We’ve finished up the first half of the year, and maybe you’ve crushed all your goals and then some. But perhaps you’re still working on some things, and you are in a place that you didn’t expect for yourself. Every day we go through a series of small wins, but not many of us stop to recognize them. We rarely consider how a little progress each day adds up to more significant results.
I’ve been guilty of setting big lofty goals for myself with no real plan, then getting in a huge funk when I didn’t meet my expectations. In the last few months, one of the things that has helped me is to break down the actionable steps that lead to my larger goals for the year, and celebrate my wins along the way.
Here are some of the ways I get this done:
Photography // Thalia Nino
Break It Down
It is great to have big dreams and lofty goals, but without a plan, it will be nearly impossible to achieve them. If you have a big goal for the year, such as starting a website or losing weight, create a timeline for when you’d like to have this accomplished. Now, be realistic. Once you have created your timeline, start to break down your ultimate goal into doable bite-size pieces. If it’s starting a website, that could include: solidify a website designer, brainstorm domain names, research hosting platforms, decide on hosting platform, solidify and buy a domain name, create a website outline, produce content for the website, and so on.
Once you have a timeline and have projected the trajectory for meeting the larger goal, it’s time to make monthly goals. This will help you visually see what needs to be done and give you a plan to follow for the month. I still prefer a physical planner, but you can do this digitally as well. Before the start of each month, I will choose 2-3 goals from the prior list and prioritize my focus on these goals. If this month includes solidifying a web designer and brainstorming domain names, then my actions this month become targeted, and I’m more likely to be successful.
Weekly and Daily To-Do List
So you’ve decided on your goals for the month, now it’s time to make weekly musts. I also project my weekly to-do’s at the start of each month. This gives you realistic tasks each week that work towards the monthly goal, ultimately working towards the larger goal. If, by week 4, we need to solidify a web designer, weeks 1-3 need to focus on research, comparing rates, and possibly phone calls with prospective designers. Now your daily to-do list will include the necessary steps to meet each of your weekly goals.
I’m sure you’ve noticed a pattern here, but your goals can be broken down and broken down further to their most basic steps. If you’re able to think about them this way, you are not only more likely to remain on track, but this allows you to celebrate the small wins. We often focus our attention on the ultimate goal, and we miss out on celebrating all the milestones that happen on the journey.
Success breeds success. Having smaller goals allows us to acknowledge our progress, which motivates us to keep going. It helps us focus our attention on what has gone well and helps us be more present along the journey. Complete mindset shift!
I hope this gives you a blueprint for successful goal setting while being a reminder to celebrate the small things along the way. It all counts!