Hi my name is Haley, and I’m a goal addict.
I am self proclaimed goal junkie. I am completely obsessed with setting, planning out and achieving even the craziest goals. I collect planners like a hoarder. I have 4 sitting on my desk right now as I type this and I use ALL of them. I have achieved some pretty unheard of things. Things I should NOT have been able to accomplish in the timeframes that I did. I came out of the recession in debt and borrowing money from my baby sister for gas just to make it to pay day. I clawed my way from 35k a year to 6 figures in 8 months and it was all through goal tracking. (Notice I did not say goal setting). I’ve accomplished both monetary and lifestyle goals and I use the same system every time. It’s not complicated but the more I listen to people, the more I understand that goal setting has been focused on, but not goal reaching. In this post I’m going to tell you how I break down all my goals, big and small, into bite sized pieces. I completely eliminate the guesswork on how to get from point A to point B and I know EXACTLY what I need to do daily to hit my mark.
The 5 Components of reaching any Goal
It is a recipe for failure to have a goal and just take off running towards it with no plan and no tools to measure your progress. You need to make your goals specific, measurable, and time oriented. The following are the five questions you need to ask yourself when drawing out your goal.
What is it?
You need to get very specific here. You can’t just say something generic like I want to lose weight, I want to get out of debt or I want to spend more time with my children. Someone who wants to lose weight will have to do the work to figure out what the ideal weight for their frame is. What is the body fat % you should be at? Someone who wants to get out of debt is going to have to get the exact numbers put together on how much debt they have, what monthly bills are, what total income is. Even lifestyle goals like spending time with your children can be measured in hours and number of activities. Everything has a number. You need to KNOW what your number is.
When do you want to have this done?
This is where everyone seems to struggle. We often think that the date is set by our actions. Untrue! Our actions have to be set by our date. We’re talking about deadlines here folks. You MUST put some pressure on yourself to get this done. You are never more focused than when a deadline is on the horizon. Go ahead and make yourself a little uncomfortable and get that goal good and close. As a rule of thumb, if you genuinely think your goal will take you over one year, you may need to break that goal down further. I suggest you only set goals that can be accomplished in 3, 6 or 12 months. Yes we need our 5 year plans but putting too much time between you and your goals will make them seem very abstract. None of us really KNOW where we are going to be in 5 years but we could probably tell you what we are doing for the holidays. You need to be able to visualize yourself accomplishing those goals in your current life.
What are the milestones?
I have check in points when I’m fishing for whale sized goals. You need to be able to check in and see if you are on track so you can make adjustments as needed. Short term goals (3-6 months) will benefit from weekly to bi-weekly milestones while longer term goals (6 -12months) would be fine with bi-weekly to monthly check ins. I adore this Goal tracker from Michaels. I use it purely for check-ins and it tracks up to 10 goals at a time. Someone with a weightloss goal may want to lose 50 lbs in a year. Bi-weekly check in’s will tell them if they are on track to reach that goal by the deadline. Someone with a lifestyle goal like spending more time with their children, would need to track average amount of hours per week spent, and make sure they are steadily rising. Identifying when we are off track allows us to quickly course correct with minor adjustments. Soooo much easier than trying to play catch up later when realizing you’re way off course!
What are the DAILY tasks you need to do to reach your goals?
That’s right I said daily! This is honestly my favorite part. You can set the craziest, scariest, hairiest goals ever and I promise you, we can break it down into tasks you can accomplish in a few hours (or less) a day. Let’s play shall we? I wanted to know what it would take for me to earn 50K per moth at my current career in landscape architecture. You heard me! 50 THOUSAND DOLLARS PER MONTH. Sound impossible? I thought so too, but look how I broke this down.
50,000 per month is 600,000 per year
I work on commission and average 7.5% give or take 600,000 is 7.5% of 8 million dollars in landscape and pool sales. ( I know I know… this will sound worse before it sounds better)
8 million divided by 12 months is 666,666. I like to round up on everything so lets say 675K in monthly sales is required. (Still sounds horrible)
My average contract is 100K so I need to sell 7 jobs (round up) per month. (Ok this is sounding more doable)
My close rate is usually over 50% but I’m going to round DOWN on this one because remember we are playing it safe. If I close about half of what I present, then I need to be scheduling 14 presentations per month, but I’m going to make that 16 in case somebody reschedules or no shows on me.
16 presentations per month is 4 presentations per week (ok this is starting to sound easy!)
If I want 4 presentations a week I need to submit about 5 designs or revisions a week into my computer department.
That boils down to ONE design or revision per day. HO-LEE-CRAP. That’s it! I just need to get my butt up early, knock out a couple hours in my home office, and the stage is set for success!
Now don’t get me wrong, we ARE talking about 2-3 very focused hours of work, but is that a lot to ask for 50K a month?? I think not!!
What price are you willing to pay to realize your dream?
Dreams come at a cost and you need to establish what you are and are not willing to give up. I am NOT willing to give up time with my children, but I AM willing to give up sleeping until 7:30. I happily trot downstairs to my office at 5 am to get that one vital task done first thing. I can usually get 2 hours of my 3 hour task done before the kiddos wake up. We have breakfast together, nanny gets on about 8 and I finish up on my design. I’ve been doing this for two weeks now and I swear to you it becomes not only easy, but addicting. I really look forward to that time with just me, a fresh cup of coffee and my drafting table. I binge listen to my favorite podcasts and end up totally fired up for my day! (Speaking of which… if you haven’t subscribed to my podcast find me on Itunes at “the Momaholic”.) The best part?? It’s 9 am and the hardest thing I had to do all day is DONE. What a feeling!!
The reason it is so important to establish what price you are willing to pay is to keep you from giving up things you weren’t willing to part with. If you signed a contract with yourself to give up on sleeping in, and then you don’t hold up your end, one of two things will happen. You will either start paying in currency you didn’t want to give up (like time with your kids) and become resentful of your goals OR you will find yourself in the “I’ll start tomorrow” black hole and then your excuses will start to take the place of your commitments. Don’t go there. I would honestly suggest you draft up and sign an actual contract between yourself and the universe. (I’ve made one below for you) Print that bad boy, fill it out ,sign it (in blood if you have to) and tape it up somewhere very visible. If you’re giving up on TV time, plaster that thing to the tube itself. If it’s sleep you’re giving up, tuck your alarm clock in with a contract blanket every night and FEEEEEL the pain of sliding that contract away if you want to hit the snooze. Make the universe agree to your WILDEST dreams if you will only pay the price.
I need to pause and give you tough love here for a second. If you find the price is too steep to reach your goals, YOU DIDN’T REALLY WANT THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE. If you aren’t willing to do something so simple as get out of bed, turn off the TV or unplug from social media scrolling, you really don’t deserve to reach your goals in the first place. A little harsh, but I hope that sting motivates you. If you are willing to pay the price and do the work, the universe WILL honor its end of your contract. It has to!
Show your work!
I’m a sucker for a good strategizing session. Go ahead and tag us @homegrown_halo #dailyprogress and show us your master plans and tell us how your backwards math towards your goals works out. We want to hear about those big dreams and be in your corner rooting for you!