We’ve all been there before – especially at the start of a new year. We have big goals, new resolutions, exciting plans, and a desire to accomplish and achieve so many things.
But somewhere along the way, something happens: we get stuck. Our big plans end up all but forgotten and our dreams lost somewhere in the chaos and busyness of everyday life.
The problem is that while we’re great at setting high and lofty goals, breaking those goals down on a practical level and implementing them on a daily basis is a lot more challenging!
In our series this month, we’ve been talking about Living With Intention. We kicked off the series and then encouraged you to select your 2021 Word For The Year. We followed that with some of our favorite tips for living a well-designed life. And then, most recently, we uncovered the importance of Setting Intentional Goals across the five most important areas of life.
Today, we’re going to take a look at breaking down your goals into practical steps on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis. Are you ready?
To reach your goals this year, it’s important to turn them into actionable steps and put them within your reach. Here’s our favorite way to do just that!
Make Sure Your Goals Are Clear
First things first, it’s important to ensure that your goals are clear. Instead of setting a goal to get healthy, it’s important to be specific. What does “being healthy” mean to you? For example, does this mean sleeping eight hours per night – or exercising four times per week – or learning to cook quick, healthy meals five nights per week? Or perhaps some combination of these?
Once you have clear objectives in mind, you’ll be able to break them up into doable steps – and then work towards accomplishing them.
Next comes the planning. Planning for success is important, but actually making it happen is where the real work begins. Here are some simple ways you can break your goals down into smaller steps that will make them more possible to achieve.
Define Monthly Actions
First, with your overarching goal in mind, define the things that you’d like to accomplish on a month-to-month basis.
Say your big goal is to run a marathon in six months, your monthly sub-goals might include using the first month to build a base level of fitness and to work on establishing a good running technique. This stage should also include adjusting your diet, getting plenty of rest, and hydrating enough as well. The next month might include building endurance and increasing speed.
No matter what your big-picture goal is, it’s important to break it up into monthly actions, so that you have time-based objectives to work towards, gradually bringing you closer and closer to your goals.
Set Weekly Routines
From there, you can start setting up your week for success. It’s important that you carve out 20-30 minutes a week to create a plan of attack for your upcoming week. (Here at Day Designer, we love the routine of a Sunday planning session!)
Schedule your week with the routines and tasks that you need to accomplish as well as the goals that you’ve set for yourself. Breaking your monthly sub-goals up into weekly routines will not only make your larger goals easier to reach, but it will also help you stay on task and incorporate these things into your daily life as well.
A great tool to help you visualize what you want out of each week is our Ideal Week worksheet, which can be found in our Flagship Planners. (We also offer it as a free printable!) Schedule in what matters most, and then fill in the rest.
Create Daily Habits
You’ve heard it before, and it’s true: “You have to plan your own success.” Without a plan, it’s difficult to finish anything, and harder still to reach your goals. Either you can be in control of your day – or the events of the day will control you! (Isn’t that the truth?)
Be sure to plan your day in an effective manner, looking over your tasks and eliminating time-wasters and unneeded tasks. You should also be sure not to overload your day too much. Always plan for unexpected tasks that will arise. At this stage, you’ll also want to ensure that you work to implement healthy daily habits – things that you can incorporate into your routine that will better you or others in some way – as well as ones that will help you to reach your big-picture goals.
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Our signature planning page, which is the heart of our Flagship Daily Planner, will guide you through the process of mapping out your day — aligning your schedule alongside your to-dos with additional prompts for dinner, daily gratitude, and more. (Try it for free here!)
Planning takes time and effort, but it’s tremendously important and vital for achieving your goals! No matter what your goals are or how daunting they might seem, breaking them up into doable steps will help to bring success within your reach.
We’re rooting for you, and know you can do it!
Tell us about a daily habit or weekly routine that is designed to support one of your goals.
Day Designer is a proven system to get organized and live with intention—your tool for mapping out your big-picture goals and carving out time in your schedule for the things that matter most.