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Goal Planning – Part 6

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So far in this series, you’ve created your vision, learned about things that may be holding you back from reaching your goals and ways to overcome them, looked at your top priorities and figured out your compelling “why”, written down your long-term and short-term SMARTER goals.

Now it’s time to map out how to put your plans in place!

You’re going to have to work backward on this from the due date to today. By doing this, you can figure out what needs to be done by when and you’ll create a timeline from which to work and live by.  Grab a pen and some paper for this or feel free to download the worksheet below and start brainstorming and creating your plan.

Example: If you want to earn $5,000 more per month within 6 months, what do you need to start putting into place NOW?  If you’d like to lose 30 pounds in 6 months, what does your plan consist of?  What plan can you put together?

Start with your long-term goal, and work your way back in time and write your goals for different milestones:

  • 1 year from now
  • 6 months from now
  • 3 months from now
  • 1 month from now
  • Today

For each milestone, write out what your goals are (be as specific as you can – pulling from the SMARTER formula from Part 5) and use the present tense. For example:

“I have lost 10 pounds” or  “I have paid off one credit card”

Include areas such as health, fitness, finances, relationships, career, education, travel, spirituality, etc.

Writing down your goals is important, but even more important is to remember to refer to them often.  This helps you stay focused and on track. It also allows you to update and adjust your plan of action when necessary.

Example of Setting a Financial Goal

Instead of having a goal of saving money each month, get very specific. What dollar amount do you want to save each month and how can you make that happen?  Determine your “why” and make sure it’s attached to one of your priorities.  Identify your “why” and know the point from which you’re starting.

“I will save some money for a family vacation one year from now to create a great family memory in Hawaii, somewhere we’ve dreamed of visiting.  Since I will need $6,000 and am just starting to save, I will save $500 each month and put it into a savings account specific for vacation. I will take $250 from each of my 2 paychecks per month. To save $250 every two weeks, I will bring my lunches to work and only splurge on a fancy coffee or stop at the café on Fridays.”

This example ties into family priorities as well as priorities for fun and adventure. And it goes from a 1-year goal, down to the daily tasks needed to be done to achieve the goal.

Schedule It!

Once you work through your plan, the final step is to schedule it! Put these daily and weekly tasks on your calendar and schedule specific appointments with yourself. This is where a lot of people fail because they don’t make these tasks a priority.

If you need to, set aside a 20-30 minute block of time once a week to plan for your week ahead. Sundays work great for this because you’re usually less busy and can clearly see the week ahead. This is what will help you will succeed and keep yourself accountable.

Once your goals are in line with your priorities, you have a solid plan in place and you know what you want, deep down inside, you become unstoppable!  Keep your goals in front of you often because this will guide you in the direction you want to go.

Remember – what you focus on is what you get. So what will you start with TODAY?

I hope this series has been helpful for you and you’ve learned a little more about how to start goal planning for yourself. I’d love to hear your feedback. Please check back, shoot me a message, or comment below, I’d love to hear how it’s going for you after you implement this system.

In case you missed any other parts in this series, you can find the entire series linked below:
Part 1: Does Goal Setting Work?
Part 2: Creating Your Vision
Part 3: What’s Holding You Back?
Part 4: Getting Started
Part 5: Be SMARTER
Part 6: Putting the Pieces Together

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