Setting Monthly Goals: Master Milestones with Ease

Setting Monthly Goals: Master Milestones with Ease

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I love setting goals, but even more, I love achieving them. That’s why I often talk about goals. However, it wasn’t always like this. Previously, I had dreams but no clear goals. This changed when I learned about goal setting from Natalie Bacon, a former finance blogger and now a life coach for moms. Her easy-to-follow workbook, Dream Year, was my first resource for setting real goals. Since then, I’ve developed my own routine of setting monthly goals as small steps toward my big goal of building and growing my online business.

With the start of a new month, I thought it would be a good idea to share my simple process for setting and achieving monthly goals. Let’s face it: anyone can set a goal, but implementing a monthly goal and achieving it can be much more challenging.

Often, this is the most difficult part of the process. Because it’s so challenging, and sometimes even feels impossible, we tend to think that goals don’t work and that having them is a waste of time.

It’s easy to think about all the things we want to do someday or even make a list of all the things we want to accomplish monthly. But how do we ensure we can achieve our monthly goals?

Let’s dive in.

The importance of setting monthly goals

But before that, let’s talk about why setting and hitting monthly goals can be helpful.

Here’s my simple answer: When I learned about goal setting, I realized that it helps me understand why I do something and how it can improve my life. Now, I know what I’m doing and I’m more likely to succeed.

When we set goals, whether financial or personal, they often seem distant. Even a one-year goal, which is considered short-term, can feel far away. This time frame can be hard for our brains to connect with.

If we focus solely on long-term goals, it can be easy to give up when things get difficult.

However, there’s a way to make it easier: setting monthly goals.

By breaking our annual goal into smaller parts, a 30-day time frame becomes more manageable than a 12-month one. 

There are other advantages too:

  • We get closer to our annual goal by achieving our monthly goals.
  • We can better monitor our progress and achievements.
  • We can easily make adjustments, which helps us set and achieve our next monthly goals.

If you feel like you’re constantly chasing a goal but never quite achieving it, let’s explore what you can do to finally make it happen.

👉 Read more: Stop Financial Insecurity: Build A Healthy Money Relationship

Some common misconceptions about meeting a monthly goal

Unfortunately, there are some major misconceptions about setting monthly goals. Many people think it’s about optimizing yourself and that it’s overrated and unnecessary. 

And, of course, you don’t need a goal.

However, setting a goal provides clarity about what you actually want to do in your life. It’s about actively becoming the person who creates what you want, rather than feeling dissatisfied because you can’t do what you desire.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

Another common misconception is that achieving monthly goals solely depends on luck or external factors beyond our control, such as being in the right place at the right time or having perfect circumstances. In reality, it depends on our actions and mindset.

One more challenge is the belief that we must achieve our goals alone. We might think we’re weak or incapable if we ask for help or seek advice. But our chances of success are much higher when we ask for help and support and learn from others who have achieved similar goals or are on the same journey as us.

Never be afraid to ask for help. Others are often happy to assist you, just as I am here to help you succeed with your money and live your best life. I also join groups and communities where I get help to achieve my goals, like building my online business.

In conclusion, setting and achieving monthly goals is about creating the life we want. It’s important to see this as a journey, one where we’ll face challenges that help us grow and evolve. Achieving a goal is also about becoming the person we want to be and committing to our lives.

This isn’t a quick process for a few weeks; it’s a lifelong journey, and that’s great. 

This way, we always have the opportunity to shape our lives and the results we want. As this is a lifelong process, we can live consciously and happily in the present while working towards our future goals.

👉 Read more: 5 Simple Habits That Will Change Your Finances

Steps to setting effective monthly goals

Now that we’ve discussed the reasons for setting goals and addressed some common misconceptions, let’s put it into practice.

As I mentioned earlier, setting monthly goals is straightforward. However, achieving a monthly goal requires a concrete plan to follow.

Your extraordinary goal

Your extraordinary goal. Start with the biggest goal and plan down to the smallest, which is the monthly goal. a light bulb on a dart board.

In Natalie Bacon’s goal-setting process, I learned to start with the biggest goal and plan down to the smallest, which is the monthly goal.

That’s why I define my extraordinary goal first. It is what I am aiming for. 

Because I know this to be true: If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.

We must have something to aim for, preferably something big to focus on—something that might be so big it scares you a little.

When it comes to achieving your goals, having the courage to think big is probably the single most important thing you can do.

So do not limit yourself, and do not let limiting beliefs get in the way of you and what could be possible. It’s just as tiring to shoot at a lower target.

So why not go big and aim high? There is no downside.

Even if you don’t achieve it, you’ll still be better off than if you set a tiny goal.

Your why for setting monthly goals

Your why for setting monthly goals. Understand your motivation. A woman writing in a journal.

Understand your motivation. It may seem like a small thing or even an unimportant detail, but being clear about your WHY is probably the most crucial part of achieving your goals.

This is what most people underestimate.

Understanding the why behind what we want keeps us going when the going gets tough. It is the heart and soul of what we do. It makes the discomfort, pain, and frustration of achieving something worth all the struggle.

If I didn’t know exactly why I wanted to build an online business and make money from it, I would have given up long ago, especially during the most difficult phases.

That said, if we aren’t clear about why we want to make a difference, it’s all too easy to give up or get distracted.

The best way to stay motivated is to take control of our decisions based on our values and priorities. You need to connect your small tasks to your larger goals.

In other words, at every step, you should remember and understand your why. If you forget your why, you may begin to view your goal as an obligation someone else placed on you, rather than a decision you made for yourself. When that happens, you lose motivation and what you strive for will never happen.

Your why is the key to staying motivated to achieve your monthly goals.

Your 1-year goal that brings you closer to your big life goal

Your 1-year goal that brings you closer to your big life goal. To make it more realistic, especially regarding your finances, it's necessary to define at least one annual goal. A hand painting a goal.

Having a big goal is great as a long-term vision. But you need to refine it and clearly determine what you want.

To make it more realistic, especially regarding your finances, it’s necessary to define at least one annual goal. This annual goal should bring you closer to your extraordinary goal.

By setting an annual goal, you can break it down into monthly goals as steps toward achieving that short-term goal.

It’s important to clearly define your annual goal.

You can set an annual goal at any time of the year, although it’s common to do so at the New Year. I have created a simple financial planner that you can use as a guide to set your financial goals for the next year, as well as your monthly goals.

👉 Read more: Financial Planning for Women –  A Step-by-Step Guide

Your monthly goals to reach your 1 year goal

Your monthly goals to reach your 1 year goal. Be clear about what you want to achieve at the end of each month. Notes with Remember Your goals written on.

Now that you know your annual goal, refine your process by setting your monthly goals. This is the most detailed part of your goal-setting.

Be clear about what you want to achieve at the end of each month.

For example, if you want to save €3,600 for an emergency fund in one year, your goal for this month could be to save €200. Similarly, define each monthly goal based on your annual goal.

👉 Read more: Create an Emergency Fund Easily Without Feeling Overwhelmed

Staying motivated and overcoming obstacles

No matter how carefully you plan and how clear you are about what you want to do and the steps needed to get there, obstacles are inevitable. A group of people climbing a wall.

But there’s something else we should be aware of as we develop our plan: staying motivated and overcoming potential obstacles.

No matter how carefully you plan and how clear you are about what you want to do and the steps needed to get there, obstacles are inevitable. Distractions can derail you, and setbacks might make you feel like giving up.

That’s why it makes sense to prepare for these challenges early, so you know how to deal with them. Don’t assume that everything will go smoothly. 

Instead, recognize in advance that there will be obstacles and resolve not to let them stop you from reaching your monthly goals. I also loved the way Natalie Bacon taught this in her workbook, turning potential obstacles into strategies.

Here’s the thing: It’s much easier to recover from and overcome setbacks if you’ve mentally prepared for them in advance. 

So, make a plan for what you can do if something gets in your way.

This is another part of goal setting that most people forget. When things get difficult, they don’t know how to handle it.

So, overcome your obstacles before they hinder your progress!

Breaking down your goals into manageable tasks

Breaking down your goals into manageable tasks. A woman looking at a phone.

Here, we take a very practical approach by creating a concrete plan to achieve our goals and actually implementing it. It’s not enough to theoretically want a goal; we must have a clear path to get there.

  • What steps will you take each month to make your goal a reality?
  • How much time do you need to achieve it? 
  • Will you dedicate 30 minutes every day to work on it, or will you take a few days each month to focus on it?
  • What resources or materials will you invest in?
  • How much are you willing to spend to make this dream a reality?
  • What research do you need to do to achieve this goal?
  • Will you search online, read books, or take a course?
  • Who will you ask for help?

Be clear about the specific steps you need to take to achieve your monthly goal. 

When I set my monthly goal, I make a list of all the tasks that need to be done. I then use this list to schedule these tasks in my Google Calendar, ensuring that I actively work towards my goal.

Celebrating achievements and rewarding yourself

Celebrating achievements and rewarding yourself when setting goals. A woman looking at a heart drawn on a mirror.

Setting and achieving monthly goals is not just about being clear on what success looks like. It’s also about having a plan for what you will do — how you will celebrate once you’ve done it!

I learned that rewarding myself when I reach a certain milestone or goal is a great feeling.

However, especially when it comes to your finances, it doesn’t mean throwing away everything you’ve worked for before. Instead, it should be something that motivates you to keep going and not give up.

Learn how to treat yourself and truly celebrate your victories.

When you decide in advance how you want to celebrate or reward yourself, and then actually follow through, your brain makes the connection and says, “I did it! This is fantastic! I want to do this again!”

Even if it seems a little silly, be sure to think in advance about how you will treat yourself once you reach your goal.

The power of setting and achieving monthly goals: Implement your plan

Setting monthly goals is powerful for giving us something to focus on. But achieving our monthly goals requires implementing our plan. It’s as simple as that.

Because we only get results for the plans we implement, not the ones we merely think about.

Instead of just planning, it’s crucial to take action and implement our steps.

For me, this was the hardest lesson to learn because it’s not always comfortable work.

If you plan to spend 30 minutes every day working toward your goal, then spend 30 minutes every day actually doing the things that will get you closer to your goal. Never give up. Act.

You can do things, and you can do them now. Don’t wait until the conditions are perfect because they never will be.

Your ideas only have value if you implement them.

Always remember this.

And your ideas deserve that you stand up for them.

Something magical happens when you start achieving your goals and seeing your dreams come true. Small successes give you the confidence to stretch a little further, dream a little more, and think big.

But it all starts with having a solid framework in place to actually make those dreams a reality.

That’s what setting monthly goals is all about.

If I hadn’t started, I could not be writing to you here today.

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