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It’s a new month and you know what that means: New month, new goals!
One of the best parts of a brand-new month is the opportunity to set new goals for the month. I always feel a wave of motivation when I start a new month.
It’s like an opportunity to set little baby New Year resolutions. 😉
But, if I’m honest, by about halfway through the new month, my new goals have already been pushed to the back burner. Once the initial motivation wears off, it can feel really hard to stay up on your goals.
At least, it felt hard for ME until I learned how to set new monthly goals that I can stick to.
These are all the best tips I have for how to set, execute, and reflect on my new monthly goals. (I even threw in some extra motivation in this post! Stay tuned!)
New Month, New Goals: Setting Them
So you want some new goals for a new month… the first step is obviously setting them.
There are a few different steps I take when I want to set new goals for a new month.
I believe that the most important part of being successful in achieving goals is setting the right goals.
These steps help me narrow down my goals and find out exactly what goals to set.
Step 1: Reflect on the Previous Month
Reflection is one of the best ways to grow. As part of my end-of-the-month routine, I love to reflect back. Whether I had a good or bad month, reflection is something that I find very valuable in moving forward
Some questions I ask myself when reflecting on the past month:
- What were the highlights?
- What were the low points?
- When did I feel happiest?
- Did I accomplish my monthly goals?
- Am I happy currently?
- What didn’t go well this past month?
Those are some of the types of questions I like to ask myself before setting new goals for a new month.
Take a moment to journal and look back on the previous month before setting goals for the new one!
Step 2: Look Forward to the New Month
After some reflection, it’s time to look forward to the new month! This is the fun part… this is where you get to DREAM and PLAN!
To start this process, I jot down some goals and dreams for my progress moving forward into the new month. This can be something as small as waking up 10 minutes earlier or something as major as making a major purchase.
Here are some prompts to help you prep for the new month:
- What are my goals?
- Where do I want to be at the end of this month?
- What habits do I want to focus on?
- Do I have any set responsibilities/goals to reach?
There are TONS of questions you can ask to help prompt your new month’s new goals! It’s all about finding what works best for getting your goal-related creative juices flowing.
Step 3: Be Practical and Prioritize
This step is less fun but ESSENTIAL if you want your new month goals to stick!
You have GOT to be practical and prioritize the goals that are most important to you. I know that for me personally, I have a ton of goals but I am so busy that it’s just overwhelming to tackle them all at once.
This is where prioritizing goals comes in.
Make a list of the goals that seem particularly important or time-sensitive to you. If something NEEDS to be done this next month, that is obviously one that will take priority over a long-term goal that you set just for fun.
While a new month of new goals is fun, it’s important to not spread yourself too thin.
5 Tips for Planning Goals for a New Month
Oh boy! This is where we really dive into those new goals!
If you want to be successful and see results with your new month’s goals, you NEED a solid plan.
Here are a few of my essential tips to ensure that my new month’s new goals are doable, achievable, and that I’m set up for success.
Tip 1: Start Big and Narrow Down
I like to use a funnel approach to goal setting.
This is actually quite fun because you can focus on your dreams and get really excited about how you are going to reach them.
Basically, this approach allows you to acknowledge your big, long-term dreams and goals. Then, you break them down into smaller actionable steps that you can take in this new month of new goals.
For example: if my big goal is to read 24 new books this year, I could break that down into a goal for the new month… reading 2 books per month.
If I wanted to take that one step further, I could make a daily goal of reading 20 (or so) pages a day.
See how we start with the big goal and break it down?
This approach allows you to achieve your “big” goals way better than if you just tried to tackle them at once. Oftentimes, too much focus on the big goal leads to overwhelm and making excuses.
When you break it up into smaller goals, it’s much more doable, less overwhelming, and exciting.
It is so gratifying to know you are taking steps to a big end goal!
Tip 2: Set SMART Goals
SMART goals don’t just mean that you are a smart person setting goals… although that is true. 😉
SMART is actually an acronym for a certain approach to goal setting.
I first remember learning about SMART goals when I was in middle school, so, needless to say, I have lots of practice with them.
It’s become second nature for me to set SMART goals when making new goals for a new month.
Your “new month, new goals” strategy should include some knowledge of SMART goals.
Here is what SMART stands for:
It’s important to be really specific when setting new monthly goals. If your goals are too vague, they are not only harder to achieve but are also less fun to work towards.
Being really specific with what your goal is, why you want to achieve it, and what is involved in achieving it is way more likely to set you up for success than just blindly setting goals.
Try to ask yourself the 5 W’s for goals: Who? What? Where? When? Why?
That will give you a good starting point for a specific goal.
You want to be able to measure your progress in your “new month new goals” journey, right?
Making sure your new goals for the month are measurable will help you stay motivated and track how they are going.
Going back to the last example: do you want to read more books? How many?
OR maybe you want to “drink more water”. How much?
OR you want to “work out more”. How many times per week? For how long?
See how setting measurable goals makes them more concrete and achievable?
Setting goals that are vague in the measure are nearly impossible to track progress. Make sure yours are measurable so you can KNOW if you are achieving them.
We talked about this a BIT earlier in the “New Month, New Goals” tip about being practical.
You have to really ask yourself if your new goals are realistic. They may push your limits… that’s not a bad thing.
But is it realistic? Achievable? In your control?
For example, maybe you want to run 6 miles without stopping. If you haven’t run at all for 3 years, that goal may not be achievable for this new month.
Instead, you could set a goal to run 1 mile every other day for 2 weeks and then increase to 2 miles for the next 2 weeks.
See how that second goal is specific, measurable, and achievable?
Okay, I feel pretty confident that we have the “SMA-” of “SMART” goals… let’s keep going.
Setting relevant goals is something we already touched on. Really, this is just about ensuring that this goal is important to you.
- Is this goal REALLY something I want to achieve?
- Is this a good time for this goal?
- Does this goal help get me to my bigger end goals?
- Does this goal fit into my life at the current moment?
These questions will really help you decipher if your goal is relevant and prominent in your life right now.
SET AN END DATE.
This is less difficult when you are setting “New Month, New Goals” since the end of the month is the implied end date for your goal.
But, if you want to achieve a goal faster than the end of the month (or if you know it’ll spill over into future months), it’s important to note that.
- How long will it take to achieve the goal you have set?
- When do you plan to check in to track progress?
- When will you know you have accomplished the goal?
- Do you foresee any challenges in achieving this goal by the end date?
- How will you adapt to these challenges?
Ask yourself some of these questions to make sure your new month’s goal is timely and time-bound.
Tip 3: Focus on Daily Habits
This is an essential tip if you want your new goals to stick, you have got to make some daily habit swaps. Daily habits and goals are directly connected.
By developing good daily habits that align with your goals, you are much more likely to achieve your goals.
You cannot rely solely on motivation for achieving your new month goals.
Motivation is great, but daily habits are what actually make goals happen.
Forming good daily habits that lead you to your goals are important for multiple reasons:
- They give you actionable steps to take you toward your goal.
- Habits are consistent, unlike motivation which varies.
- Developing good habits will keep your goal intact, even after you initially achieve it.
- You have more control over habits than goals.
- While goals are for a specific time, habits can last forever.
Those are just 5 benefits of developing good habits as a way to reach your new monthly goals.
Let’s look at another example of this.
If your big goal is to “eat healthier”, maybe you want to focus on eating out less. You may narrow that down to a SMART goal of cooking meals at home 4 nights a week for the first month.
Then, you have to translate that SMART goal into actionable daily habits.
See how these small daily habits all help you get to the big overall goal of “eating healthier”?
The bottom line is… if you want to see progress with your goals, you have got to start with your everyday habits.
Tip 4: Use a Planner
Okay, so you have some new goals for your new month. You’ve narrowed them down, made them into SMART goals, and have come up with the daily habits necessary to achieve them. Now what?!
Now, it’s time to take action.
The first step I always take with my “new month, new goals” is to get organized. If you have spent any time on my blog, you know I have a huge love for planning.
Whether you already use a planner or not, this is an essential step for setting successful goals for yourself.
My planner is the only way I stay on track and keep my mind from getting overwhelmed.
I always schedule my days, using a rough time-block strategy to plan them out.
When I am focusing on my new monthly goals, I make sure to incorporate all of them into my everyday routine in my planner.
I sit down with my planner as part of my morning routine and schedule time to pursue my goals.
Having a planner holds me accountable, takes some stress off my brain, and ensures that I am taking all the right steps toward my goals.
Tip 5: Drop the Excuses
For the final tip about how to achieve your “new month, new goals”, you have got to STOP MAKING EXCUSES.
Making new month goals is only half the battle… you have to commit, mentally and physically, to actually focusing and pursuing these goals.
And that’s easier said than done.
Making excuses is a natural human response. It’s totally normal for excuses to creep up when you are pursuing new goals because it is hard.
This whole “new month, new goals” thing is HARD. But, good news: you can do hard things.
There are many different reasons that excuses creep up, but there are always ways to avoid them.
I have an entire post on how to stop making excuses to actually achieve your goals that goes super in-depth on this topic. Check it out if you need some help overcoming the excuses.
Top 5 New Month, New Goals Essentials
Okay, now you have all the tips and tricks for setting goals and starting this whole “new month, new goals” thing. The last part to set you up for success is making sure you have all the necessary tools for goal setting.
Essential 1: Goal Setting Journal
Having a proper goal-setting journal is crucial for a successful month of new goals. This helps you plan your goals, visibly see your goals, track your progress, and sets you up for success!
If you want unlimited access to printable goal-setting sheets, I have built a full goal-setting planner specifically for the start of a new month! (Currently ON SALE! Get it ASAP!)
This journal literally walks you through, step-by-step, everything I have discussed in this post. It is so helpful!
Essential 2: Daily Planner
Anyone that knows me knows I LIVE for a good planner – especially for goal setting and planning! I actually love to carve out a section specifically for my “new month, new goals”.
As of 2022, I am committed and in love with my Erin Condren Life Planner. There is even a spot at the start of each new month for some new goals!
Essential 3: Vision Board
I talk all about vision boards in my post about how to make a vision board and why you need one, but I need to touch on it again.
Seriously, the benefits of a vision board are amazing.
Whenever I am lacking motivation or feel like giving up, one look at my vision board helps me remember my end goals and pushes me to keep going.
Not to mention, people who make vision boards have been proven to be WAY more likely to achieve your goals. Many small business owners credit a vision board for helping them in their success.
I bought this vision board supply set and it has literally everything you need to set up a vision board. Love it!
Essential 4: Motivational Reminders
Now, you can do this in a few different ways. Some people like to plaster motivational quotes on sticky notes around the house.
I, personally, LOVE my home decor that has motivational quotes already on them. Wall hangings, photo frames, wall decals, etc.! I love them all!
I’m going to link some of the FAVORITES that I have/want in case you want to check them out.
This quote about the journey of life is SO INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT AND TRUE! I actually have this exact sign with a different quote on my bedroom wall. It is truly one of my favorite pieces in my room. So simple, yet so beautiful.
These signs are great for motivation. Some days you just need that little reminder to keep hustling for your goals. Love, love, love these!
I am an affirmation girl. I fully believe in the power of affirmations.
These are perfect examples of how you can creatively incorporate affirmation reminders into your everyday life.
I actually really want something like this for my office space. So cute and such a great reminder for when I am feeling less than incredible.
Essential 5: Motivational Goal-Related Books
There are tons of great posts that round up all the best goal-setting books, but I personally can’t attest to all of those. I only want to share with you the books that I have read personally that have helped me with sticking to my new monthly goals.
Here are my top 3 motivational goal-related books:
Goal Book 1: Atomic Habits
Atomic Habits is a book that I truly believe everyone should read in their lifetime. It teaches you the importance and the art behind setting habits for a successful and intentional life.
It’s a pretty quick read, too, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t read it.
Goal Book 2: Goals
This book is titled “Goals: How to Get the Most Out of Your Life” and that is truly what it is all about. It offers so many amazing tips and great advice for how to set goals and actually make progress toward them.
Rather than just being busy, this book tells you how to actually be productive in working towards your goals.
Goal Book 3: You are a BadA**
I love how these books take a real, tough-love approach with some humor and lightheartedness. It makes them super easy to read while still being incredibly resourceful.
A New Month Means New Goals – Are You Ready?
Now that you know all the tips, tricks, and essentials for planning new monthly goals, you should be all ready to set your “new month, new goals“!
It always feels so exciting to me to start a new month with new goals and intentions. I hope this post can help you feel just as excited!
Here’s to crushing our goals this next month- and every new month!