Becoming a BOSS Goal-Setter
You want to get things done right!? Hell yeah! One of the most important things you need to do in order to be successful is to learn how to set goals, work on them, and ultimately achieve them. But that’s not enough, right? You need to be able to establish a process that is repeatable. You don’t just want to accomplish some of your goals right? You need a sustainable plan to achieve #allthegoals! So I’m going to share a simple three-step process with you that will help you get off your butt and get more done than you ever thought possible. Plus I’m going to give you a free goal planning worksheet to help you start crushing your goals. Let’s get to it!
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It All Starts with a Goal
Really, I mean that’s why you’re here! You have to know what it is you want to accomplish. if you don’t have a solid, well-defined goal, it’s hard to know what you should be doing first or what you should be doing right now to move in the right direction.
So what do we do instead?
Anything other than the work we know needs to get done! Not having clear goals can also lead to putting things off, you can read more about my tips to beat procrastination here.
So let’s start setting some goals!
Step 1 – Your Goals Need to be SMART
At it’s most basic form, a goal is simply putting what you know you need to get done into words.
But a good goal has well-defined parameters and a set deadline. A SMART goal has five components that will set you up for success.
This may sound almost too simple, but goals need to be specific. What does that mean? Being too general when it comes to setting a goal can make all the difference when it comes to your ability and, heck even your motivation to achieve it.
Let’s say I ask you right now to set a goal…something you want to achieve. And you say “My goal is to be successful!”
Great! 👍But what does success mean to you? You must be able to define success, otherwise, you have no idea how to start getting after it.
If all you ever wanted in life was to be an astronaut, then that could be success for you.
If you aspire to successfully start a work from home business that generates six figures a year in revenue, that’s your goal.
Be mindful of not just the overarching concept, but the journey to get there. Those specific goals are what can ultimately lead to reaching that main goal of being “successful”.
So for now, I want you to think about one thing you need or want to get done and start thinking about how to turn it into a specific goal.
How are you going to measure your accomplishments tracking up to reaching your goal? Will you even be able to tell if you are getting closer to meeting it?
Let’s go back to the starting a six-figure business goal. So we’ve made it pretty specific, right? So we definitely don’t want to be morbid around here, but heck we only have so many years right!?
Now we must put a measurable factor to this goal. It goes a little something like this: “I want to build a six-figure business in one year.”
Alright, now that we have a timeline, as the months go by we are able to measure our progress.
That’s not quite all though, we also still need to identify the steps required to get there. What is it going to take for you to reach that goal and how do you measure your success along the way?
A goal-setting journal can be great for this. The Business Boutique has a GREAT full goal planning system. This planner is actually a companion product to a book by Christy Wright, a #1 national bestselling author and kickass business coach. I highly recommend checking out the book and the goal planner!
If you’re into the Bloom Planner or just want something a little more on the frugal side, this is a great one to check out too.
Once you nail all of that down, you can check in on yourself every so often to see if you are ahead of schedule or maybe behind and need to kick it into high gear.
Come on Ashlie! Why would I even bother setting a goal if it wasn’t achievable!?
But seriously, stay with me here.
Again, sticking with our six-figure business goal, is it really realistic to set a goal of starting a business from scratch and earning six-figures from it in say….one month? Two months?
There are so many things to consider when it comes to determining whether or not a goal is achievable. Of course, this example is extremely outlandish and let’s just call it what it is…obvious!
So when thinking about whether your goal is achievable, consider this:
- Are there external driving forces that are out of your control? How could those affect your ability to achieve your goal?
- Are there financial constraints to getting after your goal in your specified timeline? How do you work around them?
- Are there timing constraints that may require you to extend your timeline? Maybe a certification class you need to take doesn’t start until three months from now. How does that change the attainability of your goal within your set timeframe?
Just remember once you’ve identified a specific goal, assigned a measurable progress plan to it, you still have to evaluate whether or not those things are actually achievable.
Relevancy requires us to look at how your goal fits into the broader scheme of things. Why does this goal matter to you and what does it do for you in terms of achieving other, related goals that are likely meant to achieve a much bigger, broader goal?
- Why do you want to reach this goal?
- What is the objective behind the goal?
- Will this goal really achieve that?
So you’re starting a business, with a specific goal of achieving a six-figure income within one year. You’ll have to set mini-goals to achieve this overarching goal. Let’s say your business is all about productivity and life management consulting. And you’ve heard that having products to sell is killer for bringing in customers. But would you really want to write a cookbook to sell in this business?
Ok, I know that was a bit overboard…but you catch my drift.
Your goals need to be relevant to you, your life, and #allthethings you want to achieve.
If you were successful at making your goal measurable, then the timely part should come easy. We don’t want to just be setting goals and running about all willy-nilly without a deadline otherwise we’ll never get anything done!
- What can you do today?
- What can you do within 3 months?
- What can you do within 6 months?
These are the questions you need to ask in order to keep your goals measurable. Set realistic, measurable milestones that lead up to your intended deadline.
So just to recap, goals need to be: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant & Timely
Step 2 – Write Your Goals Down
WRITE. IT. DOWN.
For real, keeping goals all in your brain is going to get you nowhere! Plus, it just makes it that much more official.
The how here isn’t necessarily important, though I would highly recommend coming up with an organized system for keeping up with your goals, cause it’s kinda my jam. The important thing is that you put your goal into writing.
The Happy Planner has some killer tools for this kind of stuff, they don’t just do planners ya know! Here is one of their notebooks that I love.
But I don’t care if you find a random scrap of paper, use your favorite notebook, or type a note to yourself on your phone. But, because I can’t help myself, here are a few things you can try:
Project Management Tools
You may not think of tools like Trello or Asana when it comes to setting and recording goals, but they actually work great. You can use the boards to set up milestones or and cards that contain the specific steps that need to be accomplished.
How could I not write a blog post about productivity without mentioning planners!
Erin Condren has an AWESOME selection of goal setting journals that work perfectly with setting SMART goals.
There’s a place for you to set a goal, why’ it’s important and your plan to achieve it along with space for deadlines. Then it takes it a step further by giving you space to break it down into all of the smaller steps needed to achieve it.
The Happy Planner has tons of tools tailored for goal setting.
They have a guided journal (you can check it out here!) that is great for brain-dumping and journaling it out not just to help you identify your goals but how to achieve them.
They also have a whole slew of accessories that you can use in any of their planners or your planner of choice that are geared towards goal setting. I personally love their Goal Getter sticker books.
Cultivate What Matters is the motherload of all goal-setting sites. They are all about providing resources and tools for people to set and achieve goals. No kidding, if you are serious about getting after your goals, you need to check out their Powersheets Intentional Goal Planner.
The Techie Tools
Maybe you don’t want to “write” it down. But you can still capture it in other ways. There are some really great apps and tools out there that you can use.
The Strides App is a nifty little tool you can use. It has four unique tracker types and a handy dashboard so you can keep an eye on everything all in one place.
GoalsonTrack is another great one to try. It’s web-based, so there’s no app, but the guided input form ensures all of your goals fit within the SMART construct and there are even templates you can use to get you started.
Alright, so what does writing all of this down accomplish? It does two things:
First of all, it helps you clarify what your goal is. You have to get pretty specific when you try to put what you want or need to do into words.
Secondly, writing it down gives you something to look back on. It serves as a reminder and as a tool that you can use when you are tempted to procrastinate.
Ready for the third and final step?
Step 3 – Just Get Started!
I know that makes it sound so simple but ya’ll! That’s often the hardest part, isn’t it?
I know when it comes to the end of the workday and it’s time to go to the gym I’m like
Sooooooo tempted to skip a workout until my shoes are laced up and my Airpods blaring. Once I’m there and going, all that motivation kicks me into high gear.
Once you have your goal written down, think about something you can do right now to get started, then go do it!
Then come back and do something else.
Every day, start by looking at your goal and challenge yourself to take action.
If you keep gettin’ after it a little bit at a time, before you know it, you will have made some serious progress.
Now for the Quick Recap
The goal of the day is Learning to be a goal setter.
Here are the three steps I want you to work on to learn how to set SMART goals and start gettin’ yo stuff done!
- Don’t just set a goal…set a SMART goal
- Write it all down
- Just get started!
Setting SMART goals is intense ya’ll. It’s not as simple as just writing down something you want to do. So to help you get started I’ve created a SMART goal worksheet to get those juices flowing.
Use it to re-evaluate goals you’ve already set, or use it to create new ones. Either way, it’ll always be there to make sure that all of your goals are SMART!
Let me know how it goes or if you need any help, feel free to drop me a line.
Much love and till next time!