Write | Inspire | Dream
It can be difficult to define our goals within a timeline. We don’t want to give ourselves too much space to where our motivation can die out, and we fall under the mindset of, I have “plenty” of time; therefore, I don’t need to work on it now. But, we also don’t want to box ourselves in too tight of a timeline to which we pressure ourselves too greatly. The same consequence will likely unfold: the pressure leads to a lack of motivation; therefore, the goal is not accomplished. So, how do we define a timeline for ourselves and our goals that’s just right? When we look at our goals and break them down into smaller goals that are achievable over smaller periods of time, it’s easier for us to define a so-called endpoint. This is why I highly recommend breaking down your goals and moving from month to month.
In the 4 Ways to Set Small & Achievable Goals Blog published back in February with the Goal Setting Freebie, we went over how to break down your goals to experience small successes that continue to propel and motivate you to move forward. Recently, on the Do the Damn Thing Podcast, we discussed how essential it is to experience these small successes daily. When we redefine success and incorporate it into our day to day, we allow ourselves recognition for all that we’re doing to work towards that big dream. The Monthly Goal Calendar Freebie has been designed with just this in mind; as a tool to assist you in making progress towards your goals. The Monthly Goal Calendar is not a typical calendar to fill in your month at a glance. Instead, you’ll utilize this freebie to intentionally set yourself up for opportunities to make progress on your goals.
The Monthly Goal Calendar
So, how do we use the Monthly Goal Setting Calendar to set ourselves up for the greatest potential for success? First, I suggest using it in connection with the Goal Setting Guide. The Goal Setting Guide allows you to break down the entirety of your goal from start to finish; the Monthly Goal Setting Calendar is a glance at your efforts to make progress on your big dream in the span of one month. To achieve our goals, we have to take three steps outside of the actual tasks required to achieve the goal. To reach success, we must break down big goals into small goals, hold ourselves accountable, and set deadlines. So, if you’re someone who has been working towards your big dream for an extensive period of time and you’re not seeing progress, it’s likely that you’re putting in the work; you’re just not approaching the “goal-setting” correctly.
But, there’s one thing we need to remember; things happen for us when we least expect it and when we’re not looking for it. So, to assist you in using this calendar as a tool to achieving your dreams, rather than just laying out your plan, let’s break it down. First, you’ll utilize the first three lines to describe the WHAT, WHY, and HOW of your goal. Understanding all three aspects of your goal is critical to its achievement. It’s not enough to simply think, “I want to achieve Y to get Z,” (the why). We have to define the parameters of the how and what as well. How do you plan on achieving this, how dedicated are you to its completion, etc. And the What. What will you gain from its achievement? Once this is established using the Calendar and Guide, you can create your action plan.
The Calendar portion of the guide itself is solely meant to create a tunnel vision view of your deadlines and accountability to smaller goals. Here, you’ll write down anything correlating to you moving the needle to further your dream. For example, if your big dream is a job promotion, you could include in the calendar events to assist you in networking, setting deadlines for assignments, etc. Once you’ve filled in your calendar and the WHAT, WHY, and HOW, you’ll have an even greater understanding of the steps you need to take to achieve your goals and what you can perform in your day-to-day to make progress. This, of course, includes habits. Next, you’ll find space to include any daily habits that will assist you in making progress.
Ask yourself what small habits you can implement daily or even weekly to assist you in your progress. Often, these will be small habits that hold a great impact in the long term. For example, to continue leaning on the example of the promotion, maybe every other day when you get to work, you check in with your boss about projects, work you’re doing, etc. So, you’ve broken down your goals, created a calendar for the month of what you’d like to accomplish or things that will benefit your goal; now it’s time to start pulling the small goals from your goal-setting guide to translate them into action.
Plan of Action
Have you ever heard of Pareto Principle? The Pareto Principle defines work within an 80/20 rule. This means that we can achieve 80% of our success with only 20% of the actual work we do. This is to say that we create “filler work” or extensive checklists to create distance between ourselves and the one, two, or at most, three things that we actually NEED to do. We know that these are the tasks that we must accomplish, but we’re putting them off because their difficult, arduous, or time-consuming. So, this is the final part of the calendar which is small and exacting. Of course, there are little things we need to do to reach our goals, but what are the BIG things that actually require an entire month’s dedication?
Here you’ll describe the TWO things you need to complete this month that will propel you forward in your dreams. You’ll add additional small tasks you’d like to complete but don’t hold as much importance. And finally, you’ll remind yourself of what next month will look like. This serves to create order for any anxiety that we’ve given dimension to by overwhelming our to-do list. Each month you’ll continue making progress towards those big goals until finally, the goal is accomplished.