Setting Goals: 5 Steps To Make Following Through A Reality

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With the new year in full swing, the talk of setting goals has been flying around once again. Do you believe in the hype of setting goals each year? I do and I’ve never had trouble with the actual goal setting part. But, following through often hangs me up more than I’d like to admit. The bigger the goal is, the more overwhelming it can feel to get started.

Where do you even begin?

This year, as I’ve been working on a finalized list of goals for the studio, I began using the MiGoals Goals Book as my guide and following their prompts. By breaking each goal down into small, actionable steps, it’s been feeling much more manageable.

The goal setting process:

1. On a sheet of paper, name your goal. Giving it an official title makes it real. Next, decide on the length of time it will take. Is it short and sweet or will it take most of the year to complete?

2. Underneath that, start brainstorming. What will accomplishing the goal do for your life? What kind of shift will it create? Think beyond just crossing another item off your list and instead how you’ll actually feel.

3. On another sheet, list the What, When, Where, Why, How and finally, a reward. Having a goal is great but understanding the ins and outs of what that goal entails will remind you of why you actually want it and what it will take. And the reward part? We all like seeing light at the end of the tunnel and rewarding ourselves for a job well done is important for ongoing motivation.

4. Next, write down a to-do list for the goal. This was the biggest game changer for me by far. I’d write down a goal like Release 5 digital products in 2014 and even though it was something I wanted to do, the sheer scale of designing, developing and releasing each one, let alone five, felt completely out of reach. But, once I started breaking the goal down into a checklist of bite-sized pieces, I saw an end in sight.

As an example, a to-do list for a digital small business book would look like this:

a. Brainstorm 10 chapters around small business subjects (1 week)

b. Outline 5 subsections or articles to cover in each chapter (1 week)

c. Complete writing 1 new chapter a week (10 weeks)

d. Edit, edit, edit! (1 week)

e. Create an InDesign template with a set design of master pages to reuse for each chapter (1 week)

f. Explore final book titles, get feedback (1 week)

g. Explore cover directions, get feedback and revise (2 weeks)

h. Design final cover (1 week)

i. Run final book past an editor (1 week)

j. Create an outline of the book for the sales page and hire a copywriter to refine (1 week)

k. Package final PDF and reach out to peers and bloggers with advance copies (1 week)

l. Launch!

m. Refine and repeat for the next product

5. Finally, once your project is complete, jot down the outcome. Did it turn out the way you wanted? What could you change or do better next time? This is especially helpful if you plan on doing a series of products in the same realm.

While this method is common sense, having it all in one place has really made a difference for us. I can throw the book in my bag and go. I’m never fumbling around for text documents. It’s all right there. You can grab your own goals book right here. -Shauna

3 thoughts on “Setting Goals: 5 Steps To Make Following Through A Reality

  1. Yep, needed this reminder! One of my biggest goals this year is to self-publish my first novel, but that on its own is an overwhelming challenge. Much better to think about the steps required first!

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