It’s incredible what you can accomplish if you have monthly goals.
Monthly goal setting is a way to achieve your long-term goals, apply your values, or challenge yourself.
You’ve set New Year’s Resolutions before. You know how they end.
You’re motivated to achieve them in January. In February, you’re still holding strong, but the initial excitement has worn off. In March, you slack off now and then. By April, you forget the resolution entirely.
(This sounds a lot like the stages of achieving your goals. Read about each stage here.)
And the cycle repeats every year.
With monthly goals, this doesn’t happen.
The timespan for these goals is short enough that you stay motivated — deadlines are a strong motivator. At the same time, it’s enough time for you to create substantial progress.
That leaves the question:
How do you set monthly goals and how should you use them to get the best results?
The 3 Types of Monthly Goals and How to Set Them
Monthly goals will change your life.
They give you direction and the urgency to follow it. Tell yourself you have a month to achieve something, and you’ll become aware of all the time you waste. You’ll strive to make every moment count.
Monthly goals can help you achieve different things. There are three types of monthly goals each with its own uses.
1. Monthly Goals That Contribute to Your Overall Success
Monthly goals can be mini-goals that lead to your long-term goals.
Like weekly goals, they are the stepping stones on a path to the goals you plan on achieving 3-, 5-, or 10-years down the line.
This trap tricks you into believing that you’ll one day reach success, but you never put in the work. You assume that one day, you’ll have enough time, money, energy, or whatever it is, to put into your goals.
Now the question is…
How do you set this type of monthly goal?
Setting this type of monthly goal is similar to setting weekly goals, so I recommend you take a look at that post: Weekly Goals: How to Set Goals for Weekly Success.
I won’t go into too much detail here as the process is the same.
The gist of how to set monthly goals is:
a. Pick a Day and Time to Set and Review Your Monthly Goals
Selecting a date is the boring part of setting goals, but it’s the one thing that will ensure you are setting your goals every single month. Without this date, you’ll procrastinate setting your new goals and reviewing the last ones.
You may even forget to set your goals and head into a new month without direction.
Will you write your monthly goals on the last day of each month or the first day of it? Will you write them in the morning or the evening?
Answering these questions is key to making the habit stick.
b. Break Your Long-Term Goals into Actions
What are your long-term goals? Do you want to be happy, married, rich, or famous?
What steps do you need to take to reach that goal?
(What does your success look like? Find out how to define success for yourself here.)
For each of your long-term goals, determine what steps need to be taken and what milestones need to be overcome in order to make that abstract goal a tangible reality.
c. Ascertain How Much You Can Do in a Month
Now that you have all the tasks that will take you to success written in front of you, you can think about how many of them you can complete in one month.
The key to setting monthly goals that yield results is to find the balance between challenging and manageable.
I’m sure you can complete 7 months of work in one if you put your mind to it, but you’d have to sacrifice your family, your friends, your sleep, your health to make it happen.
(Are you willing to make sacrifices to achieve your goals? Here’s what success really takes.)
Ideally, you want your monthly goals to be challenging enough that they drive you into action, but still be achievable.
d. Set Your Monthly Goals
You know what tasks you need to do and how many of them you can achieve in a single month. Put that knowledge on paper and set your monthly goals.
“Learn how to manage people” is a bad goal. “Contact 5 leaders from different companies and ask them how they build employee work ethic” is a better one. You know exactly what you need to do and when you’ve achieved it.
e. Review Your Progress, Improve Your Goals and Repeat
Some months you accomplish your monthly goals and more. Other months, you’ll fail to accomplish even half of what you wanted.
At the end of each month, review what your goals were, whether you’ve achieved them or not, and why.
If the goals were too easy, raise the bar for next month. If you didn’t have enough time to complete all you needed to or obstacles got in your way, think of how you can do better the next month.
2. Monthly Goals to Embody Your Values
You’re kind, altruistic, and friendly.
How do you let those characteristics show?
The busyness of life can distract you from embodying your personal values. Monthly goals give you the opportunity to apply your values in a fun, gamified way.
Say you value giving back to your community. You could set a goal to plant 50 trees, attend 3 charity events, or help clean a beach 6 times this month.
Determine what values you hold dearly, and how you can apply them. Set your goal using actionable terms and make sure it’s measurable. How will you know that you’ve achieved it?
3. Monthly Goals to Test Your Limits/Challenge Yourself
Trying to build a new habit, learn a new skill, or change your way of thinking?
Set a monthly goal challenging yourself to practice it for the next 30 days.
Monthly goals empower you to push through the initial resistance you face when getting into something new—whether it be a habit, lifestyle, or hobby.
Select your challenge and determine how you’ll implement it. For instance, I am trying to be more mindful, so I challenged myself to be mindful for at least ten minutes every day.
If you slip one day, don’t get discouraged. Start again. It takes time to settle into your new way of living.
What Monthly Goals Will You Set?
Too many people fall into the trap of thinking that they will get to their goals someday. They push off their success day after day, month after month, until one day, it’s too late.
Monthly goals put your life into perspective. 30 days is enough to make progress in the aspects of life you care about. You stop procrastinating on your success because you realize that every day makes a difference.
A monthly goal is a simple concept that has a tremendous impact.
What monthly goals will you set?