Take the goals you set for the year and turn them into plans using this guide for how to plan your month.
Welcome to Day 2 of the January Planning Series! Today we’ll cover how to take the yearly goals you created yesterday and transform them into actionable, manageable tasks. You can then plan your month. If you didn’t read Day 1 in this series, check it out here.
To recap, you should have 2-3 big yearly goals. These can be financial, health or relationship related, or even reading or learning objectives.
Yesterday you took those goals and wrote down all the steps you need to take to accomplish them. If you aren’t sure what that means, let’s go over it in more detail.
How to Decide on Action Steps
Before you begin, it’s a good idea to have a pen and a notebook. You’ll be doing a lot of writing. Or you can use a scheduling site like Trello if that simplifies things more.
Start with your big goal (or goals) – your dream for 2021. Let’s use this example: start my own online boutique.
Now that’s a big thing to accomplish, and it looks scary all by itself.
Break this goal into 12. Since there are 12 months, decide on 12 tasks that need to happen to accomplish this goal.
For our example, there’s plenty to do. Things like registering a domain name and a bank account, creating social media channels, developing products, advertising, etc.
Find 12 smaller goals within your big plan.
The Steps within the Smaller Goals
Now that you’ve broken down the big goals into 12 pieces, examine those pieces individually. We will now organize them into steps.
Each smaller goal should have between 4-8 steps. For “create social media channels,” your actions might be:
- Choose 3 social media sites.
- Create a profile for each.
- Add content to each one.
- Make a social media schedule.
Decide what order to do the steps in your smaller goals. And use this time to arrange your smaller goals in order of what should be done first. You may have to rearrange things, but it will be easier when it’s all organized.
Once you finish this, you should have 12 small goals to lead to a significant objective at the end of the year. Within the small goals, there should be several smaller steps.
How to Schedule
Your steps should then be accomplished by the week. You may need to do a couple of steps a week or just one, depending on how big the goal is.
Use the goal hour you learned about yesterday to work on these steps.
Get Someone to Help
Find someone who can encourage you with your goals. You don’t have to talk every day or even very often. But check in with this person a few times on your journey to help remind you of your dreams and motivate you to continue.
It helps if you can find someone who also has big goals for 2021. They’ll understand what your reaching for, and you can be a huge help to each other.
Look Back on Progress
What’s more motivating than seeing how far you’ve come since you started? Plan a monthly check-in with yourself to appreciate all that you’ve so far accomplished.
Yes, getting to that end result is essential, but equally important is celebrating the victories along the way. Otherwise, you might forget what you’ve already done and lose your enthusiasm.
Sometimes it helps to give yourself rewards, too, like a day out or a new journal. It may be best to come up with a dollar amount you can budget for when deciding on rewards. (Unless saving money is your goal, in which case, something without monetary value will be best.)
The point is to enjoy your victories along the way.
Breaking your goals down into much smaller chunks is essential to success. However, doing something so little day in and day out may feel a lot like doing nothing.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s difficult at first to establish a habit. But once you do, you’ll notice the difference.
I may not feel very different on my first day of not eating sugar, but on day 30, I’m seeing results and feeling better.
Keep going, don’t give up. And if you fall behind one month, it’s okay. Just work your goal back into your monthly routine. Before you know it, you’ll be accomplishing bigger things than you ever thought possible.