If you’ve ever written down any goals you know it’s not enough to just write them down. Most of us have probably written down lofty goals and then forgotten about them in a few days. Or we look at them occasionally but don’t know what to do with them.
Today you’re going to learn how to set intentional monthly goals the right way, but more importantly you’ll learn how to achieve them so that you can take control of your success and accomplish all the amazing things you dream about.
If you’re not quite sure what goals you want to set, at the end of this article is a list of goal ideas to give you some inspiration.
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Why do we set monthly goals?
We set goals because we want to have or achieve something. Having goals and dreams is a great thing, but as we know it can be easier said than done. That’s why it’s so important to set intentional goals that really align with your values and your vision.
Intentional goals are much easier to accomplish because they are thoughtful, deliberate, and aligned with our real desires and not the whims of the moment. Sometimes we set a goal because it sounds like something we should do, but because it’s not really aligned with a bigger purpose we soon lose motivation.
Here are some things to remember as you set your monthly goals.
Keep your big picture goals in mind
If you have any big life goals, maybe a 1 or 5 year goal like buying a house, it’s important to consider them when setting monthly goals. Your big goals may be far off in the future, but to accomplish them you have to take small actions today that will eventually get you there. Your big goal is at the top of the mountain and you get there by taking one step at a time.
Not all monthly goals have to tie into your long term goals, but it’s good to keep them in mind and have at least 1 monthly goal that ties into your bigger goal so that you are always moving towards the finish line.
Don’t set too many goals
I’ve definitely been guilty of having way too many goals at a time and I always fail because I get overwhelmed and burnt out. It’s better to give your full attention to 1-3 goals and complete them than it is to try to accomplish 5+ goals and come up short on all of them.
Believe in yourself
It’s so important to have the right mindset when you’re trying to accomplish anything. A good attitude goes a long way.
You don’t have a chance of achieving anything if you don’t believe in yourself. So what do you need believe about your capabilities? What do you need to believe about what you’re worthy of? What do you need to believe is possible?
How to achieve your monthly goals:
1. Set an Intention
What do you want to achieve? Be specific and realistic. Don’t self-sabotage by being too vague or too ambitious. Ambition is good, but having unrealistic expectations about how much you can accomplish in one month will leave you feeling disappointed.
Why is achieving this goal going to help you? How does it align to the vision you have of your best self and dream life?
Close your eyes and picture yourself having achieved your goal. How good does it make you feel? Hold on to that feeling, it’s going to help your stay on track throughout the month.
I want to emphasize that you do NOT have to know every step that will get you to your goal, but you have to start somewhere and be ready to take action as soon as possible.
Do research on how other people have accomplished those goals. The following steps will help you make your plan achievable.
2. Break big goals down into smaller goals
A big obstacle we face when setting big goals is not knowing how to break them down into smaller actionable steps.
Here is an example of how to break a big goal down into smaller steps, lets say your goal is to start a business:
- Decide what you are selling (physical, digital, services) and where (physical or online).
- Research physical or online locations where you will sell your goods or services.
- Produce your goods.
- Create a website.
- Create a marketing strategy.
- List and promote your products.
Once you know your breakdown then you put it on a weekly time line. Depending on what your goals are you may need to be flexible but you can have a rough outline of when you’ll do what. I like using Google Calendar to schedule all my important tasks, that way it sets me a notification to my phone and my email.
If you have a really big goal that will take several months, try the big goal action planner.
3. Take daily actions
Now that you know what you need to do and when, you are ready to take inspired daily actions that will help you achieve your goals.
If any of those actions need to be daily habits, I highly recommend reading Atomic Habits. It’s an excellent book that I read at least once a year.
What happens when you lose steam?
Knowing your why is going to help you on the days when motivation runs out, which it always will. In those moments when you feel lost go back to your why. What is your end game and why is it important to you?
Close your eyes and bring up that vision you had of your success. Let that be the reason you start to take action again. You can also try 10 Things to Do When You Feel Stuck.
HOWEVER, it’s important to know when to take a break and recharge. We all need an unscheduled hour or day off once in a while. Take that time when you need to, even if it’s just 10 minutes of self-care.
4. Frequently review your goals
You won’t complete your goals if you aren’t regularly checking in, not only to be reminded of them but so that you can adjust as needed.
Look at your goals every Sunday and plan for the week ahead.
If you’re working on a daily goal I suggest using a habit tracker. You can print it out, tape it to your wall, and check it off everyday. If you have kids they are a great way to encourage them to do chores or homework. I have some really cute habit trackers in my Etsy store.
5. Celebrate your wins!
At the end of the month celebrate what you accomplished! Reward yourself for your efforts. Even if you didn’t get every single thing done at least you tried.
The effort is far more important than having a perfect outcome. Things are rarely perfect and it’s so much better for our mental health to accept that instead of beating ourselves up for not reaching an unattainable standard.
Some monthly goal ideas
Here are some ideas for monthly goals. Not every one needs to be broken down into smaller steps but you can still check them off week by week or choose a theme where you do a different small goal each week.
- Put 10% of paycheck away for a vacation.
- Open a retirement account.
- Do a no buy (Starbucks, clothing, beauty products, entertainment, etc)
- Wear SPF everyday.
- Plan a spa night.
- Go to bed early every night.
- Ask for a raise.
- Start a business.
- Touch up your resume.
- Take a road trip.
- Have date night
- Try a new hobby or get back into an old hobby.
- Clean out the junk drawer.
- Donate 10 items or 1 bag of clothes.
- Organize the pantry.
- Have a family game or movie night
- Send a card or letter to a loved one.
- Have a picnic.
- Walk 20 minutes 5 days a week.
- Try meatless Monday every week.
- Take a new kind of fitness class.
- Meditate for 5 minutes a day
- Say an affirmation everyday in the mirror.
- Read a personal development book.
The Monthly Goal Setting Workbook
If you want a little help planning out your goals, I have a Monthly Goal Setting Workbook to check out.
This workbook is going to help you get aligned with what you really want and give you a visual layout of you goals and the weekly actions you need to take to accomplish them. Answer the prompts thoughtfully and tap into your vision of future you who has accomplished their goals.
Thank you for stopping by. I hope this guide helps you achieve all your goals. Subscribe for weekly goal setting and self-improvement tips.