How To Successfully Set Quarterly Goals
Here at MSTRPLN, we love goals. It’s embedded in the foundation of this entire company.
I believe that quarterly goals are some of the most important goals to set. They’re short enough to maintain focus and motivation, but long enough to get something significant done.
If you haven't set quarterly goals yet, you're going to love the feeling that comes when you start checking them off. Once you start checking off your quarterly goals, it gives you the motivation to dream bigger because you realize what's possible.
If you use a MSTRPLN planner, there are pages dedicated to your quarterly goals so you can map them out.
So, the question is, where do you start with building them out?
Identify your one goal
Whether you keep your goals on a personal list, or you map them out in your yearly overview in your MSTRPLN planner, you’ll want to look back at the goals you set for the year.
If you haven’t set yearly goals yet, stop what you’re doing and go write them out. Take as much time as you need. You need to know where you’re headed during the year, because that will determine what you’re going to focus on during the next quarter.
You’ll want to pick just one quarterly goal to give all of your focus and attention. Yes, it can be hard to pick just one! However, you’ll want to ask yourself, “Which one of these will have the biggest impact on my life in three months?” The answer should start to stick out.
The SMART method
To break the goals down into actionable steps, you’ll want to focus on using the SMART method.
S - Specific - is this specific or vague?
M - Measurable - can you measure your goal?
A - Attainable - is it possible to achieve?
R - Relevant
T - Time-bound
Picking multiple goals
It’s possible to pick smaller goals to do at the same time, but if you want to pick a large goal that will take up most of your time, one goal should be your focus.
It is always better to achieve one main goal than attempt a handful of goals but achieve none of them.
My own quarterly goal example
At the time of filming this video, my top goal is to build a budget program.
The first thing I love to ask is, “Why is this my most important goal?” Getting in touch with your why can help you stay focused. It’s something you can revisit when you’re looking for the energy to keep pushing forward with your goals.
What is the reason you’re going to be laser-focused on this goal so that you’ll stop at nothing to complete it?
My “why” for this program is to create a one-stop-shop for all of your budgeting needs. For people who have followed my journey for years, this would put all of my knowledge and advice into one program.
Breaking down the milestones
Once you have your goal and your overall why, it’s time to break it down into milestones. Breaking your goals down into tiny action steps is how you make them come true.
A fitness example:
Milestone: Run 20 minutes
Action step: Buy running gear
Action step: Join local running club
Action step: Run after work 3x/week
For my budget program:
The first milestone is to finish the first draft
The last milestone is to launch
I’m starting this way because it gives me a clear beginning and end point so I can start to map it out. It gives me the first action steps I can take. There will be times when you’re unsure of your next steps, but knowing where to start helps you get the ball rolling.
Staying flexible with the journey
Even with the best planning, things will always pop up. It’s just an inevitable part of life.
That doesn’t mean you should avoid planning altogether, because even a plan that changes beats no plan.