As the saying goes, ‘You have the same number of hours in the day as Beyonce’. Admittedly, we may not have the vocal talent or the pushy parenting that she experienced, but I really like this quote. But how EXACTLY can you plan and reach your Goals?
Keep reading for a step by step guide and a free planning sheet.
Its a stark reminder that we all get the same 1,440 minutes every single day. And what makes us all different is how we choose to spend that time.
After my 33rd birthday last week I sat down to ask myself ‘What do I want to achieve this year?‘. I wanted to dedicate some time to working out my dreams and goals for the upcoming 12 months, and whether I was actually dedicating time to achieving that.
With running Stag & Raven, there are jobs that Kate and I both do to keep the business running. Accounting, cashflow, invoicing and communicating with our fifty Artists are all part of my role. But I also need to focus on how to grow our income and our customers.
There is a difference between running a business, and growing a business. To grow a business or a life you love you need to create goals and plan how to reach them.
Which also means to achieve any goals you need to create a plan, and most importantly do the work.
Here’s the truth. It’s not easy. You have to choose. You have to spend time working out your goals, planning and scheduling the work. Then you have to do it. There’s no short cuts here.
You don’t get healthy by writing a meal plan then not sticking to it. You don’t clear your debts by writing down how you can clear them. You don’t magically get more Customers and you definitely don’t magically have money appear in the bank.. (I wish!)
To get to where you want to be, and to get to who you want to be – you must do the work.
I have created an easy to use free planning spreadsheet that you can create a plan, set your goals and turn your dreams into solid, real possibilities.
How to Plan & Reach Your Goals.
Now, the below process will take a few hours to complete in full. But I guarantee by the end of it you will have created a full and robust plan to help you plan and reach whatever your goals are for the coming 12 months.
1. Write a list of things you want to achieve this year.
Where would you like to be this time next year? Maybe it’s finding a better job, getting out of debt or weight loss? Perhaps you want to learn a new skill or want to stop being so stressed out? Don’t edit yourself, this list is for your eyes only and can be anything in the world so go nuts.
As an example some of mine were:
- Make Stag & Raven the Number 1 Art Site in the UK
- Get a book deal for our Road To Happiness Expedition
- Create my own Art Range
- Be able to run 20 miles per week (I suffer from Chronic Pain so this would be huge)
- Live in a new place and learn the language
- Learn how to Knit
2. Choose Three Things.
There are lots of things I want to do to build this blog, my Art business and myself, but I have to be realistic about how much time I have. While I may have the same 24 hours as Beyonce, I certainly don’t have her money, singing talent, or a legion of staff. Reading through your list what three things jump out at you – what things are the ones that you REALLY want to do, the ones that you KNOW would make you so happy if you achieved them? Pick those ones.
3. Break down your Year.
Let’s use an example. Let’s say your goal is to not only learn to run, but to get to a level in which you are comfortably running 20 miles a week.
Firstly break your goal down into four quarters, each representing three months of the year.
- Months 1- 3 Run 5 miles a week
- Months 4-6 Run 10 miles a week
- Months 7-9 Run 15 miles a week
- Months 10-12 Run 20 miles a week
Which means that you have three months in which to get to a weekly average of 5 miles a week. If we break that down into months…
- Run 1 Mile
- Run 2 Miles
- Run 5 Miles
Which means this month (month 1) you have 30 days to run an average of 1 mile a week. Since the average person can jog 4-6mph, that means you only have to get into the habit of running 15 minutes a week. Now that seems more achievable already.
3. Plan Your Time.
The only way that you are going to get things done is by creating a schedule and working on it. For example, if you get up every day an hour early before work you have an extra five hours a week, 25 hours a month to work on your goals.
Maybe you can dedicate even more time to your goals? Maybe you can put aside two hours every day, or two evenings a week? Work out how much time you can really dedicate to your goals and work backwards.
Can you make more time? (check out my 5 favourite free time saving apps to help you).
For example, if your goal is to write a book maybe you could dedicate one hour every weekday before work to write 400 words. In a month thats 8,000. With most novels averaging at 64,000 words, you could achieve this a year with plenty of time to edit!
4. Create a Schedule.
I have created a free basic 12 month schedule to help you plan your time. Simply write your yearly goals on the front page and then break it down into each month. I have used the running example below.
Then cut and paste your quarterly goals into each section (see below for your first three months). Lastly fill out your weekly schedules in order to achieve this, depending on how often you can run. I’m no fitness expert, this is just an example how you can break down your time!
Of course the hardest bit to all of this is following your schedule and keeping to your goals. Why not find an accountability partner to help you? If you want, you can join the Faceboook Group and upload your goals there and I’ll be on hand to help and support you along the way.
Download the free Year Goal Planning Spreadsheet
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Also published on Medium.