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Setting Monthly Goals: a 30 Day Action Plan

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Goal Setting is Still Important, Especially in Uncertain Times

It may feel futile to set monthly goals when there’s so much uncertainty, such as in this 2020 Covid-19 period. Yet during uncertain times goal setting is as important as ever. Setting monthly goals that you then divide into weekly and daily goals can create the structure you need for positive forward movement.

To keep visioning your future goals, then working toward your future self through daily actions helps maintain balance and optimism. Add in some dynamic movement as a part of your daily goals and this will all go a long way toward elevating your overall sense of wellbeing and positivity.

Goal Setting Helps Calm Concerns

Let’s not waste our precious life in complaining, criticism, worry and fear.  Let’s not get caught up in the bad news of the day. If there’s nothing we can do now to change it, then chances are it’s just keeping us from our goals and contributing negativity to our lives.

The Worst That Could Happen

Consider the worst case scenario that troubles you. Whether it is to happen or never to happen, your worry won’t change it, but it will change you. Worry constricts and diminishes joy and creativity. Don’t let it win.  

We’re rolling into the last quarter of a historical year. If, under the circumstances, you’re off track with your goals, consider how you might be able to adjust and recreate a new plan to help you get back on track.

A Proven Path

The more optimistic, agile and resilient we are, the happier and more successful, no matter the circumstances.

Many have survived far worse circumstances and prevailed and excelled. The resilience of optimism, hope and positivity is proven to work, and begins with planning for a better future, then plotting our way there.

Have you set your goals for this month? How about the next? If you haven’t, today is a good time to start.

Setting Monthly Goals

Each layer of goal planning, from annual goals to daily goals, is a process of refining and manifesting your vision through a series of action plans.  If you have already established your macro 90-day goals, creating your monthly goals plan is the next step.

But even if you haven’t yet created a 90-day plan… or if that seems too far out for you at this point, don’t worry. You can start with monthly goals and break those down into weekly and daily goals. The more you set and refine your monthly goals through weekly and daily tweaks, the easier and faster it gets.

But if the month seems too much to plan at once, no problem! You can start with the week, or even the day at first. Consider what you’d like to be able to check off as having done by day’s end, and make that your goal/s.

Setting goals gets easier, faster and more efficient… the more you do it, the easier it gets. Getting more done, without more work.

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”
~Pablo Picasso, Spanish painter, poet, playwright, sculptor, ceramicist, 1881-1973

Pablo Picasso Quote on Goals. #PicassoQuotes #GoalQuotes #Goals #MotivationQuotes #Inspiration #ArtistQuotes #MonthlyGoals #GoalsPlanning
Photo credit – Arnold Newman / Liaison Agency

Table of Contents

Audio Article – Monthly Goals Planning:

Goals Planning Gets Easier

The great thing about goals planning is that it’s a naturally repetitive process that becomes increasingly easier and more efficient.

The same process used for determining your annual and 90-day goals can also be used to develop monthly goals.  This is because the process of deciding doesn’t change. The details and scope change, but the process can be repeated from macro to micro and back again.

Take each of your 1-3 quarterly goals and start writing down the smaller goals you need to set in order to achieve the larger goal/s.   Get every action step you can think of down before you start refining the list.

Goals are like setting a GPS to your destination. Even if you get off course, your goals are there to guide you back on track.

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”
~Tony Robbins, Entrepreneur, author, coach, philanthropist, b.2/29/60

RELATED: for awesome free personal development resources, check out these from Tony Robbins.

The Perfect Plan is a Myth

Don’t obsess about creating the perfect monthly plan. A perfect plan is a myth, because the resistance of life happens in the process of bringing the mental vision into physical reality.

The perfect blueprint by the best architect still needs tweaking in the field. Same thing with your monthly plan as you get into it. For now, just strip the monthly goals down to the essential actions for achieving them, then added together, these will help you achieve your quarterly goals.

You focus on the essentials and let go of the rest, because you must to achieve your dreams.
~LeAura Alderson,®

"You focus on the essentials and let go of the rest, because you must to achieve your dreams." ~LeAura Alderson,®  #MonthlyGoals #90DayGoals  #QuarterlyGoals #GoalsPlanning #QuarterlyGoalsSheet  #FreeGoalsPlanningSheet #GoalsJournal #GoalsSetting

Example of 30 Day Goals

So what does breaking down goals actually look like? Our goals for the fourth quarter of 2018 will give you an idea of how we’re breaking down our goals, which may help you in your process.

Breaking down big goals is like reverse engineering a recipe. If you want to end up with a big pot of vegetable minestrone soup, you identify the ingredients (steps/goals/tasks) needed to end up with the finished dish.

Monthly planning is simply creating and working weekly and daily goals.

Goal setting and the diligence of daily doing is a tried and true recipe for success.
~LeAura Alderson,®

Monthly Goal Setting Example

We like to state monthly goals as four goals that can then be roughly divided into four weeks. I say “roughly”, because some of the goals may actually persist through the month, but delegating these to weeks helps to sort and anchor the planning process.

  1. Create new Amazon listing for the iCreateDaily goals journals
  2. Hire ecom freelancers to assist
  3. Prep and ship journals to Amazon
  4. Edit journals for next printing
  5. Continue content creation with a focus on iCD brand

Below, is an example of how we’ve laid out the monthly goals sheet in the 90 Day Goals Journal. You can find more examples of daily goals here. (This example page is from our previous year’s monthly plan for September, where the focus was building our podcast website).

Example of Monthly Goals Planning - where to begin.  #MonthlyGoals #30DayGoals  #GoalsPlanning #GoalsJournal #GoalsSetting #FreeGoalsJournal #FreeGoalsPDF

Weekly Goals

In this example below, the week’s goals are broken down in such a way that these can easily be pulled into the daily tasks and expanded into more specific actions per item.

  • Week 1:
    • Hire freelancers
    • Keyword research
    • Compile and turn over list of necessary items, permissions, photos and content to freelancers
    • Freelancers to begin getting products listed on Amazon
    • Continue content creation across brands
  • Week 2: Create product ads across all relevant advertising channels
    • Ongoing content
    • Manage freelancers
    • Create ads
      • Amazon
      • Facebook
      • Adwords
  • Week 3: Monitoring / sustaining
    • Update product photos
    • Monitor and tweak ads
    • Monitor inventory
    • Manage freelancers
    • Ongoing content
  • Week 4: Content creation schedule to include all brands
    • Websites
      • 2 articles per day
    • Social
    • Podcast
    • Email –
      • create more consistency for GA list
      • get ahead on content and scheduling
    • Manage freelancers

Daily Goals

Each week’s goal/s are then broken down into daily goals as action steps and tasks needed to accomplish the overarching weekly goal.

Keep in mind that as you go through each month, you’ll be gaining more clarity on the specific action steps you need to take for achieving these larger goals.  You’ll also become more in tune with about how much time the different tasks take so that you can set more realistic goals.

If you’re using the iCreateDaily 90 Day Goals Journal, you’ll be working on steadily refining your monthly plan through daily and weekly tweaks as you go. Goals are ever a process of refinement.

You can find more details on daily planning in this article.

Monthly goal setting is like driving to a destination. The weeks are legs of the journey, and the day is the way. You keep your hands on the wheel through daily goals and tweaks.
~LeAura Alderson,®

Keep in mind that as you go through each month, you'll be gaining more clarity on the specific action steps you need to take for achieving these larger goals.  #MonthlyGoals #90DayGoals  #QuarterlyGoals #GoalsPlanning #GoalsQuote #QuarterlyGoalsSheet  #FreeGoalsPlanningSheet #GoalsJournal #GoalsSetting

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.”
~Andrew Carnegie, Scottish-American steel magnate & philanthropist, 1835-1919

The Day is The Way

Having daily and weekly check-ins with your macro goals will help you tweak, pivot, and clarify your vision as you do the work. 

When we dive into the daily micro action plan, we inevitably hit challenges, new opportunities, and roadblocks that can change our plans. This is why actions plans are different from the goal itself. Actions and tasks change as needed to accomplish your goals.

While writing this article, we were in the middle of a Q4/Q1 planning week prior to the start of Q4. The first half of the week was completely derailed for various reasons. So we did a few pirouettes and pivots and sashayed back into a new rhythm.

Yes, we missed a few beats. Yes, we felt a bit of panic and frustration at getting off track virtually before we started at first. But we adjusted our weekly plan, picked up speed and kept on going.

When unavoidable circumstances arise, just treat them like an obstacle in the road, swerve to safety, adjust as needed, then get right back on track.
~LeAura Alderson,®

Obstacles happen. Don't let them deter you. Adjust and keep moving forward. Example of Monthly Goals Planning - where to begin.  #ObstacleQuote @GoalsQuote #MonthlyGoals #30DayGoals  #GoalsPlanning #GoalsJournal #GoalsSetting #FreeGoalsJournal #FreeGoalsPDF

“It’s better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than at the top of the one you don’t.”
~Stephen Kellogg, American singer-songwriter, author

Goal Setting is Your GPS to Success

Our goal from the example above was to get our journals selling on the Amazon platform, creating new products, and hiring external expertise.  Then, each day we focused on analyzing different opportunities in reaching those goals, and adjusting as needed.

For instance, as we were creating this plan we received an email from a Google Ads representative with a generous promotional offer.  While Google Ads was not on our task or goals lists, anything that promotes our journals could be a worthwhile step toward the needed exposure. So we added that call, along with any subsequent actions to the plan, such as to decide whether to implement those ads.

We continued in some of our other regular work. It just wasn’t the central focus, and was relegated to less than the usual effort and energy as we geared up to complete this new thing.

GOAL SETTING is your GPS to success. #GoalsQuote #MonthlyGoals  #SuccessQuote #GoalsPlanning #GoalsJournal #GoalsSetting #FreeGoalsJournal #FreeGoalsPDF

Goal Planning is Like Travel Planning

Goal planning is really similar to travel planning, where you have to map the journey from Point A to Point B.  Detours will be part of your daily and weekly journey, but having the overarching monthly, quarterly, and annual “map” keeps you headed in the right direction.

Clear goals increase persistence and self­ efficacy, making individuals less susceptible to the undermining effects of anxiety, disappointment, and frustration.” 
~Dale H. Schunk, Educational Psychologist, dean, professor, author

GOALS QUOTE and how to deter disappointment, anxiety and frustration. “Clear goals increase persistence and self­ efficacy, making individuals less susceptible to the undermining effects of anxiety, disappointment, and frustration.”  ~D.H. Schunk, 1990, Educational Psychologist  #GoalsQuote #PersistenceQuote #GoalsPlanning #GoalsJournal #GoalsSetting #FreeGoalsJournal #FreeGoalsPDF

And remember, setting goals gets easier, faster and more efficient… the more you do it, the easier it gets.

“Set your goals high, and don’t stop ’till you get there.”
~Bo Jackson, former pro baseball & football, b.11/30/1962

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