In this weeks post, I wanted to talk about monthly goals. When it comes to life coaching (Hello! I’ll be opening up my books for clients in the near future so watch this space!) setting goals is the first point of contact. Laying out what you want to achieve sets the pathway for the relationship you have with your life coach. They will help you to see clearly a direction to achieve your dreams and guide you into the life that you love.
Setting Monthly Goals
Once you have your overarching goal in mind, its vital to break it down into progress goals and actionable steps – something I talk about more here.
Therefore, setting monthly goals is a key component of the process.
If we visualise the goal setting process as a pyramid, at the top you have your GOAL, but as you walk down the steps of that great structure you gain more detail, get more concise and gritty with the exact path you will take to reach the top.
If you were going on a trip, would you get in the car and start driving, or select your destination and plan your route? This is the exact reason we set goals in this way.
You have more time to process the journey as a whole rather than being reactive to the situation as you go along. It also allows you to prepare for any obstacles you might encounter (read my full post on obstacles here) .
Monthly goals should be what you consider to be huge strides towards your goal. You should see real progress each month; progress which will in turn motivate you and fuel your determination to continue.
Monthly Goal Review
As well as setting monthly goals, it’s also important to review our progress at the end of each month.
By tracking your progress each month you’ll also be able to look back and see exactly how far you’ve come, which is why I’ve created my FREE Goal Tracking Sheet which you can download and keep!
If we continue onwards without assessing progress we’ve made along the way, we can’t tell what is or isn’t working. I encourage you to engage in monthly review sessions with yourself.
Be critical, honest and open about how the month has gone, any obstacles you faced and how you overcame them as well as things that have worked really well for you.
Didn’t wake up as early as you wanted to?
Create a plan to tackle that over the coming month.
I’ve been saying a lot recently but Everything IS Figureoutable – Psst.. if you haven’t read Marie Forleo’s book yet it was one of the tools that really clicked my mindset into place! It’s such a simple concept but can have such a huge impact.
READ NEXT: 5 Simple Steps To SMART Goal Planning
What should your monthly goals be?
Ok, so the nuts and bolts.
As I said above think of your Goal as a pyramid – the further down we get, the more detailed we become.
I’m not gonna lie, goal setting can be hefty work. I regularly review my goals and tweak things, for example when I first set my BIG GOALS I completely missed off the ‘Open My Own Life Coaching Practice’.
Sometimes we can get so caught up on the detail, or distracted by other goals, we forget big things – or maybe thats just me and my forgetfulness. Honestly.. anyone seen my head lately?
When you’re setting a 12 month goal it can be tempting to rush straight in and plan out every month straight from the off. However, this can lead to overwhelm and frustration if each month doesn’t go exactly to plan.
Instead I find its better to first split your 12 month goal into 3 month chunks – your quarterly goals.
I plan mine like this: Jan – Mar Apr-June Jul – Sep Oct- dec
I like having my quarters laid out with the seasons but if it makes more sense to start from where you’re at, go for it!
Keeping in mind your pyramid, your quarterly goals and monthly goals should always reflect where you’re aiming to end up.
What actions will see you climbing higher up that pyramid and getting ever closer to your goals.
In our example of running a marathon, quarterly goals could be to increase your running distance by 5 miles. If you achieve those, you could then work on improving your time.
Once you have a quarterly goal, you can easily break down into logical monthly progress steps. It’s at this point you can get really detailed about the exact steps you’ll be taking each day or week to reach your goals.
The Knock On Effect
I find it amazing just how much detail you can really get down on paper when you’re given the correct structure to work by. All those steps that suddenly click into place and make complete sense whereas once you would’ve been fumbling around in the dark searching for the right path!
Just as you can see in the goal setting pyramid, when we dissect our end goal and gradually break it down, it becomes easier to lay out and plan each small step and each great leap forward.
Each action that we take towards our goals has a knock on effect. It builds momentum, changes our mindset and boosts our motivation to continue. This is one of the huge benefits of monthly goals in my opinion.
Unlike an Annual goal which can easily be set and forgotten about, monthly goals are constantly at the forefront of our mind.
They should guide your month in the same way a SatNav directs you to your destination.
When you are keeping track of your goals, that effect is amplified. Suddenly the goal is out of your head and you have a visual reminder of how well you’re doing, or where adjustments need to be made.
Setting your monthly goals doesn’t have to be difficult or scary. It simply takes a bit of analytical thinking to dissect them and make them achievable. Remember to always allow yourself flexibility within your goal setting as well and keep regularly reviewing your progress. You really can do anything you set your mind to.