQs About Monthly Goals
Q: How do you write monthly goals?
Depending on what you’re comfortable with, there are so many ways to write out your monthly goals. In the article, I explained how I do it and ways that could be helpful to you.
If you like typing and using your computer, you can create a spreadsheet and type out your goals for each month. If you like writing on paper, you can buy a yearly planner and write down goals for every month. Ultimately, it depends on your personal preference.
The biggest thing is that you'll want to do something that you will stick with. For me, I LOVE writing out the bigger picture goals and I love writing out my monthly goals. However, since my calendar is virtual, I use my Project Management system, ClickUp to track out my goals. I will also use it to track the tasks I need to do and then I add the bigger items into my Google Calendar.
Q: How many goals should you have in a month?
Aim to have about four to five goals a month to make it doable and realistic. Having a goal to focus on each week should give you the time and motivation to accomplish them and move on to the next one. This allows for the best success rate. If you set six to ten goals each month, you will find yourself facing more pressure and a greater chance of burning out.
Q: What are some common mistakes in setting goals?
- Setting unrealistic goals
- Copying other people’s goals or timeline
- Setting goals based on other people’s expectations
- Allowing yourself to get caught up in any failure
- Not reflecting or tracking your progress each month
Monthly goals are a great technique to achieve your yearly goal. This habit is practiced by successful business owners far and wide to keep their productivity level high and give them a thought-out plan to get those wins.
If you’ve tried monthly goals before and they didn’t seem to stick, you probably weren’t motivated by the right things or got lost halfway into it. If you’ve never tried monthly goals before and want to – it’s a great step to making your business goals and dreams a reality! No matter where you are in your journey, it’s not too late to start setting and checking off monthly goals.
Hopefully, this guide has inspired you with some actionable steps to help you set and achieve your short-term and eventually your long-term goals. As hard as it may be, stick it through and see how impressed you are at the end of the year when you hit the milestone you wanted. Make it happen through this excellent habit, and keep it up to be the best business owner you can be!