In the pursuit of a happy life and a healthy bank balance, I often set myself monthly goals to help me to remain focused. I know that some people struggle for ideas, so I’m going to share my tips for generating monthly goal ideas, setting them and reaching them.
Why set monthly goals?
I always try and set my goals at the start of each month. I find that monthly goals work for me, because a month isn’t a long period of time. It feels manageable. This means that if I set a goal that will be hard to manage, I know that I only have to focus on it for a short period of time. I believe that setting (and hopefully achieving) your monthly goals is an essential part of self improvement and it can help to improve your overall sense of wellbeing.
To help you to generate ideas, brainstorm the different areas of your life: friends, family, health, career. You could then make a list of the things you’d really like to achieve in those areas. You’ll then need to break those dreams down into steps and to set time frames. You may find that some great monthly goal ideas come from this exercise.
Areas for improvement
Remember, you need to care enough about the outcome of a goal to achieve it. So when coming up with monthly goal ideas, I think about the areas of my life that I could improve and I always try to choose a goal that will help me in a particular area of my life.
If I need to focus on saving money, then I will set myself a savings challenge. If I am feeling sluggish then I’ll consider a daily exercise goal. If I want to focus on productivity, then I might set myself a goal around writing or life admin. But unless I look at the bigger picture and my overall hopes, I struggle to find monthly goal ideas that I’m motivated to complete.
When setting your goals, you need to focus on making progress and not on perfection. This is very important. If you focus on the ideal outcome then you may set an unrealistic goal. This could lead to you feeling disheartened and unwilling to set future goals.
There’s no point in committing to run a marathon in a month if you don’t own running shoes. And there’s no point in trying to pay off a £5,000 worth of debt if you don’t earn that amount in a month. But if you’d like to start running, then maybe you could look at completing Couch to 5k, and if you’d like to clear debt then you could focus on clearing a chunk of it.
Look for inspiration
If you’re in need of inspiration, then it might be worth looking at what others are working towards. Ask your friends if they set monthly goals and discuss ideas with them. Or look on social media for ideas; if you search for hashtags such as ‘goals’ and ‘monthly goals’ on Instagram, then you’ll find posts from others that you can use as inspiration. Don’t compare yourself to anybody else though. The aim isn’t to be the best in the world, you’re just trying to be a better version of yourself.
Make yourself accountable
If you manage to come up with a goal idea and you decide to set it, then you should always hold yourself accountable. This could be personally, or publicly. I find it useful to post on Instagram about my monthly goals. I set them at the start of the month and I explain how I got on at the end. By holding myself accountable, I find that my goals are at the forefront of my mind. Achieving a goal also inspires me to think about and set a new one.
You don’t have to set goals online of course. If you’re not into publicly declaring your plans, then perhaps you could list your monthly goals within a 100-day plan?
Put it on your vision board
You should add your monthly goal to your vision board. That way, you’ll see a visual representation of the thing you’re working towards and it will stay at the forefront of your mind. If done right, a vision board can be a powerful tool that will help you to achieve your goals. It’s possible to make one for less than £10 too.
Is it worth it?
Setting goals is always worth it and whilst coming up with monthly goal ideas can be tricky, it isn’t impossible. You’ve just got to ask yourself what you want and work out what’s achievable. It you’re still drawing a blank though, then perhaps you should try to get out the rut you’re in before attempting to set new goals. This list of inspirational quotes and these motivational tips should also give you a boost.
How do you come up with monthly goal ideas? Do you find the process difficult? If you’re interested in goal setting, then you should check out my productivity section.