How to set Monthly Goals: 6 Simple steps to set your month up for success

Half of the year is gone. Oh my, has time flown by? If you have goals in mind that you still need to work on, now is the time to get serious. The first of a month is a great time to sit down and focus on your goals. 

A new month symbolizes a new beginning. You are at square one at the start of the month. It is up to you how the next 30 days will look. Here are six simple steps to set your month up for success.

1. Buy a paper calendar or planner

Yes, I am aware that the year is 2022. This is the age of social media and cell phone obsession. Yes, I am aware that you can easily just type in your goals in a digital calendar on your mobile device and go on about your day. However, my advice is to buy a paper calendar or planner.

Your phone is probably constantly going off with notifications from Facebook, text messages, phone calls, emails, you name it. So much so that it is easy to be desensitized to what is important and what is not. Take a moment to put the phone down and even on “do not disturb” to write things down. I promise it helps in the process.

I purchased my calendar from Dollar Tree for $1.00 (plus tax). It’s durable and small enough to fit inside any purse that I am wearing. If you are into the more elaborate/ decorative calendars, Target or Michael’s have you covered.

2. Define one attainable goal for the month

Select the goal you want to work on for the month. Be clear and concise about what it is you are aiming for. Be very specific. For example, if you are leaning in towards a health and fitness goal for the month, try to avoid making the goal too broad and narrow. 

An example such as “I want to lose weight this month.” Instead, be very specific. A more precise version of this goal would be: “I want to lose 5 pounds in 30 days” or “I will not skip more than 2 days a week exercising.” Now, you have targeted a variable of “what,” “when,” and “how many” in your goal. Good job so far.

3. Find a quote that inspires you

It’s not every day that you will be motivated to work on your monthly goal. Many days, you will want to quit. You will have bad days and feel like giving up. This is a part of the process. 

I wish I could sell you a dream. A dream where there were no obstacles and it would be easy. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it will not be. At those moments, you will need to draw on outside inspiration to help get you through. 

On https://www.brainyquote.com, you can find a quote you like. Write it at the top of your calendar. Read it at the beginning of the month. Read it daily. Read it, especially when the going gets rough.

4. Outline daily and weekly focus points

You will have to break your goal down into smaller steps if you are serious about this. Creating a “To-Do” list will help with this step. Each item on the “To-Do” list can be assigned to different days throughout the month to assist in helping you reach the overall objective.

To further expound on the example of health and fitness: If your monthly goal is to “Learn how to make smoothies & drink one a day,” you will need:

*a blender

*buy tumblers or plastic cups

*buy straws

*buy fruits and vegetables

*find recipes

*make your own recipe book

*determine shelf life of certain fruits and vegetables

*watch tutorials on YouTube

*plan time to make smoothies

*set daily reminders on your phone to drink a smoothie

Those 10 tasks (maybe more if you need other things) can seem daunting maybe even overwhelming. However, if you pick two items off the list and write them in your calendar for Monday, 1 for Tuesday, 2 for Wednesday, and keep going. This will help you throughout the month. 

5. Pick one day a week to evaluate and review

It’s important to periodically review your goal progress. Take 30 minutes to 1 hour for this review. Read your quote and look at the activities you completed. Highlight any that you have not completed in the last 7 days. 

This is the time to evaluate what is working well for you and what things you can change on a daily basis. If you fell off the wagon in the previous 7 days, identify what exactly got you off track. Can you avoid it moving forward? Don’t beat yourself up if this happens. 

Allow yourself grace. Accept your faults. Refocus. You may want to search for daily affirmations or even hire a mentor to stay on track. Keep a journal about your progress so far. How are you feeling?

Other things to consider at your weekly review:

*Am I afraid of failure?

*What changes would improve my happiness?

*Is this goal realistic?

6. Gift yourself

If you go a full week and meet each daily goal, gift yourself. Embarking on a new task is exciting. It can be tiresome at the same time. You will need to prioritize celebrating an accomplishment. 

This is not an over-the-top party or an excuse to be the center of attention. Instead, this will give you the motivation to keep going. This is a moment for a round of applause to you (from you) for being awesome. The gift can be small and inexpensive (such as a candle, a massage, a relaxing bubble bath, or flowers). Whatever you may choose, take a bow for a job well done.

Monthly goal ideas:

*Read a new book for the month

*Save $350.00 this month

*Find a new job/Submit three new applications a week

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