4 Steps to setting goals (that you'll actually achieve)
Updated: Jan 2
HAVE YOU CREATED ALL YOUR BIG GOALS FOR THE NEW YEAR YET?!?!? What about your vision board!?!? Have you? Have you? HAVE YOU?!
Kidding. And sorry for yelling.
But honestly, I get how this whole New Year season can be a little overwhelming for some people. On one hand, maybe you’re still recovering from the holidays, family togetherness and an absolute gluttony of ALL THE FOOD and a few too many glasses of champagne (*raises hand*).
On the other hand, you’re scrolling through your social media feeds absolutely inundated with everyone recaps from last year, dreams for next year, and it can all just get to be a little….much.
So first of all, let’s all collectively take a moment to breathe and take some of the unnecessary pressure I know you’re putting on yourself, OFF. Cool? Cool.
NOW, let’s talk goals!
To be totally transparent with you, I haven’t always been a fan of goal setting. In the past, I would set arbitrary, vague goals based on what I thought I should accomplish– like “I’m going to make six figures in my business this year,” and “I’m going to create more freedom in my schedule”– then I’d announce them to the world in hopes that maybe they’d actually stick.
Spoiler alert: they didn’t. I’d finally getting around to finding my planner around Valentine’s Day, and by that time the self-doubt would sink in and then it was just total fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants mode until Christmas.
And this type-A, organized, structure-obsessed girl HATES flying by the seat of her pants.
I was just plain sick and tired of that reliable feeling of defeat that would roll in around Thanksgiving when I realized those goals were still juuuuust out of reach. So, I kept trying to crack the goal-setting code, and FINALLY figured out where I was going wrong, how to shift it, and actually start achieving everything I set out to do.
Here’s my four-step system to setting goals that you will ACTUALLY achieve in the New Year:
Step 1: Find and eliminate doubts.
You guys know I LOVE me some mindset work, and it’s because it is the most important ‘work’ you can do that so many people tend to skip over.
The first step to achieving your goals is BELIEVING that you can be/do/have it. You can have all the tools, systems and strategies in place, but if you haven’t reached your goals yet, it’s because there’s some piece of you that doesn’t actually believe it’s possible.
If this is the case for you, you’ll be able to feel it. It feels like there’s something in you keeping the brakes on. You know what you need to do but you just keep procrastinating and you don’t know why. You can FEEL that you’re the thing standing in your way, so you beat up on yourself for not ‘doing enough’ and thus the cycle begins again.
When we feel this way, it’s because we have doubts or limiting beliefs hiding away in the back of our minds (or our subconscious, for my fellow mindset junkies). So the first step is shining a light on those hidden doubts and start tipping the scale toward belief.
You can’t change anything until you know what needs to be changed, so if this feels true for you, start by asking yourself the following questions:
Is there part of me that doesn’t believe I will achieve this? Why? What, specifically, am I doubtful about? What causes me to feel this way? <<< This is where you’ll want to be focusing the majority of your mindset work starting likeeeee yesterday.
Then, we start tipping the scale to get you ‘bought in’ to the belief that you can have what you want:
Where did these beliefs come from? (Childhood, parents/loved ones telling you something that stuck, etc.) Why are these beliefs untrue? Find EVIDENCE of what’s actually true here – What are you most proud of that you’ve already achieved? Since you know you’ve already been successful in other areas, why would this be any different?
Essentially, it’s time to call bullshit on yourself.
Each doubt that comes up, go ahead and feel into it. Feel where it comes from, then start reaching for those statements of what is actually true for you. Re-write those new, empowering beliefs that you are choosing to replace your doubts with, and make it MISSION: CRITICAL to repeat this process as many times as you need to until you start creating some serious certainty around how badass you really are.
Step 2: Pick goals that EXCITE you.
Again, I know this probably sounds like a no-brainer, but hear me out. If you haven’t caught on by now, crushing your goals is more mindset than strategy. So often, people aren’t reaching their goals because they aren’t actually excited about them. If you’re finding yourself in a cycle of procrastinating and not taking the action you know you need to take, it’s because you’re not excited about why you’re going after the goal you say you want.
Let’s take income goals, for example. Say you have an income goal of hitting $10k months in your business, and you want to hit that so you can pay off debt/student loans/etc.
Now, let’s take off our ‘responsible’ hats for a second for the sake of motivation.
Does paying off debt actually REALLY excite you? Can you feel it in your bones? What about paying off debt is SO SO SO SO SO exciting that you could cry just at the feeling of it?
For most of you, the actual ‘paying off’ of the debt sounds exciting because you know it’s something that you should do. But in your mind, what’s going to really get you on the hell-bent-for-glory mission to hit that $10k per month goal?
It’s what comes AFTER you pay off your debt (or insert other responsible thing you need to do with your money here). This needs to feel emotional, because that’s what’s going to drive you forward. Is it being able to retire your significant other so you can travel the world together with total freedom? Is it buying that DREAM car that will make you feel like a total badass when you drive it? Is it taking your parents an all-expenses-paid vacation?
What I’m getting at here is that you have to set goals that you are emotionally attached to. Sure, when you hit those $10k months, OF COURSE you can decide what to do with it then and pay off the debt, put it away, etc., but it can’t be ALL about that. Find what excites you. Find what lights the fire in your gut that has you jumping out of bed every morning to work toward it. That’s what will make you unstoppable.
Step 3: Get specific about your goals.
So now that you’ve picked a goal, and a specific reason for achieving it that excites you, we’re going to take that a step further.
Vague goals create vague strategies that yield vague results. When you specifically state what, where, when, and how something is going to happen, it’s going to happen. So, let’s stick with the income goal here.
Say you want to achieve $10k months in your business, and you know you want to hit that number so you can travel full-time.
How long do you want to travel for?
Roughly, how much per month will you need to cover expenses?
How much do you need in the bank before you go?
When do you want to leave?
How many (new clients, courses, packages, etc.) do you need to sell to make that happen?
You see where I’m going with this…
If you’re saying things like, “I want to sign my first client!” that’s not nearly as powerful as outlining exactly what you want, by when, exactly when you are going to sign them, and so on.
So how can you take your big goals, and break them down into specifics?
(Bonus: this will really help with the belief/excitement piece, too, because you’ll start to see exactly how what you want will come to fruition!)
Step 4: Make it actionable.
Finally, we’re going to put it all together into an actionable plan. Because we all know ain’t nothin happening until you start moving.
Once you’ve broken your goals down into specifics, start outlining 2-3 immediate action steps you can take to start working toward them.
PSA: DO NOT OVERWHELM YOURSELF HERE. Because then you won’t do anything.
Seriously, limit yourself to 2-3 immediate next steps. This is where so many of you planning/strategy/organization junkies tend to bliss out writing beautifully detailed plans from now until the end of time, then either exhaust or overwhelm yourself and the procrastination sets in. (No judgment - speaking from experience as a recovering perfectionist here.)
Writing out the first few steps to take in the span of the first quarter, for example, sets you up for success because you won’t feel like a failure after the first week when you didn’t execute all 92 things on your to-do list.
Let yourself WIN here, and start the year off feeling productive and accomplished. That momentum will build, and those goals will be crushed in no time.
What if it still doesn’t happen?
As a coach, I’m going to give you permission and tough love here.
First, the permission to see progress AS perfection. Working toward something is 100% more effective than not having thought about it at all, so give yourself some permission here to grow, to be flexible, to shift things around if you need to. Your goals shouldn’t back you into a corner, they should inspire you to move forward with intention.
But that’s not an excuse. It’s not an easy out. If you notice that you’re perpetually not achieving the things you say you want to achieve, we need to dig in there. I promise, what ever it is that’s holding you back CAN change, and it WILL change once you identify it and start focusing on telling a different story.
So, are you ready to make this the year that you build, run and scale a business that gives you all the impact, income and freedom you deserve?
If you want help figuring out exactly how to reach those goals, I encourage you to seek out support and book a complimentary clarity call with me. We'll talk about what those big goals of yours are, where you're feeling stuck/challenged, and the action steps you need to get there sooner than later.