Master Goal Setting - Get Stuff Done Without the Stress

Back in January, we ran our #5minutegoalsquad challenge on Instagram, where we emailed participants a 5 minute activity every day for 5 days, that would help them master getting their goals accomplished.  It was great to see people putting in the effort to organize their thoughts, using these tips on their Instagram Stories and made me realize we should share it in a blog form with everyone who wasn’t able to participate.

Below you will see FREE printables that goes along with all of these challenges. You can do one challenge a day like we did in January, or just space each “Day” however you’d like!  Ready to get started?


DAY 1.  WRITE DOWN Your Intentions
Your first day’s challenge is to Write Down Your Intentions for this year.  Don’t be overly specific as to the goal itself yet.  The reason is, most goals that we make off the top of our head, come from a deeper place.  So today’s journey is to find the reason behind some of the goals you may have.

For example, maybe in your head you have the goal “I want to lose 15 lbs”.  But maybe that number is not as important.  Maybe what you really want is to feel energetic during the midday slump, or not to feel winded running up the stairs, or to be able to have lots of energy to play with your kids.  Maybe you want to feel accomplished because you have established healthy habits in your life, instead of just going with the flow.

Maybe you have the general goal to “make more money”.  Why?  Is it because more money from a side hustle will give you permission to walk away from a job you don’t have?  Do you crave financial security because it’s been lacking your whole life? Or is it the opposite - where you’ve had financial security because you’ve followed a plan, but you find your job unfulfilling?  Dig into the meaning behind these things, as much as you can.

Give yourself permission to think about this upcoming year not just in a to-do list fashion (and I love a to-do list!) but in a more general sense of where you want your LIFE to go, and how you want to FEEL.  You may find that your goals will change as your intentions become more clear.

So don’t write down your goals (yet, we’ll get there!) but write down how you want your life to feel to you.  What kind of person do you want to be?



DAY 2.  NARROW your focus


The second challenge will be to take the intentions you wrote down earlier and use those to draw out a SMART goal.  What do I mean by SMART goal?  It’s an acronym used often to describe what kind of goals a person should set.  I think it’s best if you pick 1-2 goals to focus on for this exercise, if you want to keep it within 5 minutes, but go ahead and make more if you so wish!

Your goal should be:

Specific:  In other words not just “make more money” but “start graphic design business” or instead of “get healthy” use “begin running and prepping breakfast and lunch meals”.

Measurable:  Taking the examples above, add in a way to measure your results so you can know if you’ve reached your goal.  “start graphic design business on the side and earn $8k” and “begin Running 4 times a week, and prep breakfast and lunch meals for Mon-Fri”.

Achievable:  This one is common sense - make sure your goals are something you can physically accomplish and not burnout.  It may feel good in the moment to set a crazy sounding goal to motivate yourself, but that usually backfires.  Set goals you can accomplish, and that will motivate you to keep going!

Relevant:  This goes back to your intentions for the year - is your goal in line with them?  What about your life in general?

Time-bound:  Make your goal specific in a time sense, set a deadline.  If you want to hit a certain amount in sales, don’t just state the amount, but state by WHEN.  





So now you have written down your ultimate goal (or goals!) for the year.  It’s staring at you on the page and if you’re like me, you’re thinking...ok now what?  This is all nice and good to have a specific goal that’s time-bound, so where do I go from here?  Time to Break It Down!

The best way to reach any SMART goal is to then break it down into as MANY actionable steps as you can.  Take that BIG goal and break it down into mini-goals.  For example, let’s say your goal is to “start an Etsy shop selling jewelry and make $500 a week in sales”.  If you currently have no Etsy shop, then you would break that down some of the goals like this:

  1. Spend one day researching best platform for handmade shop and pitfalls of Etsy
  2. Figure out where I would get my supplies, and if my supply price is competitive
  3. Do competitive analysis over the span of 3 days, looking at successful Etsy jewelry shops and what they’ve done
  4. Figure out and write out specifically who my client is / what my niche is
  5. Create or pay for logo
  6. Open up Etsy Shop, fill in all bio information
  7. Make 5 listings
  8. Research and implement strategy for tagging product on Etsy
  9. Create at Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest profiles and start documenting my journey as I figure this out
  10. Take 1 day to talk to an accountant and figure out what I need to have in order to be compliant with taxes
  11. Set myself up on software that will help me keep track of expenses and income.
  12. Craft advertising and content strategy
  13. Batch IG posts for the week in the Planoly App

Some of those steps could be broken down even further.  The idea is, it’s no longer this uncomfortable goal that’s staring you in the face, but a set of actionable steps you can take.  One by one, you will knock them off, and adjust by adding or subtracting steps as needed.

Since this one is more labor intensive, you can choose one of your goals today and break it down in this way, so it will take 5 minutes.

Hopefully at this point you are feeling motivated and have something of a visual path to your Big Goal.  You spent time figuring out your intentions, crafting your goal the right way, and breaking it down into multiple, doable steps.  Now it’s time to Schedule It!

If you don’t have a shiny new 2019 planner - have no fear, our printable today provides space for every month at a glance, so you can at least fill in some of them, depending on how specific you were yesterday.  

Scheduling your intentions, your actions makes them real.  It means you’ll have to tell people that “No, my Mon, Wed, and Friday evenings, I’m at the gym from 7-8 pm”.



DAY 5.  Overcome OBSTACLES


For the last challenge we have to tackle the inevitable:  Overcoming Obstacles.

We all got ‘em.

You make a meal plan for the week, go grocery shopping and on the day you have to do the prep, your kid wakes up with a fever and rash.

You sit down to update your blog post and you get a phone call you know will take about an hour.

You were juuuust planning to sit down for some self-care and unplugged quiet time and a notification on your phone lights up and suddenly it’s 45 minutes later and you are watching a YouTube video about cats in Croatia.  

Or you sat down to watch one episode of something on Netflix….and….wait what was I trying to do??

The best way to deal with obstacles - and of course we can’t predict all of them, is to have an active plan in place for when we reach them.  Your printable today has lines of “Obstacle” and “Action Plan” for you to fill in.

For example if your goal is something health related:

Obstacle:  I can’t make myself get up when my alarm goes off at 5:30 am, for my workout

Action Plan:  Leave my phone where I have to get up to turn it off, have water and workout clothes laid out from the night before, with my shoes at the door.

Think ahead of what typically stops you from accomplishing your tasks and how SPECIFICALLY you will overcome them.



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Thank you for reading!

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