How I Set Goals and Map Them Out for Success and You Can Too!

Last Updated on July 7, 2022 by Stephanie

You should absolutely set goals. If I can say one thing to anyone who is trying to strive for more, it would be to set goals.  If you have big dreams or even small things you want to accomplish, the way to do it is to set goals. Let me throw some statistics out there for you before we begin.

First, goal setting has a statistically significant effect on behavior. Setting a goal makes you act. At least we hope it does. If you set actionable steps towards your goal you are 40% more likely to achieve it. If you write your goal down, you are 20% more likely to achieve it.

This post is going to go through my personal process and why I think it’s a good one for everyone to try. Here are the main ideas I will lead you through:

  • Creating your big picture.
  • Breaking down your big picture into a few main goals.
  • Creating main goal statements and knowing your why.
  • The timeline to set goals and benchmarks.
  • Monthly and weekly goals.
  • Daily action.
  • The tools you need.

How to Create Your Big Picture Goals

So, this might be a little odd, but I heard it once and it absolutely stuck for me. If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would you do? Would you quit your job? Maybe you would travel the world. Would you buy a boat and sail the ocean? Would you start your own company? We’ve all thought about it. If money wasn’t the object, what would you do?

I realized that I would travel around the world with my family, I would create and craft all I wanted, and be free to do what I wanted and live on my own time.

After that, I created my main mission statement: I want to live a happy, creative life, surrounded by people I love where I can travel the world and owe nothing to anyone. Now, let’s break all this down. My family and the people I care about are important to me. I know that I am happiest when I am healthy and stress-free. I need to pay off any debts I have, and I want to travel the world.

Sit with these thoughts for a moment. Make a list from that main mission statement for yourself. What does it really say about you? What really matters?

Photo by lilartsy on Unsplash

Breaking Down Your Big Picture

I like to break things down into categories because that gives me more opportunities to create habits and actions toward my goals. I broke my own personal statement down into four areas: health, family, finances, and business. As you start picturing the things you need to do in order to really do what you would do if money was no object, categories start to appear.

For me, health is super important to me. My mom died just after her 63rd birthday. While she died from COVID-19, she was coming from a place of not-so-good health. If her body had been healthy, I do think she would have still been here with us. I don’t want that to happen to me. I feel best when I’m in good shape, doing CrossFit, and eating relatively healthy. Traveling the world wouldn’t be possible if I was sore and tired all the time. For these reasons, health is number one.

Family is next on my list because that is who I want to do all this stuff with. I say family, but I don’t really just mean my family. In fact, my family consists of a lot of other people you wouldn’t consider yourself. My fit family of awesome people at my gym, my school family, and other “families” are a part of my life. However, the family I care most about and actually make action plans about are me, my hubby, and my daughter. Of all the people in the world, I want them by my side the most. I want my daughter… this is literally the goal… to be a kind, strong, smart, hard-working, and courageous human. Whatever my husband and I have to do to help her become that person, is what my goal is.

Finances and Business go hand in hand. Yes, I’m a teacher, but I LOVE creating things and I love sharing with others both in and out of that profession. I love sharing with all of you. (Right now I think that’s only like 5 of you, haha) To travel the world and owe nothing to anyone you need money. So, that is where those two groups go.

Main Goal Statements

With the above, I have my main goal statements… I write them every single day. For example, my finance one is: I have no debt and have enough money to travel the world and the U.S. comfortably and often with my family.

Notice how short and specific that is? It isn’t talking about action steps in there or even my why, but it is there.

Your Why

You have to have a why. If you don’t have a why, then you won’t succeed. For each of these goal statements, you should be able to rattle off your why. If you look up where I talk about my health goal, you can see that I have a clear reason why health is important to me. If you don’t have a deeper why, a why that is absolutely at your core, then you shouldn’t have that goal.

Let me expand on that a bit as I touched on it in my post about Setting Goals that Empower You. If you have a goal for health and it is because of something like I want to lose 10 pounds, that’s a why.


Why? Why do you want to lose 10 pounds? Ask yourself the hard questions and really think about why you are doing what you are doing. I have a whole post just about Asking the tough questions for success. Sit with it for a while and really think about that deep-down answer before you create your big goal statement.

If you didn’t check out that first post about Setting Goals that Empower You, here’s the freebie from that page. It’s a small set of goal-setting worksheets with a free guide as well!

Setting Goals Planner Printables

The Timeline

5 years from now, where do you want to be with those big picture goals? If I am thinking about my finances, in 5 years I want to have no student loan debt and I want to have been able to take my daughter on an EPIC Disney cruise before she started Kindergarten.

I’m starting to get specific now. Think about those big picture goals and think about where you want to be in 5 years.

One Year from now, where are you going to be? You know the end game, you know 5 years, and now you have to think about this time next year. What is going to put a dent into what you want to get done by 5 years? You can be literal and divide whatever it is by 5 years if you would like for this, or just set an awesome benchmark by the end of a year. You’re going to review this at the end of the year anyways and create another benchmark!

And now… 6 months. What does six months look like? To be on track to hit your one-year goal, what benchmark do you need to hit?

You may notice that every time I’ve moved to the next benchmark, I’m only really looking at the one right after. Part of the reason people abandon big dreams and big goals is that they set this huge thing and it is going to take time to get there. So they get discouraged. Breaking your goal down like this can help you see the plan and see the steps that you’re going to need to take to make it there.

Monthly and Weekly Goals

Every month and every week, I reset my goals. On the 30th or 31st, I will sit down and look at my 6-month goal and see where I’m at. What actions or benchmarks can I hit this month to make my 6-month goal happen? I typically shoot for 2-3 different things I can work on. For example, I have sinking funds and I will say things like I want my Disney fund to be up to X amount by the end of the month and my Student Loans to be down to X. It is tied to that 6-month goal, but I’m only biting off a bit of it. I also started creating a desktop wallpaper for my goal! Look at how pretty it is and how it shows me right on there what I need to do this month.

July desktop background with set goals for the month.

Then, every Saturday I come up with new weekly actions. Keeping with my finance theme, my weekly goal might be that I have 4 no spend days that week. For instance, for a health thing, I might say my goal is to do 25 daily push-ups. Small actions can add up and lead to big changes. There are only 1-2 actions that I assign per goal for this step.

Daily Action

Write down your goals every day. No, seriously. My post about Morning Journaling talks about my process a bit as well, but I write down my goals every single day. It is freaking awesome because it serves as encouragement and as a reminder every day. My format is to state my big picture goal, my monthly actions, and my weekly actions.

Every Day.

I do this in a notebook every morning and it is one of my favorite parts of my day.

Reality Check

You won’t meet your weekly goals every week. That’s okay.

You won’t meet your monthly goals every month. That’s also okay.

Never change the goal, always change the deadline. You might tweak a goal, but keep it big and keep it awesome. Grant Cardone, in his book “The 10X Rule” talks about keeping those high goals. If your goal is high, you rocked it out even if you miss it. Set a low goal and miss it and you didn’t do much. Think big!

Please keep going! I’ve noticed that there are certain months that I’m making great progress in one area and terrible progress in another. There’s always progress though. I’m taking baby steps in the direction I want to go.

Tools You Need

I put this in here because my main goal here at Creating Time for Life is to help people realize their potential and also help them plan their days and their futures. This is also a business venture for me, so I do have to share some tools that I created for this process. If you’re interested, click on either image below for some printable or digital tools to help you with your goals and productivity.

Pink Digital Goal Planner
Goal Setting Printables

In all honesty, the only tools you need are a pen or pencil with a notebook. That’s a great place to start. Track things in a planner digitally or on paper if you would like, but simply sitting down with a notebook and really thinking things through is all you need!

Final Thoughts

This post was filled with a LOT of my thoughts, so my last thought is this:

In conclusion, Go set goals and do something extraordinary today.

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