6 Goal-Setting Tips That Won’t Make You Gouge Your Eyes Out

Looking for goal setting tips? Want to be more productive? Trick question! We all want to be more productive! Click through for 6 super helpful goal tips!

This guest post comes to us via Elise Blaha Cripe. Elise is a blogger, crafter and goal setter in San Diego, California. In the spring of 2015, Elise launched GET TO WORK BOOK, a daily planner + goal setting workbook designed to help you make progress on your big goals. The 2016 GET TO WORK BOOK is currently available for pre-order here.

Goal setting is one of my favorite topics (to write about AND think about) and I find myself spending a lot of time doing both. I am so honored Sarah invited me over to be a guest and share some tips with you. Technically, these are going to focus on setting goals to improve your small business but I really think they can be applied to anything.

Goal setting tip #1: Don’t be afraid to think big picture

Before you start thinking about how you want to work on and improve your business, it helps to consider where you actually want to be headed.

Are you trying to quit your day job? Become a fortune 500 company? Make enough to spend your summers backpacking? Knowing your “end-game” is so valuable because then you know more about what you need to be doing today. Maybe you need to be saving more of your profits.

Maybe you need to be re-investing more. Maybe you need to develop more passive income streams. It’s hard to know what to focus on until you have at least an idea of what you want your future to look like.

Goal setting tip #2: Choose something measurable

Good goals are specific. Of course, you want to “improve sales” or “grow your newsletter” but instead of just saying that, determine some numbers.

How much do you need to improve your sales? How many newsletter subscribers would you like to gain this month? Determine measurable goals, write them down and then work towards them.

The satisfaction of “hitting” those numbers is awesome, but even if you fall short, you have a real amount that you fell short and that can be helpful when coming up with what to shoot for next year or next month.

Goal setting tip #3: Be realistic (but challenging!)

As Pinterest quotes will tell you, it’s more than okay to dream big. But when it comes to goal-setting, I have found that going too big is never good.

You want your goals to be realistic – something that you can actually achieve – but also inspiring enough that they feel challenging. It’s a semi-tricky balance to find, but through practice (and trial and error!) you can get there.

Goal setting tip #4: Set deadlines

Without a deadline, a goal is just a wish. Click To Tweet It’s easy to set goals without thinking about when you’ll realize them, the trouble is, without a firm completion date in mind, it’s really tricky to actually accomplish anything.

When do you want to launch that ebook? When would you like to be able to hire an administrative assistant? What month is the absolute last month you can go live with your website?

Again, you want to pick something realistic (probably not this Friday) but challenging (probably not four years from now).

When considering deadlines, it also helps to stagger your projects and goals. Don’t make everything due the same month or try to launch everything at beginning of the year. Give yourself (and your customers!) some time to avoid burnout.

Goal setting tip #5: Break it down

Once you have your realistic and measurable goal(s) in mind, the next step is to break them down. This is the “how” portion. How are you going to get from A to B? What do you need to do today, this week, next week and next month to get there? What are some action steps?

I have found that the more action steps I list out and schedule as to-do list items the better. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by a huge project. Instead, let yourself get busy working on smaller steps on a daily basis.

Goal setting tip #6: Remember, this is fun

Coming up with goals and striving towards them can be a hugely satisfying exercise. At times, it can also feel really hard. But on the whole, you’re growing. You’re expanding. You’re learning and you’re making progress. All of those are good things and all of those will pay off for you and your business.

I encourage you to think of the whole process as something enjoyable. Remember that you get to choose your goals; no one is setting them for you. Pick the stuff that makes your heart race and your stomach flip a bit. Then get to work.

What goals are you setting for your business? Making your goals public is a great way to hold yourself accountable – tell us in the comments!

P.S. An insanely easy way to stick to your resolutions + Your gorgeous wall of goals

Photos by Roman Bozhko and Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash 

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  1. Lutetia Flaviae

    I so agree on everything. Although I’ve stopped setting deadlines because whenever I don’t respect them I feel defeated. However, the most actionnable tip is probably to break things down. It’s incredible how it makes things easier to do!

    • sarahvon

      Yes! I’m a huge fan of using Trello to manage all my big goals and giving myself little tiny goals within my bigger goals. Like “Source 10 photos for new ebook” not “Re-design whole dang ebook.” 😉

  2. Kit

    LOL – I am a master at setting goals and never looking at them again!

    Accountability goal: I have two e-books in me – one as a giveaway for a new site (that is also in the ‘offing’ 😛 ) and the other to invigorate those who are struggling to move forward in life – I want to tell them that it is okay to struggle; that you can achieve your goals by placing ‘One Foot Forward’ (the title of the E-book) 😛

    LOL – I am scared to set a deadline…but here goes: The giveaway e-book should be ready by December 31 🙂

    Thanks Sarah and Elise #HUGS

    • Julia

      Awesome goal! Prioritizing the many projects + ideas we have is a first step in actually achieving something. It can get hard to not be overwhelmed when we just keep generating ideas. So show up for this one goal, and the rewards we fall in place.

    • sarahvon

      Love the title of that book, Kit!

  3. Katie

    Currently, my accountability goals are to get my 2016 calendar published & complete my wholesale catalog! In the long-term, I want my business to grow so that my family can live a healthier lifestyle! Thanks for this awesome post, Elise! I was listening to your Podcast today while jogging/walking!!

    • sarahvon

      Those are awesome, impressive goals. Get it, Katie! 🙂

  4. Julia

    This reminds me of a workshop I took on goal-setting (and I needed to be reminded!). I had a goal ‘to get healthy’ after experiencing some health issues. The presenter helped me to home in on that vague goal, opting for a goal to ‘climb Mt. Manadnock’ or ‘decrease stress around food choices.’ This was her format, making sure goals were:


  5. Fanny

    Great tips ! And I really love your work book, I wish I could afford it (a little bit expensive but it’s ok).

  6. Daire

    I love this. I’m a big fan of setting goals, but at the moment I have so many that I don’t even know where to start! Thank you for the great tips – hopefully these should get me back on track!

  7. Mark Wallis

    As an entrepreneur, we definitely need proper planning and proper strategy to develop our business goals. So that we can easily develop our business portfolio, in most of the occasion, we have found that business organizations are taking the help of different business strategies that include; online marketing, brand promotion, social media channels, and many others. In this way, we can set effective business goals.

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